What’s Wrong With Excessive Paving?
Attractive and environmentally friendly green space is lost as front yards are converted into off-street parking areas. Some cities have seen significant drops in property values as yard paving spreads.
Cars parked on the front yard area of residential lots often obstruct the “public right-of-way” (sidewalks) and pedestrians are forced into the street as a result. They also eliminate on-street public parking spaces.
It Leads to Flooding
Paved yards do not allow rainwater to soak into soil. Instead, the water runs off into the street and storm sewer systems, which then leads to more street flooding and sewer backups, increased pressure on infrastructure, more runoff pollutants entering waterways, and increased subsidence.
Most cases of excessive front yard paving and front yard parking spaces are illegal in New Orleans under the current Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance. However, no permit issuance is required to pave a front yard area, so the practice is widespread and relies on complaint-based, after-the-fact enforcement.
Excessive paving leads to more standing water, more pumping, more subsidence, and more frequent street repairs, all at taxpayers’ expense.
A Healthy Block
This is what we want our blocks to look like. They’re holding water onsite, replenishing the water table, and slowing subsidence.