MARSALA: New Orleans Crime Continues Expansion Into West End

Could the wheel be coming off Council Member’s Giarrusso’s Proposed Development of West End Lakeshore Park? During the week of July 4th, the wheels were stolen from a Mustang. On Easter Sunday a boat was stolen, as reported in the Hayride.

Council Member Giarrusso continues to push for what his website states: “He’s worked with State, Orleans, and Jefferson Parish officials to redevelop West End (Lakeshore Park) into a major new attraction.”  However, residents are pushing back with some success. On July 25th the New Orleans Planning Commission agenda includes adding restrictions on developing West End Lakeshore Park. Most feel it is a start to stopping development of the park.

Developing West End Lakeshore Park was an agenda item of former Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who quietly took the park out of New Orleans Parks and Parkways and NORD budgets. In 2015, Council Member Susan Guidry had the western 3-Acres of the park rezoned for Mixed-Use.

In April 2022, when the Hackett Report on developing West End Lakeshore Park with multiple bars and gaming was presented, residents questioned the crime it would bring to their homes. Their concerns are being validated. None of the four previous studies included public-safety of residents.

Besides the hundred plus boathouses, the area is home to high-rise, medium-rise, and low-rise condominiums which use the park for their recreation. Mickey Retif Park was a NORD playground used by Coconut Beach that was lost to the new Pumping Station. In the wake of New Orleans STR problems and crime increase since 2020, residents have asked Giarrusso to allow the Planning Commission to agenize returning the classification of the West End Lakeshore Park to “Park”, as State ACTs 92 and 209 currently classify it.

It is hoped Giarrusso and the Municipal Yacht Harbor Management Corporation (MYHMC), will factor in Public Safety when deciding what to do with the Park’s western 3-acres, which border Jefferson Parish and Lake Pontchartrain.

An on-going on-line survey has resulted in 90% plus of the respondents wanting to retain the park, the 29-heritage oaks, and the wildlife habitat plus use the existing roadway as a bike path, and add recreation to the western side possibly in the form of pickleball courts.

Previous Feasibility Studies by the Regional Planning Commission (RPC) have concluded the area to be saturated with restaurants and bars. However, the MYHMC, has agreed to spend approximately $140,000.00 with HR&A Advisors to do a fifth study on developing West End Lakeshore Park.

HR&A Advisor is a firm headed by a former deputy mayor to Mitch Landrieu. Approximately another $70,000.00 will be spent with Stone Pigman which will create attorney-client privilege and prevent the public from later accessing MYHMC communications to HR&A.

At the May 25th Council Meeting Giarrusso stated: “I will remind everyone that this area (West End Lakeshore Park) has been heavily a commercial concern from the turn of the century until Hurricane Katrina and not one for ah residents.”

If that was the case there would be no need for rezoning West End Lakeshore Park at the local and state level to allow for “redevelopment.” It is actually “development.”  In January 2023, State Rep Hilferty advised the Lakeview Civic Association that she would be introducing legislation at the state level to amend the uses described in Act 92 for West End Lakeshore Park which limit it to “a Public Park or Amusement Park.” She stated that she was open to adding ‘restaurants and bars.’ However, she later decided not to introduce any legislation. No explanation has been given as to why nothing was introduced.

Only 25% of the people surveyed responded that they were aware that Fitzgerald’s, Augie’s, the My-Oh-My Club, and Brunings were in the East End of Jefferson Parish. Information being published is continueing to keep the public confused about which parish the commercial business were located.


At a time when Giarrusso is pushing to convert a park to commercial, Jefferson Parish is beginning the conversation of Bucktown Harbor from commercial to recreational and environmental.

At the June 14th Jefferson Parish Council meeting, responding to resident concerns on the lost ot trees in Old Metairie, Council Member Rickey Template expressed concerns about removing heritage oak trees and quoted Joni Mitchell’s song: “We tore down paradise.”

Jefferson Parish has announced that they have raised $15 million in grants to do the conversation, which will include installing an artificial tree grove named: “The Bird’s Nest Pavilion.” It is a challenge to comprehend the removal of 29-Heritage oaks in West End Lakeshore Park, which are used by several species of birds including eagles, only to be replaced by fake trees to educate children about the environment and wildlife.

What would have seemed ridiculous lyrics in 1970 is now actually happening to in the West End area. The third paragraph of Joni Mitchell’s song “Big Yellow Taxi” reads:

“They took all the trees
Put ’em in a tree museum
And they charged all the people an arm and a leg just to see ’em…”

The plans being suggested to develop West End Lakeshore Park call for a two-story parking lot and multiple swinging hot spots and maybe a hotel. Joni Mitchell’s song was published in 1970, the only thing missing would be lyrics about adding crime. Perhaps adding the verse:

Late last night
In an STR there was a party bash,

As I sat in my house,

I heard my windshield being smashed.

Would update the song.

To take the West End Lakeshore Park survey and provide document for review the web site: was established in the Summer of 2022.

A series of articles of the develop of the park has been posted by The Hayride.



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