Monday, February 23, 2009

Ashby High Rise Update

Stop Ashby Update, 2/17/09

On February 13, 2009, the City of Houston rejected–for the eighth time–Buckhead Investment Partners’ application for an Ashby High Rise site development permit. The City’s comments to the application posted on the Department of Public Works’ website indicate that the City’s rejection appears to arise from concerns about the most recent traffic study submitted by the developers and also from inconsistencies between various plan sets they have submitted. Notably, it appears that the most recent version of their plan calls for all but emergency traffic to enter and exit the project from Bissonnet. If you would like to see the City’s comments to the developers’ most recent submittal, go to http://www.pdinet.pd.houstontx.gov/cohilms/webs/Plan_LookUp.asp and enter the Ashby High Rise project # 07042588, then select “Display Plan Check Comment Information."

Our intelligence indicates that the developers have recently expanded their roster of service providers to include an Austin-based law firm that specializes in eminent domain law. It remains to be seen whether litigation looms on the horizon, but it seems clear that Buckhead’s current permitting strategy isn't making much headway at the City's Department of Public Works. Regardless of what the future holds, we remain committed to our opposition until the developers abandon their plans or propose an alternative project that is acceptable to our community.
Our intelligence also indicates that the developers have claimed that opposition to their project is waning. We encourage you to continue to proudly display your Stop Ashby High Rise yard signs and bumper stickers/magnets to make it clear that nothing could be further from the truth. These signs and bumper stickers remain one of the most effective tools we have to keep this issue in front of our friends, neighbors, elected representatives and the media. If your yard signs or bumper stickers/magnets have gone missing or are beginning to show their age, please replace them. Bumper magnets are available at Picnic, as are limited quantities of replacement yard signs. Or, simply reply to this message and one of our volunteers will deliver a sign to your home. And if you see anyone stealing or defacing these signs, please contact the Southampton/BOCA Patrol at (713) 825-5555 immediately.
We also encourage you to communicate to your elected City of Houston representatives that you remain strongly opposed to such an ill-conceived project in our neighborhood. A complete list of the Mayor’s and council members’ email and mailing addresses can be found here.

The Stop Ashby High Rise Task Force thanks you for all of your contributions and support to keep this unwelcome project out of our neighborhood.

---

Stop Ashby High Rise.org
PO Box 540331
Houston , TX 77254
713-523-SHCC (7422)
www.stopashbyhighrise.org

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Clutterbuck Update on Morningside Capital Improvements

A note from our Councilmember Ann Clutterbuck
***********************************************

Dear Neighbor,

For those of you who aren't already aware, Morningside Street has been scheduled in the City's Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) to receive new sidewalks. I'm pleased to share the good news that the City has agreed to extend the project from Rice Blvd. north to Bissonnet. The funding for the project comes from the sale of the 2400 block of Bolsover Street. This is the first time that profits from the sale of a City asset have gone back into improvements in the community.

Surveying efforts for the project should begin within the next month. The City's Department of Public Works has informed me that the designs should be finalized by the first of 2010, with anticipation of starting construction in mid-2010.

Once the contractor is selected for the project, I'd like to hold a public meeting with community members and the City to answer any questions you may have.

In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact my office with any questions or concerns.

Warm regards,

Anne Clutterbuck
Houston City Council
Member, District C
(832) 393-2004
districtc@cityofhouston.net

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Deed Restriction Initiative

The Board of Directors of SHX POA, after careful study, has recommended amendments to the deed restrictions. The amendments are: [INSERT SUMMARY]. Property owners needing further information should discuss with their Block Representatives on the right side of this blog.

Documents you may wish to review in considering this initiative:

Deed Restrictions

Deed Restriction Summary

Proposed Amendments [INSERT LINK]

SHX POA Board TABC Protest for 2418 Sunset Blvd.

Update 2/24/2008

The SHX POA Board received expressions of concern regarding a new "high end" wine bar that is being constructed at 2418 Sunset Blvd. According to the owner who is now making improvements for the bar, (i) the bar would cater to the "over 30 crowd" and would not let in "young people;" (ii) would have a capacity of 30 people, (iii) would sell wine by the bottle, beginning at $25 per bottle; (iv) will sell high end beer (a Belgian beer selling for $18 per bottle, which he described as big); would be open from late afternoon until midnight or 1 am; (v) has only six parking spaces but has reached an agreement with a nearby lot owner for spillover parking; and (vi) will have an outdoor patio in front where music (jazz) will be piped to. Because of concerns about noise, parking and general effect on SHX, a member of SHX POA notified the city of Houston and the City General Services Department is insuring that all Code and related requirements are being met. Because of the same concerns, the SHX POA Board approved and the President filed a Protest with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. However, the Protest was returned because the owner had not yet filed an application. The Board will monitor this issue to determine whether further initiatives are warranted.

2300 Albans Minimum Lot Size Application

On Thursday 2/5/09, the City Planning Commission forwarded the 2300 Albans Minimum Lot Size Application to the City Council with a recommendation for approval.

Previously, Minimum Lot Size Applications have been approved for the following blocks:

[INSERT LIST OF BLOCKS]