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Maher v. New Orleans, City of

Citation: 5 ELR 20524
No. No. 74-2022, 516 F.2d 1051/(5th Cir., 07/31/1975)

The Vieux Carre Ordinance, which requires a permit for demolition or construction within the historic French Quarter of New Orleans in order to preserve the area's unique architectural and historical value, reasonably serves valid social, cultural and environmental purposes and thus falls within the permissible scope of the police power. The ordinance provides the Vieux Carre Commission with adequate legislative direction and reasonable administrative discretion to enable that body to make demolition and construction permit decisions consonant with the requirements of due process. The legislature has taken adequate steps to guide the Commission in performing its functions under the ordinance by, inter alia: specifying its expectations for the Vieux Carre; delineating the district; defining what alterations in what locations require approval; and establishing a decision-making and appeal process. The lower court was correct in ruling that the Commission's denial of a demolition permit to the owner of an historic cottage in the district did not constitute an uncompensated taking. The owner failed to demonstrate that the denial so diminished the value of his property as to leave him nothing, or that the ordinance's upkeep provisions were inordinately burdensome.

Attorney for Plaintiff
Harold B. Carter, Jr.
Montgomery, Barnett, Brown & Read
806 First National Bank of Commerce Building
New Orleans, La. 70112

Attorney for Defendant
Carl H. Besy Ass't City Attorney
414 Carondelat Building
New Orleans, La. 70134