Houston City Council approves expanded area with restricted lot size, use in the Heights

the Heights neighborhood
Minimum lot size areas can prevent multifamily and commercial development within neighborhoods. (Emma Whalen/Community Impact Newspaper)

Minimum lot size areas can prevent multifamily and commercial development within neighborhoods. (Emma Whalen/Community Impact Newspaper)

Townhomes and commercial development will be effectively barred from a nearly 12-block area in the Heights for the next 40 years.

Houston City Council designated a portion of the Heights bordered by the 600-700 block of E. Sixth 1/2 Street to the south and 600-700 block of E. Ninth Street to the north, a special minimum lot size area.

As a result, all lots within the are that are residential must remain residential and cannot be split into smaller parcels for townhome development. The ordinance also stipulates that all residential properties within the area must remain residential. Commercial properties may remain commercial or switch to residential.

This minimum lot size area was amended to include Sixth 1/2 Street despite its removal from the application by the Houston Planning Commission. Members of the community advocated for the amendment during Houston city council’s public session Dec. 10.

"The Heights is a very unique neighborhood in the city and perhaps the city and adds to the character of the city of Houston. The value is priceless and will be lost if not protected,” said Heights resident Paulina Sergot.


District D Council Member Dwight Boykins voted against the item and said he did not want to approve the amendment because it went against the planning commission’s recommendations.

“When we ask these commissioners to volunteer their time and do the work and come in and put in hours of research, I think it would probably be disingenuous for us to override them when they typically work with us,” he said.

Residents in the Heights have used minimum lot size area applications to preserve neighborhood character and property values. Alternatively, residents in gentrifying areas of Houston use the same process to stave off development that may push property appraisals higher and push longtime community members out of a neighborhood.
SHARE THIS STORY
By Emma Whalen

Emma is Community Impact Newspaper's Houston City Hall reporter. Previously, she covered health care and public education in Austin.


MOST RECENT

Learn about the candidates in the running for the Republican nomination for U.S. Representative for District 18. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
US Representative District 18 Republican primary: 6 contenders vying for nomination

Learn about the candidates in the Republican primary race for U.S. House District 18.

The Brazos Street bridge at Spur 527 was in the process of being rebuilt, but now city officials are rethinking that plan. (Courtesy Houston Public Works)
With Brazos Street bridge gone, officials consider a different approach

On hold since December, the reconstruction of the Brazos Street bridge on Spur 527 has presented an opportunity to Houston officials to rethink the area as a pedestrian-friendly green space.

Cheetos Cheese Pickles from Biggy's (Courtesy Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo)
Cheetos cheese pickles, mac and cheese eggrolls, deep-fried cheesecake: 93 food spots to try during the 2020 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

From tried and true to something new, the food options at this year's Rodeo include classic staples and crazy concoctions.

Montrose TIRZ
Montrose TIRZ moving forward with Livable Centers study, a roadmap for investments

In a matter of months, Montrose residents could start to see public meetings and other opportunities to provide input on the development of the community.

The Houston First Corp. operates city-owned convention and entertainment facilities. (Courtesy Visit Houston)
Audit of Houston First Corp. finds faults in agency's procurement process, lack of transparency

Among the findings in the audit was a $400,000 contract awarded without going through a competitive bidding process.

The Houston ISD school calendar for 2020-21 includes the districtwide holiday and day of community service in honor of César Chávez and Dolores Huerta on March 29. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Houston ISD releases 2020-21 calendar: See what days off students will have next year

The school year begins on Aug. 24 and ends the following May 27, before Memorial Day.

US Congress
U.S. Representative District 18 Democratic Primary: Incumbent Sheila Jackson Lee faces six challengers

U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee faces six challengers in the Democratic Primary. Get to know the candidates here.

Lanny Bose, Ann Johnson and Ruby Powers
Texas House District 134 Democratic Primary: Meet the candidates on the ballot in 2020

The winner of the primary will face incumbent Rep. Sarah Davis in November.

District 14 Sen. Kirk Watson announced Feb. 18 he would be resigning his state Senate seat to work in higher education. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Kirk Watson resigns state Senate seat, takes post at University of Houston

The former Austin mayor will become the founding dean at the University of Houston Hobby School of Public Affairs.

Early voting begins Feb. 18 in the 2020 Texas primary. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Primary election Q&A: Democratic candidates for Texas House District 147

Three Democrats are competing for a spot on the ballot for the Texas House of Representatives District 147, covering parts of Montrose, Midtown, downtown and southeast Houston. No Republican candidates filed for the election. Incumbent state Rep. Garnet Coleman and opponent Colin Ross answered questions about their campaign priorities. Candidate Aurelia Wagner did not respond to requests for submissions as of Community Impact Newspaper 's press time. Answers may have been shortened for length.

The Houston ISD board meets twice monthly, once for agenda review and once for official business, at the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center. (Matt Dulin/Community Impact Newspaper)
Houston ISD trustees walk back proposed $3 million for metal detectors

Almost a month after a student was killed in a shooting at Bellaire High School, the Houston ISD board of trustees on Feb. 13 pulled back on a proposal to expedite the use of metal detectors across the district, instead asking for more discussion and research on effective safety strategies.

Houston green space
A more resilient Houston hinges on buyouts, clean energy and more housing, new city plan says

Houston officials announced a series of longterm goals aimed at making Houston more resilient over the next 30 years.

Back to top