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  1. If you are working on any additions and renovations in the historic districts and plan to apply for the 15-year tax abatement, I suggest you listen to this City Council meeting and plan accordingly. http://houstontx.swagit.com/play/12122017-1881/50/ Click on the dropdown and choose: "Consideration of Matters Removed From Consent Agenda" Slide forward to ~ Minute 17...it carries on for 10-15 minutes before the voting begins. They have a long debate on the merits of the tax savings for the homeowners and the benefit (or lack of) to the community. Some council members outright refused to approve any of the submissions even though the rules in place were followed by the homeowners. I was one of the submittals, and luckily it passed with 5 members voting against it. So, just a word of warning if you're in the process.
  2. Please continue the discussion in the existing topic below. http://swamplot.com/apartment-developer-ready-to-buy-landmarked-heights-waterworks-land-wants-to-know-whatcha-think/2016-11-18/ Passing this one along long since it is a huge piece of land and on 19th street (with a second parcel on 20th). Please let it not be another apt complex. Note the public meeting slated for next Tuesday at the 12th St fire station.
  3. I think the largest risk is if you accidentally leave your garage door open and the petty thieves grab your tools or golf clubs. Maybe a slightly higher risk of a house break-in from the alert just due to less traffic. Our alley I should shut off which provides an added level of security....anyone coming in would have to back out. I'm somewhat surprised more people don't put up a permanent fence at the halfway point for this reason.
  4. There is a meeting this week to discuss the pending updated guidelines....details below. Sounds like a perfect way to get a little up to speed. Tuesday, February 16 St. Andrew's Episcopal Church 1819 Heights Blvd., Houston 77008 5:30-7:30 p.m. Www.houstonplanning.com Meeting to focus on "massing" Project manager Steph McDougal will provide an update on the project, then lead attendees in a conversation about a topic that many people find confusing: "massing." Members of the public will have the opportunity to share feedback and ask questions. Members of the City's Preservation Planning staff will also be on hand. Read the second issue of heights forward, the monthly project newsletter, online. Articles include: Project News and Updates Explain That Term: Massing Spotlight on Architectural Styles: Craftsman Bungalow History of Houston Heights, 1890-1910 Did You Know? Demolition data from 2004-2015 Meet Your Commissioners Get Involved Did you miss an earlier meeting? Want to find out what happened or share information? A meeting report and all meeting materials are available online.
  5. I hate to break it to you, but you'll have quite the battle to change up the front of the house. We were in the same spot in 2006 before theHD was in place. We expanded our 1100' bungalow to 2350', all on one story, plus a two-car garage. We're on a 6,600' lot which helped make it possible. We then went back after the HD was in place and got the COA approval and tax benefit. I think you could still get something like this done in this environment. Changing the front is the hard part. Try to go back and widen if you can. My strong suggestion is to hire an architect that has a ton of experience dealing with the HD. It will save you headaches, and give you the best shot at approvals. The right firm will meet with the HD staff very early in the process with a few design ideas and get their support. We recently went through the HD process for another home (gluttons!) and were successful on an expansion, but we had the right architect and had staff support which is key. It will likely take you 6 months to get drawings done and HAHC approvals, and that is aggressive. It is not impossible, but you will need to be patient and flexible. Best of luck.
  6. I wonder if they know what "420" also is commonly known for/as? Easy Google search if you are wondering wth I'm referring it.
  7. On our block, we currently have 11 kids, all between 5-11. We did lose 3 to Garden Oaks about 2 yrs ago for schools, but the others seem to be going the private school route. Somewhat oddly (or not), the four newest adds on the street are empty nesters with grown kids, all moving into larger houses (new build, remodels). We've been here 10 yrs now, and there are definitely more kids playing in the streets now than when we arrived, which has been great to see. I think with prices increasing so much, the pool of buyers leans towards the older/professionals. We know of a few couples that moved here recently, knowing they were going to start a family. They figured they have a couple years plus 5 before they have to decide on schooling. Enjoy the hood until then versus suburbia now. If those with kids could just link arms and stay, the schools could be great too.
  8. We have two that regularly visit right outside our kitchen window. Usually in a pair. 15th and Allston. Sorry for the poor quality photo....best I could get. Oh, and they're upside down photos too....oh well, it will be a good morning challenge for yall.
  9. I've noticed some survey flags going up on the large lots on 17th street near Yale. The lots are next to the car wash and newly refurbished two-story apartment building. It could probably hold several Sullivan Bros homes, or it is large enough for a mid-rise apt bldg (hoping that isn't the case). Hoping the HAIF sleuths can figure this one out.
  10. As much as I hate to get this banter started again when it's finally quieted down, I saw this today and realized, we are not the only knuckleheaded neighborhood in the country.... http://www.today.com/money/neighbors-want-architects-dream-home-torn-down-its-devastating-2D79606820 Last quote from the article. "I don't think it's appropriate to exert your tastes on other people's property rights''
  11. I was just coming here to post about the same tree getting removed on a Sunday morning. Another indication it was done without permission. The developer on the same block (~1516 Yale) also recently removed an oak in the easement as well. These people chap my backside. Please let us know if you notified 311 and what feedback you received. No way they should be allowed to remove those trees just so they can erect 8 crappy town homes.
  12. BBLLC...you might want to listen to the HAHC review for the 5,500' house on an ~8,000' lot. Lots of discussion and comps. Just an idea. Best of luck
  13. Another head scratcher is the recently approved 5,500 sq ft house in the 1500 block of Allston...approved in 4th quarter of 2013 sometime. Slightly larger lot at ~8,000', but take a drive down the street and see if you think it is "compatable". And this went through HAHC and with a heated protest before the committee.
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