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About chester77008

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  1. frau petite, You don't need to worry about your little neighborhood turning historic at the moment, the new ordinance requires 67% consent which is not likely to happen. When Parker is elected for a second term she will find a new crusader to replace the end of term for Lovell, and once again change the ordinance, at which point it will be 51% again. You are looking at about 2 years before you need to fight the fight.
  2. I looked at this property a few years back and there is a large drainage easement running through the lot. There is a massive storm drain running under the lot that starts further north at that old power station and heads south to the bayou. The lot directly to the north has a large gully that is part of this old drainage issue, it looks like an old creek, and its pretty deep, maybe 12 feet deep and 20 feet wide. My guess is the old warehouse was built over this gully, thus the hole. At any rate the easement will make the property a tough sell, it eats up quite a bit of the square footage.
  3. I know this is short notice but it's I got as well. There is a meeting Thursday September 30th at 6:30 PM at Anderson Properties, 741 E 11th. Members of the neighborhood are going to discuss how to amend the proposed ordinance, sign re-vote petitions, and get organized. We only have another week to lobby City Council Members for changes to the current draft. Please show up if you care to affect this issue!!
  4. FYI... The Chronicle printed a correction in regards to the article mentioned above.... "A story on Page B1 Saturday incorrectly characterized how existing historic districts will be affected by the changes to the city’s historic preservation ordinance. The districts will keep their historic designation unless 25 percent of property owners within the boundaries petition the city for reconsideration"
  5. We need to start getting signatures now for the Heights districts to force a re-vote. I personally doubt the ordinance will pass with the current 15 day BS and/or the lack of a threshold for returned cards but we need to start preparing just in case. It is my understanding that ResponsibleHistoricPreservation.org will have the needed petition forms very soon. A meeting hosted by the same group is tentatively scheduled for September 30th at 6:30 PM at the United Way on Waugh to get signatures to enable the re-vote, and to discuss further ordinance changes. The Mayor and Lovell have made some good changes to the ordinance, but many feel it is still very restrictive for new construction and renovations. We need to be prepared to opt-out if they prove unwilling to compromise further.
  6. They were counted as "yes" votes by prior HHA staff. Once again, it is irrelevant, planning can slice those yes votes off if contested, and simply redraw the district. We can play this game for months.
  7. Not joking...sad to say. In all fairness to the HAHC, they did remove the city owned property prior to the vote, but only when challenged. The planning department is comfortable with their legal departments opinion that they have precedence to allow them to redraw districts to make the numbers work. To me this affirms the fact that property owners should be given the right to opt in or opt out.
  8. If you would like the list of signers in the Heights South district or any other district contact Suzy Hartgrove in the Planning Department. You can send her a written request. I did it, the list, the application, and all signed petitions cost about $70.00. It is an interesting analysis, and they did not have 51% of the vote. The petitions were very stale, many were invalid. They included the City owned esplanades along Heights Blvd, etc. In the end it did not matter, when challenged they simply re-drew the boundaries of the district to make the numbers work, they also knocked on the doors of some of the invalid petitions the night before the hearing to correct properties that had new owners. It is also interesting to note that about 22% of those who signed in favor of the historic heights south district live in new homes, not just non-contributing but NEW HOMES. Almost 50% if the vote! Those in favor of the new ordinance that want to disallow new home owners a vote are severely misinformed of the facts. What a surprise. You can also try contacting the opposition website online, I sent the data to them as well, and I am sure they would pass it along. responsiblehistoricpreservation. org.
  9. s3mh, I have said this before, you CAN deed restrict your own property. I realize that this does not protect your entire block, but it does protect your home and any of your neighbors homes who share your belief and want to preserve what they have. These restrictions last for 20 years, and only YOU can "bust" them. You can customize them anyway you chose. I understand that you want block by block protection, but that is not the spirit of the Heights, that is not what made this neighborhood so appealing to such a diverse group of people. I remember seeing a yard sign in the Heights about 4 years ago, and I only ever saw one, it was in the 600 block of Oxford. It said, "I moved to the Heights to AVOID restrictions". Don't forget that this is part of the fabric of the Heights, you may not like it, but it is not going away.
  10. The lot at 15th and Rutland did not have minimum lot size, that is why they were able to build the high-density mess on that corner. Minimum lot size restrictions require a majority of the owners of a block to sign and apply for the restriction. Why was this not done on that block? Most people in the Heights support minimum lot size, I have never had anyone knock on my door to sign for it. I would sign for it, I will not sign for the proposed protected district ordinance, I plan on adding on the side and mid section of my bungalow. Stop blaming those you don't like, the Heights is made up of intelligent people, not people who blindly follow the lead of Realtors. Put your money where your mouth is and come up with an ordinance that everyone will sign. Deed restrictions cannot be "bought out", you can deed restrict your own property, those restrictions remain in force for 20 years, at which time they can be secured again. There is no legal mechanism to make them go away, or buy them out. The residents on Rutland are very well aware of how to secure minimum lot size restrictions. My guess is that they were unable to convince a majority of the property owners to do so, just as they can't convince a majority of the Heights to approve protected district status. Stop blaming and start writing, create an ordinance that will actually have majority support.
  11. I have seen signs opposed to the ordinance at Onion Creek, Dry Creek, Cedar Creek, and the soon to open desert place on White Oak, so I can only assume all of those folks have had past experiences with the HAHC. I can guarantee you that the Glass Wall and the place across the street from it are opposed to the new ordinance, they had to demo older homes to build those places. There is also a sign opposed to the issue at the local hardware store.
  12. S3mh, Your comment that the additions on your block are mostly bungalows where they saved the front half of the house is to the point. The new ordinance does not allow this to happen anymore. This is why I personally oppose the changes. You will be required to add on to the rear of the bungalow only. I have applied and been denied on an addition like this. I asked how many feet of the original bungalow I would be required to keep before adding the new addition, the answer was all of it. The new ordinance requires one to keep the original structure intact, and all additions must be at the rear of the home so that they can be removed at a later date and return the bungalow to its original size and shape. This is nuts in my opinion, there are plenty of ways to demolish 1/2 of a bungalow and have a great looking finished product.
  13. Krol, Thanks but non of those fit my situation. I don't want to add to the back of my bungalow, I want to go back about 20' from the front door and then add to the width.
  14. The lack of ability to do additions to a home is really starting to worry me after continued conversations with the HAHC. For example, you would not be able to do something like the attached picture. You can add to the back of your bungalow, but not the middle as the attached photo. Before I get slammed...I am making no comment on the looks of this house, I am just pointing out that you cant add to the middle of a bungalow.
  15. Krol, The "list" is public information. Go ask for it, call the City Secretary, it's just a google away, it will be ready for pick-up in about 4 days and it costs $57. The Planning Department is currently scanning the question cards that are being collected at the evening public meetings in order to maintain transparency on the issue. They will be posted on the City of Houston website soon, so then you will have two sources of accurate information on the subject. This is an open process, the homeowners put their names on these cards. Go pull the records and you can see who signed the petitions and who is now against. You will be surprised at what you see, this is not about old v. new, this is about homeowner rights. For example, 21% of those who signed the south heights district petitions live in new homes. This is very significant when you keep in mind that only 51% of the vote was required. That means a swing of 8 houses can make or break a district, which it did. There were almost 100 new homes that signed in the south district alone. There are also MANY homeowners in restored homes that signed before and are now against. Both sides love old houses. The issue here is the new ordinance. The current proposed ordinance goes from one extreme to the other. From "90 day waiver" to "no means no".
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