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Norhill Addition Revised Deed Restrictions From WHCA


fwki

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I know that the ban on new garage apartments isn't new. However, my understanding is that if the proposed restrictions are approved, homeowners don't get another opportunity to revise them until the year 2025. So it sure seems like now would be the time to reassess whether the continuation of the garage apartment ban makes any sense. To me, it doesn't.

As I mentioned earlier, the ban eliminates the possibility of expanding a small home's living space without changing the character of the main house. I would think that people who are interested in preserving the older homes in the neighborhood would jump all over this opportunity and work to toss out a restriction that IMHO, actually threatens the stock of old homes (by making camelbacks and questionable additions the only option for adding square footage). Actually, I would think that most people, regardless of their stance on the preservation issue, could agree that it's an unnecessary restriction. Is there an anti-garage apartment lobby that I'm not aware of?

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I know that the ban on new garage apartments isn't new. However, my understanding is that if the proposed restrictions are approved, homeowners don't get another opportunity to revise them until the year 2025. So it sure seems like now would be the time to reassess whether the continuation of the garage apartment ban makes any sense. To me, it doesn't.

As I mentioned earlier, the ban eliminates the possibility of expanding a small home's living space without changing the character of the main house. I would think that people who are interested in preserving the older homes in the neighborhood would jump all over this opportunity and work to toss out a restriction that IMHO, actually threatens the stock of old homes (by making camelbacks and questionable additions the only option for adding square footage). Actually, I would think that most people, regardless of their stance on the preservation issue, could agree that it's an unnecessary restriction. Is there an anti-garage apartment lobby that I'm not aware of?

Take a look at 3.5. The restrictions can be amended or modified at any time. They even lower the 75% of the lots approval requirement to 66% for future modification or amendment.

I do not think you can do a camel back under the existing deed restriction on "harmony" with ground elevation and topography. If you do not mind losing your tiny back yard, you can easily get 1500+ sq feet with a seemless addition to any bungalow in Norhill, as many have done in Norhill.

I can understand the restriction. I have seen some newly constructed "garage apartments" in the Heights that tower over the rest of the block. Most everyone in Norhill has a single story garage. Norhill has always been the most restrictive part of the Heights. People buying into that neighborhood know that and like it. And if everyone on the block has a garage apartment that they rent out, you will have on-street parking issues and driveways packed with cars.

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And if everyone on the block has a garage apartment that they rent out, you will have on-street parking issues and driveways packed with cars.

I was under the impression that none of us thought it unreasonable to prohibit renting out garage apartments. It's unreasonable to stop people from building them for their own use. All the restrictions say to me is "If you don't think like we do, leave". Same sort of vibe I got from the HD proponents in the Heights.

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I was under the impression that none of us thought it unreasonable to prohibit renting out garage apartments. It's unreasonable to stop people from building them for their own use. All the restrictions say to me is "If you don't think like we do, leave". Same sort of vibe I got from the HD proponents in the Heights.

Except that the restriction in Norhill has been in place since 1981. It is not a case of "if you don't think like we do, leave." It is a case of "if you don't think like we do, why did you move here in the first place?" The restriction does not stop anyone from renting out existing garage apartments. It just puts a definition on "garage apartment" instead of having the term be undefined as had been the case for over thirty years.

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Except that the restriction in Norhill has been in place since 1981. It is not a case of "if you don't think like we do, leave." It is a case of "if you don't think like we do, why did you move here in the first place?" The restriction does not stop anyone from renting out existing garage apartments. It just puts a definition on "garage apartment" instead of having the term be undefined as had been the case for over thirty years.

Interesting that the "it's been this way for 30 years" argument seems entirely appropriate to you in Norhill, yet you also have no problem changing the rules on us in the Heights with historic districts that we did not want. Whatever argument you need to get your way, I guess.

At least the Norhill restrictions have the opportunity to be imposed by the residents themselves...aside from the secretive way they are attempting to do so. I would gladly take that option over the strong arm tactics used on my neighborhood.

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Very good discussion everyone. But why are we having it if we are to believe the "only substantive difference between the current deed restrictions and the new restrictions is a side-property line setback for new construction"? Because we were lied to by the WHCA, and the sponsor faction is deliberately obfuscating the truth in the relevant discussion groups. These issues above are important but minor compared to the effective dissolution of Norhill as independent entity as defined in the original and current DR's and the fact that this WHCA faction cannot be trusted in word or deed. Vote No support rapidly gains ground when neighbors are truthfully informed, and we intend to squash this hostile takeover attempt soon. Like the HD effort, lies, secrecy and slick marketing are the only tools this faction can use to gain approval for such a self-destructive radical change to our existing neighborhood.
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What does WHCA have to do with Norhill anyway?

That is the $64,000 question. The current DR's give enforcement power to the "existing local civic association" without defining it as the WHCA. When the DR's were enacted and extended, WHCA was the local CA. However, by not defining the WHCA the DR's do not preclude Norhill from forming their own CA. This is a necessary protection from any WHCA run amok by radicals. The new DR's take away this protection. TX Property Code Chapter 204 is the intended path for Norhill to update or change the DR's by first creating a Norhill Civic Association, then following the simple voting process which DOES NOT ALLOW OPT-OUT. However, this has the potential for castrating the WHCA wrt Norhill. So instead the WHCA attorneys advised the faction to use Chapter 201 to "create" DR's which can be kicked off by any three idiots with a computer and an agenda.

By stepping aside and abdicating any responsibility for Norhill for now, WHCA provides a path to achieve permanent control using the new DR's. The caveat is 201 requires the Opt-Out provision and requires notarized signatures. So we either Opt-Out, which sets us up for the widely-despised Historic District, or we just hope they don't get 51% signatures.....but you have to sign to Opt Out. And even though the Petition has a "Disapprove" check box, it has no meaning, it is just a trick to get your signature which then goes to the 51% signature goal. This is specifically pointed out in the flow chart provided by CoH: http://www.houstontx.gov/planning/Neighborhood/docs_pdfs/restrictions_info.pdf

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The response was "we have to repeal the ordinance because the Heights will turn into a slum if we don't."

Hello...the Heights was a slum when all of that nonsense was passed in 1981. I find it truly amazing one can live in a neighborhood for 2 whole years and seem to know what's best for every home owner.

Maybe the Norhill residents will get a "survey" in the mail, right at Christmas time, and a Yes vote will be counted for every non-returned "survey".

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