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Wal-Mart to invade the Heights

Walmart at Yale & I-10: For or Against  

160 members have voted

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  1. 1. Q1: Regarding the proposed WalMart at Yale and I-10:

    • I live within a 3 mile radius (as the crow flies) and am FOR this Walmart
      41
    • I live within a 3 mile radius (as the crow flies) and am AGAINST this Walmart
      54
    • I live outside a 3 mile radius (as the crow flies) and am FOR this Walmart
      30
    • I live outside a 3 mile radius (as the crow flies) and am AGAINST this Walmart
      26
    • Undecided
      9
  2. 2. Q2: If/when this proposed WalMart is built at Yale & I-10

    • I am FOR this WalMart and will shop at this WalMart
      45
    • I am FOR this WalMart but will not shop at this WalMart
      23
    • I am AGAINST this WalMart but will shop at this WalMart
      7
    • I am AGAINST this WalMart and will not shop at this WalMart
      72
    • Undecided
      13
  3. 3. Q3: WalMart in general

    • I am Pro-Walmart
      16
    • I am Anti-Walmart
      63
    • I don't care either way
      72
    • Undecided
      9


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I don't think the laissez faire, bohemian attitudes were meant to attract big box suburban retailers to the area. And the arbitrary geographical distinction is the worst argument I have heard, second only to the elitist/racist one. So what if it isn't in within the plat for the heights as recorded in the Harris County real property records. And if you are so laissez faire, bohemian, you would equally support people's rights to speak out against what they consider to be a nuisance and detriment to their community. But you are not really Mr. Heights laissez faire/bohemain. You are just another right wing conservative who favors the rights of giant corporations to suck money out of a community over the right of the community to have some influence over the quality of life in their area.

Could we have a HAIF / Swamplot crossover and this can be the comment of the day? :rolleyes:

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I don't think the laissez faire, bohemian attitudes were meant to attract big box suburban retailers to the area.

It was never "meant" to attract anything. In fact one of the negatives is that it seems to attract folks like you...

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I don't think the laissez faire, bohemian attitudes were meant to attract big box suburban retailers to the area. And the arbitrary geographical distinction is the worst argument I have heard, second only to the elitist/racist one. So what if it isn't in within the plat for the heights as recorded in the Harris County real property records. And if you are so laissez faire, bohemian, you would equally support people's rights to speak out against what they consider to be a nuisance and detriment to their community. But you are not really Mr. Heights laissez faire/bohemain. You are just another right wing conservative who favors the rights of giant corporations to suck money out of a community over the right of the community to have some influence over the quality of life in their area.

Wow - you really believe that too....that is what is funny, or sad...or both....It's just hard to believe people really think this stuff!

The Chupacabra is probably part of the evil elite right wing conservatives plan to pilfer local money off into the pockets of giant bloodsucking corporations who plan to use that money for more evil bloodsucking....

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I don't think the laissez faire, bohemian attitudes were meant to attract big box suburban retailers to the area. And the arbitrary geographical distinction is the worst argument I have heard, second only to the elitist/racist one. So what if it isn't in within the plat for the heights as recorded in the Harris County real property records. And if you are so laissez faire, bohemian, you would equally support people's rights to speak out against what they consider to be a nuisance and detriment to their community. But you are not really Mr. Heights laissez faire/bohemain. You are just another right wing conservative who favors the rights of giant corporations to suck money out of a community over the right of the community to have some influence over the quality of life in their area.

I thought the mayor who signed the deal with the devil was a Democrat?

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His/her's latest comments had me almost rolling on the floor. I guess we have different definitions of laissez-faire/bohemian, because mine is living and letting others live as they wish, and keeping the liberal, yeah I said it, spirit that was alive in the Heights 20 years ago, hell it still is. The Walmart won't change my way of life at all I suspect. The NIMBYism that the Anti's have brought in from the 'burbs are what's right wing to me.

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His/her's latest comments had me almost rolling on the floor. I guess we have different definitions of laissez-faire/bohemian, because mine is living and letting others live as they wish, and keeping the liberal, yeah I said it, spirit that was alive in the Heights 20 years ago, hell it still is. The Walmart won't change my way of life at all I suspect. The NIMBYism that the Anti's have brought in from the 'burbs are what's right wing to me.

the NIMBY attitude is a scourge that affects both Liberal and Conservatives, it is an affliction that can't tell the difference between red or blue.

people forget their morals, beliefs and things they stand for when something threatens their back yard.

which is why I hate NIMBYs and I do everything I can to keep myself from being one, they are so hypocritical, and I dislike hypocrites.

Edited by samagon
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people forget their morals, beliefs and things they stand for when something threatens their back yard.

That's some pretty serious NIMBY, considering that this proposed store is over 2 miles from the poster's back yard, on the other side of a hideous freeway overpass, on the site of a former steel mill, and fronting not one, but TWO 4 lane thoroughfares.. I guess some NIMBY's eyes are bigger than their back yards, to butcher a phrase.

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That's some pretty serious NIMBY, considering that this proposed store is over 2 miles from the poster's back yard, on the other side of a hideous freeway overpass, on the site of a former steel mill, and fronting not one, but TWO 4 lane thoroughfares.. I guess some NIMBY's eyes are bigger than their back yards, to butcher a phrase.

Not Within a Two Mile Radius of My BackYard Even if it is an Improvement Over the Current State of the Property and None of My Arguments Against it are Valid.

NWTMRMBYEIOCSPNMAAV just doesn't have the same ring to it as NIMBY though.

Edited by samagon
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If anyone here thinks the word "bohemian" belongs in the same argument as "Walmart", then there is absolutely no point in arguing with you. You have gone completely outside the realm of all sensiblity. Walmart represents the corporate homogenization of all things consumer and the death of any connection between producers, retailers and consumers. Walmart is the antithesis of the anti-bohemian.

And, for those who were wondering how the apartments would be cleared for chef driven restaurants (apparently if you are against a Walmart you are elitist, but if you destroy affordable housing for retail space for boutiques and chef driven restaurants, you get a free pass), the developer is going to non-renew their leases. http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news/local&id=7765524

This is how it played out at Allen House and is generally the way it is done, unless the developer has enough cash to pay people off and get an agreement to vacate early. Aside from the irony that the developer is kicking out the very people who are in the heart of Walmart's demographic, why doesn't the City use 380 agreements or other development assistance to build affordable housing inside the loop? Instead, the city is using development tools to kick low income people outside the loop and build expensive homes inside the loop (see Frank Liu's 20 million dollar 380 agreement to build homes in the 300-500k price range inside the loop). Now who is the elitist?

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Walmart is the antithesis of the anti-bohemian

O rly? I do not think it means what you think it means.

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Perhaps you can get those apartments declared a historical landmark to commemorate the 70s-80s craptastical nature of the neighborhood.

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Not Within a Two Mile Radius of My BackYard Even if it is an Improvement Over the Current State of the Property and None of My Arguments Against it are Valid.

NWTMRMBYEIOCSPNMAAV just doesn't have the same ring to it as NIMBY though.

Can someone please explain to me what is so terrible about caring about what goes on in my neighborhood?

I hate how the anti-Walmart or anti-developers on this thread are being attacked and forced to defend themselves about traffic, construction, etc etc etc.. Shouldn't the burden of proof be on the developer to prove how their proposed impact will be mitigated? Traffic studies, drainage studies, input from the nearby residents and businesses, etc. This information should be INDEPENDANT from any 380 agreements, tax incentives, etc.

Furthermore, many of the pro-Walmart or pro-developer comments recently reek of hypocracy (not calling you out specifically samagon, just continuing a thought here). They're calling people out on NIMBY. Ok, so say I wanted to build a 30 story highrise literally next door to you. I'm guessing you probably wouldn't like that. Ok, so how about 2 houses away? Still no? How about 10 houses? What is the exact distance at which I'm allowed to call you a snob since it's no longer in your backyard? If we can establish that, then I'll draw a circle around the proposed Walmart site, and everyone outside of that area can leave the discussion. Does that work for you? I have a funny feeling many of the more vocal folks on this board would be outside of that radius.

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Now who is the elitist?

You are. You're taking a "live like I say or get the ____ out!" perspective on the matter.

Whatever happened to "live and let live"?

Kumbayah, dammit! Kumbayah!!!

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Can someone please explain to me what is so terrible about caring about what goes on in my neighborhood?

I hate how the anti-Walmart or anti-developers on this thread are being attacked and forced to defend themselves about traffic, construction, etc etc etc.. Shouldn't the burden of proof be on the developer to prove how their proposed impact will be mitigated? Traffic studies, drainage studies, input from the nearby residents and businesses, etc. This information should be INDEPENDANT from any 380 agreements, tax incentives, etc.

Furthermore, many of the pro-Walmart or pro-developer comments recently reek of hypocracy (not calling you out specifically samagon, just continuing a thought here). They're calling people out on NIMBY. Ok, so say I wanted to build a 30 story highrise literally next door to you. I'm guessing you probably wouldn't like that. Ok, so how about 2 houses away? Still no? How about 10 houses? What is the exact distance at which I'm allowed to call you a snob since it's no longer in your backyard? If we can establish that, then I'll draw a circle around the proposed Walmart site, and everyone outside of that area can leave the discussion. Does that work for you? I have a funny feeling many of the more vocal folks on this board would be outside of that radius.

I wouldn't think that anybody would want to live next to a Wal-Mart (although the good people living at Sawyer Heights Lofts, sandwiched between a Target parking lot and an interstate freeway apparently think otherwise).

I can understand how a change in circumstances could piss off people in a neighborhood. But that's desperation and catharsis, not a political philosophy.

When a group of people don't get upset the first several times that big box retailers have built at the periphery of their neighborhood (or the hundreds of times that they've built in neighborhoods throughout the city) and then are suddenly up in arms only when it is convenient for them...yeah, that's hypocrisy. I understand where it's coming from. But it makes for crappy policy (and for lawsuits brought against the City). It's a big, dumb, angry, reactionary movement of otherwise disagreeable people without a common intellectual underpinning. Basically, it's like the TEA Party.

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I wouldn't think that anybody would want to live next to a Wal-Mart (although the good people living at Sawyer Heights Lofts, sandwiched between a Target parking lot and an interstate freeway apparently think otherwise).

I can understand how a change in circumstances could piss off people in a neighborhood. But that's desperation and catharsis, not a political philosophy.

When a group of people don't get upset the first several times that big box retailers have built at the periphery of their neighborhood (or the hundreds of times that they've built in neighborhoods throughout the city) and then are suddenly up in arms only when it is convenient for them...yeah, that's hypocrisy. I understand where it's coming from. But it makes for crappy policy (and for lawsuits brought against the City). It's a big, dumb, angry, reactionary movement of otherwise disagreeable people without a common intellectual underpinning. Basically, it's like the TEA Party.

what is dumb is the attempt to discredit the anti-Walmart points by questioning why there wasn't a similar opposition to an entirely different development. Target is not a supercenter. It is not open 24/7. It is not abutting residential neighborhoods. It is not on a major artery that serves as the main connector between the Heights and Downtown/Upper Kirby/River Oaks. It is on a road that can be widened enough to have a signalized intersection to the entrance with dedicated left turn lanes, while still having two lanes of through traffic in each direction. It will eventually have direct driveway access to the new feeder rd. It is not on a main commuter route to downtown from I-10. It does not send overflow traffic throw residential neighborhoods on 21 ft streets. It did not recieve 6.05 million in tax payer dollars, including 300k for onsite stormwater detention on private property. And it was not the third Target to be built within a five mile radius.

And a lot of people who did not fuss when Target went in are making their voice heard now because a lot of the promises about the Target development were BS. Traffic inside Woodland Heights is much worse. Watson is now a steady stream of traffic where it used to be a quiet neighborhood street. The developer also promised boutiques and nice restaurants, but delivered payless, radio shack and ATT store. Promised mature shade trees on the site gave way to parking lots of solid concrete.

So, if anything the Target has taught the community to be more involved and more vigilant.

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It is not on a major artery that serves as the main connector between the Heights and Downtown/Upper Kirby/River Oaks.

I can't keep up. Are you suggesting that commercial developments should be put on quiet side streets? I cant figure out if Yale is too small or too large and important for this store.

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what is dumb is the attempt to discredit the anti-Walmart points by questioning why there wasn't a similar opposition to an entirely different development. Target is not a supercenter. It is not open 24/7. It is not abutting residential neighborhoods. It is not on a major artery that serves as the main connector between the Heights and Downtown/Upper Kirby/River Oaks. It is on a road that can be widened enough to have a signalized intersection to the entrance with dedicated left turn lanes, while still having two lanes of through traffic in each direction. It will eventually have direct driveway access to the new feeder rd. It is not on a main commuter route to downtown from I-10. It does not send overflow traffic throw residential neighborhoods on 21 ft streets. It did not recieve 6.05 million in tax payer dollars, including 300k for onsite stormwater detention on private property. And it was not the third Target to be built within a five mile radius.

And a lot of people who did not fuss when Target went in are making their voice heard now because a lot of the promises about the Target development were BS. Traffic inside Woodland Heights is much worse. Watson is now a steady stream of traffic where it used to be a quiet neighborhood street. The developer also promised boutiques and nice restaurants, but delivered payless, radio shack and ATT store. Promised mature shade trees on the site gave way to parking lots of solid concrete.

So, if anything the Target has taught the community to be more involved and more vigilant.

A few inaccuracies above. Target may not be a "supercenter," but it's very big and close enough to be a good comparison. I believe if you google Target in Houston, you'll find that there are already four that exist inside the Loop 610. Wal-Marts? - Zero. So much for the five mile radius statement above. Incidentally, most of the Targets abut residential neighborhoods. Regarding the 24/7 argument, CVS on 20th St. is open 24/7 now; I believe the new Walgreens at Heights and 20th will also be open 24/7. I live within two blocks of the CVS and I don't fear for my life because of the business hours.

A work colleague of mine lives in Jersey Village about one block from a Wal-Mart. He loves the convenience and says that they keep their pantry less stocked because they can always get what they want when the need arises. Also, he doesn't fear for his life either.

I find it hard to believe that Woodland Heights traffic was made much worse because of the Target store. I don't know what deal the city struck with Target regardinig tax breaks for improvements. Do you know the specifics?

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I can't keep up. Are you suggesting that commercial developments should be put on quiet side streets? I cant figure out if Yale is too small or too large and important for this store.

Really. I have to spell everthing out?

Target is on Taylor. Taylor had enough capacity to support the additional traffic because it was not a major commuter route. Walmart is going to use Yale as its main access. Yale does not have enough capacity to support the additional traffic because it is a major commuter route and cannot even be expanded to add a dedicated left turn lane.

come on. That really isn't that hard to understand.

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I long for the days (ie a year or so ago) when my neighbors were bitching incessantly that Yale was not a major thoroughfare, was not amajor traffic problem, and usually was a faster route than others such as Heights, and thus did not need to be widened, and that therefore some trees would not need to be cut down.

Edited by JJxvi

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We could do a little analysis of the mind of the Heights HAIFer, its like a computer program.

Situation-COH wants to cuts down some trees to widen Yale.

Thought-But I like the trees.

Solution-The trees should not be cut down.

Argument-Yale does not need to be widened.

Supporting Fact-Traffic is not a problem on Yale.

Situation-WalMart is building a store on Yale.

Thought-But I dont like WalMart

Solution-WalMart should not be built.

Argument-WalMart will bring gridlock to Yale.

Supporting Fact-Traffic is already a huge problem on Yale.

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Watson is now a steady stream of traffic where it used to be a quiet neighborhood street.

Liar.

Watson and Taylor have always served Woodland Heights and Norhill, due to the exit and entrance ramps to I-10 that feed the street. Since you just moved here, I seriously doubt that you know what traffic used to be like on those streets, but I can say that when I drove down Watson yesterday at 6 pm, it wasn't bad.

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Target is not a supercenter. It is not open 24/7. It is not abutting residential neighborhoods. It is not on a major artery that serves as the main connector between the Heights and Downtown/Upper Kirby/River Oaks.

Oh, but you are right that the Target does not abut a residential neighborhood. It REPLACED it.

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Living in Woodland Heights prior to and after the construction of Target, my opinion is that the traffic hasn't changed and the traffic within Woodland Heights is still minimal. I go to Target all the time and regularly use Watson/Sawyer/Taylor for cut-thrus and I can't remember ever waiting in any significant traffic.

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Can someone please explain to me what is so terrible about caring about what goes on in my neighborhood?

I hate how the anti-Walmart or anti-developers on this thread are being attacked and forced to defend themselves about traffic, construction, etc etc etc.. Shouldn't the burden of proof be on the developer to prove how their proposed impact will be mitigated? Traffic studies, drainage studies, input from the nearby residents and businesses, etc. This information should be INDEPENDANT from any 380 agreements, tax incentives, etc.

Furthermore, many of the pro-Walmart or pro-developer comments recently reek of hypocracy (not calling you out specifically samagon, just continuing a thought here). They're calling people out on NIMBY. Ok, so say I wanted to build a 30 story highrise literally next door to you. I'm guessing you probably wouldn't like that. Ok, so how about 2 houses away? Still no? How about 10 houses? What is the exact distance at which I'm allowed to call you a snob since it's no longer in your backyard? If we can establish that, then I'll draw a circle around the proposed Walmart site, and everyone outside of that area can leave the discussion. Does that work for you? I have a funny feeling many of the more vocal folks on this board would be outside of that radius.

You have a very good point. I've said it time and time again.

We can either flee undesirable development, and sprawl out to ever-further suburbs. Or we can stop and make a stand for our neighborhoods.

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We can either flee undesirable development, and sprawl out to ever-further suburbs. Or we can stop and make a stand for our neighborhoods.

What kind of stand did you have in mind for our neighborhoods? A nightstand? A stand of bamboo? A deer stand? Stand-up comedy? A one-night stand? I think that those are all great things; some more than others, but to each his own.

Whatever kind of stand you'd like to add to the fabric of our neighborhoods, I'll support it. Perhaps you'd be so kind as to kindly reciprocate in your acceptance of other people's preferences and lifestyles.

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Most of those stands will be available at walmart. This is a win for anyone wanting to make a stand.

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Agreed, nobody ever built anything undesirable like a WalMart in the suburbs.

What's undesirable to one neighborhood, might be perfectly desirable to another neighborhood.

What kind of stand did you have in mind for our neighborhoods? A nightstand? A stand of bamboo? A deer stand? Stand-up comedy? A one-night stand? I think that those are all great things; some more than others, but to each his own.

Whatever kind of stand you'd like to add to the fabric of our neighborhoods, I'll support it. Perhaps you'd be so kind as to kindly reciprocate in your acceptance of other people's preferences and lifestyles.

It's really not up to me to decide what's right for your neighborhood. Nor is it up to you to decide what's right for my neighborhood. It's certainly not up to a corporation from Bentonville, Arkansas to decide what's right for The Heights - or whatever the neighborhood technically is where they're trying to put the WalMart.

In other cities, developers do zoning studies before they buy land for development. In Houston, they should meet with the neighbors. Our lack of zoning should NOT be viewed as a green light for developers to do whatever they want. Instead, it should give Houstonians unprecedented control over their own neighborhoods' destinies.

So let me turn the question around: what kind of stand would YOU put in YOUR neighborhood? And to the people around the "Heights Walmart" - how would you rather see that site redeveloped?

Edited by WAZ
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It's really not up to me to decide what's right for your neighborhood. Nor is it up to you to decide what's right for my neighborhood. It's certainly not up to a corporation from Bentonville, Arkansas to decide what's right for The Heights - or whatever the neighborhood technically is where they're trying to put the WalMart.

Oh, I get it now. You believe that businesses wishing to open in an area should first have to get the approval of the residents of that area. Perhaps each neighborhood could elect members to serve on a Development Review And Citizen Oversight for New Initiatives in A Neighborhood (DRACONIAN) board. New businesses would submit an application which would be reviewed and voted on by the DRACONIAN board to decide if that business would be allowed to open in (or even near) a neighborhood.

Hell, why don't we just let the HAHC control new businesses as well as residential stuff?

Remember, if it weren't for crybaby NIMBY's, we'd have a nice Starbucks at 19th and Heights instead of an abandoned bank building.

Edited by heights
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Oh, I get it now. You believe that businesses wishing to open in an area should first have to get the approval of the residents of that area. Perhaps each neighborhood could elect members to serve on a Development Review And Citizen Oversight for New Initiatives in A Neighborhood (DRACONIAN) board. New businesses would submit an application which would be reviewed and voted on by the DRACONIAN board to decide if that business would be allowed to open in (or even near) a neighborhood.

Hell, why don't we just let the HAHC control new businesses as well as residential stuff?

Remember, if it weren't for crybaby NIMBY's, we'd have a nice Starbucks at 19th and Heights instead of an abandoned bank building.

I've never proposed applications or formal approvals. I have called for common sense, and a willingness to reach out to neighborhoods on the developers' part. And neighborhoods have a huge responsibility in it, too. Instead of diddling themselves until something bad comes along, and then screaming at the top of their lungs - they need to come up with realistic ideas of what they actually want; and communicate those ideas in a consistent way.

So I ask again, to the people who live around the "Heights WalMart" site: what do you actually want that abandoned factory to become, if not a WalMart?

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It's really not up to me to decide what's right for your neighborhood. Nor is it up to you to decide what's right for my neighborhood. It's certainly not up to a corporation from Bentonville, Arkansas to decide what's right for The Heights - or whatever the neighborhood technically is where they're trying to put the WalMart.

We're talking about a local corporation owned by a local resident that has fee simple ownership of unrestricted land that isn't within any neighborhood. (Check the legal description of the land to confirm.) The developer will re-plat the unrestricted land (if he hasn't already) and will place deed restrictions on its use as he sells off parcels to third parties and end users. For all intents and purposes, this is a new neighborhood.

You point out, correctly, it is not up to either of us to decide what is right for another neighborhood. We have no legal standing or right to do so. Likewise, the fact that this new neighborhood is near another entirely different neighborhood does not confer a special right of protest either to that neighborhood (which itself is not an entity capable of speaking on the behalf of its users) or to the individual users within the neighborhood.

I think that we can dismiss Wal-Mart as infringing upon neighborhood rights because it isn't in anybody's neighborhood but its own and is merely close by. To the extent that there are concerns, they are from the community at large. And to deal with that, most cities utilize zoning to influence land use decisions (albeit not end users by name). Houston has advanced a zoning referendum several times and each time it has been denied by voters.

In other cities, developers do zoning studies before they buy land for development. In Houston, they should meet with the neighbors.

When the developers I've worked for have wanted to get around incompatible zoning, the demolition of crap housing, or some such other thing that adjacent neighborhoods didn't want, they'd just hire former politicians from that locality as consultants. Given a little time and money, things would work themselves out...quite often with unanimous votes when all was said and done. Don't get me wrong, there would be plenty of meetings for neighbors to voice their catharsis; it's just that they were never designed to accomplish anything more than superficial sorts of changes.

Our lack of zoning should NOT be viewed as a green light for developers to do whatever they want. Instead, it should give neighbors unprecedented control over their own destinies.

I don't understand your logic, here.

So let me turn the question around: what kind of stand would YOU put in YOUR neighborhood? And to the people around the "Heights Walmart" - how would you rather see that site redeveloped?

In light of the likelihood that historic district status will be pursued by a handful of uppity snobs soon, I think that now would be a good time to erect NicheLair I or NicheLair II. The first concept is a zero lot line metallic warehouse with cubic dimensions on the order of 60' x 60' x 60', consuming the center of a double lot. The interior would be structured using steel mezzanines with an atrium in the center, reminiscent of a Borg cube. The second concept is an oversized phallic-shaped residence built using slip-form concrete construction methods for the shaft and monolithic domes to form an approximation of the glans and testes; alternatively, the residential phallus could be built from re-purposed industrial equipment, mostly tanks and spherical pressure vessels.

But I don't have the money, so I'm out of luck.

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I don't understand your logic, here.

A zoning ordinance pre-empts neighborhoods as much as it takes rights away from property owners. A handful of planners writes the ordinance; the City approves; and everyone else has to live by it. Neighborhoods don't get to decide what's right for them, any more than individuals are allowed freedom over their own property.

I talk about it more here.

In light of the likelihood that historic district status will be pursued by a handful of uppity snobs soon, I think that now would be a good time to erect NicheLair I or NicheLair II. The first concept is a zero lot line metallic warehouse with cubic dimensions on the order of 60' x 60' x 60', consuming the center of a double lot. The interior would be structured using steel mezzanines with an atrium in the center, reminiscent of a Borg cube. The second concept is an oversized phallic-shaped residence built using slip-form concrete construction methods for the shaft and monolithic domes to form an approximation of the glans and testes; alternatively, the residential phallus could be built from re-purposed industrial equipment, mostly tanks and spherical pressure vessels.

But I don't have the money, so I'm out of luck.

The phallus is a bit sophomoric. But the cube sounds very interesting. It's the kind of thing you can only do in Houston. Good luck raising the money.

I'm still waiting to hear what the people from the surrounding community think should be put on the "Heights Walmart" site, if not a Walmart.

Edited by WAZ

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The phallus is a bit sophomoric. But the cube sounds very interesting. It's the kind of thing you can only do in Houston. Good luck raising the money.

Yeah, I forgot to mention, (because you'd be right that a random phallus is just sophomoric) I'd only do it if I could acquire an appropriate site across from an elementary school. It's only worth doing if it will draw the ire of the most fiercely banal population ever...the cult of the child.

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No historical knowlege for this... but I've always suspected that the configuration of Yale/Heights/Waugh/Washington traffic controls and lack of on-ramps was intended to keep traffic out of the Heights.

Not sure if this comment has already been replied to. But the likely reason there was never exit and on ramps at Yale was that at the time of Interstate 10 construction there was a railroad industrial spur that paralleled Yale into the west side of the Heights. The old remnants of a RR bridge can be evidenced at Yale and 10. It is also the likely reason for no thru service roads between Studemont and Taylor and at TC Jester.

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There were a lot of rail lines in the city prior to the 70's, it was around then the rail road started a massive under taking of taking up most lines that were no longer used.

Texas was a major agriculture hot spot with cotton being the most well known crop and every small Texas Town had a spur that actually had a rail depot. Now all those lines were taken up and re used or stored. I predict one of these years you will see them going down again due to fuel cost. The rail road was the most used shipping alternative to bring goods to Houston, not to mention rail travel was used more than any other source. We had a beautiful Rail Station at one time. That line on I-10 was a pain when you hit it just right and sat there for ever, same with the 290 track which was much more used than today.

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And, for those who were wondering how the apartments would be cleared for chef driven restaurants (apparently if you are against a Walmart you are elitist, but if you destroy affordable housing for retail space for boutiques and chef driven restaurants, you get a free pass), the developer is going to non-renew their leases. http://abclocal.go.c...ocal&id=7765524

This is how it played out at Allen House and is generally the way it is done, unless the developer has enough cash to pay people off and get an agreement to vacate early. Aside from the irony that the developer is kicking out the very people who are in the heart of Walmart's demographic, why doesn't the City use 380 agreements or other development assistance to build affordable housing inside the loop? Instead, the city is using development tools to kick low income people outside the loop and build expensive homes inside the loop (see Frank Liu's 20 million dollar 380 agreement to build homes in the 300-500k price range inside the loop). Now who is the elitist?

The owner of those awful apartments made in investment in them years ago which you did not contribute too, he likely took a large risk of getting paid his rent, by operating these low income units. He is now getting his payday by selling these apartments. His use of his money to invest in something he hoped would one day offer a large return is likely paying off now. You do not, and you should not have any say in any way about whether or not he demolishes this eyesore

Furthermore - the city wants tax revenue. Low income housing provides very little tax revenue. The people who live in low income housing pay little in taxes and contribute usually less to the taxbase than they take out of it. They tend to over utilize emergency rooms, and generally are a net loss financially for the city as a whole. Sure - some business gets to save a few dollars by paying a lower wage, but the city as a whole is a loser in this equation. In effect we taxpayers are subsidizing the lives of many of the low income residents.

That sounds harsh, but its true. The city now has the opportunity to bulldoze this awful complex, and replace it with a tax generating net gain for the city and the residents of near by neighborhoods. They can do this by not renewing the leases at ONE tiny low income apartment complex....that sounds like one heck of a good deal to the city if you ask just about anyone who cares about finances....you relocate a net loss and you add a contributing member to its place. Is that elitist? To not feel bad when progress is made? Maybe, if so, call me an elitist...I dont really care. This is progress...might not be your liberal utopian version of progress but we are taking something and replacing it with something else that it is better and contributes, rather than takes. Its a baby step, but its in the right direction.

Finally, there is no shortage of affordable housing inside the Houston 610 loop and on established bus lanes...just start looking off OST, Yellowstone, Cullen, etc....there is a plethora of low income housing that could not be more affordable. A lot costs less than $12,000 and the homes in the area sell in the range of $60-100K. Rent there is even more affordable. Its not as nice an area as where they are now, and it lacks alot of the amenities that come with living directly next door to a nice area....but it is housing and it is affordable, and inside the loop.

The people in these apartments may not want to relocate to that area because its not as nice as the area they are in now, but that is the risk you take when you rent. You can be evicted and have to move. I do not feel sorry for the people being relocated because of progress...they will not disappear, they will not become homeless, they will just have to find a different home. It may not be as convenient as the one they are in now, but the city,the taxpayers, and certainly private property owners should not have to spend their money on making sure the low income residents have all the luxuries of those who contribute much more to the base.

Your posts make it sound as if the Walmart is killing these people and then making sure they cannot live inside the loop. This is one tiny crappy complex, that nobody but the few residents who live in it will miss.

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This is one tiny crappy complex, that nobody but the few residents who live in it will miss.

You presume too much, Marksmu. We haven't heard so much as a squeak out of the tenants of these apartments. Turnover is pretty high among Class C and D apartments in Houston, so I'd wager that most of them are probably unaffected and indifferent. The remainder are merely inconvenienced.

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Not sure if this comment has already been replied to. But the likely reason there was never exit and on ramps at Yale was that at the time of Interstate 10 construction there was a railroad industrial spur that paralleled Yale into the west side of the Heights. The old remnants of a RR bridge can be evidenced at Yale and 10. It is also the likely reason for no thru service roads between Studemont and Taylor and at TC Jester.

That wasn't a spur, that was the tracks that connected the Southern Pacific (current 290 line) with the MKT (former 10-W line, Heights Bike Trail)

Oh, but you are right that the Target does not abut a residential neighborhood. It REPLACED it.

Misleading. Those bungalows were always pretty much surrounded by a parking lot, and Target replaced a warehouse that was at the end of the street. It demolished maybe five or six homes. In Dallas, a mall expansion flattened over 100 homes, worth four or five streets. That's a neighborhood.

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Misleading. Those bungalows were always pretty much surrounded by a parking lot, and Target replaced a warehouse that was at the end of the street. It demolished maybe five or six homes. In Dallas, a mall expansion flattened over 100 homes, worth four or five streets. That's a neighborhood.

True, but that's out of context with this discussion about these comparable circumstances and neighborhoods. I think that your comment does highlight just how petty the NIMBYism is, however, in this case.

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That wasn't a spur, that was the tracks that connected the Southern Pacific (current 290 line) with the MKT (former 10-W line, Heights Bike Trail)

Misleading. Those bungalows were always pretty much surrounded by a parking lot, and Target replaced a warehouse that was at the end of the street. It demolished maybe five or six homes. In Dallas, a mall expansion flattened over 100 homes, worth four or five streets. That's a neighborhood.

Perhaps, but no more misleading than claiming that Walmart is displacing a neighborhood, when in fact, it is being built on the site of a former steel mill. Not to mention that the residents complaining about Walmart think nothing of living in townhomes built after demolishing hundreds of single family homes down the street. s3mh is crying for the renters in the apartment building on Heights. Where was his outrage when the townhomes he's protecting displaced hundreds of residents? Where was his outrage that the Target development displaced longtime residents? There is none. Because they weren't Walmart. This is why his argument is hypocrisy.

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I'm still waiting to hear what the people from the surrounding community think should be put on the "Heights Walmart" site, if not a Walmart.

If you'd take the time to read back through this long thread, you'd find that the majority of nearby residents don't mind the development being built as it is now. Even the Walmart haters cheered when the sign went up signaling the development of a shopping center on the Knights of Pytheus site. The only opposition at all is directed at the Walmart itself. Some of them (most of them?) even suggested that if another big box store (HEB) replaced the Walmart, they'd be happy...no, ecstatic. The neighbors have no problem with traffic, crime and rampant consumerism, as long as the traffic, crime and consumerism comes from Target, 'mom and pop' stores (whatever those are) and 'mixed use' developments. Only when a Walmart is in the mix, does the outrage start, which is amusing, since the only thing that zoning and other governmental controls CAN'T control is which retailers open up on the site. Either the site is suitable for retail or it's not...and this site is clearly suitable for a retail development, perhaps moreso than any other site near the Heights. Great access to freeways and major thoroughfares, not a residential neighborhood (despite claims to the contrary, an industrial site is not residential), and close to other restaurants and retail.

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Misleading. Those bungalows were always pretty much surrounded by a parking lot, and Target replaced a warehouse that was at the end of the street. It demolished maybe five or six homes. In Dallas, a mall expansion flattened over 100 homes, worth four or five streets. That's a neighborhood.

wow, that story really shows the stark contrast of how people reacted to one development vs another, specifically based on the anchor store.

I mean, with that development, target was displacing people that OWNED homes, residents that live in the same neighborhood as those who are complaining now could only say "I can't wait for the development to open!"

Now here, a development has bought some apartment complexes and told people their LEASES will not be renewed, residents that live in the same neighborhood as those who were so welcoming to Target are lamenting the people who will have to go rent somewhere else.

what's the word I'm looking for here? puh-leeeez. yeah, I think that was it.

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what is dumb is the attempt to discredit the anti-Walmart points by questioning why there wasn't a similar opposition to an entirely different development. Target is not a supercenter.

well yeah, target doesn't have supercenters, they have superTARGET. while this target is not a superTARGET, the Walmart they are going to erect is not a 200k sq ft store that you elude to either.

It is not open 24/7.

correct, that means that the 20k people that drive to get to this target location are all concentrated within the hours of 9am and 10pm (I can't back those numbers up, I can't even back up the store hours, but I'm still going to write them, just as surely as you write whatever you please).

It is not abutting residential neighborhoods.

sure it is. that big fishbowl of an apartment complex is considered a neighborhood. or do you not consider apartments a residence? after that diatribe about the poor people of the run down apartments on heights blvd, I find that hard to believe.

Not to mention that if you drive down Crockett towards downtown you'll run into houses and neighborhoods that are as close to target as any houses will be to walmart.

It is not on a major artery that serves as the main connector between the Heights and Downtown/Upper Kirby/River Oaks. It is on a road that can be widened enough to have a signalized intersection to the entrance with dedicated left turn lanes, while still having two lanes of through traffic in each direction.

ok, ok, stop. taylor has been very well used prior to there being a target there. do yourself a favor and go look for the traffic studies they did before they built target, I'd bet a dozen of the best donuts in the world that taylor had TWICE the number of cars traveling it daily compared to Yale. You wanna take that bet? I'd even deliver them to your domicile with a quart of chocolate milk.

It will eventually have direct driveway access to the new feeder rd. It is not on a main commuter route to downtown from I-10. It does not send overflow traffic throw residential neighborhoods on 21 ft streets. It did not recieve 6.05 million in tax payer dollars, including 300k for onsite stormwater detention on private property. And it was not the third Target to be built within a five mile radius.

you know what's funny, is when I have been going down i-10 to get to my house in the east end (or friends in midtown before I lived in the east end, and yeah, this predates Target), during the trafficy times (either day, or when they are doing construction) I take taylor to get to Houston street, which puts me on pierce, which gets me back on 45 south to get to the telephone road exit. mucho quicker than staying on the freeways, quicker than exiting sooner on a different 'artery'

And a lot of people who did not fuss when Target went in are making their voice heard now because a lot of the promises about the Target development were BS. Traffic inside Woodland Heights is much worse. Watson is now a steady stream of traffic where it used to be a quiet neighborhood street. The developer also promised boutiques and nice restaurants, but delivered payless, radio shack and ATT store. Promised mature shade trees on the site gave way to parking lots of solid concrete.

So, if anything the Target has taught the community to be more involved and more vigilant.

you know it takes more than 5 years for trees to mature, right?

anyone who promises that traffic will not be affected is blowing smoke, but you can also rest assured that traffic will not be affected to the level with which you currently claim.

freebirds isn't a 'nice restaurant' but it sure is some tasty food. pet smart isn't a boutique, but it's nice to have around. sure there's a check cashing store, but that is a sign of the neighborhood, once the apartments on heights are taken down, there will be less need for that place.

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Again, I somehow feel obligated to defend those apartments. Probably because I bike past them and/or ride the bus with the people who live there. Sure, the complex is old, but next time you go past it, really look at the place. It's pretty much spotless. I've often witnessed the manager outside picking up trash left on the sidewalk. They plant flowers, for goodness sakes!

Compare that to the Skylane on Watson and White Oak, and tell me which one you'd rather tear down!

And, for the record, I'm more annoyed that the developer is choosing to replace the apartments with a strip center. Just what the neighborhood needs - another strip center. Because the three sitting half-empty on Heights already just can't keep up with all of the demand for retail space, apparently.

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The owner of those awful apartments made in investment in them years ago which you did not contribute too, he likely took a large risk of getting paid his rent, by operating these low income units. He is now getting his payday by selling these apartments. His use of his money to invest in something he hoped would one day offer a large return is likely paying off now. You do not, and you should not have any say in any way about whether or not he demolishes this eyesore

Furthermore - the city wants tax revenue. Low income housing provides very little tax revenue. The people who live in low income housing pay little in taxes and contribute usually less to the taxbase than they take out of it. They tend to over utilize emergency rooms, and generally are a net loss financially for the city as a whole. Sure - some business gets to save a few dollars by paying a lower wage, but the city as a whole is a loser in this equation. In effect we taxpayers are subsidizing the lives of many of the low income residents.

That sounds harsh, but its true. The city now has the opportunity to bulldoze this awful complex, and replace it with a tax generating net gain for the city and the residents of near by neighborhoods. They can do this by not renewing the leases at ONE tiny low income apartment complex....that sounds like one heck of a good deal to the city if you ask just about anyone who cares about finances....you relocate a net loss and you add a contributing member to its place. Is that elitist? To not feel bad when progress is made? Maybe, if so, call me an elitist...I dont really care. This is progress...might not be your liberal utopian version of progress but we are taking something and replacing it with something else that it is better and contributes, rather than takes. Its a baby step, but its in the right direction.

Finally, there is no shortage of affordable housing inside the Houston 610 loop and on established bus lanes...just start looking off OST, Yellowstone, Cullen, etc....there is a plethora of low income housing that could not be more affordable. A lot costs less than $12,000 and the homes in the area sell in the range of $60-100K. Rent there is even more affordable. Its not as nice an area as where they are now, and it lacks alot of the amenities that come with living directly next door to a nice area....but it is housing and it is affordable, and inside the loop.

The people in these apartments may not want to relocate to that area because its not as nice as the area they are in now, but that is the risk you take when you rent. You can be evicted and have to move. I do not feel sorry for the people being relocated because of progress...they will not disappear, they will not become homeless, they will just have to find a different home. It may not be as convenient as the one they are in now, but the city,the taxpayers, and certainly private property owners should not have to spend their money on making sure the low income residents have all the luxuries of those who contribute much more to the base.

Your posts make it sound as if the Walmart is killing these people and then making sure they cannot live inside the loop. This is one tiny crappy complex, that nobody but the few residents who live in it will miss.

I don't understand how folks paying $650+/month on rent are a financial net loss to the city. Ultimately it's up to the owner of the complex to sell or not, but I don't think it's fair to attack affordable apartments as a drain on city finances. For one, these are the same folks who could be working at the retailers displacing them, and I don't think they need to be told where to live. Secondly, the strip mall may or may not increase the taxable value of the land, but regardless, that seems like a shallow way of looking at things. There's a reason we don't all live in River Oaks, or even the Heights. You seem to be rationalizing your revulsion of this affordable complex by making all kinds of assumptions, some false or unproven.

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If you'd take the time to read back through this long thread, you'd find that the majority of nearby residents don't mind the development being built as it is now. Even the Walmart haters cheered when the sign went up signaling the development of a shopping center on the Knights of Pytheus site. The only opposition at all is directed at the Walmart itself. Some of them (most of them?) even suggested that if another big box store (HEB) replaced the Walmart, they'd be happy...no, ecstatic. The neighbors have no problem with traffic, crime and rampant consumerism, as long as the traffic, crime and consumerism comes from Target, 'mom and pop' stores (whatever those are) and 'mixed use' developments. Only when a Walmart is in the mix, does the outrage start, which is amusing, since the only thing that zoning and other governmental controls CAN'T control is which retailers open up on the site. Either the site is suitable for retail or it's not...and this site is clearly suitable for a retail development, perhaps moreso than any other site near the Heights. Great access to freeways and major thoroughfares, not a residential neighborhood (despite claims to the contrary, an industrial site is not residential), and close to other restaurants and retail.

That's partly true. Walmart has been noted throughout this thread on a long account of documented charges. There really are valid reasons for people to dislike Walmart, although I'll give the company credit for the improvements they've been making. There are also those of us who simply dislike big-box retailing in general due to it's corporate soul-crushing blandness and massive surface lot automobile-centric design.

That said, I've grown mostly indifferent to this development due to it's inevitability, and folks are wasting their time thinking they can stop it.

Edited by barracuda
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I don't understand how folks paying $650+/month on rent are a financial net loss to the city. Ultimately it's up to the owner of the complex to sell or not, but I don't think it's fair to attack affordable apartments as a drain on city finances. For one, these are the same folks who could be working at the retailers displacing them, and I don't think they need to be told where to live. Secondly, the strip mall may or may not increase the taxable value of the land, but regardless, that seems like a shallow way of looking at things. There's a reason we don't all live in River Oaks, or even the Heights. You seem to be rationalizing your revulsion of this affordable complex by making all kinds of assumptions, some false or unproven.

I dont have any problem with the complex at all. I have a problem with people trying to use the residents of this complex as another straw to clutch at to prevent the owners of the real estate its sitting on from doing what they want with it. They are renters - they do not have an interest in the building, so they don't get a say to what is done with it.

I also am not telling anyone where to live at all. I dont care where people live at all, I was merely pointing out that there are tons of choices in Houston, even for affordable housing....many of which are inside the loop, and on established metro bus lanes. These are the things low income renters care about, and there is not a shortage of these types of units in Houston at the moment.

However the development will with almost 100% certainty increase the taxable value of the land...thats not really a stretch to conclude. I doubt the appraised construction value of the Walmart & its strip center will be below the current appraised value of the complex. Furthermore, its almost a certainty that a store of almost any kind will bring in more money than a small apartment complex....if it did not, it would go out of business quickly. Very few new construction projects replace what was previously there with something that is worth less than what is currently there. So, while I can not with 100% certainty say that the tax revenues will increase, I feel it is an extremely safe bet to make. One I would be willing to actually put money on.

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That said, I've grown mostly indifferent to this development due to it's inevitability, and folks are wasting their time thinking they can stop it.

This is what I don't understand. What you are basically saying is that being involved in the affairs of your community is only worth it if there is a realistic chance you will get what you want. Otherwise, we all have to just shut up and trust Michael Ainbinder to do what is right for the community.

Frankly, no one who is against the walmart thinks that they have some silver bullet. We know much better than anyone on this message board what we are up against. But, the idea that a battle that cannot be won should not be fought is just the kind of idea that help make Walmart what it is and enables a land use system that allows one guy to determine the character of an entire area. I don't care whether I win or lose. What I care about is that people know that my community is organized and ready to fight developers that do not respect the community. We may lose against Walmart, but might win against the Rutland Highrise or whatever stupid idea comes up next.

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This is what I don't understand. What you are basically saying is that being involved in the affairs of your community is only worth it if there is a realistic chance you will get what you want. Otherwise, we all have to just shut up and trust Michael Ainbinder to do what is right for the community.

Frankly, no one who is against the walmart thinks that they have some silver bullet. We know much better than anyone on this message board what we are up against. But, the idea that a battle that cannot be won should not be fought is just the kind of idea that help make Walmart what it is and enables a land use system that allows one guy to determine the character of an entire area. I don't care whether I win or lose. What I care about is that people know that my community is organized and ready to fight developers that do not respect the community. We may lose against Walmart, but might win against the Rutland Highrise or whatever stupid idea comes up next.

I believe what you should be saying is you and your goons will protest, squeal, and make a big deal over whatever you and your very vocal minority of friends perceive as stupid. The Historic Ordinance is as stupid, over reaching, as and polarizing as anything I can think of since Health Care Reform, and you and your goons have thrown all your efforts behind that awful piece of legislation. As dumb as that ordinance is you actually support it....I dont really know what to say. You seem to be on the wrong side of every issue.

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