Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Update on Street Resurfacing in SHX and Surrounding Neighborhoods (1/13/15)

The City has advised that it has started the street resurfacing project east of our neighborhood and is moving west (reaching SHX last in this overall project).  There is no date projected to actually reach our neighborhood, but I think the month of February is still likely (see the immediately preceding blog entry, here).

The City will post door hangers one week prior to prior to the start of the process (milling) on particular streets.  The door hangers will be in the format which can be reviewed here.  The key information on the door hanger will be:
Attention: Property Owner / Resident 
The City of Houston will be resurfacing the streets in your area between the following dates: 
________________ and _______________ 
We are requesting that during our work hours Monday thru Saturday from 7:00am to 4:30pm any vehicles that are normally parked on the street be parked either in driveways or elsewhere. 
Street resurfacing is conducted in two phases: 1. Removal (milling) old asphalt 2. Placing new asphalt. Phase 2 includes spraying tack oil (black tar) to help the new asphalt bond to the milled surface. Tack oil can stick to your vehicle, tires and stain your driveway if you drive through it before the new asphalt is placed. Please observe the signs posted that read “FRESH OIL” and avoid those areas during this phase of the project. 
Overlay is not designed to improve or correct drainage issues; it is used to preserve and prolong the life of the road base and provide a smoother riding surface. 
If you have any comments or questions regarding the work, please call 713-843-5483 or email SDD@houstontx.gov A representative from the Overlay Section will contact you.
We apologize for any inconvenience this project may cause and ask for your patience as we work to finish in a timely manner. 
Thank you for your cooperation and patience.
The City also advises that:  1 day prior to milling or overlay No Parking Signs and Traffic Cones are placed on the street.  It is ok to park on a milled street where there are no signs/cones.

Also, please note from the description above the following in particular (apologize for being repetitive):
Tack oil can stick to your vehicle, tires and stain your driveway if you drive through it before the new asphalt is placed. Please observe the signs posted that read “FRESH OIL” and avoid those areas during this phase of the project. 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Information on Street Overlay Project for Southampton Extension and neighborhoods to East

The following is an email I sent this morning to members of the SHX YahooGroups email list:

To Southampton Extension (“SHX”) owners and residents:

I have been designated the person with the SHX Property Owners Association ("SHX POA") to be the contact for SHX POA with respect to a street overlay project for SHX and surrounding neighborhoods.

The project, as I understand it, will be the "mill" the current streets and then add an asphalt overlay.  For SHX, this will affect only the the east west streets.  All streets in SHX will be overlaid EXCEPT Sunset and Quenby.  (In the neighborhoods to the east (Southampton, etc.), both east-west and north-south streets will be overlaid.)

The city will "tag" doors on each affected street about 2 weeks before the work on the street commences.  The project will start in the eastern neighborhoods  in early January and, as I understand it, will work its way west.  SHX will be the last neighborhood affected.  The expected completion date is 3/5/15 (with some likelihood of completion before then), so my guesstimate is that our neighborhood will be affected in February 2015.

As noted, the City will tag each house with notice two weeks before the work commences on the street.

I attach to this email the following two items (each of which is in both Word format and PDF format, for a total of 4 attachments):

1. A Frequently Asked Questions file.  I encourage each resident who will be affected to review these FAQs.  The FAQs are here (Word file) and here (PDF File).

2. A Special Needs Form for those who have special needs that might be adversely affected by this project.  Of course, the project will be an inconvenience, but for some it may go beyond inconvenience.  It is important that those persons notify the City to see what accommodations can be made.  The Special Needs Form is here (Word file) and here (PDF File).

I will be posting this information also to the SHX Blog that I maintain on an informal basis.  As I get additional information I will post it to the blog and, if it appears important enough, I will also email on the SHX YahooGroups email list.

If you have questions that are not answered by the attachments, you can ask me or, probably better, you can directly ask the City personnel involved (contact information listed in the FAQs).  Also, if any of you obtain information that might be useful to the members, please use the YahooGroups email to disseminate to the group or forward it to me.


Jack Townsend

Friday, March 29, 2013

Ashby High Rise Full Permitting Approval (3/29/13)

The City of Houston has granted full permitting approval.  Per the developer, information on a general contractor will be forthcoming soon.  See Let the development begin: Ashby high-rise gets permitted (Houston Chronicle 3/29/13), here.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Development on Ashby High Rise (3/22/13)

Houston Chronicle article - Linbeck and Ashby high-rise developer part ways (Houston Chronicle 3/21/13), here.  Key excerpt:
Linbeck Group, whose leader lives in the neighborhood where the building is planned, said it withdrew from the project because of technical issues relating to controlling the construction process. 
Executive chairman Leo Linbeck III emailed a statement: 
We got engaged because we wanted to minimize construction impact on the neighborhood. Our extensive pre-construction work to-date has been focused on this goal. But for us to be successful, it is essential for us to have control during construction. We were not able to reach an agreement with Hunt (the equity investor and joint venture construction entity) that would assure us of our ability to control the construction process. Without that assurance, we cannot remain engaged, and have therefore withdrawn.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Parking Enforcement in Residential Neighborhoods (1/7/12)

I received the information below from a neighborhood civic organization, University Place Association:

Please alert your civic clubs, residents, neighbors, etc., of the new, more stringent level of enforcement of parking regulations in our community.  We have been informed that the City of Houston Parking Management Division, which enforces Residential Permit parking and ALL OTHER City parking regulations, recently assigned a dedicated enforcement officer to the area bounded by US59, Kirby Drive, Fannin and Holcombe.   According to Parking Management, as of 5 or 6 months ago they began assigning/dedicating officers to areas/beats throughout the City, not just in our community.  Residents of Southampton, Boulevard Oaks and Southgate have reported receiving numerous tickets for a variety of parking infractions over the past few weeks.

Although there has always been some enforcement of parking regulations in our community, now that an officer has been dedicated to our area, parking regulations are being regularly/stringently enforced.   Residents have received tickets for parking a vehicle on the street and not moving it every 24 hours.  Under Houston’s Code of Ordinances, Sec. 26-93, “It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly leave parked or standing in any public street, alley or other public place any vehicle for a longer continuous period of time than 24 hours.  This means that any vehicle parked on the street for more than 24 hours without moving is in violation of the law and subject to ticketing, booting, and ultimately, towing.  Having a Residential Parking permit does not exempt from this law.

Residents are also receiving tickets for various other infractions, including for parking a vehicle in their driveway that extends partially or totally across the sidewalk.  This stringent enforcement of parking regulations, some of which make little or no sense in deed restricted residential neighborhoods, is a major problem for those residents whose garages are too small to house all of a family’s vehicles and those whose driveways were built many decades ago to accommodate smaller cars but not today’s longer vehicles that now stick out over the sidewalk even when pulled all the way up the driveway.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Hanover Apartment Update on Apt Construction in the Village Area (12/23/12)

On December 21, a Board Member of SHX POA attended a briefing on the existing and new Hanover Projects on Morningside.  The report was circulated to the members of the POA's Yahoo Groups email and I received permission to post the contents here.

In attendance were representatives of Hanover (3), Kathy Easterly (University Place Super Neighborhood), Mary Lou Henry (planner working with Hanover), Ellen Cohen’s representative (Ellen Cohen has been briefed and she views the project favorably), Christ The King Lutheran Church, Rice University, Southampton Place and a couple of other people.

Phase One is the current project and Phase Two is a new 12 story high-rise. Phase II is located between Dunstan and Tangley on Morningside. It will include the Garden Gate nursery property and the small apartment complex behind that. It will use approximately half that block on the west side of Morningside.

The presentation confirmed publicly what we have been told. Here are some details:

Phase One:  23,000 square feet of retail and 379, mostly one bedroom, apartment units averaging 970 square feet each.  As of today, 15 signed leases with 130 units ready for February 2013 occupancy.  Rentals average $2.25 per square foot per month. The garage will have 150 spaces for retailer customers and 650 spaces for residents.  This phase of the project will be finished by the coming summer.   On-street 2-hour metered parking will be available.  The development is pet friendly. There will be on-site security, tree plantings (live oak, olive and palms), and sufficient city water and sewage capacity.  Traffic is anticipated to be 30 percent less than the original Sonoma proposal which was approved by the City.  Retail space will be primarily food oriented with Zoe’s opening in February.  Others include Cyclone Anaya, Coppa and Cloud 10 Ice Cream, opening in April or May along Morningside.  There will also be a day spa.  Retail space has not yet been fully leased.

Phase II:  Closing on the Garden Gate property takes place next week and the Lamesa apartments early next year.  The 12 story building will be primarily 2 and 3 bedroom apartments (rental) with completion in spring 2016.  There will be 200-210 units with an average size of 1400 to 1500 square feet each. Parking will be accessed off Dunstan and Tangley and there will be a loading dock off Tangley.  On street parallel parking will be available as well as guest parking in the garage. There will be no retail space. Wide sidewalks will tie to the Village. Construction will start at the end of 2013.  A grand staircase to an elevated plaza with water features will be on the Morningside side to break up the fa├žade.  An architectural feature will be significant amount of floor-to-ceiling glass on the buildings north and south corners.
In discussions with the Hanover representive our Board Member reiterated our Association’s concern about construction truck traffic cutting through our Subdivision, utility capacity and ultimate traffic flows.  We were assured that these are recognized.  Please let me know if you have further questions or concerns.


If any reader has questions about the POA or the Board, please contact any member of the Board of Directors of the POA.  The members are:

Ann Hightower (also President of the POA), Ann Stamp Mengwasser, Marty Reiner, Justin Strother, and Jack Townsend.

Remember also that the POA maintains a YahooGroups site (this email is from that site).  On that site we also keep various documents (such as the deed restrictions, POA documents, financial statements and other matters of interest).  The site is http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SHX/

Monday, June 4, 2012

Rice Quarterly Community Lunch (6/4/12)

This information is somewhat belated, but here is a summary of the information from a Rice Quarterly Community Lunch attended by Marty Reiner on May 10, 2012:

Attendance was pretty good, a few more than they expected.  Councilmember Ellen Cohen attended with one of her aides. - University Place, South Main, First Church, Emanuel and Christ the King were all represented, as were most of the neighborhoods.

The Agenda focused on
Rice Happenings (e.g., graduation, the new Skyspace Installation (a large addition to the area's public art) which opens June 14 and the new Tennis Center [14 courts] east of the stadium off Rice Blvd.)
Houston city Capital Improvement Program requests:  looks like redoing University Blvd (starting May 17 thru Aug), Rice/Sunset, Greenbriar, and Morningside from Holcombe to Rice will move forward, beginning as early as this summer.  The city will not participate in a program to illuminate the Rice perimeter walk.
There was considerable discussion of the redesign of the intersection at Rice and Sunset and of pedestrian safety issues related to crossing Rice Blvd.  All still in discussion stage.
A project to improve the median on Main Street and address pedestrian crossing needs is set to begin this year.
Ashby high rise - nothing more than what has been on the paper during the past week or so - Southampton is not giving up the fight