Curb Appeal gets neighbors’ supportFeb 25th, 2011 | By Michelle Provencher | Category: Top Story
Neatly trimmed shrubbery, clean-edged pathways and a manicured lawn set the stage for an assembly of civic and neighborhood groups which came together to sign off on the Curb Appeal Initiative.
The Curb Appeal Initiative is a citizen-based campaign to better enforce codes relative to landscaping, signage, dumpster location and overall upkeep of homes and businesses.
More than 20 residents and organization representatives signed on to the initiative at a press conference held on Feb. 22, including St. Bernard Parish President Craig Taffaro.
Taffaro said this strategy is a sign of where the parish is going; that St. Bernard is no longer in disaster mode, but rather in a growth mode.
Being touted as a quality of life campaign, Curb Appeal will depend on self-policing.
“This really will take a community effort,” said Taffaro. “We’re giving these groups the proper voice and venue to enforce [the codes].”
Parks and Parkways Commission Chairman Howard Luna addressed the crowd, and reiterated Taffaro’s message about transitioning the parish from recovery into creation.
“Help us change the way people feel about living here,” said Luna. “This is just the first step for us.”
Others at the press conference agreed that changes are needed in the parish.
“One of the things we do well in St. Bernard is work as a team,” said Polly Campbell, the St. Bernard Community Foundation Director of Neighborhood Initiatives. “What we need to do now as a team is to work on creating a different perception of St. Bernard.”
Campbell asked why should residents have to go to Disney World or tourist destinations to see picturesque scenery, when “we have every ability and right to have that where we live.”
The media event took place at the Gulf Coast Bank and Trust in Chalmette for its compliance with all zoning codes.
Campbell said prior to the press conference that one problem in the parish is businesses not following rules about dumpsters. In many cases, the dumpster is not located behind the building or contained in a wooden enclosure, both of which are required by law, according to Campbell.
“We’re willing to stand behind the government’s enforcement,” said Campbell. “If [there is] a bad ordinance, or it doesn’t work, then it should be amended.”