Out of 601 people surveyed between Oct. 12 and 15, 71 percent said they strongly or somewhat agree that “Houston should enact tougher land use restrictions.”
The results come from a range of questions about voter satisfaction with the direction the city is headed, their views on the tenure of outgoing Mayor Bill White and which issues they find most important as they consider his replacement.
Rice University sociologist Stephen Klineberg, who has gauged voter support for zoning and stronger development protections for decades, said much of the support for such planning improvements likely falls at the feet of the Ashby high-rise development.
“It reflects a broad recognition that people want to be prepared for the additional 1 million people who are going to be in Harris County in 20 years,” Klineberg said.
Mmm. I’ll grant that you’d likely have gotten a different answer to this question 20 years ago, but I think Klineberg is giving folks too much credit. I suspect this is one of those issues that polls well as a generic “do you support?” question, but any actual plan to implement it would be much less popular. Really, there’s nothing unusual about that – as long as it’s theoretical, everyone can assume they’re supporting their own personal idea of how it should be done. Nothing specific can match up with that. When someone proposes an actual ordinance, and there’s a vocal constituency loudly opposing it, then we’ll see how popular this is. Until then, color me skeptical.