NEW ORLEANS — The Vieux Carre Commission, which is charged with protecting the French Quarter, will be moving to City Hall by the end of this week, the city announced Thursday.
The commission’s move comes as the city prepares to open a “one-stop” shop in City Hall for land-use and permitting issues. The relocation, however, hasn’t been without controversy as French Quarter neighborhood groups have voiced concerns about losing the presence of a neighborhood watchdog.
The VCC, which has five staff members including its director, has been housed for many years in the second floor of the New Orleans Police Department’s 8th District station at Royal and Conti streets near the heart of the Quarter, making it easy for its small staff to keep an eye on the city’s oldest neighborhood.
The VCC will continue to have a presence on Royal Street, albeit a greatly reduced one. On Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., a VCC staff member will host office hours at the Royal Street location for drop-ins and general questions.
The Royal Street location will stop accepting applications, a news release from the Mayor’s Office said, but it will be able to provide information “about necessary documents required for certain permits.’’
“The new operations structure of VCC will allow for more inspections and for VCC staff to be more effective,’’ the release said.
The VCC will join the City Planning Commission, Historic District Landmarks Commission and Department of Safety and Permits on the seventh floor of City Hall. The city has said that those agencies working side by side and sharing administrative duties will result in more streamlined operations for those who need to do business with them.