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Posts posted by woody_hawkeye

  1. Even if the City of Houston would let them, I doubt that Woodlanders would even want to annex areas that aren't part of the master planned community.

    I envision that The Woodlands could be make deals with other municipalities and expand in the future to acquire undeveloped areas, but in doing so would want contigious properties containing developed areas that in time would gain enough value for existing owners to let them go for tax reasons, opening up additional development opportunities. Planned and unplanned residential areas could be part of that. Houston does not seem eager to take on far reaching areas. Their focus is primarily inward. There are so many areas they need to renew to keep the city from becoming another Baltimore or Philadelphia. The future possibilities are interesting but all reasonable probability, The Woodlands will be too heavily engaged in local matters for a long time to come to be able to deal with expansion unless the development company can convince them to put resources on new areas outside of existing boundaries. It has happened once, so I see another venture as quite a possibility in the near future. I consider that activity quite different than an ETJ however.

  2. That is a real problem with the area. The 2978 & 1488 area is booming. With Kroger having a Conroe phone number and mailing address and the other 3 corners Magnolia, the area does need its own identity and post office in my opinion. The Home Depot is known as Woodlands West and the First Bank of Conroe branch across the side street is known as the Magnolia branch. It must confuse the heck outta the 911 folks.

    1488 and 2978 are political boundaries and like all such boundaries, on one side there will be one political entity and the other side the other. Postal codes change, post office distribution systems change, etc etc. It has always felt strange to be at a boundary where one commercial area is be part of one political and tax authority and right next to it is another. In the end, sales taxes usually turn out to be the same, governed by the state maximum. Zip codes determine post office authority and rarely are new ones added. Of course redistribution of zip codes due to large population changes do occur. It looks like the new village of The Woodlands may have some sort of new post office, but I am not holding my breath. If it is located close to 2978 or Kuykendahl, it could serve a wide area currently serviced by Tomball. Maybe in the particular area you are referencing a country post office for local residents would be helpful. There is a new one of these on Kuykendahl now near Huffmeister but not very well known since it was established just one month ago.

  3. I am a little confused, I tried to research the background but this seems to be a pretty confusing issue.

    Is this an opportunity for The Woodlands to eventually incorporate as their own city or just develop some sort of quasi-government to keep Houston off their backs for a little while longer?

    I would think as an attractive, affluent annexation target, the residents (citizens?) of The Woodlands would have tried to establish some sort of home rule long ago.

    This is the way it has unfolded:

    1. Houston had an agreement for annexation rights years ago but the agreement also had a clause for withholding any action until about 2010.

    2. As the expiration of the withholding clause approached, the community held meetings to determine what it wanted to be when it grew up. A formal project management process was put into place to determine this in an orderly fashion.

    3. The "downtown" area of The Woodlands continued to develop and needed a 1% tax for the business section to operate, so a special tax district was established.

    3. As data was collected and momentum gained on the parameters and vision of "adulthood" of The Woodlands, the community changed directions and began to see the need to be incorporated. The community association invited the mayor of Houston to give a keynote address to The Woodlands community in an annual meeting. He wished the community to be what it wanted to be.

    4. The community decided it preferred to have a special tax district as a stepping stone to incorporation.

    5. The Texas senator representing the area had a meeting with the mayor and got an agreement to pursue self government. He got support from his peer in the House and they together put together two bills to enable this to occur. The rest is history of this last legislative session.

    6. Next the residents must approve the expansion of the special tax district of the downtown area to include the villages in Montgomery county. Then the one governmental body will be in place after officials are elected. Next would be efforts to incorporate. That will take a few years.

  4. Hmmm and all this time I thought a school system is measured by performance and eeducational content, not by poor or rich or ethnic content. Then too I guess the drugs in the affluent areas are not a criteria either. Interesting but looks like a white flight outdated way of thinking. Each school has its own unique attendance and should be considered rather than using a blanket statistic. Often the schols success is at least partially governed by parental contributions and active involvement. Brings up a question mark on what we should be looking for in selecting a neighborhood to raise a healthy family. Look at the planned communities themselves. Each one is different in population and schools. The Woodlands chose to consolidate to CSD years ago, a very excellent school system.

    "Sorry I don't have more in-depth or up-to-date stats (use the tools available from the TEA to get better ones), but this is from what was in my desk drawer:

    Conroe ISD - 28.5% Economically Disadvantaged (2004), 9.8% Limited-English Proficient (2004)

    Montgomery ISD - 22.8% ED (2004), 2.4% L-EP (2004)

    Willis ISD - 47.9% ED (2004), 10.1% L-EP (2004)"

  5. I am all for being a responsible member of the community in which I happen to live (as well as other communities to which I might belong), for looking out for my neighbor (although loving my neighbor isn't what I'd call it) and for finding ways that I might contribute to the broader community. However, if any of this community involvement had even the slightest tinge of faith or religion no matter how inter-denominational in nature, I want no part of it. Community involvement is a wonderful thing; linking it to faith/religion is not for me and simply serves to alienate me.

    Truly unfortunate and sad, not just because of the lack of faith but being blind to a system that works. I am betting that attitude comes from a personal rebellion against the norm. Been there, seen it before and it will be there from one generation to the next. Something that occurs frequently in the younger generation before they realize there is great benefit obtained from the communities of faith. There are very good reasons why the system is as it is.

  6. It is no different here than other places for junk mail. The churches send out advertisements mostly to those who visit their church and sign in, even one time. There are general mailings also. Not sure where that list comes from but it is not only churches, it is the association and many businesses. The phone book is one source.

    The association has a pamphlet on how to reduce junk mail. After all is said and done, they recommend to just recycle it because you will never stop it altogether. Sometimes by mailbox is totally full with one days worth of junk mail. :(

    And I have taken measures to stop a lot of it.

  7. Well, we could use all the commercial tax revenue on many of our like police, fire, public safety, libraries-which you and yours are free to visit during normal operating hours by traveling any number of our new and/or re-built streets, bridges and sidewalks. There. See? We're not so self centered after all. All we want is to annex your commercial areas, take the taxes and spend them on except maybe you whenever you cross into the city limits.

    The Woodlands wants to be self determinate and thereby needs to fund various services to make it self sufficient and independent of other entities, so it can achieve the standards not only to maintain the vision but also to accomodate the changes which will come to better itself. The city of Houston has different goals and aspirations. Never the two will be the same. We envision an independent municipality as we mature, yet a cooperative government with funds where significant regional common good will exist. Ths is what is unfolding now and I anticipate will continue to unfold over the next 20 years. People from Houston are welcome here and we will be welcome in Houston. There are no territorial rights. If we spend money there, Houston residents do not complain. If Houston residents spend money here, we do not complain. The tax money goes to the area in which it was spent to maintain that infrastructure. Enough said.

  8. I have disagreed before about Woodlands Pkwy being a freeway. The master plan has a provision for a freeway closeby. If the distance and time is too much to I45, then the residents should not have bought there. When the Grand Pkwy is built, 2978 will be its access from the North. We will see it expanded. This type of growth is typical in Texas. Woodlands Pkwy is unfortunately used to move building materials and contractors. So is Gosling, 2978 and 242. The traffic is not equivalent to the final patterns. There is still growth to fill the volume gap, but the mix of vehicle types will be different in the future. Planners do not plan on maximum traffic in the development stage but for the predicted traffic volume in later stages. Cost is minimized to build just after the need is realized, not before. ...unfortunately...

  9. Think mass transportation. Bus system works really well for many commuters to Houston downtown. Other than that, local jobs are the solution, just like the HP campus. When I lived there, it was a nightmare to Houston but I lived there and worked downtown nevertheless. Now that home has an HP employee in it, just as many of the neighbors lwork at HP. The infrastructure grew up around the area. 249 was a country road. Now it is a freeway. A freeway was not even on the map then.

    Doing nothing would be far preferable to spending hundreds of millions of dollars to make your situation worse. But no, you'll need to expand the width of your roads and highways, build grade-seperated intersections and flyovers, and perhaps expand the role of The Woodlands Express.

    The biggest challenge will be improvements to the aterials.

    The obvious solution is that most new employment growth will occur in the suburbs. Congestion as defined by the average velocity of movement of traffic during peak hours will continually get worse, but average commute time will either stay about the same or decline because most people will work closer to home.

  10. This development will be a starter of a more general development of the 2978 area. It will generate more traffic, especially from TW on 2978. Anyone aware of expansion plans on 2978? I see properties for sale in a boom area. Although Walmart came in with the strategy to compete head-to-head with Target, with an "upscale" store, I expect Target to take some of their business away. Many TW residents in my estimation will elect to go to the new Target over the one in Town Center.

    Anyone see what is happening with residential development planning along the 2978 corridor? It is difficult to get ones arms around what is happening there for commercial and residential futures.

  11. Regarding color and origin, South America has a variety of European bloodlines. Spain is certainly one, as well as Portugal, but you find blue and green eyed people with light skin all over the place. As far as that goes, brown eyed and light skin also. Many Italians and Germans found in the Andes and various other locations. Know several people here from there with these light skin and colored eyes. Been there and seen communities of people with these attributes. A significant minority but lots of them none-the-less.

  12. I would rather live around a bunch of different people than one type. But thats just me... I prefer flavor.

    I am with you there. As far as language goes, "expecting" is one thing, speaking in native language is another. I am bilingual so. I go with the native language of the people around me. If people can express themselves in a language, so be it. I can learn more if they freely speak, not are trying to speak a second language.

    Somewtimes I am surprised by who I think is native English - color and accent, only to find out that Spanish is their first language. Usually Italian or German origin but have lived in Mexico or South America for generations. Met a Kazakh once who has English as a second language but had a strong Scottish accent because of the source of her training. Was really interesting.

  13. How can all these wealthy Mexicans just come over here to buy a 2nd home and immediately put their kids into schools? Wouldn't they have to go through immigration legal steps, all the steps of buying a home, getting hired by a company here in Houston, etc. If they are just coming here for the high priced shopping, then they must be retired, but then if that is the case, how did they get permission to live here legally?

    It is fairly simple. If you request and obtain a resident visa, then you are able to get into the schools. After all, you are a tax payer, the same as everyone else. A second home may not be the case, it may be the primary home. If you are here even on a visitor visa, you can go to the schools if you live in the district.

  14. The general bill passed the Senate today. The House version was put on the table and actiopn is expected next week. The compannion bill in the House and Senate are in committees the last I looked.

    SB 1012

    Relating to the establishment of regional participation agreements between certain municipalities and districts; authorizing the issuance of bonds.

    4/27/2007 H Passed

    HB 2197

    Relating to the establishment of regional participation agreements between certain municipalities and districts; authorizing the issuance of bonds.

    4/27/2007 H Laid on the table subject to call

  15. Ther is a new sign on Gosling advertising the availability of Creekside homes from an entrance on Gosling.

    [The Woodlands Homes in Carlton Woods Creekside

    By Luis Tamborrel - The Woodlands Realtor - Call (281) 813-6027

    Reservations for the homesites will be accepted beginning on Thursday, March 22, 2007

    38 premier homesites will become available in March of 2007 in the gated community of Carlton Woods Creekside in The Woodlands, according to Tim Welbes, president of The Woodlands Development Company.

    Carlton Woods Creekside is a 500-acre expansion to Carlton Woods, located south of Spring Creek in Harris County in the Village of Creekside Park. Vast areas of parkland, totaling 1,850 acres, are planned for the eighth village, Creekside Park.

    The Carlton Woods Sales Center will begin accepting reservations for the new homesites beginning Thursday, March 22, 2007. Lots from the spring property release range in size from

  16. I think what she is saying that traditional Malls are a thing of the past.

    Demographics are interesting but do they support such a large development? I suppose future growth may be the prime contributer to financial success.

  17. Street name suffixes must be assigned as follows:

    Court, Circle or Loop are reserved for cul-de-sac or loop streets;

    Boulevard, Speedway, Parkway and Expressway are reserved for major thoroughfares or divided streets with at least 2 lanes of traffic in each direction.

    Can't help but wonder why there are no rules for a suffix of "place" . They are an " end-street " here in TW. A no-exit street. Can consist of two or more cul-de-sacs.

  18. What about Ella Blvd.?

    There are many streets that are not yet connected, just fragments but part of an area plan. Ella is one of those. The street numbers are not difficult for emergency personnal to manage. EMS personnel have an excellent knowledge of street numbers and ususally have onboard maps for verification. Here in The Woodlands, the folks are well informed. I have never heard of one getting "lost" or confused by the names or numbers.

  19. There are a number of business failures as well. It is a risky place for small business. I wish instead of advertising and putting icing on the cake, that the Chronicle would report it in more depth. That is partially a problem from the community in the "sales" state of the union approach. For example, the number of jobs - it is better to report " quality jobs" rather than jobs.There are so many college students working in the stores, I have no idea how many real jobs there are. This is of course normal in malls. The rent is high and there are probably many businesses on the edge. The occupancy rate looks really good and that in itself is good news for The Woodlands.

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