Friday, May 15, 2009

Albans Update

Mitja Peterman sent this Albans Update to his block neighbors. I have added the captions.

Dear Neighbors [2300 Albans Block],

1. Kirby Construction. As you may have noticed, there has been a lot of construction activity on Kirby. Phase 4a of the Kirby construction has begun and will continue until August of 2010. It will pick up where the construction finished and go up to Bissonnet. Attached is a summary of a meeting the City and the Construction company had at the IBC bank. (This summary is posted here.) The project will also include a storm sewer line that will go from Kirby up Quenby to Greenbriar.

2. Morningside Sidewalk. There was some discussion about the sidewalks on Morningside. The plans are not yet complete but Tim Douglass from Anne Clutterbuck's office said they should be ready for review soon. He did say that the plans include sidewalks and curbs but will not include repaving the street. There was some confusion as to how this would happen but Tim assured us it will be cleared up once the plans were complete.

3. SHX Deed Restriction Amendments. If you were not aware, SHX is working on updating our deed restrictions. Attached are the new proposed deed restrictions and a FAQ sheet that explains the changes. Most of the changes have to do with the setbacks and implementing a height restriction. None of the changes will affect existing buildings, only new construction. If you have any questions, you can contact me or Ann Hightower ( ). Hopefully we can get everyones support and pass the new deed restrictions. I will be coming by in the next 10 days to ask for your support and signature.

4. Albans Minimum Lot Size. Finally, the minimum lot size petition has been passed by the city council and will help bolster our deed restrictions.


Mitja Peterman
2327 Albans
An email from Ann Hightower, SHX POA President, on updates (I added the captions):

Dear neighbors,

Here are some interesting bits of info from a quarterly meeting I attend for SHX:

1. The Sonoma Lot. The activity on the "Sonoma" lot at Bolsover is not yet the promised garden, although that is still apparently in the plans. Before that, though, the land has been leased to the contractor putting the new sewers in Kirby/Morningside/Quenby as a staging area. That's why you see so much gravel and heavy equipment. It will get messier before they're finished, too--probably will have the excavated dirt while sewers are being installed, so dump truck traffic intermittently. It had to go somewhere, so I suppose we should be grateful that most of the activity will be a couple streets away from us. The nice wood fence parallel to Morningside is the owners' attempt to maintain a pleasant neighborhood presence with all the commotion screened off from us.

2. Univ Blvd Sewer Work. The sewer work on University Blvd should be completed this month.

3. Rice Parking Lot off Greenbriar. The parking lot on Rice property off Greenbriar will be gated and start charging a $1/visit fee this summer, not because they need the money, but because the gating caused a substantial drop in car burglaries and car thefts as well as parking-lot robberies elsewhere on campus. They're planning to use the small charge to improve lighting on the 3-mile "sidewalk" around campus.

4. Rice Stadium Closed for Exercisers. Rice stadium will be closed again for personal fitness use. Apparently not only did folks let their dogs run free (and soil the playing field) but someone was surprised trying to extract a rather large piece of the artificial turf. The leash-and-poop-scoop laws on campus are also going to be more strictly enforced.

5. Rice Bike Track. The bike track at Rice has also been closed on weekdays. They had one severe accident and too many near misses, with construction personnel in and out of the area. It will still be open weekends.

6. SHX Deed Restriction Amendment. Have you signed our SHX deed restriction amendment petition? Email me if you have questions or need a copy to review!


Thursday, May 14, 2009

More Detail on Kirby Construction Project

Melissa Hall provides the following details on the Kirby Project

Subject: Kirby IV details

Hi neighbors,

I attended a meeting at IBC bank last night concerning Kirby IV construction. Details are below and I will continue to keep you in the loop as it comes our way.

Tim Douglass, Anne Clutterbuck's Chief of Staff, opened the meeting and relayed Anne's desire to work with us on this to make it flow smoothly. I have worked with her office numerous times and can personally attest to her true desire to represent us and make sure that our wishes are heard. They are a great asset to us in this time.

In a nutshell, Kirby IV involves storm sewer work on Kirby from Robinhood to Bissonnet and a storm sewer tie in that will run from Quenby at Kirby all the way to Quenby at Greenbriar (where it will tie into an existing line). All of these lines will flow into Braes Bayou or will act as collectors themselves if the bayou is full.

The Kirby line will begin 100 ft. south of Robinhood with a 14' x 12 foot box storm sewer and will reduce to a 10' x 10' sewer at Quenby. That will run to Albans where it will connect to an exisiting 11' x 7 1/2' line.

The "Quenby tie in" will begin as a 10' x 10' box sewer that will run along Quenby to Morningside. At Morningside it will reduce to a 10' x 6 1/2' sewer to then go along Quenby and tie into the existing line on Greenbriar.

All of these improvements will also include associated inlets, new pavement....

This whole project is slated to begin immediately and continue through August 2010. No one section will be under construction that entire time. Quenby folks are, naturally, concerned and I have lots more details on Quenby below.

Specific timing of different segments of this is still in question. The contractor and the city are still negotiating that and we should know exactly when each part will occur within a week. I will get that to y'all just as soon as I get it.

The City will upload a CD of the entire project that any of us can view. It will be on Anne Clutterbuck's web site. You will be able to access that by starting at and then going to her site. It will be there.

As for Quenby, my understanding is that they will get on and off of Quenby as quickly as they can- they understand what a disruption this will be to us. They will not dig more than 60' at a time and backfill behind so that we have access in front of and in back of the trench. We will have to coordinate together though so that those with no driveway access at any one time will still have parking on the street.

I know we can do that effectively. IBC bank parking lot will be available to us at night but I hope that none of us end up having to hoof it that distance.

There will be times when they have to cut off our water. They will notify us in advance and give us a feel for how long it will be. If they hit a line, and there is a water emergency, they will fix is as quickly as possible.

Mail, UPS, trash.....all services can continue throughout. If your house is "in the trench zone" you may have to move your trash cans down a few houses during that time for collection but we will not have our services suspended.

They have to make sure that we have emergency access at all times. During the day, they may just have to move equipment to provide that but at night--they have to clear the way for any emergencies.

All of the workers are bonded and legal.

Their major equipment will not be residing on our street. They have contracted to use the space at Bolsover and Kelvin as a staging area - you might have noticed the fence going up. That is great news!!

I am very worried about our big trees and voiced that at the meeting. They assure me that they have an arborist who looks at every single tree and that there is, literally, a plan for every single tree that is near the work zone. I think we will need to go a little deeper on that and I expressed that. They know that we will want a more personal meeting dealing with the bigger trees on our block that are right near the work zone. We will get that and I'll know when it is appropriate once I know when they plan to be on our street.

Monthly progress meetings will be held in their construction trailer that neighborhood reps are welcome to attend. They prefer that each neighborhood or affected area select a rep. so that the meetings are not crowded but they welcome input and concerns.

Below is a list of contacts. They suggest taping it to your fridge so that you always know who to reach. Quenby folks feel free to rely on me to be your contact--just let me know your concern and I am happy to pass it on.

(Melissa Hall (713) 818-0654

--The Contractor is BRH Garver Construction. (713) 921-2929
--Peck Boswell is the President of BRH.
--Kurt Roedel is the Firm Project Manager (281) 770-3614

--Tim Lincoln is The Assistant Director of Public Works for Houston
--City of Houston Project Manager is Jody Craze (woman) (713) 837-7188
--City of Houston Managing Engineer- JoAnne Kamman (713) 837-7208
--City Of Houston Inspector- Donald Johnson (713) 376-4960
--Another Inspector- Evalen Kurkendal (713) 775-2664

That's all for now. I will have our projected dates within a week and probably some more details too.


Saturday, May 2, 2009

Fleming Park - Park Day 5/3 4-6pm

Park Day, Sunday, May 3 from 4 – 6 p.m.

The Friends of Fleming Park invite you to get ready for summer with a splash party on Park Day, Sunday, May 3, from 4:00 to 6:00. Kids! Wear your bathing suits and head on over to the park for some splish-splashing fun followed by pizza & lemonade. (The Friends of Fleming Park oversee the care and maintenance of our neighborhood gem. Donations are welcome and are fully tax-deductible. For more information, contact Contributions may be mailed to Friends of Fleming Park, c/o Karen Baughn, Treasurer, 1809 Dunstan Rd., Houston, TX 77005.)