When a discussion of the Lafitte Greenway arose during today’s City Planning Commission meeting, panel member Lou Volz asked why he had to learn from the news media – not the planning staff – about changes sought by the planned Winn-Dixie grocery store on North Carrollton Avenue.

The Lens reported two weeks ago on the request by Winn-Dixie to cross the proposed linear park with vehicular traffic and create an additional parking lot.

Winn-Dixie made the case to Mayor Mitch Landrieu for the intrusion on the greenway, and the mayor appealed to the advocacy group Friends of Lafitte Corridor to approve the request. The organization said it was strongly opposed to the move, but the mayor made the deal anyway.

Volz was surprised that commission business was being decided before it made its way on to the City Planning Commission agenda. He asked City Planning Director Yolanda Rodriguez for a clarification.

Rodriguez explained that the project would only be viewed and vetted at the staff level.

That’s because the project complies with all zoning regulations, so it only needs administrative approval. The commission will not be involved, Rodriguez said.

Karen Gadbois

Karen Gadbois co-founded The Lens. She now covers New Orleans government issues and writes about land use. With television reporter Lee Zurik she exposed widespread misuse of city recovery funds and led...