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Low-income housing on Old Richmond Road


jrc

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We've been getting a lot of e-mails about a sign that went up recently behind the old white church on Old Richmond Road, near West Airport Blvd. The sign says that an application has been filed with the Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs (TDHCA) to build a government subsidized, 150-unit, low-income, multi-family development. It would be called "Goldshire Townhomes."

Details here: www.tdhca.state.tx.us/multifamily/htc/docs/09-HurricaneIkeCountiesAppLog.pdf

The TDHCA will hold a public hearing on April 13 at 6 p.m. at the City Hall Annex Chambers Public Level, 900 Bagby, Houston, TX 77002. Complaints can also be filed at www.tdhca.state.tx.us (that's what they say, but I can't figure out where to send the complaint).

Personally, I think that area is already saturated with low-income housing, and having another 150 low-income families zoned to our schools will have a negative impact on the schools and our property values.

Just trying to get the word out. The more people who complain, the more likely it is that we'll be able to shoot down this plan.

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We had something similar like this happen to us in Galveston county a few years back. A developer came before us, Santa Fe City Council, to ask for a motion or "letter of approval" for his plans to build subsidized "low income" housing on a parcel of land in the city. He claimed to have all of the data supporting the need for this type of project. All he wanted from us, (city council) was our approval, or endorsement as the local governing entity. No other obligation, financial or otherwise, would be expected of us. We thanked him for his time and wished him well, but took no action, neither endorsing nor disapproving his plan. He left, clearly disappointed. We never heard from him again. That particular property is still vacant, and is currently for sale.

Our message to the developer was, if the need is clearly there it should stand on it's own merit and not need the endorsement or approval of some other entity to make it justifiable.

I recommend you gather your opposition and demand to see who endorsed, or is behind this project in Sugarland. If enough people object, it may not happen.

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I recommend you gather your opposition and demand to see who endorsed, or is behind this project in Sugarland. If enough people object, it may not happen.

According to one of the documents in the first post, the project contact is Navdip S. Sobti. When I googled "Navidip Sobti", I found several other documents suggesting he has been trying to develop these low-income housing projects. I also got a whitepages address in Forum Park (anyone familiar with this area at Beltway & Hwy 59 knows it's really bad).

Another document I found (on page 61) suggests he was trying to develop a project by similar name elsewhere in Fort Bend

http://209.85.173.132/search?q=cache:pqntK...=clnk&gl=us

For those who want to protest, here is another link - though I called the State and was told attending the hearing (as mentioned in the first post) is the best way to try and stop this.

http://www.tdhca.state.tx.us/complaint.htm

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Looked him up on FBCAD also. I'm pretty sure he wouldn't want one of his developments built near his million-dollar home in Sweetwater (this is assuming it's the same Navdip S. Sobti ... but then how many people are named Navdip S. Sobti?)

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Here's some interesting reading. It's Mr. Sobti's complete pre-application, including the closing documents from the sale of the land, and a list of elected officials he was supposed to notify ... amazing what you can find on the Internet!

www.tdhca.state.tx.us/multifamily/htc/docs/2009Preapps/09166.pdf

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Here's some interesting reading. It's Mr. Sobti's complete pre-application, including the closing documents from the sale of the land, and a list of elected officials he was supposed to notify ... amazing what you can find on the Internet!

www.tdhca.state.tx.us/multifamily/htc/docs/2009Preapps/09166.pdf

Interesting.

I wonder if us contacting any of those elected officials about this would be worthwhile.

And there were a few email addresses in there as contacts for "Goldshire Townhomes LP"

nss64@alltel.net (ownership)

ajcarpen@gmail.com (for questions)

Another thing I wonder - this is in an area for possible future ETJ swap from Houston ETJ to Sugar Land ETJ? Thus, possible future annexation by Sugar Land (and subject to city zoning, ordinances etc.) I wonder if this was considered by the developer or anyone else.

Edited by AK123
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I think that in this economy we need all the building spending we can get. For 150 units this will probably be close to a 15 million dollar development. That is money spent locally.

You must be joking.

Just as long as it's not in your back yard, right?

Edited by AK123
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I think that in this economy we need all the building spending we can get. For 150 units this will probably be close to a 15 million dollar development. That is money spent locally.

Mr. Sobti, is that you?

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By the way, there's plenty of "building spending" going on around here. Drive up and down FM 1464 and tell me how many empty spec strip centers you see. Then look at the giant apartment complex going up next to Chelsea Harbor (the county was powerless to stop it). The last thing we need is a 150-unit slum to add to the mix.

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Here's another thing ... apparently this project was made possible because Fort Bend was declared a "disaster area" after Hurricane Ike. Give me a freaking break. This was NOT a disaster area. The county had the roads cleared in one day.

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Mr. Sobti, is that you?

That's funny.

I did take notice that it's their first and only post on HAIF. Interesting, huh?

Whoever it is will have to do a lot better than that -- Sugar Land isn't exactly hurting in this economy. Every time I read the local news, some company is relocating HQ here or opening up a new location. And the Fort Bend real estate market is one of the healthiest, with strong home-resale values.

And you've got a point on that "disaster area" thing. What a waste...

I've got the word out to the community leaders of several subdivisions that are zoned to the schools, ranging from Woodbridge Estates to New Territory.

Also, the MUD can refuse to provide service. My experience with this area's MUDs is that they are very involved in the community and will go to great lengths to respect the residents' wishes.

Should be fun...

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That's the same thing Patterson told me when I complained about the apartments near Chelsea Harbor. The county truly is powerless when it comes to development issues ...

Yes but this is a government subsidized development, using public money. So I would think it's a different situation than with the private apts next to Chelsea Harbour (which I hear are expensive).

The public/residents are allowed more input when it's their money being used.

This development would not benefit anyone in the area. And it will bring the area down. All with the use of public money and potential abuse of the Fort Bend "disaster area" status, used for the developer's personal financial gain.

Perhaps there are some local Sugar Land city counsel members we could contact. Even though I don't think the land is in the city limits, it's close enough (and still has a Sugar Land postal address). Not to mention that some of the subdivisions in the same school zone (such as New Territory) are in Sugar Land ETJ and up for possible annexation into city limits. People move to Sugar Land for the impeccable reputation, good schools, and strict land use and zoning controls that are not typically available in many other parts of Houston. This kind of development defeats that whole purpose.

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Looked him up on FBCAD also. I'm pretty sure he wouldn't want one of his developments built near his million-dollar home in Sweetwater (this is assuming it's the same Navdip S. Sobti ... but then how many people are named Navdip S. Sobti?)

Of course not, couldn't put all those kids from the 150 units into Clements High School! It would never pass once parents found out.

But developer must be a complete fool if he thinks trying the same thing at Austin High School (ranked 2nd next to Clements) would be much easier! Some of those parents (especially in New Territory) are downright obsessive-compulsive about the schools rankings. Just look at those schools in the subdivision. Oh wow, wait until Austin High School parents get wind of this! Give me a front seat row for that showdown! I'm betting the winner will be... the parents.

I think that in this economy we need all the building spending we can get. For 150 units this will probably be close to a 15 million dollar development. That is money spent locally.

Baawhaha!

What a complete crock.

You want something built? Well, why not build something USEFUL to the community, such as a hospital or medical facility or a private school. You know, things that make the community BETTER instead of turning it ghetto?!? Things that create JOBS?

You're not fooling anyone... and neither will the developer. All of the master-degree, bored stay-at-home moms and their wealthy community-connected husbands will be out in FULL FORCE. Mark my words.

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I was fired from a construction sales company and I do think sugar land is hurting.

I beleive this development is zoned to Kempner High School and Garcia Middle School.

It is time we started treating all human the same, no matter race or income. America needs to change its AIG, Goldman Sachs mentality of the rich rule.

This development would be zoned to Garcia MS and Austin HS.

And I'm not rich, by the way. Just a concerned homeowner and father who has children who go to these schools.

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This development would be zoned to Garcia MS and Austin HS.

And I'm not rich, by the way. Just a concerned homeowner and father who has children who go to these schools.

So you're saying that you're saying kids of a lower income don't deserve the same opportunities that you, as a homeowner, have?

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So you're saying that you're saying kids of a lower income don't deserve the same opportunities that you, as a homeowner, have?

Funny how people make comments like this, as long as the development is not in their own neighborhood.

And it's a little unfair for people to keep bringing up the lower-income thing. It's not that specifically, but the school overcrowding (150 families is larger than some subdivisions), traffic on that little two-lane road, falling property values, and potential crime problems (just read the news... most of the violent crime in Houston happens around apartment complexes, does it not?) So you want the complex citizens to have plenty of rights and privileges, but what about all the surrounding residents?

If what you said were the view of the developer, I'd like to see him build it in his own part of town and school attendance zone. Do you think that would actually ever happen? Highly unlikely.

The developer just wants to make money off the project. It's a business venture and nothing else.

And yes - when it's a government subsidized project and my tax dollars are being used, I think I have a say in it. Especially when we up and moved our family from a perfectly good home six months ago, for the sole reason of getting into a better school zone.

And now this...

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Funny how people make comments like this, as long as the development is not in their own neighborhood.

And it's a little unfair for people to keep bringing up the lower-income thing. It's not that specifically, but the school overcrowding (150 families is larger than some subdivisions), traffic on that little two-lane road, falling property values, and potential crime problems (just read the news... most of the violent crime in Houston happens around apartment complexes, does it not?) So you want the complex citizens to have plenty of rights and privileges, but what about all the surrounding residents?

If what you said were the view of the developer, I'd like to see him build it in his own part of town and school attendance zone. Do you think that would actually ever happen? Highly unlikely.

The developer just wants to make money off the project. It's a business venture and nothing else.

And yes - when it's a government subsidized project and my tax dollars are being used, I think I have a say in it. Especially when we up and moved our family from a perfectly good home six months ago, for the sole reason of getting into a better school zone.

And now this...

Edit: Loved the post, but decided to eliminate my rant.

Edited by Gary
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It is time we started treating all human the same, no matter race or income.

Oh really?

In that case, I'd tend to agree with you.

I should get a bailout too, if others are. I should get the government to pay for part of my housing, like others do. My children should get preferential treatment and money to get into college because of the way they look, or what income their parents make.

But guess what - because of my income and the way I look, I don't get any of that.

I'm not wealthy by any means - else I could just send my kids to private school or move to the middle of Sweetwater and not have to worry about any of this, don't you think?

Yes, all humans should be treated the same. The problem is they aren't; in this country, it seems more and more that the middle class has to work and pay for everyone else (poor and rich).

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Funny how people make comments like this, as long as the development is not in their own neighborhood.

What do you know about my neighborhood? I've got a lot of low income families living next to me. What makes you so special?

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What do you know about my neighborhood? I've got a lot of low income families living next to me. What makes you so special?

Westbury? I know enough about it. It was actually an area I briefly considered being that I worked in the Medical Center.

I nixed it because my #1 priority was great schools for my kids, and I was not ready to make the move to a more transitional area. The low income areas were already there in Westbury. People know that moving there, and housing prices reflect that.

This is a completely different situation. I moved to the neighborhood for the great schools and for not being a transitional area. The price I paid for my home reflects that. What I pay in property taxes reflects that. Nothing "special" about it.

Again... missing the whole point.

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What do you know about my neighborhood? I've got a lot of low income families living next to me. What makes you so special?

What, you don't think we have low-income families in the suburbs?

26% of the students at Macario Garcia Middle School are classified as "economically disadvantaged." Now, I know those aren't exactly Westbury-like numbers, but it's substantially higher than the schools on the other side of U.S. 90A.

Bottom line: Old Richmond at Airport is not an appropriate place to build a 150-unit, low-income development. The lot is surrounded on three sides by existing neighborhoods (Village of Oak Lake, Park Pointe, and Oak Lake Estates), and it's just a short distance from the Four Corners area (Old Richmond at Boss Gaston). Go look at the satellite view on Google Maps, and you'll see what I'm talking about ...

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Is it just me or is this thread attracting a lot of attention from people who don't even live in the area or care about the area, and just want to make their politics known and imposed upon others while ignoring all the facts and statistics?

I just looked at that zip code's median sale price history for the last 5 years. It looks like you folks paid $90-110k for a house, and now you want to keep "poor" people away. I don't live in the area, but that still bugs me. What facts and statistics am I ignoring that will change my mind?

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Here's another thread that makes mention of a planned "Goldshire Townhomes" back in 2007. This one was near Westbury HS.

http://www.houstonarchitecture.info/haif/i...mode=linearplus

Get over yourself. If you can't afford to buy the property and stop the project, try learning to live with people who make less money than you do.

Oh this is rich. Perhaps memebag helped shoot down this shady development in Westbury, and now doesn't want it to have the possibility of moving back there!

Edited by LookingToMove
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Oh this is rich. Perhaps memebag helped shoot down this shady development in Westbury, and now doesn't want it to have the possibility of moving back there!

I can't think of any other good reason he would have to be over here in the SUGAR LAND forum, hijacking the thread pretending to be a know-it-all about northeast Sugar Land and telling everyone how they should live...

That thought occurred to me as well, but I think the development near Westbury simply didn't happen, as was the case with another Goldshire development that was planned near the Glenshire neighborhood (just inside Beltway 8 at West Bellfort) in 2007:

www.glenshire.org/Newsletters/2007-05.pdf

It looks like you folks paid $90-110k for a house, and now you want to keep "poor" people away.

That's exactly what you said.

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www.glenshire.org/Newsletters/2007-05.pdf

Wow, imagine that no one else would want this built in their area either.

Yet the Sugar Land residents are in the wrong?

Edited by AK123
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A 3 bedroom unit in this development is $750 a month. That is equivalent to the payments on a $150,000 mortgage at todays rate of 4.5%. That is higher than the $90,000 I paid for my Park Pointe house across the street. Am I not worthy to live in Sugar Land and have my kids attend Kempner High School??
^Does that include discounts? Also, fwiw, renting does not come with the burden of maintenance, tax payments, and other dues..

Let's not forget how shady "renters" are.

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... That is higher than the $90,000 I paid for my Park Pointe house across the street. Am I not worthy to live in Sugar Land and have my kids attend Kempner High School??

Sugarlandcitizen / Equalityofman,

I'm confused. You say you have a house in Park Pointe, but ask if you are not worthy to live in Sugar Land?

So do you, or do you not live in Sugar Land?

And do you have a special interest in this development? Are you in on it for profit? I'm just finding it very strange that you should be a new user in two different forums with your first and only posts on this specific development.

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Let's not forget how shady "renters" are.

I'm finding it strange, and quite frankly, offensive that others from totally different parts of town feel they must come into this thread and inject their views on the way they think we need to live in our area.

Can't you respect that there may be specific reasons that the residents choose to live in Sugar Land rather than another area? Such as good schools and a safe community for our children? Do we not have the right to do that without other people from other areas trying to come in and change things at our expense and for their gain?

Edited by AK123
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