The Regulation & Development Committee, chaired by Council Member Toni Lawrence, met on Monday, July 21 to hear recommendations from the High Density Stakeholder Committee.   Andy Icken,  deputy director for Planning and Development, reported that instead of creating a new ordinance, the city will rely on the authority of Chapter 40.86 (the Curb Cut Ordinance) with the addition of guidelines to the city’s Infrastructure Design Manual, Chapter 15.

Mr. Icken cited the following advantages of this recommendation:

  • Provides guidance to developers but retains judicious professional judgment
  • Guidelines reduce widely divergent variances when staff or circumstances change
  • Allow collaborative efforts between the City Engineer and developers in unique circumstances
  • Guidelines can be refined as real experiences provide additional data
  • Current practice for all other infrastructure standards

Changes to the Infrastructure Design Manual and Mr. Icken’s presentation on the decision process and pros and cons of the three options that were considered are posted online at http://www.houstontx.gov/planning/HDO/HDO_home.html

So what is the impact of this recommendation? The recommendation is consistent with the Administration’s stance earlier this year when the Mayor said the city would rely on the discretion allowed in the  Curb Cut Ordinance, Ch. 40.86. The design manual changes clarify review criteria.

The developer’s plans have been rejected five times.  The most recent comments from the Plan Review section are posted at http://www.pdinet.pd.houstontx.gov/cohilms/webs/Plan_Comments2.asp?ProjectNo=07042588&NoteID=00432358
It is unknown if the plans will be resubmitted a sixth time.

Sign campaign
The theft of our StopAshbyHighRise yard signs and banners continues. Please be vigilant and report any incidents that you may witness to the Southampton/BOCA Patrol Service.  Let’s keep our strong opposition to this project in the public’s view.  If your yard sign is missing or broken, please request a replacement.