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Without parking requirements, they're more likely to get a small coffee shop on a corner

 

With parking requirements, they're more likely to get a starbucks on a pad site surrounded by parking and a drive through

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This passed city council unanimously - pretty big step for Houston Urbanism.

This passed planning commission. The next stop will be city Council.  Some council members joined the call - they’ve been barraged by their constituents (mainly museum park) to try to delay this. I ex

I'm hoping that the Planning Department starts cranking out new Walkable Places and transit corridors as quickly as possible. Right now only the existing light rail lines, the uptown BRT, and the Univ

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On 7/17/2019 at 3:02 PM, j_cuevas713 said:

Yeah which makes sense because most of that is residential anyways. Still this is great because originally it was only a small section of EaDo, now its all of the East End. 

 

The original proposal only included a few blocks of EaDo (up to Emancipation I believe), but now covers the entirety of EaDo.

 

The rest of the East End (i.e., everything east of the BNSF tracks/outside of the EaDo “triangle”) is not included, unfortunately. It would have been nice to extend it throughout the East End/Second Ward to at least Sampson St.

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Heres an article about it:

https://kinder.rice.edu/urbanedge/2019/07/17/houston-extends-minimum-parking-exemptions-east-end-midtown

Map from article:

RZiErFz.jpg

A few highlighted quotes:

 

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"It seems to make sense," said Councilmember Michael Kubosh, referring to the recent development in East Downtown. The change, he said, will benefit people, "who want to be able to walk to a restaurant or a store. People like me, well, I’m going to have to be dropped off."

 

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But some council members expressed hesitation about the push to lift parking requirements. "I'm glad to see that there appears to be a carve out and a compromise that is focusing these concentrated no parking requirements primarily along the Main Street corridor and to the west," said Councilmember Mike Laster about the exemption's expansion into Midtown. But, he argued, "the market has determined that they can make money as it is," he said. "We have parking requirements to protect neighborhoods," he argued.

 

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"More parking lots in our neighborhoods do not protect our neighborhoods," Councilmember Robert Gallegos, whose district includes East Downtown, responded. He also said he reached out to the planning department to enhance transit-oriented development and was told there would be additional proposals brought to council later this year.

 

Quote

Councilmember Greg Travis, the only council member to vote against the amendment, insisted parking spaces were necessary because people wouldn't walk to destinations. "Today? Walk for two blocks, it's not going to happen." 

 

The interesting part was that only 1 person voted against (Greg Travis). Even those who had hesitations still voted for it anyway (following the ole Houston mantra of "go where the wind is blowing" or simply going with where business is wanting to go to next. If businesses want it than Houston wants it...which is a blessing and a curse). Fantastic news. It also said in an article that new transit oriented proposals are already in the pipeline for later this year. This means that people were waiting for this to take shape and now we could see a whole bunch more development coming along soon.

EDIT: This also might be a shock to y'all, but guess which District Greg Travis represents...District G (River Oaks, Afton Oaks, Post Oak, Memorial, Memorial City, Briar Forest, Areas around HWY 6, and parts of Energy Corridor). I'm shocked he opposed this. Totally shocked.

Edited by Luminare
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30 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

Think about the level of density we will reach because of this! I think they should eventually consider Montrose and 3rd Ward

 

Having spent a ton of time in montrose, it almost seems like they already don't have the same parking minimums as the rest of the city. Many nights, every parking spot is full for that expanse of montrose-westheimer down at least 5-6 streets to the west (except for that shake shake, thank god). I guess they do having minimums cause that HEB got a pretty decent parking lot, but generally it doesn't feel like any other part of the inner city (with its mix of people walking, biking, and limited parking spots). Is it already different or am I crazy. 

 

 

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There are a few businesses along Westheimer that were grandfathered in and have limited or no parking, but that's true in other parts of the city as well.

 

I've never had any trouble finding parking in Montrose, but I also have no problem with walking a couple blocks. 

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1 hour ago, j_cuevas713 said:

Think about the level of density we will reach because of this! I think they should eventually consider Montrose and 3rd Ward

 

While I think many of us would like to see that, I think the most pragmatic approach would be to next extend this exemption to anything on a major bus route that has frequent service, and all light rail lines. In both cases the exemption should stretch at least a couple blocks out from those lines (buses or light rail, and now we can add BRT). That is the most logical and has a solid rational and argument to be past.

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19 minutes ago, Luminare said:

 

While I think many of us would like to see that, I think the most pragmatic approach would be to next extend this exemption to anything on a major bus route that has frequent service, and all light rail lines. In both cases the exemption should stretch at least a couple blocks out from those lines (buses or light rail, and now we can add BRT). That is the most logical and has a solid rational and argument to be past.

 

That's also the plan (as I understand it) for the transit corridor ordinance, which has been finalized and will have a few more public meetings on the final ordinance before being voted on (hopefully? maybe?) at the end of the year.

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Was reading through the Downtown District's board meeting report from August, and it mentioned that the city is still planning on passing a walkable place ordinance this fall. 

 

This came up because Downtown District/Midtown Redevelopment Authority did a "Major Thoroughfare & Freeway Plan" in 2014, and MRA didn't like the plan because it would have put restrictions on setbacks (min 25') on "thoroughfare and major collector streets". Downtown is exempted from those setbacks via city ordinance already. 

 

They are now revisiting this because they were looking at designating new MTFP amendments, but they're going to wait because Midtown would get frozen out on setback restrictions. 

 

If you want to read the full comments, it's on page 85 here: http://www.downtowndistrict.org/static/media/uploads/Board Books/8-8-19_hdmd_board_book.pdf

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1 hour ago, wilcal said:

Was reading through the Downtown District's board meeting report from August, and it mentioned that the city is still planning on passing a walkable place ordinance this fall. 

 

This came up because Downtown District/Midtown Redevelopment Authority did a "Major Thoroughfare & Freeway Plan" in 2014, and MRA didn't like the plan because it would have put restrictions on setbacks (min 25') on "thoroughfare and major collector streets". Downtown is exempted from those setbacks via city ordinance already. 

 

They are now revisiting this because they were looking at designating new MTFP amendments, but they're going to wait because Midtown would get frozen out on setback restrictions. 

 

If you want to read the full comments, it's on page 85 here: http://www.downtowndistrict.org/static/media/uploads/Board Books/8-8-19_hdmd_board_book.pdf

So does this mean there are still minimum parking requirements for Midtown and East End or is this not related?

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Committee is presenting their two ordinance recommendations to the Planning Commission on 12/19

 

Just got an email:

 

Quote
Dear Residents,
 
A few weeks ago, the City of Houston Planning & Development Department held six Walkable Places and Transit-Oriented Development community meetings to introduce two proposed programs and collect public feedback. Based on the feedback we received at the meetings, we are finalizing ordinance language and a Users’ Guide for both programs. 
 
We presented a preliminary project timeline at the community meetings and announced that a project presentation would be made to the Planning Commission on December 5, 2019. However, drafting the ordinance language is taking longer than expected, therefore, we are moving the December 5th presentation to the December 19 Planning Commission meeting. 
 
Here is the updated project timeline:
 
Presentation to Planning Commission
Thursday, December 19, 2019, 2:30PM
City Hall Annex Council Chamber
900 Bagby St., Houston, TX 77002
 
 
Public Hearing
Thursday, January 23, 2020, 2:30PM
City Hall Annex Council Chamber
900 Bagby St., Houston, TX 77002
 
 
You are welcome to attend the Planning Commission meeting(s) to hear the project discussion and share your thoughts with the Planning Commissioners. For project details, please click here. If you have any questions, please feel free to call 832-393-6600.

 

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16 hours ago, j_cuevas713 said:

So what are the changes? 

 

I wish I knew!

 

Also, they bumped back the presentation :(

 

Quote
We presented a preliminary project timeline at the community meetings and announced that a project presentation would be made to the Planning Commission on December 5, 2019. However, drafting the ordinance language is taking longer than expected, therefore, we are moving the December 5th Planning Commission presentation to Thursday, January 9, 2020. 
 
Here is the updated project timeline:
 
Planning Commission Presentation
Thursday, January 9, 2020, 2:30 PM
City Hall Annex Council Chamber
900 Bagby St., Houston, TX 77002
 
 
Planning Commission Public Hearing
Thursday, February 20, 2020, 2:30 PM
City Hall Annex Council Chamber
900 Bagby St., Houston, TX 77002

 

 

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22 minutes ago, wilcal said:

 

I wish I knew!

 

Also, they bumped back the presentation :(

 

 

 

 

Just read both proposed ordinance frameworks and I think, in general, its a step in the right direction. I think a great balance going forward is keeping our No Zoning spirit, but making sure we actually have necessary minimums and standards.

 

My one grip is the 4' "safety barrier" strip. I wish they would denote what is acceptable to go in that safety zone. Completely outlawing sod would be great, and instead allow that zone to either be for widening the pedestrian realm with stone pavers, and gravel, or for flora that is regional and can help with rain runoff.

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Surprise surprise 

 

look who doesn’t want to play ball...

 

Museum Park Super Neighborhood TOD Letter to Planning    
     The City of Houston Planning Department hosted a November 6 meeting at Covenant Church to introduce the proposed Transit Oriented Development Ordinance and the Walkable Places Ordinance, both of which will impact future development in Museum Park.  Additional details can be found at
 
 https://www.houstontx.gov/planning/Commissions/committee_walkable-places.html
     Based on the goals of the Museum Park Livable Centers Study and the concerns expressed at the meeting, the MPSN Council unanimously approved a letter to the Planning Department requesting that Museum Park not initially be included in the ordinances.
     Museum Park Super Neighborhood Council members from the Museum District Assn., Hermann Park Conservancy, the High Rises, and MPNA followed up at the January 9 Planning Commission meeting (II).  Focusing on the goals of the Livable Centers Study to realize multi-modal, transit oriented development as demonstrated by the Caroline Promenade Design, the speakers referenced several concerns including a reduction of green space, a lack of residential buffering, the impact of reduced parking in a destination district, and the goal of fulfilling the state-designated cultural district that encompasses Museum Park as a design district attracting 9-12 million visitors a year. 

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On 1/17/2020 at 12:30 AM, HNathoo said:

Surprise surprise 

 

look who doesn’t want to play ball...

 

Museum Park Super Neighborhood TOD Letter to Planning    
     The City of Houston Planning Department hosted a November 6 meeting at Covenant Church to introduce the proposed Transit Oriented Development Ordinance and the Walkable Places Ordinance, both of which will impact future development in Museum Park.  Additional details can be found at
 
 https://www.houstontx.gov/planning/Commissions/committee_walkable-places.html
     Based on the goals of the Museum Park Livable Centers Study and the concerns expressed at the meeting, the MPSN Council unanimously approved a letter to the Planning Department requesting that Museum Park not initially be included in the ordinances.
     Museum Park Super Neighborhood Council members from the Museum District Assn., Hermann Park Conservancy, the High Rises, and MPNA followed up at the January 9 Planning Commission meeting (II).  Focusing on the goals of the Livable Centers Study to realize multi-modal, transit oriented development as demonstrated by the Caroline Promenade Design, the speakers referenced several concerns including a reduction of green space, a lack of residential buffering, the impact of reduced parking in a destination district, and the goal of fulfilling the state-designated cultural district that encompasses Museum Park as a design district attracting 9-12 million visitors a year. 

 

-

Edited by DrLan34
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I think saying the Museum District doesn't want to play ball is a bit of a mischaracterization. At the January neighborhood meeting, we were told that the Super Neighborhood was asking the City not to include the Museum District FOR NOW.  Note that the quoted letter says  "requesting that Museum Park not initially  be included in the ordinances." There are a number of concerns they want clarified and addressed before being included.  As the post above mentions, those concerns included residential buffering and some concerns about parking because of the huge numbers of visitors to the Museums and Hermann Park.

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1 hour ago, Houston19514 said:

I think saying the Museum District doesn't want to play ball is a bit of a mischaracterization. At the January neighborhood meeting, we were told that the Super Neighborhood was asking the City not to include the Museum District FOR NOW.  Note that the quoted letter says  "requesting that Museum Park not initially  be included in the ordinances." There are a number of concerns they want clarified and addressed before being included.  As the post above mentions, those concerns included residential buffering and some concerns about parking because of the huge numbers of visitors to the Museums and Hermann Park.


Those are all just excuses for them to limit high density development. Residential buffering is zoning - it’s not going to ever fly in a non deed restricted neighborhood. With that being said, there is already a city-wide ordinance that prevents open garages of a certain height shining lights into residential neighbors. 
 

Market parking has never been an issue in this neighborhood- tons of paid lots that generally remain pretty empty. The issue is free street parking that everyone feels entitled to. 
 

The head of the MPSN is Kathleen O’Reilly. She lives next door to the Southmore high rise. There is plenty of info about her on the web that shows her real character. 

 

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1 hour ago, Houston19514 said:

I think saying the Museum District doesn't want to play ball is a bit of a mischaracterization. At the January neighborhood meeting, we were told that the Super Neighborhood was asking the City not to include the Museum District FOR NOW.  Note that the quoted letter says  "requesting that Museum Park not initially  be included in the ordinances." There are a number of concerns they want clarified and addressed before being included.  As the post above mentions, those concerns included residential buffering and some concerns about parking because of the huge numbers of visitors to the Museums and Hermann Park.

 

Yeah I went to the November meeting and do live and own a place in the neighborhood and it is a bit of a mischaracterization . MPNA really, really wants to execute this Caroline Pedestrian-friendly Promenade vision of theirs (basically making Caroline this pedestrian-biking-running friendly street from the park to 59), which I think is a good thing but they are a bit narrow-viewed when it comes to that since I think in their mind this should solve the needs for bike lanes and other things the city wants to do in the area. I do understand why the Museums feel that way about the parking situation, the wait and see, but to be honest, its not like the areas around the train are being utilized now anyway. Everyday I go home and I'm like, can we get rid of the empty parking lots and build a multi-story garage with GFR plsssssss.

 

I don't really understand the residential buffering thing, but I am a lot younger than my neighbors. Its almost like they're scared of something, when they should in fact embrace that this pocket of residential area could become some of the densest in the city if they just let it (its well on its way now with the apartments by the park, Southmore, boone manor, the new condos, and potentially the X if it gets built). And they just got their parking ordinance passed (got the letter in the mail) so I thought that has been solved? I always thought they wanted to be like old heights, but its more and more like they want to be west U. 

Edited by X.R.
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On 1/17/2020 at 11:29 AM, X.R. said:

 

Yeah I went to the November meeting and do live and own a place in the neighborhood and it is a bit of a mischaracterization . MPNA really, really wants to execute this Caroline Pedestrian-friendly Promenade vision of theirs (basically making Caroline this pedestrian-biking-running friendly street from the park to 59), which I think is a good thing but they are a bit narrow-viewed when it comes to that since I think in their mind this should solve the needs for bike lanes and other things the city wants to do in the area. I do understand why the Museums feel that way about the parking situation, the wait and see, but to be honest, its not like the areas around the train are being utilized now anyway. Everyday I go home and I'm like, can we get rid of the empty parking lots and build a multi-story garage with GFR plsssssss.

 

I don't really understand the residential buffering thing, but I am a lot younger than my neighbors. Its almost like they're scared of something, when they should in fact embrace that this pocket of residential area could become some of the densest in the city if they just let it (its well on its way now with the apartments by the park, Southmore, boone manor, the new condos, and potentially the X if it gets built). And they just got their parking ordinance passed (got the letter in the mail) so I thought that has been solved? I always thought they wanted to be like old heights, but its more and more like they want to be west U. 

 

Investors buy in for what it might become.  Normal people typically buy a place they like as it is when they buy it.  So when it starts changing, there is always some unhappiness.  Believe it or not, not everyone prefers density.  Some like single family home neighborhoods and don't see a reason to embrace more people packed into the same area.

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This is going to planning commission vote tomorrow. Any supports for this would be helpful.

 

The virtual meeting will start at 2:30pm. The TOD Ordinance will be discussed at the beginning of the meeting. 

WEB: https://bit.ly/3cmQvEO 

OR CALL +1 936-755-1521 (CONFERENCE ID: 285 411 221#)

 

There is a neighborhood group from the Museum Park that is trying to fight this, so the ordinance definitely needs support.

 

http://stopmuseumparktod.org/detailhistory.html

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3 hours ago, BeerNut said:

Who should be contacting in support of this?

Just log in to the call at 2:30pm. The TOD ordinance is the first thing on the agenda, but expect a lot of negative public comments from the museum park neighborhood. They’ll probably bring out every Karen in the world to speak. 

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21 hours ago, HNathoo said:

This is going to planning commission vote tomorrow. Any supports for this would be helpful.

 

The virtual meeting will start at 2:30pm. The TOD Ordinance will be discussed at the beginning of the meeting. 

WEB: https://bit.ly/3cmQvEO 

OR CALL +1 936-755-1521 (CONFERENCE ID: 285 411 221#)

 

There is a neighborhood group from the Museum Park that is trying to fight this, so the ordinance definitely needs support.

 

http://stopmuseumparktod.org/detailhistory.html

 

the worst kind of people. 

 

they complain that they are going to lose their own parking options. are they suggesting that passing this ordinance will compel them to make smaller driveways, or are they suggesting that their own private residences were designed and built without adequate parking to satisfy the use demands of the owners?

 

if it is the latter of the two, maybe they should be taxed at a rate that takes into consideration their reliance on street parking to overcome the design of their parking situation that didn't allow enough on premise parking?

 

and complaining about access to sunlight? really?

 

they say that this will increase traffic? where are their studies?

 

They did have a very helpful page that included some email addresses of people who will be voting, I sent the following to each:

 

Quote

 

The City Planning Commission is voting on May 28 to approve Transit-Oriented-Development (TOD) ordinances.

I have reviewed and support the ordinance, it looks like it will be a great addition to help make our great city even more accessible to all.

 

 

Edited by samagon
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On 3/2/2020 at 2:15 PM, wilcal said:

 

I don't really agree with their logic for not getting rid of parking minimums city wide. They expressly state:

 

Quote

The WP Street designation is eligible citywide; therefore, an automatic reduction in off-street parking may not be appropriate for certain streets. The current proposal allows for a streamlined Special Parking Area designation (beginning P3, Line 141) to occur simultaneously with the WP designation; thereby allowing a context sensitive approach for off-street parking requirements

 

if they are worried about context sensitive approaches and saying that there isn't a one size fits all solution with WP Streets, then the same could be said about having a blanket minimum that doesn't appreciate each street per its context. They are using a logical fallacy to try and cement their argument to not get rid of the minimum. The minimum doesn't allow property owners and developers to design per context. Instead it has to design per the minimum, and some places that minimum doesn't make any sense, and in some cases the minimum doesn't even get close to what parking is needed. Market based parking works because its parking based on the situation, context, and time at hand. It would be one thing if we had specific parking minimums for each city district or each neighborhood, but we don't necessarily. Instead the entire city except for the exemptions is under one city-wide minimum, and the territory the city covers is so vast that there is no way you are going to be able to account for everything with blanket minimums for general situations.

 

This still needs to be fixed. I would even be satisfied with a compromise where lets say the parking minimums as they are now stand for anything between 99 to SH8, a 50% reduction anything SH8 to 610, and a 75% reduction to anything inside 610 with nuances for if a property is near a WP Street or Corridor, or even a major business center. A compromise like that would at least be more flexible. They could still keep this new upcoming "opt in" style parking policy where people create these Special Parking Area's.

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This passed planning commission. The next stop will be city Council.  Some council members joined the call - they’ve been barraged by their constituents (mainly museum park) to try to delay this. I expect a lot more push back at the next round, but I believe the mayor fully supports this. 

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5 hours ago, samagon said:

 

and complaining about access to sunlight? really?

 

 

I can see the concern about losing sunlight through windows and in the yard/garden, but more importantly they are concerned about losing access to air...

 

Quote

Removal of current setback requirements and related variance process to reset with new setback requirements encouraging buildings to encroach upon streets and walkways that affect your access to light and air, as well as limiting space to retain large, mature shade trees that are the key to walkable places in Houston and our much-valued “park-like” neighborhood essence.   http://stopmuseumparktod.org/detailhistory.html

 

I'm sympathetic to homeowners not wanting their neighborhood to change, but losing access to air is sillier than the "Bridge of Death" argument against the Heights Walmart.

 

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Parking minimums will continue to plague this city. I don’t understand the need to hold on to those old ideals so tightly. It’s like we’re afraid. I see this passing through City Council though. It’s ridiculous to exclude their Museum Park neighborhood. When is the next vote? 

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Parking garages already exist and will continue to be built. Decreasing the setback requirements for those garages isn't going to make *that* much of a difference to how visible/audible they are to neighbors. 

 

And honestly, at least in my experience, parking garages are generally pretty quiet neighbors. And tend *not* to be over-lit. This just screams "we've already decided we dont like this; what excuses can we think up to object with?"

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exactly, with or without this updated ordinance, businesses can and will still install lighting.

 

further, it isn't going to suddenly make businesses go out and install even more lighting than they already have.

 

and even if they do choose to install more lighting that will help improve pedestrian activity, with LED lighting these days you can target pretty well where the light goes, so it isn't like businesses will be targeting spotlights into people's bedrooms.

Edited by samagon
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I think the thinking is that the ordinance will encourage more dense development (that is, after all, pretty much the point of the ordinance), which very likely means more parking garages.  Further, when there is an ordinance being proposed for treatment of particular areas, that is the best opportunity to get some much-needed restrictions added. In Houston it can be difficult to get restrictions added for particular areas because of the whole no-zoning thing.

 

The noise reference was not so much with reference to parking garages.  I think it has more to do with the air-handling machinery etc that are required for high-rises.  They can indeed be a little noisy.

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On 5/28/2020 at 2:41 PM, Luminare said:

 

I don't really agree with their logic for not getting rid of parking minimums city wide. They expressly state:

 

 

if they are worried about context sensitive approaches and saying that there isn't a one size fits all solution with WP Streets, then the same could be said about having a blanket minimum that doesn't appreciate each street per its context. They are using a logical fallacy to try and cement their argument to not get rid of the minimum. The minimum doesn't allow property owners and developers to design per context. Instead it has to design per the minimum, and some places that minimum doesn't make any sense, and in some cases the minimum doesn't even get close to what parking is needed. Market based parking works because its parking based on the situation, context, and time at hand. It would be one thing if we had specific parking minimums for each city district or each neighborhood, but we don't necessarily. Instead the entire city except for the exemptions is under one city-wide minimum, and the territory the city covers is so vast that there is no way you are going to be able to account for everything with blanket minimums for general situations.

 

This still needs to be fixed. I would even be satisfied with a compromise where lets say the parking minimums as they are now stand for anything between 99 to SH8, a 50% reduction anything SH8 to 610, and a 75% reduction to anything inside 610 with nuances for if a property is near a WP Street or Corridor, or even a major business center. A compromise like that would at least be more flexible. They could still keep this new upcoming "opt in" style parking policy where people create these Special Parking Area's.

 

From my extremely limited understanding from people very much in the know, city council is not on-board with expanding market-based parking city wide... YET. It's a little much to turn the key on the city as a whole. They expanded it into Midtown, it will be expanded with TOD, and it's written into the (non-binding_ Climate Action Plan to expand it inside 610 by 2030. 

 

This is also the crux of TOD. Director Brown talked about how they are using criteria (from outside the department) to determine if streets should be secondary or primary TOD and that they are met and automatically triggered whenever the transit facilities are built. 

 

I can definitely see the more progressive Harris County easing their restrictions, but good luck with Montgomery County doing something like that up towards 99. 

 

 

On 5/28/2020 at 5:30 PM, HNathoo said:

This passed planning commission. The next stop will be city Council.  Some council members joined the call - they’ve been barraged by their constituents (mainly museum park) to try to delay this. I expect a lot more push back at the next round, but I believe the mayor fully supports this. 

 

I was pretty unimpressed by the city councilmember comments. Especially Shabazz. The whole basis of their complaints were that they didn't know what was going on. Well, this is been on the table for a pretty long time, and trying to find out what is even the difference between Walkable Places and TOD should probably have been handled up until this point. Even the guy who was presenting the Museum Park homeowner petition said that they weren't against it, but they feel that they didn't understand how it would affect their community. I'm not sure if it's a boomer vs younger generation thing, but the supporters that live in MP all understood and realize that this increases their property values. One guy even said that he owned a lot on a primary TOD corridor and he would have significantly more flexibility to develop.

 

I do understand the plight of the MP residents who are scared, and the planning department really should have done a better job with outreach. They received the same chastising over the Bagby Spur Park boondoggle. 

 

They are definitely going to have to do some smoothing over with some council members (and some residents) before a supposed vote this summer. 

 

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I feel like there's a joke that can be made with a vague reference to Intergalactic Highways and plans being on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard.'

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On 5/29/2020 at 11:54 AM, Texasota said:

That's a pretty serious strawman. If that's their concern, then that's already an issue. 

 

On 5/29/2020 at 1:23 PM, Texasota said:

Parking garages already exist and will continue to be built. Decreasing the setback requirements for those garages isn't going to make *that* much of a difference to how visible/audible they are to neighbors. 

 

And honestly, at least in my experience, parking garages are generally pretty quiet neighbors. And tend *not* to be over-lit. This just screams "we've already decided we dont like this; what excuses can we think up to object with?"

 

On 5/29/2020 at 1:55 PM, samagon said:

exactly, with or without this updated ordinance, businesses can and will still install lighting.

 

further, it isn't going to suddenly make businesses go out and install even more lighting than they already have.

 

and even if they do choose to install more lighting that will help improve pedestrian activity, with LED lighting these days you can target pretty well where the light goes, so it isn't like businesses will be targeting spotlights into people's bedrooms.

 

Here's the problem (and it is by no means a straw man).  Without the new ordinance, a developer has to seek a setback variance.  This process gives the city and neighborhood the opportunity to seek other changes (such as parking garage and noise screening).  WITH the new ordinance, no setback variance will be required, so there is no opportunity to seek any other changes in exchange for the variance. 

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Bah. And that's worse than a surface lot up the property line (as can be built now without a variance) how exactly?

 

Look, I get wanting additional screening requirements for parking garages. There are plenty of additional standards I would love to see in the ordinance. But if this gets torpedoed *because* of concerns about garage screening, or garage screening gets used as an excuse, then that would be truly absurd. Not seeing the forest for the trees, cutting off nose to spite face etc. 

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I have a feeling an exemption or change will be made for MP but all other changes will remain the same for other TOD thoroughfares. Either way I don't see this getting thrown out completely. And that's great news that the overall plan by 2030 is no parking minimums.

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3 hours ago, j_cuevas713 said:

I have a feeling an exemption or change will be made for MP but all other changes will remain the same for other TOD thoroughfares. Either way I don't see this getting thrown out completely. And that's great news that the overall plan by 2030 is no parking minimums.

 

Not 100% certain on how this works, but it seems it would need to be passed again at the planning commission level if something were to be requested to be changed by city council. That would set this thing back a few months.

 

Museum Park just sent this e-mail out today:

 

Walkable Places/Transit Oriented Development ordinances advance to City Council

The Planning Commission met Thursday, May 28, with the consideration of Walkable Places and Transit Oriented Development ordinances at the top of the agenda. TOD streets are determined by proximity to rail stations along with other criteria, and will include nearly half of streets in Museum Park as either primary TOD streets (mandatory) or secondary TOD streets (opt-in). See map here.

Designed to promote denser housing near transit stations, TOD ordinances ease certain developer requirements including parking requirements.  The ordinances also provide reduced setbacks that give developers more buildable area allowing larger buildings closer to the street. Developers will be required to provide among other benefits wider sidewalks, a safety buffer (area between street and sidewalk), and landscaping along the streets. Several MP streets are lined with heritage trees, which give Museum Park its distinctive character and which may well be impacted by the reduced setbacks. For detailed description of TOD, see here

Because of the complexity of the ordinances and the difficulty in parsing the impact on Museum Park, several residents, including Museum Park Super Neighborhood President and MPNA President, attended the virtual meeting with specific requests:

  • Hold additional public meeting(s) to better assist residents in understanding the complexities of the ordinances.
  • The existing buffering ordinances are not part of the WP/TOD ordinances and as currently written do not require noise, light, garage, or wind shielding for residential properties on transit corridors. Prior to enacting WP/TOD these ordinances must be updated and strengthened in collaboration with potentially impacted property owners.
  • Recognize the unique qualities of the neighborhood, a destination for 12 million visitors a year to the cultural institutions, museums and Hermann Park.

Additionally, District D CM Carolyn Evans Shabazz, At-large Council Members, David Robinson and Sallie Alcorn spoke at the Planning Commission on behalf of the requests sought by the residents. CM Leticia Plummer provided a letter of support.  

Despite the requests to defer action on Museum Park, the Planning Commission voted unanimously to advance the Transit-Oriented-Development and the Walkable Places ordinances to City Council.

MPNA will continue to work in concert with Museum Park Super Neighborhood to secure additional public engagement with the Planning Department so that all Museum Park neighbors can understand the changes that will impact the neighborhood. At the same time we will continue to seek changes in the buffering ordinances that will protect our neighborhood as development continues.

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On 6/5/2020 at 4:48 PM, j_cuevas713 said:

So does this sound like it’s going back to the Planning Commission? 

 

No, it's passed. What I'm saying is that if there was an amendment done at this point, it would probably have to go back to planning commission.

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