Bourbon Street novelty store suing city over zoning decision

By Lizzy Fitzsousa | Apr 15, 2014

NEW ORLEANS – A Bourbon Street novelty shop is suing the city after a negative ruling from the Department of Safety and Permits over its ability to sell souvenirs.

Evelyn S. Barthelemy Trust, Anglade 500 Properties, LLC, 522 Bourbon, LLC and 713 Bourbon, LLC,  Syed Rizwan and Bourbon Street Novelties filed a petition for writ of certiorari and judicial review to city of New Orleans’ Department of Safety and Permits (DSP) appealing administrative adjudication in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court on Jan. 23.

According to the suit, 522 ½ Bourbon is owned by Trust and Anglade 500 Properties, and leased by 522 Bourbon and subleased by 713 Bourbon. Syed Rizwan operates a business called Bourbon Novelties at that address.

The suit alleges that on Jan 23, 2013 Rizwan was issued an occupational license to operate a general merchandise store at 522 ½ Bourbon St. in New Orleans. He claims to have operated the store without event until Oct. 15, 2013 when inspector Devra Goldstein of the DSP checked the store for compliance with the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance. That day, Rizwan alleges that the city notified Bourbon Novelties that it was in violation of the ordinance. On Dec. 11, 2013, the city conducted an administrative adjudication to prosecute the alleged zoning violation where Anglade 500 Properties was ordered pay a fine of $500 plus hearing cost of $75.

The petitioners claim that the DSP is not consistent with its findings and that it erred in its case.

They claim that the ordinance does allow some retailers to sell some items deemed “souvenirs” and or “t-shirts.” Furthermore, the plaintiff argues that at no time during the administrative adjudication did the City make or present detailed calculations or sales information on what ratio of souvenir items to permitted items existed. The suit alleges that the judgment overstepped authority by ordering they “remove all inventory deemed a souvenir as defined by the” orginance.

The petitioners are seeking a writ of certiorari to review the decision, a reversal of guilty finding and award of costs incurred.

The petitioners are represented by D’Juan M. Hernandez of New Orleans.

On Feb. 10, Evelyn Trust, Anglade 500 Properties and 522 Bourbon LLC requested to be removed as petitioners.

The City of New Orleans is represented by Christy C. Harowski, Deputy City Attorney and Sharonda R. Williams, City Attorney.

The case is assigned to Division I Judge Piper D. Griffin.

Case no. 2014-00892.

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