Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

Posts Tagged ‘density’

How are those new Chapter 42 regs working?

A little too soon to tell. Planning and Development Director Patrick Walsh said the changes were designed to make the city competitive with its suburbs by creating more housing options, holding down prices and spurring redevelopment outside the Loop. “It’s going to be hard to quantify the degree to which these rules are supporting the […]

Astrodome Park: The population isn’t the problem

Greg Wythe addresses one of the central questions about the proposed Astrodome Park in this comment that I thought was worth highlighting on the front page. As it turns out, there are a number of apartments situated to the east and north of the Dome. Checking Census data, the counts on the area “un-highlighted” in […]

White return flight

Some interesting demographic trends going on. Between 2000 and 2010, [Harris] county, like much of the U.S., saw a sharp decline of its white population, losing about 12 percent of Anglos or about 83,000 people. The drop mirrors demographic shifts across the nation as white birthrates have slowed. But in the past three years, Harris […]

It’s not so cheap to live in Houston any more

It’s the downside of a hot job market and an improving national reputation for being a cool place to live. Business and city leaders often tout the Houston region as one of the most affordable markets in the country. But first-time homebuyers like the Schaefers are finding that image increasingly outdated. “We are in a […]

Medical Center mobility

The problems they face today pale in comparison to the problems they will face in the future. Already the world’s largest medical complex, the Texas Medical Center is poised to get much bigger, prompting a raft of ideas ranging from routine to grandiose for expanding traffic and parking capacity. Medical Center officials predict another 28 […]

Everybody wants to help the judge rule on the Ashby lawsuit

I really don’t envy Judge Randy Wilson the task he has. Lawyers aren’t the only ones peppering the judge in the Ashby high-rise case with last-minute paperwork. A former city councilman, a pro-developer interest group and residents who live near the planned tower have all submitted pleas in hope of influencing his decision. One arrived […]

The downtown lifestyle

Demand for residences in downtown Houston is up. For Krishnan Iyer, moving downtown meant a lot of things: Not having to use his car in auto-dependent Houston, being able to walk to work, to restaurants, to the movies. The 34-year-old consultant left The Woodlands two years ago for a one-bedroom apartment in the Post Rice […]

No stopping the San Felipe Skyscraper

Not at this time, anyway. A Harris County district court judge has denied an opposition group’s request to immediately halt construction on a 17-story office tower in a River Oaks area neighborhood. The group, which filed suit in February against the project at 2229 San Felipe being developed by Houston-based Hines, has said it will […]

Ashby II: Highrise Boogaloo

The Ashby Highrise lawsuit may be over, but its legacy lives on. A lawsuit seeking to stop a 17-story office tower under development in a River Oaks-area neighborhood blasts the project as “abnormal and out of place” in a grass-roots effort that observers suggest was emboldened by the recent success of the high-profile fight against […]

Lyft gets set to lift off in Houston

Another option for getting a ride. Prepare to see see pink-mustachioed cars roaming around the city as San Francisco-based car sharing company Lyft launches in Houston on Friday. Lyft is an app-based service that allows anyone to register as a driver and use their own car to make money by giving other people a ride. […]

How to make the warehouse transition something to look forward to

I have four things to say about this. Houston developers plan to build a mixed-use project, including upscale apartments and retail, on a 15-acre tract close to downtown, replacing a large produce warehouse that’s occupied the space for decades. Capcor Partners and Kaplan Management bought the land this week from Grocers Supply, which has been […]

North Line opening today

From the inbox: ALL ABOARD FOR SATURDAY RAIL ROLL-OUT METRO is inviting the public to get on board for the Saturday, Dec. 21 grand opening of the new 5.3-mile North/Red Line! Riding the train will be free all day as part of the grand opening celebration taking place at Moody Park. Festivities at the park include acts like A.B.Quintanilla III y Los Kumbia […]

Ashby trial update

We’re more than two weeks into the Ashby highrise lawsuit trial, and the defense is now presenting its case. Let’s check in on them, shall we? One of the developers hoping to build a high-rise near Rice University made a personal appeal as the defense portion of a lengthy civil trial got underway Wednesday in […]

Ashby Highrise lawsuit gets underway

Better settle in and get comfy, we’re going to be here awhile. The trial that began Tuesday over the Ashby high-rise planned for a neighborhood near Rice University is poised to be a battle of experts. A Harris County jury will hear arguments for the next four weeks in State District Judge Randy Wilson’s court […]

Ashby Highrise trial begins today

This has been a long time coming. The case in state District Judge Randy Wilson’s court will begin Tuesday and is expected to last four weeks. A jury will hear from the parties involved and experts on both sides to decide whether the project would substantially interfere with the residents’ property rights. If they rule […]

Not pissing off your neighbors is generally a good thing

That’s the message I get from this story about one developer who is trying to not piss off the people who live near his proposed development. Oak trees along the sidewalks? Check. A push to build a dog park? Check. Parking garage barriers to shield neighbors from late-night headlights? Check. These are just a few […]

Texas cities embracing bicycles

It’s a good thing. In Fort Worth, the mayor hosts occasional bicycle rides called “Rolling Town Halls.” The Dallas City Council could may soon require new businesses to set aside space for bicycle parking. Over in El Paso, officials are developing plans for a bike-share system, which is expected to be the fifth such program […]

Ashby everywhere: The San Felipe highrise

Hard to keep track of them all. THESE UNDERSTATED “Stop the San Felipe Skyscraper” signs started going up about knee-high this weekend in River Oaks and Vermont Commons to protest that shiny 17-story office tower that Hines is proposing to build nearby. Though these signs — spotted at the corner of Spann and Welch and San Felipe and Spann, […]

Parking Panda

Interesting Parking Panda, an online parking reservation system, launches Tuesday in Houston and Dallas. The site’s already up and running, taking reservations for lots around many area venues, including Minute Maid Park, Reliant Stadium and the Toyota Center. The concept is pretty simple: Go online, find the parking lot you want, based on price and […]

Ashbys all over

Here’s that Chron story that I mentioned yesterday, which talks about increasing neighborhood resistance to multi-story residential projects in areas that mostly have single-family houses. Tension mounted as 20 or so Morrison Street residents, armed with city documents and Internet research, squared off with a developer building a midrise apartment complex in their midst. In […]

More construction on Yale

It’s Alexan Heights II: Midrise Boogaloo. For residents near Yale and 6th street, Independence Day fireworks were nothing compared to the sparks flying when news of another proposed apartment complex came to light July 5. A heads-up notification from District C Council Member Ellen Cohen’s office to various residents, land use groups and neighborhood organizations […]

Chron wonders where B-Cycle is going

Last week in an unsigned editorial, the Chron asked a provocative question about B-Cycle. Are bicycle rental programs supposed to be legitimate transportation or merely toys for urban bohemians? New York Times writer Ginia Bellafante revealed Friday that her city’s attempts to make bike share more affordable, such as distributing free helmets and subsidizing Citi […]

The townhomes are indeed coming

I have three things to say about this Lisa Gray column. “So the bad stuff we’re going to see today,” I asked, “it’ll be a cautionary tale for the suburbs?” I was driving west from downtown on what I thought of, privately, as the Terror o’ Townhouses Tour, a sort of scared-straight exhibit for suburbanites […]

The Washington Avenue parking benefit district is now operational

From CultureMap: It took a while, but nearly five months after Houston City Council approved the first citywide Parking Benefit District for the Washington Avenue corridor, the meters started charging at 7 a.m. on Wednesday. The City of Houston’s Administration and Regulatory Affairs Department hopes to solve a handful of issues with the new parking system, including […]

Revamped Chapter 42 ordinance finally passes

Strangely enough, in the end it was not very contentious. Houston City Council on Wednesday voted 14-3 to allow greater single-family home density outside Loop 610, while also strengthening the proposal’s already robust protections for neighborhoods concerned about unwelcome development. Council voted to drop the threshold of support needed to impose a minimum lot size […]

Today is Chapter 42 day

Actually, today is almost certainly the day that the Chapter 42 revisions get tagged by multiple members of Council, thus pushing it back for a week. Nonetheless, this is the beginning of the end of a long, long journey. Here’s another story about what that will mean. The Fourth Ward would not look quite the […]

It’s Chapter 42 week

We won’t know for years what the upcoming revisions to Chapter 42, the development and density codes in Houston, will mean to the city and its development and population patterns. There’s certainly a lot of hope that the changes will be positive. Southwest Houston, with its glut of apartments and condominiums, is three times denser […]

How will Chapter 42 affect housing in Houston?

Yes, we’re still talking about Chapter 42, the local development and density code. One of the goals of revamping Chapter 42 is to make it easier and more attractive to build mid-range housing in the city limits. How do we hope that will work? “We have housing for the working poor, we have a lot […]

Why we need flexibility in our parking regulations

Here’s the story of Coltivare. As many of you know, we are in the process of opening Coltivare, our interpretation of an Italian-inspired, American, neighborhood restaurant, at the corner of White Oak and Arlington Streets. Undoubtedly, one of the most unique aspects to Coltivare, is the potential to have a 3,000 square foot, fully-functioning vegetable […]

Another reason why bike parking matters

This comment of the day on Swamplot points out a salient fact about bike parking. In all honesty, I only ride my bike for fun with the family on the weekends. However, after a couple of very frustrating attempts to park around White Oak to go out to dinner, I recently rode my bike down […]

One size does not fit all, parking regulations department

This makes a lot of sense to me. A proposed rewrite of Houston’s off-street parking rules could allow some areas to alter the new requirements or ditch them altogether, part of what Mayor Annise Parker said is an effort to allow tailored solutions in this “city of neighborhoods.” City planners say the off-street parking ordinance, […]

City proposes bike parking alternatives

Nice. Bicycle advocates are cheering a city proposal that would give businesses an incentive to offer bike parking and would require some properties to provide it for the first time, saying the ideas mark a cultural shift in Houston. “This is a first for Houston and a sign of how our city is evolving,” Mayor […]

Alexan Heights update

The developers of the Alexan Heights project on Yale will go before the Planning Commission tomorrow to get a variance that would remove a single-family restriction on part of the property. Some folks in the neighborhood have been petitioning against the variance. The Leader reports from a meeting that was supposed to be between residents […]

The off-street parking debate

I believe the new offstreet parking requirements that have been proposed and are being debated are at least as big a deal as the Chapter 42 revisions. We really need to get this right. Under the new rules, some eateries – dessert shops, carryout restaurants – would need less parking, but requirements on most restaurants […]