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s3mh last won the day on January 10 2013

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  1. People who advocate for more pedestrian friendly/new urbanism type development get bashed regularly on here for being snow flakey about the concerns they express about the impact developments have on pedestrians, etc. This comment is more snow flakey than anything any new urbanism proponent ever came up with. It is hard to tell if there are any spaces? You mean you have to drive an extra .003 miles to go in and out of a parking lot? Would that be about 3.6 calories you expend turning the steering wheel and moving your foot from the gas to the break and back again? Goodness. Let's change the minimum setback to 50'. Someone must stop the madness. It is difficult to keep an eye on your vehicle? Do you keep a box of Krugerrands in your glove compartment? Who in the world goes into a restaurant and wants to be sure they maintain a clear line of sight to their car so they can watch out for burglars during dinner? And what good would it do? It takes about 5 seconds for someone to pop a window and snatch a bag from a car. By the time you got out of the restaurant, the burglar would be high tailing it away. Or are you a concealed carry guy who would spray the neighborhood with bullets to try to stop a petty thief?
  2. Right. But where is the next step going to be? Looking at all the great development along Washington Ave in the 1st/6th wards, the arts district on Summer St., and the redevelopment of the Ravinia rice plant and you have to wonder where else in that area is there space to do something big? It would just be nice to get a development that was looking twenty years into the future instead of something that was more relevant twenty years in the past.
  3. Wasted opportunity. More and more people are making use of the bike path. There is a nice new ramp connecting the near north side to the bike path by the community center off Quitman. There are a bunch of new high rises going up on the north side of downtown that have easy access to the bike path. What I really do not get is why this pre-packaged big box development is still getting built with all the big changes in retail. I know for developers this combination of stores has been a proven money maker. But that assumes that the retail world is static. With Amazon, ebay and big shifts in retail spending habits, this kind of development seems to be dangerously backwards looking.
  4. Hunky Dory and Bernadine's are owned by a separate entity from Down House and the rest of the currently surviving Treadsack establishments. They could now convert Hunky Dory and Bernadine's bankruptcy into a Chap 7 from an 11 and lighten their load by a lot. It is sad because but for the mismanagement these restaurants should have been able to be around for a long time. At least they leave behind some nice architecture for someone else to make a go at it.
  5. Shade and Glass Wall are closed. Both are being retooled. Shade will be "Alice Blue", a more trendy venue. Glass Wall will try a more casual concept. Something has got to give at Treadsack. Graham Laborde jumped ship. Bernadine's was his creation and he got his dad involved in propping up the restaurant when everything hit the fan. Richard Knight left Hunky Dory and it has not been the same. I doubt that those concepts can survive too long without big talent in the kitchen. And no big name chef is going to come on board until the company emerges from bankruptcy. A bit of a catch 22. https://houston.eater.com/2017/5/15/15641640/treadsack-chefs-leaving-graham-laborde-richard-knight
  6. The google docs are from stopmedicalbuilding11th@gmail.com. They have over 30 letters from residents and are sending people to speak at the planning commission meeting. The commission is only considering a replat and zero setback on 11th. They are not considering a curb cut. The replat is a "shall pass" request. The planning commission does not have discretion to deny a replat based on proposed uses. It is just line drawing. The planning commission loves to deny setback variances, especially if there is neighborhood opposition. Bill Baldwin is now on the planning commission. He was against the partial repeal of the dry zone because he was against too much commercial density from bars and restaurants in the Heights. He could potentially be a squeaky wheel on the commission to get the variance denied. Finally, while I hate people who call out grammar on message boards, I have to say that the text of the variance application looks like it was outsourced to an engineer in Bangladesh who prepared it on a fifteen year old blackberry that had broken keys on the keyboard. And if you are looking to sway people in the Heights, don't say that your intent is to enhance the area with a more "modern look".
  7. Every driver in Houston looks left first when they are making a right hand turn. The rare cautious and conscientious driver will look right just before pulling out into the intersection to check for pedestrians. But the vast majority of drivers will only look to the right when they have begun to pull into traffic.
  8. You obviously have never walked across a street in Houston. Hopefully, you are not one of those people who live in the burbs that has to tell people in the Heights what is what. Just about every vehicle that makes a right turn at an intersection or coming out of a garage onto a two way street will look to their left for on coming traffic (maybe you are in the UK and think this is backwards) but will not look to their right until they start accelerating into the roadway. That is because there is no traffic to worry about coming from the right (unless someone is driving the wrong way down the street). The problem is that even though cars do not come from the right side, pedestrians do. (FYI: pedestrians are people who walk places. They have them in the Heights.) I cannot tell you the number of times I have been at an intersection in Houston and saw people come within inches from getting run over by cars making right turns. It is so bad that when I am out running in the Heights, I will either wait for someone looking to make a right hand turn to go or run behind their vehicle. People making right hand turns have their heads turned to the left and you cannot even make eye contact with them when you have the walk signal.
  9. Most everyone will be turning right out of the building to get on W 11th. When people turn right, they look left for traffic. When I go out on a run, I always run behind any vehicle that is turning right at an intersection because the drivers never look left.
  10. It is the Heights. We can multitask. Presidio is on the verge of becoming the White Oak Music Hall of the Heights. I get taking a risk with the neighbors when you have national touring acts. But I do not get pissing off the neighbors for free live music from local acts. If you look at the rendering, the garage will open up right on to the hike and bike path. If you are on the south side of 11th trying to head north on the hike and bike path, you will usually have to book it across 11th before the thundering heard of cars start whipping down the street from N. Shep or Yale. As soon as you make it across 11th, you will then just be feet from the opening for the garage. People in large SUVs (i.e. 90% of Houstonians) coming out of the garage will have to pull almost half way out of the garage to be able to see to their right to see if anyone is on the bike path. If they are not careful, it would be very easy for someone to plow over a kid on a bike who just crossed 11th St. The kid on the bike will not see the SUV until it emerges from the garage.
  11. Variance is for zero setback. But the neighbors are concerned about the garage entrance being on the bike path. Now you can get hit by a car coming out of the garage, get up and get hit by the same car again when you try to cross 11th. If the developers were smart, they would push the city into putting in a HAWK signal to get residents off their back. But if they just show up at the hearing, there will probably be residents complaining. The planning commission does not need a well reasoned argument to deny a zero lot line setback.
  12. http://www.chron.com/business/real-estate/article/Heights-area-farmers-market-in-deal-to-be-sold-11112989.php I had heard talk that some prospective buyers were looking at closing down the market and putting in housing or retail. So, this is good news. But it will be very tricky to balance the old and the new. If you push to hard to upgrade, all the vendors will bolt and set up shop at a flea market north of 610. If you do not do enough, any new vendors will have trouble surviving. It would be nice to see Airline Seafood comeback and have a seafood counter integrated into the market.
  13. Variance fight shaping up. Neighbors are concerned about cutting the driveway across the hike and bike path.
  14. Look at the rendering. It is an office building. Anyone working there will have the sun in their face from 10 am to 4 pm. That is why our founding fathers built the downtown street grid like a diamond on a N/S axis.
  15. This confirms my suspicions that developers and architects never set foot in the communities where they build much less even look at a map. Why in the world would you design a building that faces due south with tons of big windows? Yeah, I know the low e windows are great, but they only do so much and you still have to have giant shades to keep people from being blinded by the sun.