Interview date: 5.14.14
Jason Williams is Councilman-at-Large for the City of New Orleans. Williams' first vote as councilman involved a proposed zoning variance in the historic Holy Cross neighborhood. Many New Orleanians--especially Holy Cross residents--strongly objected to the proposed change. In particular, they opposed plans that would allow a 60-foot tall apartment development. Neighbors in the Holy Cross community feared the variance would open the door for developers to build many different types of commercial enterprises. Such developments could destroy the character and mar the distinct aesthetic of this New Orleans neighborhood whose roots extend to 1808 when Bernard de Marigny subdivided his land holdings. In this podcast, Councilman Williams discusses various aspects of the controversy, including the fraudulent elements of a petition that development proponents presented to the City Council in support of the controversial change.
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