Meeting Date: September 29, 2004
In attendance: 75
|Garden Oaks||Mandell Place|
|Lindale Park||5th Ward|
|Sunnyside/South Park||Hyde Park|
|2nd Ward||TIRZ # 21|
|Upper Kirby||Montrose: Richmond/Shepherd|
|Braeburn Valley||Greater Greenspoint Management District|
Comments by the citizens
are organized in three categories:
I. Requests for Specific assistance (5)
II. Suggestions for Immediate Attention (16)
III. Goals for Planning Healthy Neighborhoods (12)
I. Requests for Specific Assistance (5)
Hi John, are there sound regulations for the City of Houston? One thing I noticed with redevelopment/new construction is 5 am construction noise as the town homes are being built. Also, once wealthy people move into a neighborhood, loud $15-20K motorcycles roam the streets, igniting car alarms for blocks.
Sunny Side/South Park Super
What will the Super Neighborhoods role be with or in the process of coordination?
What is your understanding about the impact of CO 1025 and your effort of coordination?
I would like some assistance defining a “neighborhood” when I live in a lot of apartment complexes. By definition that makes it a more
Where can an investor like myself help in the infrastructure and development of Houston to come?
Is there any place that my funding company can help and be of service to this vision and become an integral part to this vision?
What can we do to help with more affordable housing?
The name of the department I contact about deed restriction renewal
II. Suggestions for Immediate Attention (16)
Greater Greenspoint Mgt.
Code enforcement activities that coordinate City/County resources, particularly in border areas of the City
We would like to have you for a visit with our community leaders
Need assistance in streamlining the state POA law. Trying to change from a civic association to a POA to enforce exerting deed restrictions is a nightmare – We are working to apply, but the man/woman hours are incredible to get signatures, etc.
City Planning Staff
Now 2 development services at the City: Public Works & Planning (Platting)
This will be confusing for customers and 311 – Not smart
Utilize the SN program provide citizen input regarding CIP. There are several years of plans already. Mayor CIP requests being ignored by CIP “committee.” Great idea to make policy for spending TIRZ funds! What are the 10 districts NPD, Police DRT & 311? Place map online.
Support staff to & talk more about deed restrictions with communities that don’t have them or have lapsed. Use MCAO staff or planning SN planners. Work better with probono lawyers to complete the entire process of helping neighborhoods draft documents. Currently, probono lawyers allow the process to fall apart – never finishing. Lawyers get credit thru their hours of assistance.
Now: Richwood Place/Neartown
– Soon: Heights/Ridgewood
City assistance adopting & enforcing new deed restrictions as established neighborhoods – without limiting same only to low moderate income areas & only to a few topics
Better coordination of CIP & neighborhood requests – with prioritization process online & well advertised & open to view
AIA/Urban Design Committee
Integrating City of Houston arts programs, like CACH, the MAC and funding for civic art projects in communities and neighborhoods.
Improving and expanding access to parks, with links to neighborhoods.
Strengthen historic preservation ordinance to protect those neighborhoods that have gone through the process of designation.Reduce construction waste that results from redevelopment – revitalize housing stock rather than demolition.
Database of existing deed restriction neighborhoods – that City & civic association can rely on for accuracy & enforcement.
Fifth Ward Weed & Seed
Weeded & overgrown lots – illegal dumping
Curb & gutters on all streets
Deed restriction – density – compatible development
Affordable housing – neighborhood integrity
Southwood/Third Ward (Southmore,
Limit number of personal care homes in zip code 77004
Enforce on street parking
Work to achieve a blended redevelopment plan
Working with U of H & TSU to not displace older homeowners -- At least prepare a contiguous, large tract for owner relocation.
Midtown, Third Ward
Encourage the Midtown management District’s efforts.
Influence the McGowen Green/Superblock Project to emphasize green space and a superlative development concept.
Get loiters, bums, homeless people, prostitutes and dealers off Midtown’s sidewalks and streets.
Implement better processes for foreclosing on tax delinquent properties in the Third Ward.
Develop schools in Midtown so that young families have a reason to live there.
Homeless -- Enforcement and control of beer joints
Ruffino Hills Transfer Station (owned by Bellaire) in a viable neighborhood
Effective communication of the goals and objectives of the November election proposals
Super Neighborhood #36
Transfer stations in industrial area – not in residential – We have 97 multi-family complexes – need to stop the further influx of them but need to revitalize those there or convert to some senior housing
Police protection/illegal dumping – drainage has become a major concern – commercial development causing flooding – so much _________ soil away.
Braeburn Valley West Civic
Prohibit or limit commercial activity that does not belong in a residential neighborhood (i.e. transfer stations)
Protection of neighborhood from gang activities and making them safe
Supporting neighborhood deed restrictions
Enforcement of illegal dumping
The desire to increase bike patrol on existing and upcoming trails as a safety and preventative measure
The permitting process is complicated, especially when a bureaucracy is involved. "Privatization" of City projects, like the Bikeways Program, was very unsuccessful, primarily because consultants’ liability insurance will not cover the delegation of total responsibility, so the bureaucrats have the last say.
Permitting requires a sign-off on streets/curb cuts, water and sewer connections, plat conditions, various arcane code and other regulations, Chapter 42 building/development regulations, etc. So there are a lot of doors to knock on. In my office, we do not include in our services the "pulling of permits (it is a good way to get a client mad at the architect); instead, we refer them to a "plan expediter", or assign that job to the building contractor, who may or may not be adept at "running the traps." Clearly, as with plats, there should be different categories of permits, reflecting the size and complexity of the projects. Consideration should be given to small local businesses with minor renovations and expansions, as well as to interior build-outs, in shopping centers for example.
III. Goals for Healthy Neighborhoods (12)
Better ISD’s (education opportunities, standards and performance of schools need to improve.)
Better traffic flow coordination with DOT – start using “left lane for passing” signs.
Active citizen involvement associations
Permeable open green space with trees
Walkable schools, parks, clinics, retail
Good transit systems (bus, train, bike paths)
Safety citizen/constable/police patrols
Pedestrian access to stores, parks restaurants, art facilities/programs, cinemas, theatres, visual art space, performance space, clinics
A city-wide coordinated general plan
Protection in urban neighborhoods from suburban through traffic
Excellent schools with excellent teachers
Good citizen leadership & participation
Neighborhood protection from derelict sites, trash, etc
Encourage pedestrians. Gridded streets with blocks that are small enough to encourage pedestrians. Preserve duplex & garage apartment constructions!! Grants or low interest loans to renovate existing structures. Commercial and retail within walking distance.
Reduction of noise
Specifically vibrating boom bom stereos and loud intrusive mufflers
Midnight commercial trash pickup
Note: Ordinances were changed under Mayor Brown, but enforcement is LAX; maybe nonexistent.
Affordable housing with a good mix of retail and new housing
Mobility includes access for citizens with disabilities. It has been proven that improving access for the disabled helps mothers with strollers, elderly citizens with mobility challenges, children on bikes and others. Healthy neighborhoods define mobility to include all residents.
Planning for high density multiuse neighborhoods
High air and water quality
Increasing the amount of public greenspace through community gardens for example
Community ownership of its neighborhood thru its:
Libraries (and other community gathering places)
Houston has a very poor sense of neighborhood. There is real abuse of Houston homeowners by the _______ [last word too low on card to be copied]
Respect for Houston’s urban forest, making trees one of the priorities
More park space all over the city
Refurbishment of existing neighborhood parks
Continue work with neighborhoods, helping them keep strengths their deed restrictions