If you were to believe the Vieux Carré Commission, the conceptual approval phase of a building application is just one small step — schematics, if you will — in the Café Habana saga. Ask the seventeen commenters who attended this afternoon's VCC meeting and they'd pretty much tell you this is a load of hooey. Two of those comments in a public comment session that spanned over thirty minutes alone happened to be positive. Despite the negative criticisms, five votes of approval (as per a quorum) was all it took to get Café Habana one step closer to reality.
Citizens' concerns were not without merit, however. Though the VCC says that at least two more meetings are planned for Café Habanas future if it continues to receive approvals, they and the Architecture Review Committee are seemingly just as concerned about issues of capacity and density as well as proper code enforcement as commenters.
Both the public and the committee found similar numbers in capacity, showing a deep understanding of the issues at hand. The VCC says they not only appreciate community involvement but that they hope it continues. 40 emails were sent to the VCC before the meeting in addition to the aforementioned comments. Café Habana's case for a restaurant is set to return to the architecture committee to better hash out design and development. Stay tuned.
· Habana Cafe [Curbed NOLA]