The project from StreetLights Residential has been met with opposition from nearby residents, who said it is not an appropriate for the small streets and low-rise structures in the area and that it does not comply with restrictive covenants designed to protect the neighborhood. Specifically, residents have referred to a 2012 declaration of covenants imposed by the city as part of a settlement from a previous lawsuit over the development at the site.
The 134-unit luxury residential development will feature two- to three-bedroom apartments ranging in size from 2,600-3,300 square feet, according to past reporting from Community Impact.
Officials with StreetLights said in an April 21 statement that the city of Houston's permitting department confirmed the plans adhere to the 2012 declaration of restrictive covenants.
In a statement, Abbie Kamin—who represents Houston City Council's District C, where the project will be located—expressed dismay that the project was allowed to move forward, calling it “terrible news.” She said she will continue to advocate for ways to mitigate the effects of the project on the surrounding neighborhood.
The project, Kamin noted, does not comply with buffering ordinances adopted in Houston in January, which were designed to prevent high-rises from being built next to residential properties.
“Residents and I have been fighting this grossly out-of-scale development—and its negative impacts on traffic, congestion, safety and quality of life for neighbors—with both hands tied behind our backs,” Kamin said. “Let me be clear: I stand strongly opposed to this development and others that do not incorporate and include the measures we have put in place to make development better for neighborhoods.”
Officials with StreetLights said a requirement in the declaration of restrictive covenants prevents them from fully adhering to the buffering ordinance.
“The Declaration set building restrictions that in some cases prevent StreetLights Residential from abiding by more recent ordinances,” officials said in an April 21 email to Community Impact. “An example is the recent residential buffer ordinance. The Declaration’s requirement that the developer build a large pedestrian plaza in front of the north building facade facing Bissonnet [Street] makes it impossible to also meet the residential buffer standards on the south.”
StreetLights officials said the project was designed to reduce traffic volumes beyond what was required in restrictive covenants, including a reduction in units by roughly one-half from what is allowed. The project will also not contain any retail development.
The project will include an underground flood control vault designed to capture excess rainwater and keep it from running off into neighboring properties.
“StreetLights Residential will also be the general contractor for The Langley and will endeavor to mitigate disruptions caused by construction,” according to the statement from StreetLights.
A timeline for construction was not immediately provided, but StreetLights officials said construction is expected to begin soon.