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Oft-Ignored Zoning Rules Causes Frenchmen St. Crackdown

Frenchmen Street, a Marigny hotspot known for its live music scene and once local-centric vibe, got a dose of zoning enforcement reality over the weekend. "Some of the venues have come in as a restaurant and then have morphed into a bar and so it's upsetting the balance of the businesses and what the intent of the Cultural District Overlay is," City Councilwoman Kristin Gisleson Palmer told WDSU. Cops made the rounds and some live music venues that are zoned as restaurants were told to "move the party inside."

The Frenchmen Street Arts and Cultural Overlay District, created in 2004 by city officials and Marigny residents, has a slew of rules pertaining to restaurants and live music. Doors and windows must be closed; no amplified music; no bands over three people; the show must end by 11 p.m. on weeknights and 1 a.m. on weekends. Some of the Frenchmen Street businesses expected to follow these rules are Three Muses, Café Negril, Maison, and Mojitos, while the pre-'04 establishments are grandfathered in. And because what would street beefin' be without internet rants? Just last week, Offbeat Magazine publisher/editor-in-chief and self-proclaimed "pot stirrer," Jan Ramsey, wrote that "the Frenchmen Street that was is definitely no more." Then over the weekend, Frenchmen Street Live published a blog post about the "major crackdown," which pointed fingers and naturally, caused an internet comment shitstorm.
· Crackdown on Frenchmen Street flusters businesses [WDSU]
· Major crackdown begins on Frenchmen St., future of the street in question! [Frenchmen Street Live]
· Frenchmen Street and the changing scenery [Offbeat]
· Frenchmen Street coverage [Curbed NOLA]