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Heights Homeowner

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Heights Homeowner last won the day on March 8 2011

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    The Heights

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  1. Another astounding HAHC meeting today. Won't get into details but honestly, these folks are making an easy case for overturning/overhauling the ordinance. They have no idea what they are doing. They have no idea what the ordinance says. They have no idea about what design is all about. Clueless. Even funnier is they look like buffoons because they can’t even keep track of the things they have already voted on as a part of the consent agenda. They are a kangaroo court of bumbling idiots whose day is coming in the not too distant future. Best decision – to deny a two story house a two story addition – and said if the house was new, they would allow it?!?!?!?! Most comical – requiring a non-contributing house to use contributing materials and design on work that was done without a C of A or permits. I’m not sure they understand that the law takes a dim view of things that are administered as arbitrary and capricious as the rulings they make. I think any judge watching any HAHC meeting would be shaking his head in absolute amazement that this is going on in the 4th largest city in the US. It’s a total joke without the laugh.
  2. Honestly, I had forgotten why I started going after s3 in the first place. I appreciate the reminder that he/she threatened those of us who post on this board who oppose the ordinance. It wasn't that the poster grossly distorted the truth all the time. It wasn't that I disagree with their position. It was the threat. The mentality of these folks and the "we will go to any length to get our way and we will punish those who disagree with us" attitude is beyond the pale and much worse than any name calling. Those folks have an extremist position and like any extremist position, there is no hold barred. I'm actually pretty tolerant of differing opinions but when you go too far, I'm like a grizzly. That whole group conducted themselves very badly throughout the whole ordeal and when they got their way, they gloated like spoiled children. As you said, the days of this ordinance are numbered, whether it is in the courts or the hands of the next mayor. If the current political climate remains, we will likely see a much more conservative legitimate mayoral candidate and if we do, the ordinance is toast. But we won't threaten them as s3 threatened us on this board. We are much too civil for that.
  3. Let's examine the facts: 1. The mayor agreed to a special process because she didn't have the votes on council to pass the ordinance otherwise. She didn't care what the opponents wanted. 2. The timing of the votes was very calculated and some districts voted AFTER the holidays. It had NOTHING to do with when the petitions came in. They all had the same deadline. 3. The opposition never sent a single flier after Nov 1st. 4. The opposition never claimed that paint and hvac were part of the ordinance. They claimed that an ordinance with zero exclusions meant they COULD regulate everything, which was the case with the first draft. That complaint turned out to be 100% true, which is why exclusions ended up in the final draft because with no exclusions, there would be very little support by anyone in the community because it was going too far. 5. Your constant claims that there was a fair process isn't born out by the facts. No one (except the hysterical preservationists) including most of the council, thought the process was fair. Noriega, Stardig, Huang, etc., all said that the mayor screwed up the process and that it was an absolute disaster. Even Gonzo admitted it was a flawed process. Watch the meeting where Pennington takes him to task for making that comment! 6. No one I know ever thought that carving out a block or two of the south district was to get rid of opponents. The FACT is that the actual opposition left the district full of holes and key people, like Janice, Jonathan and even Bart would have been out and no way would they have let that happen. There was never any intention to carve out parts with opposition. That was lip service to council members, something they also acknowledge. 7. When you say the ordinance is working, you ignore the fact that the properties that the opponents said would be most affected have suffered a significant drop in value. No one in the opposition ever said the overall value of property would decline. No one ever said that new construction would cease. What the opposition said was property that previously would and should have been demolished would lose value and that has happened. You are going to have to face FACTS someday. The fact is that the hysteria to keep all districts in tact led the mayor and company to make big mistakes and those mistakes have put the whole thing at risk. Had they done things the right way by getting support in the community, having the vote they promised and not used dirty, underhanded tactics, we wouldn't be discussing a lawsuit. Your accusal that we twist the facts is unfounded and you never address any of the facts that people present. It didn't escape my notice that you didn't comment on Janice's indiscretion at the civic association meeting. You didn't address the mayor doing everything possible to get her way. As long as you want to distort the facts, we will be out here telling it like it is. You cannot make this stuff up and not get called out for it. And like the true support for the ordinance, we outnumber you.
  4. Your buddy Janice (the Mayor’s comm director) announced at a civic association meeting for one of the Montrose area districts, when she thought she was among only the like-minded hysterical preservationists, that the vote and the ballot were going to be skewed in a way that would assure that the opposition would never get enough votes to overturn the district. She was trying to calm them down because they were all in a tizzie about the Transition Ordinance and the sky was falling (you were probably there.) The problem was that she wasn’t only among the like-minded. And one of the attendees was HORRIFIED at her comments and called the opposition the next day to relate the previous evening’s events. Furthermore, the Mayor stated publicly that she was going to do everything possible to prevent losing any districts. She sent out a postcard saying people shouldn’t vote. Then she IGNORED the vote of her own council. In the same vein as Jeff Daniels on The Newroom…when you say the city bent over backwards, I don’t know what the “ef” you are talking about! The city bent over backwards to assure the outcome they wanted.
  5. Red, we must remember that s3, like Parker, ignores the fact that there was never a vote of support for the districts. There is a whole lot more in the suit than the election code violations, which he also ignores. Like all trolls, he is on this board to exercise his moral superiority and his egocentric opinions in hopes that someone who isn't as familiar with the case might buy his nonsense. After 14 years of involvement on varior Internet discussion boards, I can say that every one of them has a troll and s3 is ours. The only thing to do with a troll is to beat them with a thorned club while yelling "back troll, back" although this never does much good. Trolls are very stupid creatures who disguise themselves as a human informed on every subject. The City's response reminds me of the memo Feldman sent in response to Bradford's scathing commentary on the process were were served up (you know, the one s3 says we asked for). It got a big chuckle from a number of council members and staff. It essentially said it was all legal and on the up and up because he said it was. The response to the suit is more of the "we can do whatever we want because we say we can" type of mentality. Maybe that works...but maybe it doesn't. It will be interesting to see whose court this finally lands in. It isn't going to be dismissed as easily as s3 thinks (or Feldman for that matter) so once the depositions start and the details come out, there will be a whole lot more to talk about.
  6. I really do enjoy your posts s3. I always appreciate a good laugh in the morning...sort of starts the day right. Do you imagine that the plaintiffs didn't understand that this case will take years? Did you think the lawyers didn't know that too? It most certainly will go to trial but everyone knows it will take a long time. It isn't just this suit but all of them take forever due to our system. This case is no different. But I know that you think these lawyers, plaintiffs and those opposed to the city's actions are all bunch of idiots and have no basis for their objections and the suit has no merit so your opinion isn't relevant but it is quite amusing that you continue to post the nonsense that you do. In actuality, I think you are scared because you know the city screwed up in their implementation of the changes to the ordinance and it put the whole thing at risk. Readers of your posts need to know that soveriegn immunity doesn't allow the city to do whatever they want and violate their own laws or that of other levels of the government. Even your pal Parker has to follow the law!
  7. First...are there any development or improvements that you would be pleased to see in the Heights? Every single time there is something new coming to the area you complain and it is doom and gloom. The sky is not falling Chicken Little. Second, if you knew anything about the development world (which you don't as you have long established) you would know that grocers have been trying to find land to build in the Heights for at least 10 YEARS!! Maybe more. My source, who has 40 plus years in urban planning in Houston, and I have discussed the lack of retail in the Heights, particularly when it comes to grocery stores. Kroger, HEB, Whole Foods, Albertson and others have known about the lack of adequate supply for the demand. And their plans to come to the Heights were in the works long before Target was even in the works (and my source worked on the the Target project). In fact, there have been MANY potential plans for grocers to move into the Heights since I moved here 12 years ago. It has been a matter of finding the right space. So when you say they are coming here because of Target, you are wildly speculating. You actually have NO IDEA what you are talking about. The one thing you are correct about is that they are coming here because they can make money here but so f'ing what. That is what businesses do. They open to make money. The truth is that we have needed more grocery stores for at least as long as I've been here. When I moved here there was a crappy HEB on 11th, the old Fiesta (which is closing at the end of the year by the way), the Fiesta on Shepherd and the Kroger on 20th. Since then, we did get a Kroger that was absolutely dreadful until the recent remodel. But we also lost the small HEB, which despite is poor condition, was convenient to run in to grab a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk. We need more grocery stores and that end of the Heights area was the perfect spot. If the city gives a developer a 380 to help improve the surrounding area and improve traffic flow, great. It is a way that the city can get street and traffic improvements without having to do it or to pay for it up front but rather with tax money they wouldn't have had without the development in the first place. As far as traffic, I just got back from my home town, Chicago. We don't have traffic in Houston. Except on rare occassions in a very few spots, we don't have traffic backed up from stop light to stop light all day long, 7 days a week. It is absurd how much you complain about traffic because you have no idea what heavy traffic really is. And while I hate Walmart and never shop there and never will, they won't make that much difference either. All that b'tching about the "Tower of Traffic" Ashby Highrise was much ado about nothing. They did a traffic study and the change was insignificant as is true to 99% of those studies. That will be true for Walmart as well. A small, insignificant increase in traffic. So what! If you are so miserable living in an inner city, move out to the burbs, or a small town. If you live in the city, you are going to have development. You are going to have cars on the street. I suggest that you change your life style and your locale so that you can live the kind of life you appear to need because you can't handle the "stress" of what city life is. You need a slower pace where nothing changes very fast, or at all. Small town America is designed for people like you and you would be doing yourself a big favor if you changed your life and embraced a place that has your similar mentality.
  8. Like I said, it is going to be very entertaining to sit back and read (laughing the whole time) your crack legal analysis of the case. The funniest in this post was that the city can't be challenged in the way the interpret their own charter. Too bad that the red light camera lawyers and Feldman didn't have your legal advice to guide them. Maybe the city wouldn't have gotten their behinds handed to them. Clearly the flood zone case could have been won by the city if you had been on their legal team but since you weren't, they lost, badly. Given all your vast legal experience, it is amazing that you aren't a 5 million dollar a year lawyer with clients beating down your door for help but then again, if you were, you wouldn't be wasting time on this board, would you? Thanks for explaining municipal law 101 to all of us. We aren't worthy!
  9. Those changes are allowed under the ordinance but it doesn't meet the needs of today's homebuyer nor it is profitable for the investor/renovator. Consequently we see the result of the ordinance. As you said, humbacks that look like someone just played Tetris. And that is on purpose, by the commission, so that someone someday can come along and tear of the improvements and the original structure will remain. It is by far the stupidest thing that comes out of their mouths.
  10. I stand corrected Red, it wouldn't be a Starbucks coffee. That whole group HATES anything that isn't a mom and pop shop. While I do tend to patron the local businesses, I don't try to prevent other businesses from moving into the Heights as they historically (and hysterically) have done in the past. What really irks me is how they try to tar and feather anyone who doesn't agree with them and label us anti-preservation when in fact, we are the true preservationists because we actually do things that will preserve our homes and keep them from the wrecking ball as opposed to the dilapidated structures they occupy. I don't have an ugly humpback and never will. I have tried to undo the ugly that was done as upgrades to my house in the 80's. I want a cute little bungalow but it does need maintenance and updating to make it livable for the 21st century. If you have driven by some of the homes owned by this group, you would see that they are in terrible shape and appear to be owned by people who think that keeping a home historically original also means they don’t have to maintain it. They are the eyesores of the neighborhood, not the new development. The best way to preserve a Heights bungalow is to update the kitchen and baths, add some closets, a master suite, make it a bit more energy efficient, and replace the old rotting siding with Hardi. Instead of recognizing what truly saves these homes, they have decided the best way to preserve them is to prevent homeowners from making any changes that make sense through governmental regulation. Consequently, the bungalows get sold to developers and wa-la, you get the gigantic humpback. We were doing just dandy without their help. Now all this makes me want to do is sell my house and tear down one not in the district and NEVER have another historic anything. They turned me from a preservationist, who spent their weekends soaking door hinges in paint stripper, into someone who doesn’t give a flip about preserving a thing. I would rather live in a cardboard box than buy another house that has the potential to be limited by this type of small minded mentality particularly when they are the type of folks you so eloquently described. I guess I'm just not a "Golden Age" thinker...
  11. Red, I've always had the impression that s3 writes the stuff he does to calm the fears of the hysterical preservationists. He never quite gets it right. It tries to talk a good game but the rest of us actually have the ability to form logical arguments based on facts and the fact is that the courts have no problem telling municipalities that they haven't followed the law. In this case, the City (Feldman and Parker) provided a plethora of reasons to challenge their actions in a court of law. We always knew that the deck was stacked against us and that Phase 2 of this fight would be in the courts where Parker and her little minions wouldn't get to manipulate the outcome. Wishing something is so and $4.50 will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks but it won't make something true just because you hope it is. s3 just has a hard time with that concept.
  12. When it was clear that Parker and Company were going to do whatever it takes, despite whatever laws there are regarding these types of actions, we asked the question "Who enforces the laws when municipalities don't follow their own laws?" The answer, in a word, is the courts. So, to say that the courts can't tell the City what to do is just plain ignorant. The courts are the ones who make any governmental body follow the law. What is at issue is whether the city followed the law and no matter how hard you try to convince yourself, I think you know that they didn't. But then again, given the crack lawyer that you are and your keen legal mind, no doubt you know more than every other lawyer who has looked at this case.
  13. Yup, join the party. I heard this was just opening the door and plenty more will be getting in on the fun. Sit back and enjoy the ride!
  14. As usual r2d2, you are a crack lawyer! I hope the city's lawyers are as good at this as you are at all this legal stuff. While it would be fun and entertaining to slap you up side your inflated head with the real facts and a bit of instruction on a few legal points, instead I will just sit back and read your nonsense, gafawing and snorting while choking back my laughter.
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