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nmainguy

When A Sidewalk Hits A Brick Wall-literaly!

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Will do.  Actually, I look forward to it.

Thanks RedScare, I appriciate it.

kgb434: If the owner complains? About being reported to the city for encroching on city ROW? And that would worry me because?

"Why not the neighbors do it yourself?" Do what? Tear down an 8' tall concrete reenforced wall? I'll be contacting Mr. and Mrs. "90 Yo-Long Time Resident-in Wheelchairs"right away.

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I passed by this weekend.  The "Great Wall" is still standing.  Did anyone notice the property next to the compound?  From what I could see at night, it looks like a fairly new home but the lot's backyard has been cleared all the way back to Aurora.  I wonder if someone is creating a "Mini-me" compound.  Same owner?  Family related?

*shrug*

I don't know if they are related. HCAD shows different names for the 2 properties. I think the "Great Wall" people had a vegetable patc on the Aurora side at one time.

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I'm sure there are people in the neighborhood taht can go stand by it with signs and bring some hammers and bang away at least in symbology.

If the owner come out and complain, just say you are on city right of way. Any damage to the wall you create isn't his anyway.

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If the owner come out and complain, just say you are on city right of way. 

This here's Texas.

Someone who's a big enough jerk to construct such a wall might want to argue the legal fine points with a shotgun.

Besides, why should neighbors work for free? The wall needs to be removed at the owner's expense.

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This here's Texas.

Someone who's a big enough jerk to construct such a wall might want to argue the legal fine points with a shotgun.

Besides, why should neighbors work for free? The wall needs to be removed at the owner's expense.

Thank you, dbigtex. My sentiments exactly. I was just by there about 30 minutes ago and took a good, hard look at the wall. It's built like a fortification...and I have no intention of wasting an ounce of my energy doing the jerk's work.

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"Great Wall" update:

It is STILL there. I was informed on 8.2.05 that the wall would be torn down "THIS WEEK" by Rhonda Sauter, Constituent Services Director

Office of Council Member Adrian Garcia, District H

713-247-2003

Sauter, Rhonda - CNL <Rhonda.Sauter@cityofhouston.net>

[just incase anyone want's to contact her and ask her if she just told me this to shut me up] NO demolition has been done. None. Nada. Zip...

How frustrating. Anyone have any ideas? Marvin Zindler? Akin's Army?

The tooth fairy?

Seriously, this is such a pisser, being lyed to in such a blatant way. Like getting screwed with your pants on and then being asked, "Was it good for you?"

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I called this Sauter woman in Garcia's office this morning basicly to give them one last chance to come clean. She was so perky! She said she would see if they had issued a permit for the demolition yet. I asked her: "For the demolition? They have to have a permit to demolish what they illegaly built in the ROW?" Long silence. "I don't know-doesn't make sense. I'll find out." She said she'd get back to me this afternoon-which has come and gone.

It also occured to me that these people have built over the alley-about 100' x 15'-1500 sq/ft not platted and not on the apprasial district tax roles. I guess I need to talk to the DA or the tax assessor [?]. I don't mind chasing this down but I do have a life of sorts ;) so if anyone could steer me to some short-cuts, I'd appriciate it.

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as cheeseball as it may sound, ol marvin tends to get into things pretty quickly and efficiently...

i know someone who contacted marvin zindler about a similar issue (it was a construction company and not a homeowner, though...). not too much time went by and the head of the company came over to plead with her not to go on television with it since they had been contacted by marvin...(and they resolved the problem).

it is a little dramatic though... :lol:

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as cheeseball as it may sound, ol marvin tends to get into things pretty quickly and efficiently...

i know someone who contacted marvin zindler about a similar issue (it was a construction company and not a homeowner, though...).  not too much time went by and the head of the company came over to plead with her not to go on television with it since they had been contacted by marvin...(and they resolved the problem).

it is a little dramatic though... :lol:

I'm not adverse to a little drama-just not sure Marv is up to it anymore. do you know anything about akin's army?

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I'm not adverse to a little drama-just not sure Marv is up to it anymore. do you know anything about akin's army?

I haven't had experience with either Marvin or Akin, but I think you should pursue that route. Especially since you have tried to involve the city and nothing has been done. TV vultures, I mean reporters, love that angle.

You may even want to call Adrian's office again, this time telling them that your next call is to Marvin so that the whole city will know what is not being done. Might help.

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i am sure marv has a small army of people who research and follow thorugh on complaints, but perhaps the threat of marvin would be enough to get the city into action...heh

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i am sure marv has a small army of people who research and follow thorugh on complaints, but perhaps the threat of marvin would be enough to get the city into action...heh

This sounds like something Wayne Dolcefino would love to sink his teeth into as well.

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anything new on this??? perhaps if you present it as a public safety issue...

I had a neighbor at my old place install some speed bumps on the street... needless to say the city didn't appreciate that much and had a crew out there to remove them the next morning...

who thinks they have the right to install speed bumps on a city street?!?! people really are that self-centered and dense..

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anything new on this???  perhaps if you present it as a public safety issue...

I had a neighbor at my old place install some speed bumps on the street... needless to say the city didn't appreciate that much and had a crew out there to remove them the next morning...

who thinks they have the right to install speed bumps on a city street?!?!  people really are that self-centered and dense..

Idogg:

Thanks for the comment. I have presented this to every city and county official in every way I know how. I even went to HCAD and asked them why they weren't taxng these people for their un-platted aquisition of 1500 sq/ft of alley plus the ROW they have taken up with their wall and private courtyard.

I'm still working on it but it doesn't seem to be a very hot item to the local news organizations, the city, county or those here at HAIF. Pisses me off to pay my fair share of taxes and these guys get to build on public property for free-and not pay property taxes on it!!! Grrrr :angry:

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Does anyone know if there is a hydrant in front of this property? I couldn't tell from the pictures. If there is I beleive it would have to be closer than 10' to the fence. That is a big no no with the city. That may make them move a little faster on this. He also may be encroaching on utility easements. The city may not care if he squats on their ROW but the utility companies won't put up with it.

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Does anyone know if there is a hydrant in front of this property? I couldn't tell from the pictures. If there is I beleive it would have to be closer than 10' to the fence. That is a big no no with the city. That may make them move a little faster on this. He also may be encroaching on utility easements. The city may not care if he squats on their ROW but the utility companies won't put up with it.

I don't recall a hydrant at this location. However there is an Entex Cathodic test Point at the alley entrance

http://img319.imageshack.us/my.php?image=mvc211f9tl.jpg

I'm not sure what this is. Any ideas?

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That's how they test to make sure the pipe holding the natural gas that is running down the alley isn't about to rust through and bar-b-q you and your neighbors. Since it has a cathodic protection system, it's probably not a distribution line.

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I have my argument composed to submit to the Mayor and HCAD. However, in lieu of the current situation, I think we need to concentrate on helping our neighbors from NO. I'll tke this up again after things calm down a bit.

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Well, I've hung back on doing anything for the last couple of weeks because I thought Katrina's aftermath needed the city's attention to be focused on helping our next door neighbors. Now that it appears to be under control, I have decided to resurrect my rant. Here's a copy of the email I sent to Councilman Garcis's office and the ones I sent to Channel 2 and Fox:

Dear troubleshooters:

I live in Sunset Heights. Recently a new home was built at 212 E 26th-it's a nice house in keeping with the architecture of the neighborhood. They have poured a nice new sidewalk-always a welcome addition to our narrow ditch lined streets-which slams smack into a brick wall erected by the owners of the home next door at 216 E 26th. This brick wall extends all the way to the banks of the ditch. In addition they have erected a fenced entry courtyard in front of their house on city ROW. They have also erected a fence, patio, playground and access to their pool and pool house across the alley behind their E 26th property to connect with their property at 225 Aurora. It appears according to HCAD maps this is an unplatted portion of approx. 1500 sg/ft of city owned alley, as I can find no tax bill for it. Is there anything you could do to have this wall and courtyard removed and at least have a tax bill be issued for the alley area? I've copied the last email I sent to my council member, Adrian Garcia c/o Sauter-Rhonda.Sauter@cityofhouston.net <Rhonda.Sauter@cityofhouston.net>. Now I think it's time to turn it over to you guys. Can you help out with this?

Thanks,

Tom *****

**** N. Main

Houston, TX 77009

Rhonda:

Since I've contacted you at the end of July regarding the wall blocking the sidewalk at 216 E 26th and the acquisition of the alley between 216 E26th and 225 Aurora, you have told me over the phone the wall was going to be torn down that week. Didn't happen. A few of weeks later I called you to inquire why the wall was still there. You said you would call me back. Didn't happen. The wall is still there. There remains a closed section of the alley which is un-platted. I assume they are using this property tax-free.

I've held back from taking further action because I thought concentrating our resources on Katrina relief was important. I think here in Houston we have a pretty good grip on things now. What we don't have a good grip on is people using city ROW for brick walls and private courtyards. What we don't have a grip on is people building permanent improvements on city owned alleys.

I have decided to contact Fox 26 Investigates because I assume nothing will be done by your offices.

Tom *****

If anyone would like to join in, feel free. Apparently I need all the help I can get.

B)

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Here's a reply I received today from Garcia's office:

I just spoke to one of the field inspectors who confirmed that the residents

at this location have applied for their proper permits regarding the removal

of the wall and fountain on the city's right of way. I am waiting for an

update as to when the work is going to begin. My apologies for the delay in

response and appreciate your patience. Please feel free to call me at

713-247-2003 should you have further questions.

Rhonda Sauter, Constituent Services Director

Office of Council Member Adrian Garcia, District H

713-247-2003

We'll see what happens.

Also, does anyone know why you would need a permit to tear down something you illegally constructed on public ROW?

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Also, does anyone know why you would need a permit to tear down something you illegally constructed on public ROW?

I don't know. But heck, I can speculate :P

Perhaps it's to ensure that no utilities are damaged, nor other right-of-ways obstructed in the process of demolition; also proper disposal of rubble, no release of toxic materials into the atmosphere or displacement of native endangered species, etc., etc.

Otherwise he might go dynamite the sucker, in a fit of pique.

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Well, people, I can believe it. The wall is coming down. I just drove by on the way home and they have a couple of guys on ladders taking the portion on the ROW down brick by brick.

I quess playing the pissed off Man delicate flower worked. :lol:

B)

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Well, people, I can believe it. The wall is coming down. I just drove by on the way home and they have a couple of guys on ladders taking the portion on the ROW down brick by brick.

I quess playing the pissed off Man delicate flower worked. :lol:

                                    B)

I suggest that the Houston Architectural Information Forum initiate the Haifies - an annual award given to whoever uses this board to its best advantage.

Guess who gets my nomination?

Excellent work, nmainguy! You're an inspiration to us all.

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I suggest that the Houston Architectural Information Forum initiate the Haifies - an annual award given to whoever uses this board to its best advantage.

Guess who gets my nomination?

Excellent work, nmainguy! You're an inspiration to us all.

nmainguy basks in the glory! :lol:

seriously, thanks for the remarks.

B)

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I suggest that the Houston Architectural Information Forum initiate the Haifies - an annual award given to whoever uses this board to its best advantage.

Guess who gets my nomination?

Excellent work, nmainguy! You're an inspiration to us all.

Hey dbigtex56, I forgot to ask: Does that award come with some cash? :rolleyes:

B)

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Well, people, I can believe it. The wall is coming down. I just drove by on the way home and they have a couple of guys on ladders taking the portion on the ROW down brick by brick.

I quess playing the pissed off Man delicate flower worked. :lol:

B)

Just a couple of follow-up questions...has the work been completed? Any plans for the city to extend the sidewalk past the (former?) barrier?

Oh, and I'm not in a position to offer a cash prize, nmain - but I'll gladly give you a warm smile and a firm handshake. :rolleyes:

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Guest danax

I like the HAIFie idea. That got me thinking of HAIF derivitives. How about "HAIFever"? Could we do something with that? Some kind of advertising campaign; "HAIFever. Catch it. Discussions that are nothing to sneeze at". Or "Your sinuses will never be the same." :rolleyes:

Or, we could have our annual public awards to the most arrogant insensitive citizen acts affecting our city, such as the brick wall deal, or maybe the woman constructing her Mcmansion from hell in 6th Ward, etc. We could hold the award ceremonies at some public park, in front of the Bush statue? Or, if we don't want to get a reputation for being negative, we could have awards for the top 10 projects that best improved our city.

Or, maybe we should just stay low-profile and work behind the scenes, as nmain has.

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Just a couple of follow-up questions...has the work been completed? Any plans for the city to extend the sidewalk past the (former?) barrier?

Oh, and I'm not in a position to offer a cash prize, nmain - but I'll gladly give you a warm smile and a firm handshake. :rolleyes:

There is slow but steady progress.

The wall is demolished to it's base.

I don't know what plans the city has for a sidewalk.

Perhaps you could re-think the cash prize aspect? I'm going to a big pre-game lunch today at Baba Yegas and I was thinking... :lol:

B)

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There is slow but steady progress.

The wall is demolished to it's base.

I don't know what plans the city has for a sidewalk.

Perhaps you could re-think the cash prize aspect? I'm going to a big pre-game lunch today at Baba Yegas and I was thinking... :lol:

B)

nmainguy, let me ask you this, How do you feel about the fact that your city council actually did something you asked without having to get all legalled up over it. I think it shows the people actually have some power, I am betting that you feel pretty darn good about yourself. I think you have done a wonderful thing by not overlooking someones poor taste and blatant disregard for their neighbors by just buliding whatever the hell they want because they have a little money. Kudos to you my friend. B)

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nmainguy, let me ask you this, How do you feel about the fact that your city council actually did something you asked without having to get all legalled up over it. I think it shows the people actually have some power, I am betting that you feel pretty darn good about yourself. I think you have done a wonderful thing by not overlooking someones poor taste and blatant disregard for their neighbors by just buliding whatever the hell they want because they have a little money. Kudos to you my friend. B)

I feel pretty good about it. I'm always dissapointed when I'm being lied to with a straight face-which is how this thing started out. It was only after repeated phone calls and emails to Garcia's office-and finally a threat to go to the media that something happened-but it DID happen. So I'm pleased.

Oh yeah, the wall, wrought iron fence and fountain they built on city ROW was very tasteful-just blatantly arrogant and illegal. Alot of $$ ultimatly wasted on their part. Oh well... <_<

{and thanks for the kud's, dude}

B)

...and your avatar...OWWWWWWWWW :blink:

B)

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i was talking to a friend from a CE company and they said they had been contracted to begin re-doing a large number of sidewalks in the heights area.

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