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Posts Tagged ‘form-based codes’

Chapter 42 is back

This is going to be fun. Sprawling, boomtown Houston may be in for another battle over land use and development, this time driven by the most significant changes proposed to the city’s building rules in 13 years. The rewrite would further a push for density in single-family development, begun inside Loop 610 when the rules […]

Discussing the Z word

I have three things to say about this. The go-ahead for the Ashby high rise has left me feeling really depressed. If affluent residents with all their political and social connections can’t keep a 21-story skyscraper out of their bucolic neighborhood, what hope is there for the rest of us? When Mayor “I’m against the […]

Still waiting on the new density rules

With all that went on last year in Houston, one item that had been on the table was a revision of Chapter 42, to redefine the rules about density and other codes for developers. The planned revisions never made it to Council for a vote, and the city is starting over with a new cast […]

Downtown suburbia

Lisa Gray writes approvingly of a forthcoming urban development in Sugar Land. A far bigger project in the works is the Imperial, a 715-acre development that includes the site of the defunct Imperial Sugar refinery – the factory that built Sugar Land, the old industrial center of what was once a company town. The walkable, […]

Ashby’s developer defends his project

Let me start by saying that I agree with Kevin Kirton, the CEO of Buckhead Investment Partners, also known as the developers of the infamous Ashby highrise, when he says that the “trip number” justification that the city used to block that project for as long as they did was bunk, and that the highrise […]

Ashby developers lose appeal

Given how long it took for the Ashby highrise developers to get their permit in the first place, I figured their appeal of the requirement that they cut back on some aspects of the project in order to get that permit would drag out for months as well. Not so. The city of Houston’s General […]

Ashby rises again

It lives! The developers of the Ashby high-rise announced today they will appear before Houston’s General Appeals Board at 5 p.m. Thursday to ask that the original uses designed into 23-story high-rise be allowed. “Removing these amenities completely contradicts city officials’ statements that they want new development inside the loop to create a ‘walkable Houston,’” […]

More from neoHouston on the new transit corridors ordinance

Andrew Burleson, also known as neoHouston, was quoted in the Chron story on the new transit corridors ordinance. They only used a few words from him, however, and we all know he had more to say on the topic than that. Fortunately, he has a platform for expressing all those other words, and he used […]

Parker statement on Ashby highrise

Fresh from the inbox: Statement by Annise Parker on Ashby High Rise August 22, 2009 Contact: Sue Davis, 713-392-6011, I am disappointed with the city’s decision yesterday to grant a site development permit for the high-rise building planned for the corner of Bissonnet and Ashby in the single-family residential neighborhood of Southampton. From the […]

Ashby highrise approved

That sound you just heard was a massive freakout in the Southampton area. More than two years after they first applied, the developers of the Ashby high-rise will receive permits for a project that generated protests and a renewed debate over how to regulate development in Houston, city officials said today. The decision was based […]

Transit corridors ordinance approved

It’s not all that it could have been, but it’s a start. Passengers stepping off trains in Houston’s expanding light rail network will be more likely to encounter walkable environments and interesting destinations because of action taken Wednesday by the City Council, city officials and transit advocates said. The council unanimously approved changes in development […]

Midtown not feeling the recession

Good to know some parts of town are still thriving. The recession seems to have forgotten about Midtown. A drive around the neighborhood reveals forgotten buildings undergoing restoration and new apartments being framed. This area between the Central Business District and the Texas Medical Center began its transformation in the late 1990s when Post Properties […]

Neighborhood concerns about the transit corridors ordinance

I think most people who choose to live in Houston’s urban core would agree that density is a good thing as a general rule. Density done in a half-assed way, which has been Houston’s trademark, not so much. Density hasn’t been kind to Cottage Grove, a small neighborhood with narrow streets, few sidewalks, poor drainage […]

Where that new transit corridors ordinance came from

Christof takes another look at the proposed urban transit corridors ordinance, and asks a simple question. Days after the City of Houston’s draft corridor urban corridors ordinance was released, Houstonians For Responsible Growth – a developer group that generally opposes any new building regulations – endorsed the new ordinance. Why would developers be so enthusiastic about a new […]

More on the urban transit corridors ordinance

I mentioned last week that the city was getting set to do an overhaul of its planning codes. In particular, there’s a proposed transit corridor ordinance that is up for public discussion on Thursday and a City Council vote in July. I wasn’t sure what to make of it but had heard some early feedback […]

Enabling pedestrians

I don’t know how big a deal this is likely to be, but it’s nice to be talking about it. More than five years after inaugurating its light rail system, Houston is taking its first, tentative steps to make it safer and more convenient for passengers to walk from train stations to homes, shops and […]

Form-based codes come to Dallas

Good for Dallas. If they can do this, unanimously, even, then there must be hope for Houston and its proponents here. We might get lucky and avoid an Ashby lawsuit, but it sure would be nice to be better prepared for this sort of thing the next time it comes around. Right?