[StBernard] Taffaro launches a plan in St. Bernard to buy empty lots next door

Westley Annis Westley at da-parish.com
Mon May 5 07:42:54 EDT 2008


Will Pre-Katrina homeowners have preference over new lease to purchase
inhabitants ?


-----Original Message-----
Taffaro launches a plan in St. Bernard to buy empty lots next door

06:34 PM CDT on Saturday, April 26, 2008


One hundred days have passed since Greg Taffaro became St. Bernard Parish
President, presiding over a time of challenge and survival in the parish.

Henry Vandenborre, a parish resident, remembers life before Hurricane
Katrina. He remembers what his neighborhood used to look like. "It used to
be one of the best subdivisions you get in the parish," Vandenborre said,
adding, "It's been slow. I mean, it's just, nobody's coming back in this

While Vandenborre ponders and worries about the future, Parish President
Taffaro laid out his 100-day recovery and growth plan, seeing the plan as a
road map to bring the parish back.

The top priorities, Taffaro said, was infrastructure and demolition
projects. "Redesign some neighborhoods so that the outcome," Taffaro said,
"in the end of all this, is a better planned and a smarter planned

The Lot Next Door Program, where homeowners could purchase the lot next door
to their house, is one element of Taffaro's plan, as some 2,000 to 4,000
homes still need to be torn down in St. Bernard Parish. "Some lots will be
utilized for public interests," Taffaro said, "such as increased drainage,
or flood protection."

Many residents like the idea, so that they can increase their lots.

"I don't know if anyone is going to pay market value," Vandenborre said,
"high money for that slab."

But Barry Sison of Arabi liked the idea: "We'd like to get rid of the slab,
first thing. Clean it up and take it from there, whether it's a garden,
whether we put a structure or it's just green grass."

Many residents feel that the Lot Program would make St. Bernard less like a
disaster zone.

"We've got to complete this process," Sison said. "That's what really needs
to be done."

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