What's next for the property where Haynes Academy is located? Jefferson Parish Schools plans to demolish the schoolhouse and sell the property, which sits along Metairie Road in a high-priced residential area. Some residents are worried it could turn into a commercial development. Any rezoning to that effect would require Parish Council approval. Council member Jennifer Van Vrancken says she's gotten a lot of interest from homebuilders and commercial developers alike, photographed in Metairie, La. Thursday, June 1, 2023. (Staff photo by David Grunfeld, | The Times-Picayune)

The Cottam Park and Crestmont neighborhoods are looking forward to a respite from school traffic nightmares and parking issues as Haynes Academy exits their neighborhoods. As most people know, Haynes High was added to that location shortly after Katrina without neighborhood input.

Now we come to a new chapter as the school prepares to sell the property and is negotiating with Jefferson Parish about rezoning the property (all zoned R1A). To avoid repeat past problems, our neighborhoods would like representation and input into the decision process of our Jefferson Parish representatives. Decisions will directly impact both our neighborhoods and all of Old Metairie.

Council member Jennifer Van Vrancken gave an informative presentation regarding the matter to a packed cafeteria. She said a carve out triangular part of the property across from Aucoin Hart (from Ellis Parkway to Holly Drive) might be a natural for commercial real estate.

There was some group dissent, but she said this was an informal discussion of possibilities while emphasizing that she was not part of the initial process. There was no vote taken and limited discussion time.

Since Old Metairie was recently surprised by a Felipe’s development on a formerly residential piece of property, there has been increasing concern among residents about the creeping commercialization of Metairie Road, especially towards the more heavily residential areas east of Labarre Road.

Not only will this have an adverse impact on the adjacent neighborhood and be an unsightly addition, but it will also increase already atrocious traffic issues along Metairie Road. The principal corridor in Old Metairie is bottled in by the train, so it is not appropriate for heavy commercialization.

We’re fortunate we’re having upcoming council elections so we will have a platform to fully understand our representatives’ views on these matters.



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