Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Spotlight on Site Selection

Recently, I talked about the 2007 MOU between the City of New Orleans and the VA, the one that focused in great detail on the current VAMC site between S. Galvez and S. Rocheblave.  It was signed on November 19, 2007, and it very clearly envisions a VA site that has already "jumped Galvez" into the neighborhood centered on Outer Banks Bar:







The City was already proffering this "targeted developable and usable area of land" - also known as a dense, recovering, historic neighborhood - to the wolves as of August 2007 per the letter.  And it had signed an earlier April 2007 CEA specifying the site.

But all sorts of official documentation in the summer of 2008 kept up the myth that all sorts of alternative sites besides this "RPC" selected site were still being considered.

Here's a letter from VA to the State Historic Preservation Officer in August 2008 sustaining the illusion of three alternative sites:

















Did VA ever have any intent of actually selecting one of the alternatives...given the MOU legal agreement with the City that was signed nearly a year earlier?

A letter from VA to SHPO in November 2008 further sustained the mirage:














....the key language being...





For more on this series of events, see this classic Gambit piece from December 2008.  It's important to keep a clear timeline in mind.

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