Neighbors, I know you are tired of hearing about Pontchartrain Beach, I am too.! However, we really need you to attend the Special Lakefront Management Authority (LMA) / Pontchartrain Beach Meeting on Saturday May 20, 10:30am in the Gym at St. Pius. This is your FINAL chance to have your voice heard. If these particular developers are allowed to move ahead our quality of life will change forever. The LTPOA is not anti-development, we just have some major issues with the Pontchartrain Beach Foundation(PBF) and their specific development plans.
Click the button below to read and download all the documents / audio clips that pertain to Ponchartrain Beach matters. There is a copy of the lease, a letter sent to apointers, and other documents in the folder.
This week the following letter was sent to all of the people that make appointments to the LMA board.
It discusses some of the issues we have with the PBF:
Dear.... This is Ashley Haspel, President of the Lake Terrace Property Owners Association. I am reaching out to you today because you have an appointment to the Lakefront Management Authority. The LMA is currently in negotiations with the Pontchartrain Beach Foundation (PBF) to lease out the parcel where the beach was once located.
Very few members of the public have been able to attend the meetings at the LMA, so I personally requested a Saturday meeting. The meeting is going to be on May 20, 10:30am in the Gym at St. Pius on Spanish Fort. The full board of the LMA will vote on Thursday, May 25 to move forward with the deal or to kill it. I am asking you to personally attend this meeting on the 20th, so that you can hear what your constituents have to say and how the LMA and PBF respond. If you cannot attend, please send a member of your staff.
The residents of Lake Terrace and Lake Oaks are very concerned about this proposal. The LMA and the PBF asked for us to submit our concerns and requests. We were told a few months later that they would not honor any of them since they are “Outside the Leasable Area.” They are putting a business deal ahead of the welfare and well being of the tax paying citizens who reside in the area. We all feel as if the deal has already been done. We know the Beach is going to be developed no matter what, but as residents we feel that our neighborhoods need to be protected first and foremost.
They have made racially charged statements, they have said things in meetings and then denied them. At one of the meetings when asked about their security plan, Guy Williams on PFB stated, “We don’t know how many entrances we will have until we have the lease in place and the funding.” Michael Liebart (who has made sure we all know he was an auxiliary NOPD motorcycle officer) on the PBF then stated, “We will have security at all of the entrances and they will keep the criminals out because we all know what they look like.” I have a video of this meeting. At my meeting, Michael Liebart said they would park people at South Shore Harbor and shuttle them in or build a sky bridge and parking deck at UNO that could then tie in with a hotel. I spoke with President Nicklow of UNO who had not spoken to the PBF in a couple of years and knew nothing about a sky bridge or parking deck, and said the hotel deal died a long time ago. At the next month’s LMA meetings, which I could not attend, these things were brought up. Their attorney said, “I don’t know who you are getting this information from, but you need to get information straight from us, and Guy Williams never mentioned a sky bridge.” Well he did not, it was Michael Leibart who did, I have the recording to prove it, and that is what I did the next month. I should not have to defend my character and prove I’m not a liar. This is all very unacceptable.
Mr. Liebart claims this group has been working on this project since 2015. So why then is there no dedicated security plan? They plan to charge admission and are asking for public funds but in essence are making a private beach. I asked them if they planned on doing something like Audubon does where there are free entrance passes people can check out of the library, this is beneficial for low income families who will not be able to afford the $10+ for adults and $5+ for children. The PFB’s response was no. I also asked how they were going to collect admission fees from the boaters who want to dock for the day. They had never thought about it and “I guess we will have to put an attendant on the dock.”
The PBF does not want to pay for lifeguards. In the 2015 Regular Session, HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 152 BY REPRESENTATIVE BADON was passed.
WHEREAS, the conditions in the lake that were there when the two drowning deaths occurred in 2012 still exist and as such opening the beach to the public once again will only put the public at risk.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the House of Representatives of the Legislature of Louisiana does hereby urge and request that the Orleans Levee District and the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation not reopen the Pontchartrain Beach to the public.
Nothing has changed in the lake since then, why is it ok to move forward now after we have had Ida etc....
Please come and hear what we, the residents of the Lakefront, have to say about what these developers want to do in our backyard. We want this to be a fair and equitable endeavor on this historic piece of property at the end of Elysian Fields. If you want to hear any of the recordings I have referenced, please reach out and I will send them to you.
This letter went to Eugene Green, Joe Giarrusso, Oliver Thomas, Kelli Chandler, Matthew Willard, Stephanie Hilferty, Mayor Cantrell, Senator Harris, and Senator Bouie.
The LMA and the PBF said that they wanted to work with the neighborhoods. We put together a list of requests, and they made it seem like they wanted to help. In the end we were told that all Lake Oaks and Lake Terrace's requests were "Outside the Leasable Area." Lake Terrace asked for trees as a sound buffer for Pratt and Lake Terrace Park. Below are our requests in a table. Anything in Red is not being honored in the lease. This is also in the Pontchartrain Beach Folder.
I know there is a lot of information to digest. If you want to discuss any of it or have any questions please email email@example.com and include your phone number and I will give you a call. You do not have to be an LTPOA Member to reach out to me about this time sensitive issue.
Finally, we need people to help put fliers out to all 438 homes in the neighborhood. Again, email me with your phone number and I will get back to you.
Thank you and stay safe,