Next week, the Ashby High Rise developers’ appeal of the denial of their eighth permit submittal will be considered by the City Council. If this appeal is successful, the developers will be able to receive a permit that includes a large amount of commercial space in their building, which will increase the traffic load on Bissonnet from the proposed project during peak hours by more than 50%. If the appeal is denied, however, they will be left with a residential/restaurant only project that will be more difficult to finance and therefore will be less likely to be built.

We ask that you plan to attend next week’s public session on Tuesday, December 8, 2009 at 2 p.m. at City Hall, 901 Bagby, 2nd floor, Council Chambers to show your support for the actions taken to date by the City and to express your opposition to the developers’ appeal. We will have one or more representatives present to speak to City Council about our position. However, it is equally important that we have a good turnout inside Council chambers to support our speakers and demonstrate to those who say that the neighborhood no longer cares about this issue that we remain strongly opposed to this project. This continuing expression of opposition will be equally useful when we work with the new administration on initiatives that can affect whether the Ashby project is ever built.

Those who attend should plan to arrive at City Hall by 2 p.m. We will have representatives present at the entrance to Council chambers with our distinctive yellow Stop Ashby High Rise stickers for your lapels. We expect to be done by 3:15 p.m. And if you plan to attend, please encourage your friends and neighbors to attend with you.

The public session on Tuesday will be our opportunity to speak to the City Council about this issue, but the Council will actually take up the appeal at their meeting on Wednesday the 9th. We will not have an opportunity to speak to the City Council when the appeal is actually considered on the 9th, but it would be helpful to our cause if we could also have a good turnout for the Council meeting on Wednesday. If you can possibly spare some time on both days, we encourage you to also attend the Council meeting on Wednesday, or if you cannot attend the public session on Tuesday but would like to demonstrate your opposition, please plan to attend on Wednesday. The regular Council meeting will begin on Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. We will also have representatives there on Wednesday morning to hand out our yellow lapel stickers before the Wednesday session.

Letter writing campaign: Regardless of whether you are unable to attend either the public session on Tuesday or the regular session on Wednesday, please take a
few minutes to compose a brief note and email it to the Mayor and to each and every Houston City Council member (see addresses at the end of this message). It can be as simple as:

“I am opposed to the proposed Ashby High-Rise project at 1717 Bissonnet and request that you deny the developers’ appeal of the rejection of their original plans. The Public Works Department has carefully considered the developer’s application and properly determined that the traffic from this project should not be allowed to create an unacceptable traffic condition in a residential neighborhood served by two lane streets. Sincerely, (your name and address).”

Mayor Bill White:

Council Member Anne Clutterbuck:
Council Member Peter Brown:
Council Member Sue Lovell:
Council Member Melissa Noriega:
Council Member Ronald Green:
Council Member Jolanda Jones:
Council Member Toni Lawrence:
Council Member Jarvis Johnson:
Council Member Wanda Adams:
Council Member Mike Sullivan:
Council Member M.J. Kahn:
Council Member Pam Holm:
Council Member Edward Gonzalez:
Council Member James Rodriguez:

IN A HURRY? Copy and paste one of the blocks of email addresses below into the header of your new email message rather than sending individual messages to each Council Member. Note some email programs prefer commas and some semi-colons.

Comma separated version,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Semi-Colon version;;;;;;;;;;;;;

We thank you for your continued support.