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.
By Emma Whalen
Emma is Community Impact Newspaper's Houston City Hall reporter. Previously, she covered public health, education and features for several Austin-area publications. A Boston native, she is a former student athlete and alumna of The University of Texas at Austin.


MOST RECENT

Casa Nomad will open Sept. 23 in the M-K-T Heights development at 600 N. Shepherd Drive, Houston. (Courtesy Michael Anthony)
Casa Nomad opens Sept. 23 at M-K-T Heights development

The eatery is coming soon from the same hospitality trio behind Wicklow Heights.

Houston resident Marissa Hanson spoke on keeping tax rates low during the Harris County Commissioners Court public hearing on Sept. 21. (Emily Lincke/Community Impact Newspaper)
Harris County Commissioners propose tax cuts at cost of Harris Health System funding

On average, Harris County homeowners may see lower tax rates in the next year, but it will come at the cost of $17 million in funding for the county’s hospital district, according to Harris County Administrator David Berry.

A new collaborative joint research building is in the works that will be housed on Texas Medical Center’s new life science campus. (Courtesy Elkus Manfredi Architects)
Texas Medical Center: Fall 2023 completion announced for research hub for life science campus expansion project

A new research building is underway that will be located in the heart of a future 37-acre TMC3 campus.

 Redistricting is one of the items on the Texas Legislature's third special session, and the state Senate released proposed maps on Sept. 18. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas Senate releases proposed redistricting maps as special session begins

Redistricting is one of the items on the third special session, and the state Senate released proposed maps on Sept. 18.

The H-GAC also helps guide transportation activities through the Transportation Policy Council, according to the council's website (Courtesy Fotolia)
Houston-Galveston Area Council celebrates 55th anniversary

The Houston-Galveston Area Council will be celebrating its 55th anniversary this October.

Loosened taxicab regulations that began at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic became permanent Sept. 15. (Courtesy Pexels)
Houston loosens taxicab regulations

The changes, approved by city council Sept. 15, reflect a new approach to the city’s relationship with taxicab operators.

Selected artwork will be showcased in several display windows on the first floor of the Ion. (Courtesy of the Ion)
Ion opens call for art with installations forthcoming

Looking for art to showcase in display windows, The Ion and Rice Management Company are calling for preliminary installation proposals from local artists.

Texas Medical Center coronavirus updates: Daily average hospitalizations drop 15% week over week; ICU sees dip in number of patients

Coronavirus patients at TMC hospitals number 2,107, which in itself is an 11% week over week decline.

The League of United Latin American Citizens Council 60 building was once considered the organization's U.S. headquarters. (Emma Whalen/Community Impact Newspaper)
Houston arm of national advocacy group fundraises to restore historic Midtown outpost

LULAC, or the League of United Latin American Citizens, has deep roots in Houston.

graphic
DATA: How population changed in Texas counties between census counts in 2010, 2020

Texas added nearly four million people between 2010 and 2020, according to the latest Census data.

The Texas Department of Transportation will close the northbound and southbound main lanes of I-69 Southwest Freeway at West Loop 610 at separate times Sept. 18-19. (Courtesy Texas Department of Transportation)
I-69 at Loop 610 to be closed in Houston Sept. 18-19

Motorists should expect delays and may want to consider an alternate route than that stretch of I-69.