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fwki

14-Story Condo Slated for 11-1/2 & Studewood

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But this board would be worthless if everyone just sat around and showered praise on a six (or maybe eight) story building that will have single family bungalows as its next door neighbor (literally) with no other buildings of similar height anywhere in the neighborhood.

meaningful discussion is what drives interaction.

meaningful discussion is usually backed up by facts.

yes, it is a fact that this is going to be next to a single family home. What do you know about that home? Is it lived in by the owner? Rental? Does the owner even care? Is the owner maybe looking past the building process at what nice retail will be literally next door to him?

then there's examples of other locations in town with even taller buildings next to single family homes (or directly across the street from).

go to google maps...

2121 Kirby Drive, that's a really tall condo building right across the street from multiple single family houses.

Inwood Manor at 3711 San Felipe Street. Nothing but single family homes surrounding that condo building, backyards butting up to condo.

I think you should go canvas those neighborhoods and get written responses from the owners of the single family houses that are next door to those condos to see how they feel about them, or you could just do what you always do and make something up.

chances of s3mh even responding to this post? I put it around 5%.

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s3mh, do you realize that when The Heights was first built, there were people protesting it then too? They didn't want change, I'm sure they often thought "what about the farmers?" However, if we had done things their way, it never would have become the enclave home of historic Houston that it is today.

I think you should go canvas those neighborhoods and get written responses from the owners of the single family houses that are next door to those condos to see how they feel about them' date=' or you could just do what you always do and make something up.[/quote']

Here in The Woodlands, I actually got a case where the local homeowners association sent us a letter asking us if we wanted to make a complaint about our next door neighbor, who put a bench in their front yard. That was the only way they would get permission to act on it. We never did complain of course and that bench is still there.

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And you think your realtor stays in touch with you to be nice? You don't see a business motivation behind that? A business motivation that involves . . . commissions?

I don't have prejudice against any groups. I just don't share the prevailing view that developers are infallible gods and realtors are actually concerned about historic preservation and not commissions that permeates this board. If you feel threatened by some dissent on this board, that is ok. I understand. But this board would be worthless if everyone just sat around and showered praise on a six (or maybe eight) story building that will have single family bungalows as its next door neighbor (literally) with no other buildings of similar height anywhere in the neighborhood.

Tsk, tsk, tsk, where to start with you Chicken Little.

So you have a problem with Silver's realtor staying in touch because they might have a business motivation? I take it you aren't in sales or ever buy anything. People I buy stuff from stay in touch in the hopes that if I decide to make another purchase, I think of them. I get a Pottery Barn email a couple times a week, for example. It's Sales 101 Chicky, Sales 101.

There are a few realtors who support this ordinance. Very few but three of them are David and Sharie Beale and Hillary Cobb. They are the ring leaders of your merry little band of hysterical preservationists, right? So, are they not concerned with preservation too? What is their motivation? Do they stay in touch with their customers? Or do they simply get a pass because they agree with your twisted perspective on preservation? And I would trust realtors to know better about this stuff than some one who feared being sandwiched by two larger homes and calls themselves a preservationist when their real objection is the kind of development they want to prevent. At least a realtor doesn't suggest that saving an 800 sq. ft 1 bedroom, 1 bath bungalow in original condition is a good idea. Or that it is more reasonable to save the front wall of one of these bungalows that isnt' worth saving than it would be to just tear it down and start over. I trust both builders and realtors who tell me that the people who buy property to either redevelop or remodel will simply do it where they don't have to contend with dealing with the HAHC and that their opting out will result in many undesirable properties losing value because no one wants them. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that undesirable property lowers the value of the property around it too. So, while you might hate realtors because they make money doing their job, normal, rational people trust them over someone like you with an obvious axe to grind and little knowledge of the development industry in general. You constantly prove how little you know.

And I think you have more than amply demonstrated your prejudice against many groups. Saying you aren't doesn't give you a pass.

Have you ever looked at the original plat of the Heights? There are strets that have become major thoroughfares that weren't planned that way (probably because we have progressed in a 100 years and actually need some streets that move lots of traffic in and out and through the neighborhood) but, now that they are, there is little attraction for the streets that have become major thoroughfares to remain residential. Frankly, who wants to live on a major thoroughfare? Those streets are going to move more and more towards commercial development as they should. The remaining residential property will get redeveloped.

There are other buildings of a similar height. Heigher actually. Off the top of my head, there is the building at the corner of Heights and 20th. There are two on 20th (the hospital and the professional building). There is the old folks home on 19th. Do you make yourself dizzy when you twist the facts so completely?

It is a shame we have to keep explaining elementary concepts of development and many other subjects to you. This discussion thread would not be worthless if we didn't have to explain everything to you like you are a six year old. It actually might have more meaningful discussions about real facts.

And by the way, your the work is continuing nicely on your so called "fishing expedition" - another thing you were clearly wrong about. So embarrassing!

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Tsk, tsk, tsk, where to start with you Chicken Little.

So you have a problem with Silver's realtor staying in touch because they might have a business motivation? I take it you aren't in sales or ever buy anything. People I buy stuff from stay in touch in the hopes that if I decide to make another purchase, I think of them. I get a Pottery Barn email a couple times a week, for example. It's Sales 101 Chicky, Sales 101.

There are a few realtors who support this ordinance. Very few but three of them are David and Sharie Beale and Hillary Cobb. They are the ring leaders of your merry little band of hysterical preservationists, right? So, are they not concerned with preservation too? What is their motivation? Do they stay in touch with their customers? Or do they simply get a pass because they agree with your twisted perspective on preservation? And I would trust realtors to know better about this stuff than some one who feared being sandwiched by two larger homes and calls themselves a preservationist when their real objection is the kind of development they want to prevent. At least a realtor doesn't suggest that saving an 800 sq. ft 1 bedroom, 1 bath bungalow in original condition is a good idea. Or that it is more reasonable to save the front wall of one of these bungalows that isnt' worth saving than it would be to just tear it down and start over. I trust both builders and realtors who tell me that the people who buy property to either redevelop or remodel will simply do it where they don't have to contend with dealing with the HAHC and that their opting out will result in many undesirable properties losing value because no one wants them. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that undesirable property lowers the value of the property around it too. So, while you might hate realtors because they make money doing their job, normal, rational people trust them over someone like you with an obvious axe to grind and little knowledge of the development industry in general. You constantly prove how little you know.

And I think you have more than amply demonstrated your prejudice against many groups. Saying you aren't doesn't give you a pass.

Have you ever looked at the original plat of the Heights? There are strets that have become major thoroughfares that weren't planned that way (probably because we have progressed in a 100 years and actually need some streets that move lots of traffic in and out and through the neighborhood) but, now that they are, there is little attraction for the streets that have become major thoroughfares to remain residential. Frankly, who wants to live on a major thoroughfare? Those streets are going to move more and more towards commercial development as they should. The remaining residential property will get redeveloped.

There are other buildings of a similar height. Heigher actually. Off the top of my head, there is the building at the corner of Heights and 20th. There are two on 20th (the hospital and the professional building). There is the old folks home on 19th. Do you make yourself dizzy when you twist the facts so completely?

It is a shame we have to keep explaining elementary concepts of development and many other subjects to you. This discussion thread would not be worthless if we didn't have to explain everything to you like you are a six year old. It actually might have more meaningful discussions about real facts.

And by the way, your the work is continuing nicely on your so called "fishing expedition" - another thing you were clearly wrong about. So embarrassing!

The levels of condescension and sarcasm have made this post unreadable to me.

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And you think your realtor stays in touch with you to be nice? You don't see a business motivation behind that? A business motivation that involves . . . commissions?

I don't have prejudice against any groups. I just don't share the prevailing view that developers are infallible gods and realtors are actually concerned about historic preservation and not commissions that permeates this board. If you feel threatened by some dissent on this board, that is ok. I understand. But this board would be worthless if everyone just sat around and showered praise on a six (or maybe eight) story building that will have single family bungalows as its next door neighbor (literally) with no other buildings of similar height anywhere in the neighborhood.

Of course there is some business motivation, she wouldn't be any good at her job if she didn't try to get return business. But according to you that makes her Satan, and she wants to feed on the flesh of those who buy bungalows. Face it, some realtors are actually just good nice people. Crazy!

There you go with your lies again, there are multiple buildings in the neighborhood that are even taller than this one will be. Yes, it will be next door to a bungalow, but don't try to make it sound like it is "block busting" or anything like that. There is a self-service car wash also next to it, as well as a hole in the wall burger shack. Pull your head from your hindquarters and look at the buildings along 20th near Heights. They IS taller.

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And you think your realtor stays in touch with you to be nice? You don't see a business motivation behind that? A business motivation that involves . . . commissions?

I don't have prejudice against any groups. I just don't share the prevailing view that developers are infallible gods and realtors are actually concerned about historic preservation and not commissions that permeates this board. If you feel threatened by some dissent on this board, that is ok. I understand. But this board would be worthless if everyone just sat around and showered praise on a six (or maybe eight) story building that will have single family bungalows as its next door neighbor (literally) with no other buildings of similar height anywhere in the neighborhood.

Drive, ride a bike, take a bus, or walk down 19th and 20th I think you will be STUNNED!!! Im not being sarcastic. Apparently you have failed to see those buildings....a hospital, a retirement home, etc.

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Drive, ride a bike, take a bus, or walk down 19th and 20th I think you will be STUNNED!!! Im not being sarcastic. Apparently you have failed to see those buildings....a hospital, a retirement home, etc.

Good point!!:lol: And that stuff has been there for over 15 -20 years.

I spent a lot of my childhood and most of my teen years growing up around and in "The Heights (Houston, Independence, Woodland, etc.)" and yes this was PRE-GENTRIFICATION (late 80's and till late 90's). It just seems that every since the area became more TRENDY/HISTORICAL, it's been under a City/Statewide spotlight, which has it's +'s and -'s. However, it just seems that there are more NEGATIVES now that it's a more highly valued area.

I know I will take criticism for this, but I honestly "Welcome" anything that makes the area "LOOK" better. I just find it funny that the things (i.e. Newer housing, retail, including townhomes and Victorian McMansions) that were welcomed in 1995-2000 are no longer welcomed in the area. Trust me, if you knew the Heights back then or prior to 95' you know exactly what I'm speaking about (i.e. As a teen in the 90's I walked from 45/N.Main to 610/N.main....I also walked from 11th/Sheperd to Main/32nd St.

and A LOT HAS CHANGED :unsure: for the good)

Anybody Agree? (Hopefully I can divert some attention from the attack on S3mh..lol)

(TO S3MH: please get another year or 2 under your belt before causing anymore "RUCKUS" on HAIF. There are only a few members who are entitled to do so (Editor, Red, Niche, Lock, 20th, Flipper( miss the pics),ricco, sub, sev, etc....) and a lot of us are tired of opening a post/topic that evolves reading your rants or defenses. I mean no harm to you, but the animosity towards you is beginning to ruin my daily "Houston" newspaper .)

Edited by sowanome

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Drive, ride a bike, take a bus, or walk down 19th and 20th I think you will be STUNNED!!! Im not being sarcastic. Apparently you have failed to see those buildings....a hospital, a retirement home, etc.

Blah, blah. Obviously, I meant immediate neighborhood and not the entirety of the Heights. But, I am gald you mentioned the hospital and retirement homes. These are both examples of buildings that stick out like a sore thumb in the Heights. Stick a few more buildings like these around the Heights and there will be a serious loss of the character of the area that homeowners pay a high premium for. So, you are left with a choice, preserve the neighborhood with some reasonable height restrictions or have 6, 8, 10, 14 story buildings popping up on every unprotected lot large enough to build on. If you drop your pro-developer bias for a minute, you would have to admit that homeowners in the Heights do not want to see low/mid/high rise buildings from their back yards. Houston is not so land starved that we need to rip up the Heights for density. There is a ton of land in Midtown, near east side (west and north too), and west end that is conducive to dense, mixed use development that would help lift up the neighborhood (there was a great plot of land off of Yale, but looks like that will just go suburban).

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(TO S3MH: please get another year or 2 under your belt before causing anymore "RUCKUS" on HAIF. There are only a few members who are entitled to do so (Editor, Red, Niche, Lock, 20th, Flipper( miss the pics),ricco, sub, sev, etc....) and a lot of us are tired of opening a post/topic that evolves reading your rants or defenses. I mean no harm to you, but the animosity towards you is beginning to ruin my daily "Houston" newspaper .)

No chance. I get attacked because I present opposing viewpoints and call out those who normally go unchallenged. If anything, I have been a benefit to this board by keeping it from becoming a clique only accessible to those who are in the pro-development club. If you don't like dissenting voices, stay off the internet or just visit foxnews.com all day.

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Blah, blah. Obviously, I meant immediate neighborhood and not the entirety of the Heights.

yes, obviously, by writing neighborhood you didn't mean the actual word, neighborhood and the definition it carries. What you meant by saying neighborhood was actually, subdivision, block, or 3 house radius from the site.

But, I am gald you mentioned the hospital and retirement homes. These are both examples of buildings that stick out like a sore thumb in the Heights.

I can see how from a certain point of view, they could be said to stick out like a sore thumb, I imagine for someone who hasn't grown up around a place like the Heights, or even Houston itself (in addition to the 2 examples I referenced in my post, there are numerous other accounts of this happening all over Houston) that this would stick out.

but you know what? To a lifelong Houstonian, that's just Houston. It is what makes Houston so unique, regardless of the neighborhood.

I'm not trying to say that a person who didn't grow up doesn't understand, or that their opinion doesn't count as much, but it is a reason why it looks out of place to someone like you who probably isn't a native Houstonian, or never ventured inside the loop prior to buying your Cute little Bungalow in the Heights.

Stick a few more buildings like these around the Heights and there will be a serious loss of the character of the area that homeowners pay a high premium for.

There are already enough of these in the Heights to make it part of the current character.

So, you are left with a choice, preserve the neighborhood with some reasonable height restrictions or have 6, 8, 10, 14 story buildings popping up on every unprotected lot large enough to build on. If you drop your pro-developer bias for a minute, you would have to admit that homeowners in the Heights do not want to see low/mid/high rise buildings from their back yards.

That isn't a reasonable conclusion at all.

Houston is not so land starved that we need to rip up the Heights for density. There is a ton of land in Midtown, near east side (west and north too), and west end that is conducive to dense, mixed use development that would help lift up the neighborhood (there was a great plot of land off of Yale, but looks like that will just go suburban).

The price you pay for living in a desirable area is that EVERYONE wants to live there, so if they want to live in Heights, who cares how much room there is available in midtown, or east end?

I mean hell, Houston itself is a desirable place to live, but there's lots of room in El Paso for them, we don't need to build out Houston any more.

As a side note, I like how you include south of I-10 (Yale/Koehler) as part of the 'heights neighborhood' but not 20th and Heights boulevard. You're a real piece of work. :facepalm:

Edited by samagon

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I imagine for someone who hasn't grown up around a place like the Heights, or even Houston itself (in addition to the 2 examples I referenced in my post, there are numerous other accounts of this happening all over Houston) that this would stick out.

I'm not trying to say that a person who didn't grow up doesn't understand, or that their opinion doesn't count as much, but it is a reason why it looks out of place to someone like you who probably isn't a native Houstonian, or never ventured inside the loop prior to buying your Cute little Bungalow in the Heights.

The price you pay for living in a desirable area is that EVERYONE wants to live there, so if they want to live in Heights, who cares how much room there is available in midtown, or east end?

Ditto..B)

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No chance. I get attacked because I present opposing viewpoints and call out those who normally go unchallenged. If anything, I have been a benefit to this board by keeping it from becoming a clique only accessible to those who are in the pro-development club. If you don't like dissenting voices, stay off the internet or just visit foxnews.com all day.

Wrong again buck-o. You get attacked becasue you are blatantly misleading, dishonest, and unknowledgable. The only benefit you have provided is comedic relief. Foxnews.com is the epitome of dissenting voices.

How wrong can you get with one post?

Now you want to prevent the elderly from living in reasonable housing in the neighborhood too. Not nice.

The buildings we are speaking of are like what, a mile and a half away? I bet you consider 19th street stores as part of the neighborhood, this is between them...

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The levels of condescension and sarcasm have made this post unreadable to me.

My sincere apologies. I suppose I do get my hackles up a bit when I read threats on forums like this. See Below.

http://swamplot.com/houstons-historic-districts-will-remain-as-they-are/2011-01-04/

It is over. All districts surveyed failed to muster the 51% needed to opt out.

Yes, I know. You all are going to crow on and on about the survey process. Do yourselves a favor and move on. Anyone in the Heights who was against the ordinance had to have been living under a rock to not know what was going on. The opposition sent out piles of mailers. And if there was such overwhelming opposition, as Bill Baldwin and others claimed, it should have been no problem to hit 51%.

It is over. Opponents had their chance to make their case and failed. The Heights wants to preserve its historic buildings and get rid of the block busting builders and their realtor friends (who had no problem advertising the historic districts as a benefit in property listings). Lastly, don't think that people are going to foregive and forget. We know who was funding the fight against our community. We will remember who you are when it is time to do an addition. We will remember when we sell our homes and buy another. We will remember when we renovate. The Heights is a small town in a big city. We have fought for years to protect our historic neighborhoods and have won. We will remember who was with us and who was against us.

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No chance. I get attacked because I present opposing viewpoints and call out those who normally go unchallenged. If anything, I have been a benefit to this board by keeping it from becoming a clique only accessible to those who are in the pro-development club. If you don't like dissenting voices, stay off the internet or just visit foxnews.com all day.

No, you don't get attacked because you present an opposing viewpoint. You get attacked because you make posts making personal attacks or threats. You actually are the one who attacks those with a disenting opinion and you make threats against those who disagree with you. I've not read a single threat towards you however.

It is over. Opponents had their chance to make their case and failed. The Heights wants to preserve its historic buildings and get rid of the block busting builders and their realtor friends (who had no problem advertising the historic districts as a benefit in property listings). Lastly, don't think that people are going to foregive and forget. We know who was funding the fight against our community. We will remember who you are when it is time to do an addition. We will remember when we sell our homes and buy another. We will remember when we renovate. The Heights is a small town in a big city. We have fought for years to protect our historic neighborhoods and have won. We will remember who was with us and who was against us.

You also get attacked because you are constantly talking as if you are an expert in everything when in fact you don't appear to be an expert on anything you post about. On this thread, you claimed the development was a "fishing expedition" among other things, like there is nothing else in the area that is 6 stories. You are clearly wrong but if you weren't always making personal attacks and threats, likely people would be much more tolerant of your wrong opinions and false facts.

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Stick a few more buildings like these around the Heights and there will be a serious loss of the character of the area that homeowners pay a high premium for.

A loss of character? Got news for you - the character on Studewood is long gone as is the case on all of the major thoroughfares in the Heights. You can't bring back the 1950's. The character that remains in is the residential areas that cannot be redeveloped for commercial. Please stop with the scare tactics. They won't work here.

So, you are left with a choice, preserve the neighborhood with some reasonable height restrictions or have 6, 8, 10, 14 story buildings popping up on every unprotected lot large enough to build on.

14 story buildings popping up on every unprotected lot??? Seriously!!! That is laughable. This is the kind of stuff people attack you over. No "towers of terror" are going to be popping up next door to you.

Houston is not so land starved that we need to rip up the Heights for density.

Puhleeeaaasse! Rip up the Heights for density. This is one development, small in foot print. No one has ripped up the Heights. The hyperbole and drama is what has earned you the title of Chicken Little. No worries, Chick. The sky isn't falling.

There is a ton of land in Midtown, near east side (west and north too), and west end that is conducive to dense, mixed use development that would help lift up the neighborhood (there was a great plot of land off of Yale, but looks like that will just go suburban).

We need retail/commercial in the Heights and the residents don't want to drive to the East side or out West or up North or to Midtown. Aside from the fact that all urban planners agree that Houston needs more density in all forms, the Heights in particular has a serious deficit for shopping and dining. The residents here want more, not less...aside from your little minority of those who want to live in the 1950's and no one minds that it is on the major thoroughfares like Studewood or 11th Street or Yale, or 20th, or 19th. It's not going next to you - unless perhaps you haven't gotten deed restrictions on your block. LOL!

As far as the Walmart plot of land, why didn't you pony up the money to buy it if you were so concerned about what was built there? Ainbinder probably would have sold it had you made him an offer, especially given your stated propensity to purchase property in excess of the asking price. One of the problems with complainers like your group is that all you can do is complain. If you aren't part of the solution, you are part of the problem. There was a period of years for people to work with Ainbinder to secure an anchor. No one did a thing. There was plenty of time to work with the developer (not dictate) for the Studewood project as well. Being content with sitting on the sidelines until something is planned you don't like is never going to be effective and there certainly isn't the will in the Heights to stop any reasonable commercial/retail coming into the community.

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yes, obviously, by writing neighborhood you didn't mean the actual word, neighborhood and the definition it carries. What you meant by saying neighborhood was actually, subdivision, block, or 3 house radius from the site.

I can see how from a certain point of view, they could be said to stick out like a sore thumb, I imagine for someone who hasn't grown up around a place like the Heights, or even Houston itself (in addition to the 2 examples I referenced in my post, there are numerous other accounts of this happening all over Houston) that this would stick out.

but you know what? To a lifelong Houstonian, that's just Houston. It is what makes Houston so unique, regardless of the neighborhood.

I'm not trying to say that a person who didn't grow up doesn't understand, or that their opinion doesn't count as much, but it is a reason why it looks out of place to someone like you who probably isn't a native Houstonian, or never ventured inside the loop prior to buying your Cute little Bungalow in the Heights.

There are already enough of these in the Heights to make it part of the current character.

That isn't a reasonable conclusion at all.

The price you pay for living in a desirable area is that EVERYONE wants to live there, so if they want to live in Heights, who cares how much room there is available in midtown, or east end?

I mean hell, Houston itself is a desirable place to live, but there's lots of room in El Paso for them, we don't need to build out Houston any more.

As a side note, I like how you include south of I-10 (Yale/Koehler) as part of the 'heights neighborhood' but not 20th and Heights boulevard. You're a real piece of work. :facepalm:

Very weak. Putting up 6, 10, 12 story buildings in peoples back yards in the Heights is ok because Houston is Houston. Just because Houston has made mistakes in the past doesn't mean it then must become a source of civic pride (or popular folklore about the lack of zoning being the secret to Houston's success). Just because someone put up four ugly 5-6 story buildings in one part of the Heights does not mean that it is fair game to put up more. If you think a few odd buildings around 20th street make a 6-8 story building on 11 1/2 street appropriate, you really don't get it. All you have to do to get it is drive around a bit in the Heights. You will not seen anything taller than two stories, with a few very, very odd exceptions. Just because you can point to a few exceptions doesn't mean that they should then become the rule. In fact, the few exceptions in the Heights are a much better argument for a rule against building up in the Heights than for maintaining the status quo. The Heights fought like hell against a little cell phone tower in virtually the same spot. The Heights will have a much bigger fight if developers continue to abuse the neighborhood.

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Very weak. Putting up 6, 10, 12 story buildings in peoples back yards in the Heights is ok because Houston is Houston. Just because Houston has made mistakes in the past doesn't mean it then must become a source of civic pride (or popular folklore about the lack of zoning being the secret to Houston's success). Just because someone put up four ugly 5-6 story buildings in one part of the Heights does not mean that it is fair game to put up more. If you think a few odd buildings around 20th street make a 6-8 story building on 11 1/2 street appropriate, you really don't get it. All you have to do to get it is drive around a bit in the Heights. You will not seen anything taller than two stories, with a few very, very odd exceptions. Just because you can point to a few exceptions doesn't mean that they should then become the rule. In fact, the few exceptions in the Heights are a much better argument for a rule against building up in the Heights than for maintaining the status quo. The Heights fought like hell against a little cell phone tower in virtually the same spot. The Heights will have a much bigger fight if developers continue to abuse the neighborhood.

You just made an argument based on zoning, a law Houston does not have, and has been specifically defeated. Additionally, this area did not have a historic district forced upon it. Further, it is an empty lot, so nothing was destroyed in order to build upon it. Your opposition is duly noted (just as you oppose everything else, even when it contradicts your other opposition), but your approval is not required to build on this lot. If you'd like to impose zoning on Houston, I suggest you do a little more than simply post false statements on an internet forum. If everyone agrees with you as you claim, it shouldn't be too tough to change the City Charter.

But, you are already too late for this parcel.

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I think what we have is a misunderstanding.

Very weak. Putting up 6, 10, 12 story buildings in peoples back yards in the Heights is ok because Houston is Houston.

No, I'm saying it is Ok to do this based on historical precedence.

What is your argument that it shouldn't? Oh yeah, because you think the people who will live near it won't want it, and you don't think it fits.

Just because Houston has made mistakes in the past doesn't mean it then must become a source of civic pride (or popular folklore about the lack of zoning being the secret to Houston's success).

No, the mistake is to stop someone from building somewhere that someone doesn't like. That is what you are saying you want.

Just because someone put up four ugly 5-6 story buildings in one part of the Heights does not mean that it is fair game to put up more. If you think a few odd buildings around 20th street make a 6-8 story building on 11 1/2 street appropriate, you really don't get it.

You should get away from using descriptive adjectives that are based on opinion, as there is no legal reason for your opinion to be a reason to not build something like this.

There we go. Now, I'm afraid it is you that doesn't get it, the word appropriate only fits within your historic district. It is your fault (as a proponent of the historic district) for not making the area of inclusion within the historic district larger. I'm sure with all of the fans of it, you would have had no problem getting it passed on a larger scale, but it really is too bad that you didn't. As a result of your failure, this is not within the jurisdiction of any group that can say whether or not it is appropriate based only on opinion.

All you have to do to get it is drive around a bit in the Heights. You will not seen anything taller than two stories, with a few very, very odd exceptions.

Again, there you go with opinion, which is your own, and really gives you nothing.

Other than the fact that you are saying that you don't like it, I don't get your point.

Just because you can point to a few exceptions doesn't mean that they should then become the rule. In fact, the few exceptions in the Heights are a much better argument for a rule against building up in the Heights than for maintaining the status quo. The Heights fought like hell against a little cell phone tower in virtually the same spot. The Heights will have a much bigger fight if developers continue to abuse the neighborhood.

See all that this whole response was from you was you saying, I don't like it.

You could have saved yourself a lot of typing (and me) by just saying that, here, let me help you:

I don't like it.

I could have responded with, it doesn't matter.

Honestly, you should start to get used to this being there.

they have their permits, they are going to build already in the process of building.

However, please note that unlike you, I do not revel in the fact that you will be unhappy to live in your house because of this structure which will tarnish your stay in the heights forever.

I do not wish for a developer to put up a structure like this near you, just to spite you.

Edited by samagon

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All you have to do to get it is drive around a bit in the Heights. You will not seen anything taller than two stories, with a few very, very odd exceptions. Just because you can point to a few exceptions doesn't mean that they should then become the rule. In fact, the few exceptions in the Heights are a much better argument for a rule against building up in the Heights than for maintaining the status quo.

My "McVic" (your term, not mine; I am starting to like Heights Homeowner's term "Victorian Revival") is way taller than two stories. I would say it is actually closer to 3.5 or 4, when you count the peak of the roof. Kind of like some of the Victorian Revivals that were built here when the Heights was first developed - see the corner of Heights and 11th for an example. Take a drive through the area bounded by 11th on the north, White Oak on the south, Heights on the west, and Studewood on the east (I refuse to call it the "Heights South Historic District"; that's the city's term). Count how many houses you see that are 2+ stories with significantly higher roof lines. Are they the majority? No, but they are more than "very, very odd exceptions." While it is not a perfect comparison, those houses are as close in height, or closer in some cases, to the height of a 6-story building than a 1-story bungalow.

I am not a developer, builder, or realtor. Just a homeowner in the Heights. I strongly support retail development along the major roads, including this building.

Oh yeah, on your drive through our section of the Heights, count how many one-story bungalows you see where it is clear that the owners have demonstrated no interest in spending any money to make them more than a roof over their heads.

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We need retail/commercial in the Heights and the residents don't want to drive to the East side or out West or up North or to Midtown... the Heights in particular has a serious deficit for shopping and dining.

There was plenty of time to work with the developer (not dictate) for the Studewood project as well. Being content with sitting on the sidelines until something is planned you don't like is never going to be effective and there certainly isn't the will in the Heights to stop any reasonable commercial/retail coming into the community.

We do? I’m OK with how the shopping and dining options developed over the past few years, and I don’t want for anything within a reasonably drivable, bikeable or walkable radius. Perhaps in the “Heights proper”, within its ancient borders now largely obsolete, there is a paucity of options created by the prohibition of alcohol? Or are you referring to a specific retail outlet? (Please do not say “drive thru Starbucks!” I am tired of people pining for coffee to drink while they text and drive!). There are certainly enough disused/unused lots in the Heights to accommodate commercial redevelopment, but let’s not get crazy and think our consumption is somehow circumscribed because we live in the Heights.

As for input on the Studewood development, I’m not sure in this case. I live nearby, and there were no indications on site (signage etc.) that detailed impending development, not that the developer website provides any real details either. We made suppositions when the leasing sign disappeared, but it was not very long after that the barrier fence went up. But I am also not “plugged in” to city hall permitting or development, so chances for input may have gone unnoticed by me, whereas those who monitor city websites etc. may have seen it coming. I believe that side of Studewood is in the Heights Association “jurisdiction”, but if those gadflies were watching they probably don’t have much interest in something that far away from Heights or 19th that isn’t Walmart.

Anyway, at this point I’m just hoping the developer really does create an addition to the neighborhood that works with the overall aesthetic, but pushes it towards the future and doesn’t screw up traffic and parking. But I don’t feel so powerless or anti-corporate that I need to freak out ;)

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Just because you can point to a few exceptions doesn't mean that they should then become the rule. In fact, the few exceptions in the Heights are a much better argument for a rule against building up in the Heights than for maintaining the status quo.

Leaving aside the somewhat ironic call for restricting development in the Heights to suburban-style projects, there's one big risk with wanting more rules/zoning to govern development: the very real possibility that the people writing and enforcing the rules won't make the decisions you would like them to.

Houston does have a number of rules governing how property can be developed, and a lot of these have a detrimental effect. The reason we have so many strip centers, for example, is that they're an economically efficient way to comply with minimum parking requirements and setback restrictions.

Given the coziness of the relationship between our city's government and its property developers, you might want to familiarize yourself with the term "Regulatory Capture".

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Very weak. Putting up 6, 10, 12 story buildings in peoples back yards in the Heights is ok because Houston is Houston. Just because Houston has made mistakes in the past doesn't mean it then must become a source of civic pride (or popular folklore about the lack of zoning being the secret to Houston's success). Just because someone put up four ugly 5-6 story buildings in one part of the Heights does not mean that it is fair game to put up more. If you think a few odd buildings around 20th street make a 6-8 story building on 11 1/2 street appropriate, you really don't get it. All you have to do to get it is drive around a bit in the Heights. You will not seen anything taller than two stories, with a few very, very odd exceptions. Just because you can point to a few exceptions doesn't mean that they should then become the rule. In fact, the few exceptions in the Heights are a much better argument for a rule against building up in the Heights than for maintaining the status quo. The Heights fought like hell against a little cell phone tower in virtually the same spot. The Heights will have a much bigger fight if developers continue to abuse the neighborhood.

I wasn't around during the cell phone tower issue, (neither were you). Does the company that owns the tower own the land it is on, or is it city owned?

Saying you will see nothing taller than two stories is simply not true, there are several 3 story original houses in the heights. I almost bought this one. (The third story may have just been a built out attic, but regardless this thing is tall)

(http://www.har.com/HomeValue/3401-HOUSTON-AV-HOUSTON-77009-M8387210.htm#)

The buildings on 19th are taller than this will be. Just because you don't want it, doesn't me that should become the rule. How are the exceptions a better argument for a rule against building? Don't they just prove that buildings of this size do indeed fit in with our neighborhood?

I think the true issue is your wants aren't achievable. You have stated the Heights is like a small town, but you don't want to allow any development. This means to go to restaurants, retail, etc. you will have to travel outside of the heights. Then you say there is plenty of places to build in midtown/east end etc. NIMBY. If you got your way, you'd complain about traffic to go to these new places in midtown/east end. It doesn't matter what happens, you are going to complain. If you get your way, you'll complain. You got your Historic District, your still complaining about something that is NOT in a district. What you really want isn't a small town feel, nor an urban environment. You want suburban master planned community, with cute bungalows. You want to prevent anyone who doesn't live in the heights for having any reason to go there. I don't know about the rest of the neighborhood (I can't speak for them all like you do) but I personally, and many of my friends/neighbors I've spoke with want more retail/restaurants etc. in the neighborhood. Adding some density will increase the draw for these things.

If your so worried about lots having 12 story buildings built on them (there are not that many lots in the heights left that are big enough for this 6 story development, much less a 12 story) why don't you and your cohorts buy the property and put some deed restrictions on it? You wait until someone else buys it (will full rights to build something like this project) and you start complaining and trying to stop it when they start construction? You aren't willing to spend your money on the lot, but you want to have control of what gets built there, after someone else has bought the land and started construction? Makes you sound a bit like a spoiled brat.

If one of these buildings gets built in someone's backyard, i'm pretty sure that would be illegal, it would be beyond their yard, in a totally different lot. Your backyard does not extend pass your lot line.

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Anyway, at this point I’m just hoping the developer really does create an addition to the neighborhood that works with the overall aesthetic, but pushes it towards the future and doesn’t screw up traffic and parking. But I don’t feel so powerless or anti-corporate that I need to freak out ;)

Me too.

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The taller the better.

I like pie. Yum. Tasty pie.

Edited by dbigtex56
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I like pie. Yum. Tasty pie.

how tall can one make a pie?

interestingly there are multiple resources online for different types of pie, but they are usually for the largest pie, not for the tallest.

http://www.roadsideamerica.com/set/pie.html

http://www.foodmall.org/entry/the-largest-pumpkin-pie-in-the-world/

http://www.recipesource.com/desserts/pies/12/rec1267.html

I guess the arena is wide open for going tallest!

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how tall can one make a pie?

interestingly there are multiple resources online for different types of pie, but they are usually for the largest pie, not for the tallest.

http://www.roadsideamerica.com/set/pie.html

http://www.foodmall.org/entry/the-largest-pumpkin-pie-in-the-world/

http://www.recipesource.com/desserts/pies/12/rec1267.html

I guess the arena is wide open for going tallest!

An appropriate and humorous response, especially since this thread started off as an April Fool's joke. Thanks.

The whole discussion about preservation and development in the Heights is giving me a headache. Because I have to think. I hate that.

On one hand, the charm and culture of the Heights could easily be overrun by exploitive thoughtless development. As a 30 year resident of the Montrose, I'm not delighted by the insensitivity and greed shown by some investors and developers. I hate seeing my neighborhood being treated like a Monopoly board. And I'm from a place (up Nawth) where hard won victories by preservationists have been vindicated. History is jealously guarded, and people willingly abide by strict building codes. A shame, some of the things which have been lost. I hope Robert Moses rots in hell.

On the other hand, this is a different battle. We're not talking about massive government clearance of 'slum' neighborhoods. This is part of the growing pains of a young, healthy city. Although I appreciate the charm of the typical Heights bungalow, it cannot compare in substance to the 18th and 19th century buildings which have been preserved elsewhere. This ain't Penn Station we're talking about - just old, economically constructed houses. We appreciate the honest materials from which they were built - the cost to authentically duplicate even a humble 1920's cottage would be prohibitive. But this is now. People have the same right to build their dream houses now as they did a hundred years ago. And if that includes faux Victorian designs, granite countertops and Jacuzzis, so be it. But be aware that a massive, crudely executed replica of Barbie's Dream House may not be appropriate - or appreciated.

I've tried to avoid posting on this topic, because passionate arguments make me lose my cool. I may have lost a friend or two already, and that saddens me. I hope that this discussion remains lively - and civil. The posts which have had the most influence on my opinion were thoughtful and respectful of others.

So, where do I come down on preservation ordnances in the Heights? Hell if I know.

Edited by dbigtex56
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At the end of the day, the largest determinant of building height is the value of the land underneath it.

The higher the value of the land, the more densely it must be used for a project to be economically viable. Conversely, the increased building costs associated with taller structures are only justified when the cost of land outweighs the increase in building costs.

Out in the sticks, where land values are below $10/sf, you very rarely see anything vertical, with the possible exception of mid-rise office buildings, hospitals, hotels and the like, where there is intrinsic value in additional density for operational reasons. In Manhattan, where land values are in the thousands of dollars per s.f., single-story construction is exceedingly rare. At the prevailing land prices in the Heights (around $30-35/sf), it's difficult to justify high-density, urban-style construction. Land values would have to double from where they are for multi-level parking to be more economical on a per-space basis than surface parking. Even then, many consumers prefer to utilize surface parking over multi-level structures, so developers seem to favor it even when the cost per space may be lower for multi-level.

The point being: the chances that the major thoroughfares in the Heights will become lined with 8 and 10 story buildings is pretty remote. Land values in the Heights continue to favor low-rise development. There are a lot of large-ish parcels of land that are either available or recently sold, and this is the only one with any indication of a building higher than 3 stories. Most development in the Heights continues to be sufficiently suburban to satisfy those opposed to this project.

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My theory is that the charm and culture of an area is defined by the people that live there, the people that work there, and the types of business that occupy the area. The structures that comprise that area create a visual aesthetic that may enhance that charm and culture.

I look at Montrose as a guide and example of that theory.

Yeah, there have been a fair number of homes that have been replaced with townhomes, and some storefronts that have been replaced by new (and bland) strip centers.

But what made Montrose what it was? Not the buildings, it was the people, and the places.

The same is true for any neighborhood, or area of a town. zoning, no zoning; historic, not historic.

I don't know, I guess it's different philosophy on what is important. To me, I found a house that I liked, the size, the flow, the construction materials used, in an area that I wanted to be. The last thing on my mind was what comprised the rest of the neighborhood, or what kind of structures rested within a mile or two of my house.

I won't be disappointed if my neighbors remain the same people they are (along with cars in the yard, chickens that roam free, and everything else), or if they are replaced by different people (along with their luxury German cars, super sized houses that engulf the yard, and whatever else that comes with it). I also wouldn't be unhappy if the industrial building behind my house stays as it is for 40 more years, or is traded in for a 10 story mixed use condo.

Heh, to be truthful about that, I feel sorry for the people who peek in my backyard and see me watering my flowerbed in pajama pants and flip flops. My next door neighbor has learned it is best to not look out of his side window when he hears my lawn mower!

Life moves, life changes, and I've found it's a lot more enjoyable if I accept that, and don't sweat the small s**t.

Edited by samagon

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An appropriate and humorous response, especially since this thread started off as an April Fool's joke. Thanks.

The whole discussion about preservation and development in the Heights is giving me a headache. Because I have to think. I hate that.

On one hand, the charm and culture of the Heights could easily be overrun by exploitive thoughtless development. As a 30 year resident of the Montrose, I'm not delighted by the insensitivity and greed shown by some investors and developers. I hate seeing my neighborhood being treated like a Monopoly board. And I'm from a place (up Nawth) where hard won victories by preservationists have been vindicated. History is jealously guarded, and people willingly abide by strict building codes. A shame, some of the things which have been lost. I hope Robert Moses rots in hell.

On the other hand, this is a different battle. We're not talking about massive government clearance of 'slum' neighborhoods. This is part of the growing pains of a young, healthy city. Although I appreciate the charm of the typical Heights bungalow, it cannot compare in substance to the 18th and 19th century buildings which have been preserved elsewhere. This ain't Penn Station we're talking about - just old, economically constructed houses. We appreciate the honest materials from which they were built - the cost to authentically duplicate even a humble 1920's cottage would be prohibitive. But this is now. People have the same right to build their dream houses now as they did a hundred years ago. And if that includes faux Victorian designs, granite countertops and Jacuzzis, so be it. But be aware that a massive, crudely executed replica of Barbie's Dream House may not be appropriate - or appreciated.

I've tried to avoid posting on this topic, because passionate arguments make me lose my cool. I may have lost a friend or two already, and that saddens me. I hope that this discussion remains lively - and civil. The posts which have had the most influence on my opinion were thoughtful and respectful of others.

So, where do I come down on preservation ordnances in the Heights? Hell if I know.

A very thoughtful and pragmatic response. Thank you.

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I also suspect that there's a bit of disconnect regarding what constitutes "The Heights" in this case. s3mh says

All you have to do to get it is drive around a bit in the Heights. You will not seen anything taller than two stories, with a few very, very odd exceptions.

And there are several replies pointing out that original Victorians, such as those on 11th and Heights, are taller than 3 stories. All true.

But the proposed building somewhere between the Woodland Heights extensions and Norhill, both of which are newer (1920s or so) than the Heights proper and contain smaller, more modest bungalows.

However, I don't see how that building is going to destroy the neighborhood(s). It's in a commercial zone. There's a large self-serve car wash right behind it, for goodness sake! There's a permanently-under-construction former 7-11 that I have no idea what's going on with sitting next to a bright lime green corrugated metal building just to the south of the new building. How could it make anything worse?

I-45 cutting through the east side did not destroy the character of Woodland Heights. The rich-person compound of 4-5 story monstrosities that overlook White Oak bayou at Houston did not destroy the character of the Woodland Heights (though I envy their views), nor did the condo development to the west of them. Heck, Skylane Central sits on the edge of Woodland Heights. Talk about a blight on the landscape! The neighborhood has changed, to be sure, but the core has remained, and probably will continue to do so, given the deed restrictions in place.

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I also suspect that there's a bit of disconnect regarding what constitutes "The Heights" in this case. s3mh says

And there are several replies pointing out that original Victorians, such as those on 11th and Heights, are taller than 3 stories. All true.

But the proposed building somewhere between the Woodland Heights extensions and Norhill, both of which are newer (1920s or so) than the Heights proper and contain smaller, more modest bungalows.

However, I don't see how that building is going to destroy the neighborhood(s). It's in a commercial zone. There's a large self-serve car wash right behind it, for goodness sake! There's a permanently-under-construction former 7-11 that I have no idea what's going on with sitting next to a bright lime green corrugated metal building just to the south of the new building. How could it make anything worse?

I-45 cutting through the east side did not destroy the character of Woodland Heights. The rich-person compound of 4-5 story monstrosities that overlook White Oak bayou at Houston did not destroy the character of the Woodland Heights (though I envy their views), nor did the condo development to the west of them. Heck, Skylane Central sits on the edge of Woodland Heights. Talk about a blight on the landscape! The neighborhood has changed, to be sure, but the core has remained, and probably will continue to do so, given the deed restrictions in place.

I never said one six or eight story building would destroy all of the Heights. I also never said that I would try to do anything to stop this development. I certainly don't like it. I feel for the bungalows on 11 1/2 who will no longer have a sunrise.

There are certainly plenty of examples of bad development all around the Heights. But why does the standard have to be that it is ok as long as it doesn't destroy the entire community? And at what point will we find so many 6+ story buildings going in at every nook and crany in the Heights that we find ourselves saying "oh crap, they did destroy the character of the community." I counted about half dozen apartment complexes on Heights Blvd that could be torn down and replaced with similar or even taller buildings (didn't count the section of Heights included in the historic dist, so don't start). There are probably at least another half dozen old beat up apartments or machine shops around the Heights that could also be the future home of 6, 10, 12 story buildings. Taken to its logical developer zeal limits, there could be a not so distant future where almost every homeowner in the Heights looks out onto a 6+ story building when sitting in their back yard. That would certainly destroy the character of the Heights.

This development is a turning point for the Heights. We can sit on our hands and hope developers won't build next to our house, or we can start thinking about some reasonable rules to keep the Heights the Heights.

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This development is a turning point for the Heights. We can sit on our hands and hope developers won't build next to our house, or we can start thinking about some reasonable rules to keep the Heights the Heights.

Definition of HYPERBOLE

: extravagant exaggeration (as “mile-high ice-cream cones”)

or "This development is a turning point for the Heights."

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This development is a turning point for the Heights. We can sit on our hands and hope developers won't build next to our house, or we can start thinking about some reasonable rules to keep the Heights the Heights.

After shafting me in mid-renovation, if you think I or any of my neighbors are going to help you oppose ANY development or support more regulation in the Heights area, you're stoned, as well as delusional. Get this stinkin' hysterical ordinance off of my house and we'll talk. Until then, I'm supporting the builder.

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I never said one six or eight story building would destroy all of the Heights. I also never said that I would try to do anything to stop this development. I certainly don't like it. I feel for the bungalows on 11 1/2 who will no longer have a sunrise.

There are certainly plenty of examples of bad development all around the Heights. But why does the standard have to be that it is ok as long as it doesn't destroy the entire community? And at what point will we find so many 6+ story buildings going in at every nook and crany in the Heights that we find ourselves saying "oh crap, they did destroy the character of the community." I counted about half dozen apartment complexes on Heights Blvd that could be torn down and replaced with similar or even taller buildings (didn't count the section of Heights included in the historic dist, so don't start). There are probably at least another half dozen old beat up apartments or machine shops around the Heights that could also be the future home of 6, 10, 12 story buildings. Taken to its logical developer zeal limits, there could be a not so distant future where almost every homeowner in the Heights looks out onto a 6+ story building when sitting in their back yard. That would certainly destroy the character of the Heights.

This development is a turning point for the Heights. We can sit on our hands and hope developers won't build next to our house, or we can start thinking about some reasonable rules to keep the Heights the Heights.

I can see a 75 story building from my house... I actually find that to be awesome.

I would absolutely love for the run down shoddy apartments near my house to be replaced with a development like this.

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I can see a 75 story building from my house... I actually find that to be awesome.

I had the exact same thought. I love this time of year - with no leaves on the trees, the view of downtown, as well as AIG and Williams Tower, is amazing. Especially from the upper reaches of a Victorian Revival.

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Taken to its logical developer zeal limits, there could be a not so distant future where almost every homeowner in the Heights looks out onto a 6+ story building when sitting in their back yard. That would certainly destroy the character of the Heights.

This development is a turning point for the Heights. We can sit on our hands and hope developers won't build next to our house, or we can start thinking about some reasonable rules to keep the Heights the Heights.

I don't know about your block, but I have deed restrictions on mine. So no one is going to build a 6 story building next to my bungalow. They might manage a "Victorian Revival" or a "Camelbacked whale" but they won't be higher than 2 stories. And if I were worried about a commercial building like that, I wouldn't buy on a lot next to a commercial area like Studewood.

This isn't Disneyland. We can't "Imagineer" the perfect neighborhood. (That's for places like Bridgeland and Cinco Ranch). I'll take the mix and the mess and my little house and my delightfully strange mixed neighborhoods (and delightfully strange neighbors), and, possibly, a mixed-use multistory building in a reasonable spot like Studewood and 11th.

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I don't know about your block, but I have deed restrictions on mine. So no one is going to build a 6 story building next to my bungalow. They might manage a "Victorian Revival" or a "Camelbacked whale" but they won't be higher than 2 stories. And if I were worried about a commercial building like that, I wouldn't buy on a lot next to a commercial area like Studewood.

This isn't Disneyland. We can't "Imagineer" the perfect neighborhood. (That's for places like Bridgeland and Cinco Ranch). I'll take the mix and the mess and my little house and my delightfully strange mixed neighborhoods (and delightfully strange neighbors), and, possibly, a mixed-use multistory building in a reasonable spot like Studewood and 11th.

Irvine, CA is really a great place to go to see an amazing job of zoning, and restriction. Disney Imagineering at its finest.

I think they even have people that go around and scrape the gum off the ground, just like disney world.

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I feel for the bungalows on 11 1/2 who will no longer have a sunrise.

I think it will depend more on the time of year, and where they are standing as to whether they will get to enjoy the sunrise.

I don't get to 'enjoy' the sunrise from my house on weekdays as I'm generally either getting ready for work, or driving in to work. on the weekends I'm asleep during the sunrise.

I don't think many others are different, or put as much stock into seeing the sunrise from a specific spot on their front porch as you appear to. I could be wrong, I certainly haven't canvassed your neighbors to find out.

I'm much more into the deep colors of a sunset reflected off the clouds in the afternoon.

This development is a turning point for the Heights. We can sit on our hands and hope developers won't build next to our house, or we can start thinking about some reasonable rules to keep the Heights the Heights.

How about you go with the rules that are currently there?

you can always create a historic district, or deed restrictions. what other rules do you need? Why are those rules not sufficient to encompass what is being done?

those are both two very powerful tools that can do exactly what you are wanting, you just have to get people to agree to it, judging from the support you claim to have, this should be no problem at all. So I don't see the problem?

Why do you need more rules? How is it that either of those rules wouldn't have fit to keep this site from being developed as it is currently? How is it that either of those rules won't work for future developments?

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Why do you need more rules? How is it that either of those rules wouldn't have fit to keep this site from being developed as it is currently? How is it that either of those rules won't work for future developments?

I am just curious if there are any rules on noise at a construction site. I have been driving really early by this site and it is crazy busy with dump trucks before 7 and often before 6.

Additionally, at least this morning there were two north bound dump trucks in the turning lane which of course is one-way southbound at that hour.

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I would imagine that they have to follow the same noise restrictions as any business, or otherwise.

if no one reports it though, nothing will happen.

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I think it will depend more on the time of year, and where they are standing as to whether they will get to enjoy the sunrise.

I don't get to 'enjoy' the sunrise from my house on weekdays as I'm generally either getting ready for work, or driving in to work. on the weekends I'm asleep during the sunrise.

I don't think many others are different, or put as much stock into seeing the sunrise from a specific spot on their front porch as you appear to. I could be wrong, I certainly haven't canvassed your neighbors to find out.

I'm much more into the deep colors of a sunset reflected off the clouds in the afternoon.

How about you go with the rules that are currently there?

you can always create a historic district, or deed restrictions. what other rules do you need? Why are those rules not sufficient to encompass what is being done?

those are both two very powerful tools that can do exactly what you are wanting, you just have to get people to agree to it, judging from the support you claim to have, this should be no problem at all. So I don't see the problem?

Why do you need more rules? How is it that either of those rules wouldn't have fit to keep this site from being developed as it is currently? How is it that either of those rules won't work for future developments?

Just because you aren't into sunrises doesn't mean that it is a good thing for a developer to take away the sunrise for a block of bungalows (and they probably will take away some of the sunset for the homes on the other side of Studemont).

All the Heights needs is some height restrictions and some reasonable division between commercial and residential. The city was supposed to use the design manual's traffic section to clamp down on unreasonable densification, but has turned that into a rubber stamp process after getting sued by the Ashby developers. The only thing left with any teeth is the parking lot requirement. But, when building up, you can just include parking as additional floors. And that is the big risk for the Heights. If these guys make a pile of money off of $400k condos and retail space, then everyone and their brother will be buying up land in the Heights to do copy cat developments.

Historic districts and deed restrictions only go so far and rely on landowner consent. The whole point of zoning is to prevent the guy who wouldn't consent to restrictions from doing something that harms the neighborhood.

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Just because you aren't into sunrises doesn't mean that it is a good thing for a developer to take away the sunrise for a block of bungalows (and they probably will take away some of the sunset for the homes on the other side of Studemont).

All the Heights needs is some height restrictions and some reasonable division between commercial and residential. The city was supposed to use the design manual's traffic section to clamp down on unreasonable densification, but has turned that into a rubber stamp process after getting sued by the Ashby developers. The only thing left with any teeth is the parking lot requirement. But, when building up, you can just include parking as additional floors. And that is the big risk for the Heights. If these guys make a pile of money off of $400k condos and retail space, then everyone and their brother will be buying up land in the Heights to do copy cat developments.

Historic districts and deed restrictions only go so far and rely on landowner consent. The whole point of zoning is to prevent the guy who wouldn't consent to restrictions from doing something that harms the neighborhood.

given your logic, this development will provide amazing sunrise views for those living in the building... I'm guessing it will have even better views than the bungalows have of sunrises and/or sunsets (depending on the layout) and provide views for more people than currently do have them.

Unreasonable densification? I don't think so, this development is the example of reasonable densification. What would have them do, move 4-5 bungalows to this lot? That isn't densification. This is a commercial area. If you want to prevent this from happening on your block, (you don't even want two store Victorian Revivials next to you so obviously you are in this category) why not talk to your neighbors and set deed restrictions. You can't have the mayor do all your work for you. ACTUALLY get out there and get something done. Or keep on trollin on the internet because your too lazy to really do anything, arm chair activist.

I do feel sorry for the bungalows directly next door, but that is probably less than 10 bungalows that are really impacted. Meanwhile the other 3,500+ homes in the Houston Heights gain a neat mixed use facility (hopefully architecturally interesting). And is living next to a 6 story building really any worse than living next to a car wash? At least the guys who vaccum out there trunks while bumping their subwoofers with the volume turned to 11 will have more people to share their music with.

You are saying that you want something that goes beyond the current restrictions and doesn't need landowners consent. Oh Hell No.

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What's this sunrise/sunset crap? There are so many trees in the Heights that you can't see them anyway. I tell ya, the crap this poster comes up with to justify taking other people's rights is just beyond imagination. Now, a sunrise justifies taking your property? :blink:

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Just because you aren't into sunrises doesn't mean that it is a good thing for a developer to take away the sunrise for a block of bungalows (and they probably will take away some of the sunset for the homes on the other side of Studemont).

don't get me wrong, I never said I didn't enjoy them, just saying that because you are, doesn't mean that everyone is.

All the Heights needs is some height restrictions and some reasonable division between commercial and residential.

And if that were passed? I'm sure there would be something else that would be a reasonable addition to the rules...

The city was supposed to use the design manual's traffic section to clamp down on unreasonable densification, but has turned that into a rubber stamp process after getting sued by the Ashby developers.

Ah, see, this is funny.

I can see you typing (in the hypothetical future) when zoning were approved.

The city was supposed to use zoning to clamp down on unreasonable densification, but has decided to do whatever they want, rather than what I had imagined in my Utopian dreams!
The only thing left with any teeth is the parking lot requirement. But, when building up, you can just include parking as additional floors. And that is the big risk for the Heights. If these guys make a pile of money off of $400k condos and retail space, then everyone and their brother will be buying up land in the Heights to do copy cat developments.

Historic districts and deed restrictions only go so far and rely on landowner consent. The whole point of zoning is to prevent the guy who wouldn't consent to restrictions from doing something that harms the neighborhood.

of course it does, and by your own statement, there is towering support for historic districts, and such, so why is this a hurdle?

I don't see a problem, your group has so much support, it should be a cake walk making the rest of the heights a historic district, even if you don't stop this monstrosity, you can keep others from being built (even if they would be in an area that includes this tower, cause the tower is a non-contributing structure).

but why stop there, with as much support as your group has, you should be able to make everything a historic district, to preserve sunrises for everyone!

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Just because you aren't into sunrises doesn't mean that it is a good thing for a developer to take away the sunrise for a block of bungalows (and they probably will take away some of the sunset for the homes on the other side of Studemont).

All the Heights needs is some height restrictions and some reasonable division between commercial and residential. The city was supposed to use the design manual's traffic section to clamp down on unreasonable densification, but has turned that into a rubber stamp process after getting sued by the Ashby developers. The only thing left with any teeth is the parking lot requirement. But, when building up, you can just include parking as additional floors. And that is the big risk for the Heights. If these guys make a pile of money off of $400k condos and retail space, then everyone and their brother will be buying up land in the Heights to do copy cat developments.

Historic districts and deed restrictions only go so far and rely on landowner consent. The whole point of zoning is to prevent the guy who wouldn't consent to restrictions from doing something that harms the neighborhood.

Someone's gotta say it: I appreciate and enjoy your comments.

I admire that you continue to post in spite of becoming HAIF's designated 'whipping boy'. The issues you bring up are legitimate; some of the details may be debatable, but isn't that the purpose of a forum?. The quality of life Heights residents enjoy can be eroded by irresponsible development, and I'm glad someone is addressing that issue.

There's a lot of discussions about property rights on this board, but very little about property responsibilities. That new townhome is likely to shade a neighbor's back yard, and kill any chances of having a nice garden there. Does that homeowner have no rights?

Some people enjoy mature trees, songbirds and, yes, sunlight. And some people want just to make a killing on real estate. There has to be a healthy balance; cheers for your thought-provoking posts.

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don't get me wrong, I never said I didn't enjoy them, just saying that because you are, doesn't mean that everyone is.

And if that were passed? I'm sure there would be something else that would be a reasonable addition to the rules...

Ah, see, this is funny.

I can see you typing (in the hypothetical future) when zoning were approved.

of course it does, and by your own statement, there is towering support for historic districts, and such, so why is this a hurdle?

I don't see a problem, your group has so much support, it should be a cake walk making the rest of the heights a historic district, even if you don't stop this monstrosity, you can keep others from being built (even if they would be in an area that includes this tower, cause the tower is a non-contributing structure).

but why stop there, with as much support as your group has, you should be able to make everything a historic district, to preserve sunrises for everyone!

In order to have a historic district, you need to have a certain amount of historic properties. The orange juice plant and 1970s apartment complexes don't make it. Nor do the chicken plant, 1980s strip centers and so on. In order to have deed restrictions you need a majority of the block. If the entire block is majority commerical, you will never get an agreement. Or if someone buys out the block, they can do away with the restriction (Greenway Plaza used to be a residential neighborhood). Life isn't always as easy as the realtors say it is (sorry, it has become a habit . . . I am working on it).

Zoning isn't perfect, but at least it gives people some sense of certainty and security. Right now, anyone buying residential property within a two or three blocks from Yale, Heights or Studemont may end up looking out on a 12 story building in their back yard. Some of you might think that is cool. But most in the Heights did not buy their homes in order to let people in midrise condos watch their kids play in their back yard.

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What's this sunrise/sunset crap? There are so many trees in the Heights that you can't see them anyway. I tell ya, the crap this poster comes up with to justify taking other people's rights is just beyond imagination. Now, a sunrise justifies taking your property? :blink:

Agree - between the trees and my detached garage, no sunrises are seen from our Victorian Revival. But I did not move to the Heights to see sunrises. Was not even a consideration. I don't think that is even listed on the sellling features on HAR. I go to an east-facing beach or the top of an east-facing mountain to see the sunrise. As far as sunsets are concerned, the ONE-STORY BUNGALOW across the street (which is in a very sad state of historical disrepair) blocks my view of the sunset. Beaches and mountains are good for those too (west-facing, of course).

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What's this sunrise/sunset crap? There are so many trees in the Heights that you can't see them anyway. I tell ya, the crap this poster comes up with to justify taking other people's rights is just beyond imagination. Now, a sunrise justifies taking your property? :blink:

Jeremiah 5:21: ""Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not..."

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