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Posts posted by fwki

  1. I was very disappointed the elitists in WH forced the community to join an exclusive board available only to members in their subdivision mainly due to the immediate alert when our local community was under siege....

    Gimme da scoop!  I'd love to hear about this BB.  If you are referring to NextDoor, that site is open to Woodland Heights and all the small, contiguous subdivisions along with Norhill, North Norhill and East Norhill, so it encompasses a huge area with thousands of homes and highly variable demographics.  The Urgent Alerts are used regularly and are very effective.  It's a no-brainer for the Houston Heights Association to form another NextDoor site and affiliate with all the others.  But no doubt the HHA is too busy spying on its members' home improvements plans and thinks this interweb thing is a passing fad, because dagnamit, we didn't need it in 1920!.


    Edit: In addition to the above neighborhoods, Montie Beach, Brookesmith, First Ward and Houston Heights East have all formed affilliated NextDoor sites.  I can Turn On or Turn Off posts/threads for any or all nearby neighborhoods depending on how elite I feel that day.

  2. Twenty years ago, this place was wall to wall blue cruisers 24/7.  Lanier had just taken over and made inner city rejuvenation one of his goals starting with crime reduction. Things got better for a decade or so, flattened out and now we seem to be at a tipping point.  HPD has definitely de-emphasized the Heights compared to the past, just using visibility as metric.  I think the problem is another signpost of political castration from the City of Houston.  Until the political winds change, it's up to us to fix the problem.

  3. ...

    If you really own an old home with block and beam foundation, have you ever looked in the crawlspace under the house to see how crappy the block and beam foundation really is? Cinder blocks sitting on the surface, and pieces of wood used to shim the house level....

    Don't stop there, my house in Norhill was crappily (omg I hope the spelling is right) constructed from top to bottom in 1926.  Also, what most people forget is it went downhill from there, uninterrupted for seven decades with spray-paint maintenance, jack-leg additions, no city oversight....termite damage (if you haven't found it you're not looking).  I finally ripped out the last of the knob-and-tube wiring last year, but many original homes still have this fire hazard waiting.  Now I just live with cracks in the wall rather than spend $3,000 for three years crack-free, doors that stick during the humid days and don't latch during dry season, windows that leak cash but won't open, floors that tell me in real-time the outside temperature / wind speed and wake me up when my kids are sneaking in at 2 am, all along with a power bill and dust coating twice what they should be….AND forget about a second home since your kids are going to private schools.  I am sure one could cherry-pick a few examples of fine construction, but that’s by far the exception not the rule. 


    I have concluded that preservationist architects and their ilk are sadist anti-engineers who would like to see the human population and condition regress to that of the dark ages.  I live in the Heights because broken crap doesn’t bother me, native Heightstonians are Fonzie-cool and location location location, and the location has actually improved with all the new dining and shopping. 


    So all you tire kickers out there hear this: ALL of those other neighborhoods are better than the Heights in ALL those ways set forth, and we have a political structure set to ensure continuance of same for several years. Our old crap is older and crappier than your old crap and we have a law to make sure that fact doesn’t change, so put that in your pipe and smoke it.  I think that’s the only thing still allowed around here.

    • Like 1
  4. That does suck. I am still trying to figure out why they felt the need to put the height restriction bars over the entrances. It is an open parking lot, not a garage.




    Prevent 18-wheeler U-turn-around from Stude via Summer St perhaps, got some real idiots driving those things nowadays.

  5. For all the Road Parrots, Becky over in the WH NextDoor site asked for some wingmen/women:


    ...."if you are interested in riding to the Bicyclists for Annise Parker fund raiser we are trying to organize a ride from the Woodland Park to Market Square. Hopefully politicians of all stripe will note that hike and bike trails are a high priority item! Let me know if you would like more details!"

    So put on your finest parrot costumes and flock on over to Woodland Park Thursday with your checkbooks.  I have a prior, no doubt.




  6. I heard this last night as well.  So he is keeping the original Christians Totem on Washington and I10?  My source said the name is being sold along with the businesses.


    Last week I heard they all were sold, but that was fourth-hand and slurred.  Then I checked with a business associate of Steve (Christians owner) and Steve told him he was keeping the Totem because all his friends drink there.  When I first moved here in 1991, staying out 290, it was Ken's Totem, a perfect stop for a tall boy before getting on the 290 HOV on Old Katy Road, pre-open container law.

  7. ......


    So, in the Heights HDs, 40% of additions were denied, without very clear criteria as to why.  Not sure I'd want to roll those dice if my life savings were on the line.


    Uncertainty is the bane of capital investment and anyone who professes that this uncertainty is good for Heights property owners is a fool or has a hidden agenda.  After the last HAHC embarrassment in front of the Planning Commission, Parker finally stepped in with her subcommittee idea to stop them from making asses of themselves and her indirectly.  One month later the children are at it again tossing good citizens’ life savings to the wind just because they can.  Power is a wonderful thing.  It enables corruption and spite, and this HAHC looks full of both.  Parker entered the fray last month taking a political risk, but she had to do something because of the public roasting they endured.  Let’s do our best for a repeat and see how she dances this month because sooner or later she’s going to step right in a big pile of it.

  8. Except for the one area that has the most significant architecturally interesting Historic homes... River Oaks.   But for some reason they were bypassed?   Oh yeah, don't bite the hand that feeds you......


    This is the smoking gun that it's not about history or architecture even in the least.  The Ordinance and the preservation movement itself is about power and control.  Parker owed a political debt and served up this power to her political supporters from the Tudor clique to the GLBT's. 


    River Oaks has more declared historical "landmarks" than any other neighborhood.  Council was asking serious questions about the ethics of giving property tax breaks to these people at recent vote because they know the scam.  River Oaks will never fall victim to this Ordinance....as it stands the landmark "Preservationists" from River Oaks run their remodels through HAHC to see if they can slip it by with their "friends" in City Hall, if so, tax breaks for the rich, if not, no biggie, wait 90 days and do it anyway, the best of both worlds and you get a plaque to show off.  Meanwhile back in the Heights, wannabe collaborators are playing the game; families and regular Joes get hosed.


    Wake up Heightstonians and take back your rights and political power.

    • Like 1
  9. .........Their end goal is very clear.


    No kidding, Gafrick has been very clear about it in four or five public statements made formally in session at both the HAHC and PC.  I posted a you tube video about one of the big lies she spewed, the one nullifying the Heights Design Guidelines.  But there hasn't been a big outcry from Heights homeowners.  Maybe we're seeing ghosts TGFTH, but they sure look real to me.

  10. Scale police on recognizance.

    Part of the New Deal by Gafrick, she stated it at the HAHC & PC meetings.

    Since the former districts no longer have Design Guidelines for CoA use, supplanting with Scale Police database and their new Web-based mouse maze.


  11. ..........The council, the HAHC, everyone is making sure that everyone who appeals wins - that is not coincidental.  To appeal costs money, if you have the money to appeal and to stage the fight, then you probably have the money to sue too - As it is right now, there is an argument that the ordinance has not actually caused anyone harm...without harm or damages there is no standing to sue...It will most likely take someone being denied at the appeal level to gain standing.  If the council just approves everyone, the ordinance can not be judically over-turned, which is why everything gets approved.  It takes money to win, and so far not enough of it has been ponied up.........


    The outcome of the sub-committee should confirm or rebutt this argument.  I'm not sure this HAHC faction is smart enough to actually be gaming the system to prevent a significant lawsuit though.  The Planning Committee on-the-other-hand is definitely focused on the bigger picture and they are tired or even pissed off at having to clean-up after the HAHC.  Ths is latest one took the cake with absoultey NO reasons or basis discussed or given by the HAHC for denial, thus a unanimous vote to overturn.


    So the goal of the sub-committee is to gain alignment between the two commisions on appeals, and what they come up with will certainly tell us a lot about the politics behind the scenes.  If it drags on until after the election though, get ready for World War Z because the outcome will end the big additions, ditch precedent and what we were sold as CoA guidelines.  If you look at everything Gafrick has been doing and saying over the last two years, that is her intent.



    Just got this email from Mayor's staff referring to the earlier email I posted above:


    Dear Council Member Lovell, Mr. <redacted> and Mr. <redacted>:


    I need to clarify the note the Mayor sent yesterday in terms of the subcommittee’s charge.  The mission of the subcommittee is to work through what happens when the Historical and Archeological Commission denies a Certificate of Appropriateness and the appeals procedures for the Planning Commission.  It is not charged with revising the ordinance certificate of appropriateness criteria.  The Mayor regrets any misunderstanding the language of the note might have created.


    Madeleine G. Appel

    Deputy Chief of Staff

    Office of the Mayor

    City of Houston





  12. .... Developers are evil, unless they are your catchy named Renovation Developer, then they are okay.  The HDs are PRO-Developers if you haven't noticed....  just a different kind of developer.  Guess who gets to charge a premium because they are always approved by the HAHC.  Yes they are rebuilding old houses, but they are still in it to make money and the HDs help them make even more money.  


    Dont get me wrong though, I support the Renovation Developers and their milking of the system to make big money.  Taking advantage of a situation is the Real Estate way.


    I'm with you on that one.  It works just like zoning.....Da Man lets you know who to use, and the money goes round and round.  That's why the working man is totally against zoning in any form, cause he gets the short end by design. Look at all these prima donna "preservationist" architects circling this HAHC crowd like sharks, with no more scruples.  And they have a built-in advantage with this corrupt mandatory make-up of the zoning board..."citizens", as they call themselves, get five seats, and look at the freaks that have those.  They all 'bout crapped themselves when Brie made a run.

  13. The anti-family coalition is beginning to crack...I received this from our mayor's office in response to one of my suggestions, forgot which one, but I get a wrist slap first, then we see they are getting concerned about the meat grinder they face at the Planning Commission:

    Dear XXXXXXXX:

    Whether you or I agree with all the decisions made by the Planning Commission and/or the Houston Archeological and Historical Commission, the members are all dedicated volunteers who spend many hours trying to do their best for Houston.  Additionally, both Commissions, by ordinance, are independent decision makers who are not obliged to take the recommendations of staff nor do they take direction from the Mayor.


    Having said that, the Director of Planning and Development is establishing a subcommittee of the two Commissions, comprised of three members of the Planning Commission and two members of the HAHC to develop clearer standards and guidelines for both bodies.  I hope this will make the process easier to navigate in the future.




    Annise D. Parker


  14. Unanimous vote to overturn....Gafrick and the 6 hahc fools should resign after this one if they had any self respect. But I have a feeling the State AG will help them along soon. Hats off to Brie for helping out a new neighbor and introducing me to some fine new friends.

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