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Wal-Mart to invade the Heights


Walmart at Yale & I-10: For or Against  

160 members have voted

  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

This poll is closed to new votes


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Except that the increase in average price was in relation to those homes further than one mile away. The housing bubble would have had no effect on increases in value wtihin one mile versus those further away.

The fact is that 86% of Americans shop at Walmart. Many of those who do not do so live too far away from a Walmart. So, the percentage of people who could shop at Walmart, but do not, is tiny. Most people appreciate having a Walmart nearby. This would necessarily make those homes within a mile of a Walmart more valuable to the overwhelming majority of people who shop there.

In other words, the number of people who think like you do is so small as to be statistically insignificant as it relates to Walmart and home values.

But without data on the houses outside of the study zone, you cannot tell whether the increases in value outside the study zone could have been greater than the houses inside the study zone. Maybe housing values rose faster further away from the study area, meaning that houses inside the study area may have seen less growth because of the Walmart.

The quote about externalities is also a giveaway that the researchers have constructed a strawman argument in order to counter a common argument by Walmart opponents. If the study just looked at homes that experienced the externalities of a new Walmart (traffic, trash, shopping carts, crime, light pollution, etc.), the results would be entirely different. But they did nothing to discern whether there were externalities or not. So, a Walmart that may have been well planned on a street with ample capacity and with enough buffer from residential areas is counted with a Walmart that is crammed into an area that does not have sufficient street capacity and directly abuts a residential neighborhood.

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Is that the rubicon, whether or not you walk your own children and pets? Is that what divides snobbery from community activism? I just don't get it, with all that's wrong in the world, with all the pl

I'd love nothing more than to see the concerned heights neighbors do a real protest of the proposed Yale Wal Mart. Think of it as a meaningful vacation from strenuous days of blogging, girls lunches

I, too, feel compelled to go public with this message. Since you don't live in the Heights, why don't you take your crunchy-tastic, holier-than-thou, self-righteous and judgemental attitude, drag Nic

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But without data on the houses outside of the study zone, you cannot tell whether the increases in value outside the study zone could have been greater than the houses inside the study zone. Maybe housing values rose faster further away from the study area, meaning that houses inside the study area may have seen less growth because of the Walmart.

The quote about externalities is also a giveaway that the researchers have constructed a strawman argument in order to counter a common argument by Walmart opponents. If the study just looked at homes that experienced the externalities of a new Walmart (traffic, trash, shopping carts, crime, light pollution, etc.), the results would be entirely different. But they did nothing to discern whether there were externalities or not. So, a Walmart that may have been well planned on a street with ample capacity and with enough buffer from residential areas is counted with a Walmart that is crammed into an area that does not have sufficient street capacity and directly abuts a residential neighborhood.

Since it's getting built now, I guess there's nothing to it but to just see how it pans out, and whether their study proves to be accurate for that location or not.

I just thought it was an interesting study.

In fairness, I'd wholly expect that a new Wal-Mart would be an invaluable amenity in a part of the city that is poorly-served by other grocers or discounters due to low household incomes. For instance, I'm positive that the Northline Wal-Mart had a positive impact on that area. Since that's their sweet spot, it just sort of makes sense that home prices should rise.

I don't think that that would necessarily be true of the Heights, although...it's WAAAAAAY better than what was there before it. Nobody could argue against that with a straight face.

originally, when I saw it, I thought the same thing, but $7000 is 2% of $350,000, so maybe house poor, rather than low income.

Edited by samagon
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I don't think that that would necessarily be true of the Heights, although...it's WAAAAAAY better than what was there before it. Nobody could argue against that with a straight face.

I think you have hit on some good slogans for Houston:

"Houston: It is way better than an empty lot!"

"Houston: Don't expect the best. No, really. Don't."

"Houston: We're trying. Not too hard. But, at least we are trying."

The Walmart is already having an effect on development in the West End. Cruddy $200-250k townhomes are going up instead of the better $300k and up townhomes that have filled in the West End neighborhood west of TC Jester (northern Rice Military). If the development did not have a Walmart and was a walkable mixed use development with some street life like the Midtown Post Oak development, developers would flock to the adjacent West End neighborhood to do highend townhomes. Thus, with Walmart, you get a short term bump in value, but compared to a better development, a major loss of value in the neighborhood.

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The Walmart is already having an effect on development in the West End. Cruddy $200-250k townhomes are going up instead of the better $300k and up townhomes that have filled in the West End neighborhood west of TC Jester (northern Rice Military).

FYI, $200k-$250k is a good deal higher than Houston's median housing price of $160,120. And it is also a price point for many of us unwashed masses of young professionals...

Additionally, your assumptions are wrong. There are only 2 new builds currently listed in that area for under $250k and they are both on the small side compared to the surrounding townhomes. Everything else in that area right now is going for $280k or more with the top end off fowler street going for $429k.

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At great peril to myself, I drove across the Yale bridge and past this development yesterday. It's a vast improvement to the area.

I sincerely look forward to saving money and living better. And I especially like that there is a liquor store going in right across the street. It'll make my grocery and household shopping trips far more efficient.

Completely agree. Living in the Woodland Heights, I won't have to drive all the way to the Walmart near the Marq*E. The big thing that annoys me with Target and even Kroger nearby is just their lack of selection. I believe an article I read had Target and Kroger around 15,000 to 20,000 products while Walmart has well over 100,000 items.

I'm only cautious about the type of crowd it could bring... :S

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The Walmart is already having an effect on development in the West End. Cruddy $200-250k townhomes are going up instead of the better $300k and up townhomes that have filled in the West End neighborhood west of TC Jester (northern Rice Military). If the development did not have a Walmart and was a walkable mixed use development with some street life like the Midtown Post Oak development, developers would flock to the adjacent West End neighborhood to do highend townhomes. Thus, with Walmart, you get a short term bump in value, but compared to a better development, a major loss of value in the neighborhood.

This is why I love your posts. You just completely pull sheet out of your arse, with no research, and no concern whatsoever for the truth! It is simply great comedy.

Let me enlighten you. I know from previous posts that you are a newbie in this area. I, however, have lived in both the Rice Military and Heights since 1999. I have watched the Washington corridor grow from the dumpy, rotten houses that existed prior to gentrification to the rows of townhomes that line the streets today. The overwhelming majority of those townhomes were the "cruddy $200-250k" variety that you thumb your nose at. Oh sure, during the housing bubble that you claim skewed the Walmart study, they built some pricier homes, but now they are back to building the garden variety stuff. And, even during the bubble, more garden variety stuff was built than the expensive homes...much more.

But, don't let that stop you from simply making it up as you go along. If you ever actually started posting accurate information, most of us would stop reading this thread.

BTW, if anything is actually affecting the quality of townhomes being built, it would be the proliferation of niteclubs along Washington, not a big box store that will be frequented by the thousands of people living in those "cruddy $200-250k" townhomes...except, of course, the leaders of RUDH, who actually live in those "cruddy $200-250k" townhomes.

EDIT: A quick glance at townhomes for sale in 77007 reveals only 36 priced at $250k or less. But, there are 267 for sale above that price, all the way up to $1.3 million. I guess the Walmart effect IS working. Almost all of the townhomes are priced way above the "cruddy $200-250k" stuff.

Edited by RedScare
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I have lived in "Northern Rice Military" west of TC Jester (also known as the southern part of Cottage Grove). $250k 3/3 tract townhomes are the norm and there is not much "high end" about them, and their proximity or distance from WalMart is an inconsequential factor in the areas development when compared to the West End.

A quick glance at townhomes for sale in 77007 reveals only 36 priced at $250k or less

How many of the 36 are in Cottage Grove?

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your nissan leaf runs on dog food?

Yes and no.

The 10 rescue dogs I have are chained to a treadmill that charges my car. We keep a dog bowl half full just out of reach until one collapses, then we feed them. If I need a fast charge I'll toss a piece of raw meat in the bowl and place a trapped ferrel cat behind it.

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your nissan leaf runs on dog food?

Yes and no.

The 10 rescue dogs I have are chained to a treadmill that charges my car. We keep a dog bowl half full just out of reach until one collapses, then we feed them. If I need a fast charge I'll toss a piece of raw meat in the bowl and place a trapped ferrel cat behind it.

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The developer just took out 9 mature live oaks on Yale near the bridge. They were supposed to leave the one nearest the bridge, but they didn't. This stretch of standard-width (not extra wide) sidewalk will be unshaded from now on.

To make up their "tree credits" for trees taken down on Yale, they're going to add trees to Koehler, I10 and the Heights esplanade. Yale will mostly be unshaded with about 75% less tree caliper than before the development.

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The Walmart is already having an effect on development in the West End. Cruddy $200-250k townhomes are going up instead of the better $300k and up townhomes that have filled in the West End neighborhood west of TC Jester (northern Rice Military).

Until the Wal-Mart had come along, townhome construction had fizzled out in the West End. The new Ainbinder development was obviously ;) just the shot in the arm that this area needed to kick-start new residential development again.

If the development did not have a Walmart and was a walkable mixed use development with some street life like the Midtown Post Oak development, developers would flock to the adjacent West End neighborhood to do highend townhomes. Thus, with Walmart, you get a short term bump in value, but compared to a better development, a major loss of value in the neighborhood.

Also, you're probably referring to Post Midtown, not "Midtown Post Oak," which does not exist. (This indicates to me that you probably have no idea what you're talking about and are just parroting third-hand propaganda.) It is called Post Midtown because Post Properties is the owner/developer. Post had the opportunity to acquire the Wal-Mart site. They did not. The reason that they did not was that developing something of that nature, scaled up, in that location would've been thousand dollarsing stupid.

The land is still there, it is not a quarry that can be depleted. When pigs learn to fly, maybe it'll get built up with something like the Burj Dubai.

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Taking out mature live oaks without an extremely good reason is, in this city, unforgivable. Nothing is more important than shade, even if you're just walking from your parked F-750 to Wal-Mart to buy 10 pounds of butter and 3 cases of bullets.

That devolved into an elitist rant waaaaay too quickly.

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I scoured google maps street view on yale looking for any 'mature live oaks' saw none.

there's these:

https://maps.google....,310.28,,0,3.99

they can hardly be construed as 'mature' though.

for reference, this is what a mature live oak looks like:

live%20oak%20tree.jpg

what you were looking for is adolescent live oak.

but hey, a tree's a tree, maybe you should query ainbinder (and the city) as to whether the trees will be replaced, and if not get a news station to run a story that they promised to keep the trees, maybe they will put new ones in.

Edited by samagon
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The live oaks removed averaged more than 11 inches in caliper. They will not be replanting trees on this stretch of Yale. The trees did look like they grew a lot during the year and a quarter since the google picture was taken. While the Walmart probably won't turn into a swamp, they will be sending more water faster down stream.

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^ Actually, much of the Heights was forested before it was developed. Just look at any old photos of the land being cleared.

Well, then the developer is just keeping with the character of the neighborhood, then, isn't he?

A quick glance at the site in question shows that there were virtually no trees there anyway. Faux outrage noted.

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I scoured google maps street view on yale looking for any 'mature live oaks' saw none.

there's these:

https://maps.google....,310.28,,0,3.99

they can hardly be construed as 'mature' though.

for reference, this is what a mature live oak looks like:

live%20oak%20tree.jpg

what you were looking for is adolescent live oak.

but hey, a tree's a tree, maybe you should query ainbinder (and the city) as to whether the trees will be replaced, and if not get a news station to run a story that they promised to keep the trees, maybe they will put new ones in.

A mature live oak is usually about 50 feet tall with a well established canopy. The ones along the stone yard were not mature, but they had 30-40 years of growth that the replacement trees won't have. That means that most of us will be retired before the tree canopy on Yale is restored to what it was.

The trees should have been saved by making the developer give up land outside the right of way on the opposite side of Yale to widen Yale for the Koehler left turn lane. Instead, the developer gets tax dollars to take out the trees, widen Yale and replant new, smaller trees. All they have to do is plant trees with a caliper of greater than 1.5" and they get to charge the City for them. Of course, you have to work pretty hard to try to find a tree at a nursery that is less than 1.5".

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That means that most of us will be retired before the tree canopy on Yale is restored to what it was.

Before any of you shed too many crocodile tears over s3mh's lost retirement, google map this area. There are roughly 10 trees in the entire 30 acre area. Sure, they cut down a few trees on one side of Yale along a couple hundred foot stretch, but s3mh makes it sound bucolic, when the reality is that was a barren wasteland.

Holy mother of Annise Parker, the faux outrage is off the charts! Now, Walmart has ruined s3mh's golden years! Oh the humanity! Think of the children! [insert other stupid statement here]!!!

Someone who knows how to screen grab please post the google of that block. Those trees aren't more than 10 years old.

Edited by RedScare
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I feel sorry for anyone who actually has strong feelings about trees like this. I'm certain that there arent very many of those people though, even among those people who will feign outrage.

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but they had 30-40 years of growth that the replacement trees won't have.

Doubtful, I think we know exactly when these trees were planted and it was in the early 90's because these are probably the same age as the trees that people pissed and moaned about lining Yale north of I-10 until the Yale street project was cancelled and changed to a resurface.

Edited by JJxvi
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^ Actually, much of the Heights was forested before it was developed. Just look at any old photos of the land being cleared.

The original photos I just looked at had some pine forrested areas but equal amounts of bayou and willows and other small trees. The strip along the boulevard did seem quite wooded, but those were a bunch a pine trees, and as someone who has a large pine tree in their front yard, I can promise you we aren't missing those. Nearly all the beautiful Live Oaks and other aesthetically pleasing trees you see were planted by residents. Nothing historic or original about them...

That being said... the new walmart will have a gardening center right?

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While a tree is beautiful to look at, I find it mind boggling that people will go to such extreme measures and cost (see gigantic waste of money here http://galvestondailynews.com/story/320554) simply to save a 100% renewable, abundant, cheap, replaceable, non-sentimental tree.

Trees are just trees. If they are in the way they get cut down...then you put a new one up...its a waste (yes waste) of money to put a huge one back since trees grow - so they are inevitably replaced by smaller ones.

On the league city tree, if I were a resident of the city, I would be outraged at my wasted tax dollars - with these trees on yale, I cant even fake outrage b/c its just a non-issue.

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While a tree is beautiful to look at, I find it mind boggling that people will go to such extreme measures and cost (see gigantic waste of money here http://galvestondail...story/320554)��simply to save a 100% renewable, abundant, cheap, replaceable, non-sentimental tree.

Trees are just trees. If they are in the way they get cut down...then you put a new one up...its a waste (yes waste) of money to put a huge one back since trees grow - so they are inevitably replaced by smaller ones.

On the league city tree, if I were a resident of the city, I would be outraged at my wasted tax dollars - with these trees on yale, I cant even fake outrage b/c its just a non-issue.

actually, that tree is a great example of a mature tree, and I'm glad they took the steps they did to save it. I hope it actually survives the ordeal, the chances of a tree that age being able to survive a transplant aren't that great.

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Why so many tree haters on an architechtural forum? weird.

They removed 9 live oaks on Yale near the bridge that were most likely planted in the early 90's making them at least and probably more than 20 years old. This part of the street will be not be replanted, even with smaller trees.

The developer is making up his "tree credits" by planting in the Heights esplanade. The taxpayers are paying for all of this via the 380.

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actually, that tree is a great example of a mature tree, and I'm glad they took the steps they did to save it. I hope it actually survives the ordeal, the chances of a tree that age being able to survive a transplant aren't that great.

A mature tree? Yes - I agree. But no mature tree is worth $197,500 dollars. ONLY, and I do mean ONLY a government entity would ever spend that kind of money (other peoples) to save something like a tree.

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Aha haha - yeah, maybe a little bit, RS. But the 380 is supposed to be all wider sidewalks and thicker trees. And Yale will have 75% less tree caliper inches than previously. We're not getting our money's worth. The 380 was publicly announced as making the development better, it's clearly designed to transfer our tax dollars to the developer for the developer to spend as he sees fit. We're not getting thicker trees. We're not.

No matter how many people say that historically, there shouldn't be any trees here, because once it was an underwater dinosaur breeding ground.

We're not getting thicker trees for the 380. Not. Getting. Thicker. Trees. Not.

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The original photos I just looked at had some pine forrested areas but equal amounts of bayou and willows and other small trees. The strip along the boulevard did seem quite wooded, but those were a bunch a pine trees, and as someone who has a large pine tree in their front yard, I can promise you we aren't missing those. Nearly all the beautiful Live Oaks and other aesthetically pleasing trees you see were planted by residents. Nothing historic or original about them...

That being said... the new walmart will have a gardening center right?

I'm not arguing about the fact that these relatively young live oaks were obviously planted, nor am I all that concerned about their removal. But you agree the area wasn't treeless before development.

I must say, I think live oaks are kind of ugly until they mature and really spread out, so I kind of hope they plant something else.

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Aha haha - yeah, maybe a little bit, RS. But the 380 is supposed to be all wider sidewalks and thicker trees. And Yale will have 75% less tree caliper inches than previously. We're not getting our money's worth. The 380 was publicly announced as making the development better, it's clearly designed to transfer our tax dollars to the developer for the developer to spend as he sees fit. We're not getting thicker trees. We're not.

No matter how many people say that historically, there shouldn't be any trees here, because once it was an underwater dinosaur breeding ground.

We're not getting thicker trees for the 380. Not. Getting. Thicker. Trees. Not.

We've already been through this. The 380...and the $6 million...were not set in stone. The City may change what work it wants done, and that may reduce the total amount spent under the 380. As for what the area will look like once finished, I'll wait until it is finished. I've listened to people complain about construction projects in midstream for years. It is always the same. "That looks terrible! They ruined it!" Construction projects always look bad during the construction. Wait until it is finished.

Let me see if I can explain why none of us is upset at 9 trees being removed. You see, it is the only 9 trees on the entire street. It looked like crap. Once finished, there will likely be trees on both sides of the street. It will look better, and over time will shade more sidewalk. If removing 9 trees gets us 18 trees evenly spaced, or more, most of us have little problem with that. And, you said yourself that we are getting 12 more caliper inches than were removed. Well, if those new trees are thinner, then that means we are getting a whole lot more trees.

Here's the deal. Most of us are fine with that. We. Are. Fine. With. That.

Your gripe is a tempest in a teapot. Tempest. In. A. Teapot. Tempest. Teapot. You.

Hope. That. Helped.

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They are removing a total of 19 trees from Yale. They are adding a total of 13 trees to Yale. Net loss: 6 trees. Net loss in tree caliper inches on Yale: 176.5.

The 12 extra caliper inches will not be on Yale, but on the Heights esplanade.

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There are (were) only about 10-12 legit trees along Yale at wildly dispersed locations (the ones right in front of the stone yard are basically the only place where they all survived, possibly because somebody tended those, I dont know). Any others you add to that to get to 19 opr whetever must be scrub trees that just happened to be there around the underpass or something.

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JJxi - at least I found some trees you care less about than the 9 live oaks.

I didn't count the trees, or measure them for that matter. The City and the developer did. The City's rules decide which trees "count" and which ones don't.

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I'm curious, Leonard. Are you waxing hyperbolic about these 9 trees because you actually thought this section of Yale was attractive? Did you previously bounce along the potholed street, gaze lovingly at your trees and the Dirt Bar and think, "This is why I moved here. The dirt lot next to Dirt Bar, juxtaposed across from these 9 trees is probably the most beautiful spot in Houston." I kinda think you are only complaining about those trees because that's all you got left. You've lost every single argument related to this godforsaken stretch of street, so you're going to piss and moan and wax apoplexic about everything that happens. That is certainly your right. And you must know how much I enjoy picking apart your and s3mh's conspiracies. I just wonder why you subject yourself to it.

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JJxi - at least I found some trees you care less about than the 9 live oaks.

You are wrong. I actually care MORE about the scrub trees, because I would like them to be cut down, and would be mildly pleased if it happened.

Edited by JJxvi
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It's regrettable that some medium sized trees were removed from Yale. I have to admit I really had not noticed them. I had to pull them up on Goggle Street View.

It's sort of ironic. Ainbinder preserved a lot of trees and natural scape at the Montrose HEB. They built the store in a counterintuitive way - at the Alabama end of the lot, facing south. Having gone to the hearings for that project, I see the difference. With the HEB, the 'hood was engaged. With this project, the 'hood has been entrenched. The polarized views on this project have prevented real community involvement. That has empowered any negligence or malfeasance of which this project is accused. I am sad for those who so long to be right, but fail to see the neighborhood for the trees.

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RS, I disagree that I've lost every singe argument about this development and the 380. Even you think the developer should plant trees lining both sides of Yale. The issue is that they are not. The issue is that there will be 75% less tree caliper inches (over 150 caliper inches lost) on Yale and 6 fewer trees.

The Mayor pushed the 380 saying the development would be better, specifically in regard to sidewalks and trees. Clearly, Yale will be worse after the development as to trees.

JJxi - some of the scrub trees can probably be removed with out having to offset the caliper inches. Only certain species/sizes have to be offset.

Porchman - I wasn't aware that Ainbinder was involved in the Montrose HEB. It is interesting how different the 2 developments are, especially since HEB got no 380 money for that store.

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The Mayor pushed the 380 saying the development would be better, specifically in regard to sidewalks and trees. Clearly, Yale will be worse after the development as to trees.

Clearly. Right. Worse than the overgrown, blight lined sidewalk that had a afew decent live oaks. Give me a break. And quick using your recently learned term "tree caliper inches", just say diamater.

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