Cathy Blum, Elizabeth Baker, Carol Barndollar and Nancy Proler went before City Council session on October 16, 2007 to talk to our City leaders about protecting our neighborhoods. Below is a summary of what they took to the Mayor and Council Members.
Blum spoke for the group and said:
I come to you today not only as a homeowner and tax payer but as a residential real estate agent who has been listing and selling real estate in Houston for 31 years. Along with my associates, I have with me a petition opposing the Ashby Highrise signed by each and every agent at Greenwoood King Properties, including our principals, Linda King and Julie Greenwood. As Realtors, we are all about protecting our neighborhoods. We all have friends and clients who live in and around Southampton and Boulevard Oaks.
When our clients purchase their homes, in almost every case, it is the most money they are spending at one timeŠtheir biggest investment and most valuable asset. How devastating to have your property so drastically devalued by something that is totally out of your control. I have with me a market study that shows the statistics of what happens to properties with highrise building looming in their backyards. I have the feedback from actual showings of listing we have had that illustrate the market resistance to these properties. The properties that are ‘in the shadows’ are definitely devalued. Who would want to live next door to the slamming of delivery trucks or down wind from the smelly grease trap of a restaurant? Who would choose to live in a home with a parking garage and 17 floors of homeowners peering down into your backyard? These developers are bringing an entire neighborhood to this postage-stamped corner. The traffic congestion this building would create on two lane Bissonett by bringing approximately 500 cars to add to the already backed up traffic, will have commuters cutting through our neighborhoods to avoid the long line of traffic. We are opposed to a development of this magnitude.
Although we appreciate the support of the Mayor and the City council, we hope that you as our representatives, you will be able to take action to stop this 23-story building that is proposed for this site. Our hope is that you will be able to do something that will protect all neighborhoods from this serious prospect of loss. In our townhall meeting, which was attended by many of you, it was mentioned that the City is and would continue to work on passing an ordinance that would in fact protect our neighborhoods from these massive developments. The response I heard that night was that it could take up to two years to pass an ordinance. Not understanding how our City government works, perhaps you could help us to understand why something so important as this issue for our City and its neighborhoods would take so long.
As citizens, we each just get one vote but you, as our City Government you have the power to make a difference. We seek your collective wisdom and actions in creating an imaginative way to derail this development.
Thank you for you time today.