The fence has blocked through-traffic on Newcomb Boulevard for more than six years. Credit: Keith Hardie

The six-year flap over the fence that turns a portion of Newcomb Boulevard into a cul-de-sac—the stretch betwen St. Charles Avenue and Freret Street—moved a step closer to resolution Wednesday. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal has affirmed that the city official who gave the fence the go-ahead back in 2006, didn’t have the authority to permanently close a public street.

Assuming the State Supreme Court rejects further appeal, as expected, Wednesday’s ruling presumably sends the Newcomb Boulevard Association back to the place where the court says they should have begun: City Council.

And if they find political support there to take over the street, they may have to shell out some cash. Where Trianon Plaza residents secured permission to close their street several years ago, they had to buy rights for the closed street bed from the city at a cost of $97,000.

The Newcomb Boulevard group paid nothing to the city.

Attorneys for the Newcomb Boulevard Association did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Plaintiff Keith Hardie, who has written about the issue and brought the suit with co-plaintiff Derek Huston, said he expected the district court to order immediate removal of the fence.

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...