04/25/18 12:00pm

CITY COUNCIL APPROVES MUD FOR 800 NEW HOMES ON PINE CREST GOLF COURSE Houston’s city council voted today to approve a proposal to create a municipal utility district for an 800-house development Meritage Homes wants to build on the former Pine Crest Golf Course. The golf course, which lies within the 100-year floodplain, is located at the corner of Gessner and Clay in the Brickhouse Gully watershed — where 2,300 residential structures flooded during Harvey. Today’s vote was on a proposal identical to one that was considered by the council last October but instead referred to the mayor’s office for further review. A representative of Meritage Homes told the Chronicle following the initial proposal that it would publish an analysis of “where or how floodwaters would flow across the surrounding land” after construction. But it later decided not to — reported the Chronicle’s Mike Morris — claiming that such a study would have been “irrelevant” in light of the city’s new standards for building in floodplains. A no vote by city council today would not have necessarily killed the project, council member Brenda Stardig noted to Morris — although it would have forced Meritage to find an alternate source of funding for the neighborhood’s infrastructure. The developer bought the 150-acre former golf course from MetroNational last year. [Houston Chronicle; more; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Meritage Homes

04/25/18 8:30am

Photo of the Lakes on Post Oak, Uptown: Marc Longoria via Swamplot Flickr Pool

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04/24/18 2:15pm

After hauling all 6 of their endangered Victorian cottages 8 blocks and arranging them neatly off Sampson St. 4 years ago, Michael Skelly and Anne Whitlock are now ready to part with the 2 pictured at top. $700,000 is the asking price for both structures — which occupy a single 5,000-sq.-ft. lot at 3408 Garrow St. They’ve been on the market for a week.

Since relocating them, Skelly and Whitlock have also redone the interiors of the 2 cottages:

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Firehouse Backyard
04/24/18 10:15am

A wide spectrum of paint shades and window shapes fronts W. 15th St. in the rendering above of Hampton Heights — the 5-story residential row Surge Homes has planned just west of Dian St. in Shady Acres. Its 2-story parking podium is about the same height and length as the site’s current resident: Car Cafe, a 37,341-sq.-ft. used-car dealership headquartered in a windowless warehouse. Just under two thirds of an acre — shaded red in the aerial above — comprise the lot at 1800 W. 15th where the garage sits now.

Rendering and aerial: Surge Homes

Shades of Shady Acres
04/24/18 8:30am

Photo: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool

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04/23/18 4:45pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE SELF-DRIVING BUS ASPHALT PALIMPSEST CHALLENGE “Have any readers here taken the [southbound] exit off of 59 to the West Loop lately? If some hypothetical autonomous driving system could navigate that tangle of past and present lane markings, then they might just have something to build on.” [TimP, commenting on METRO Now Testing Out Self-Driving Buses for Houston] Photo: Roy Luck [license]

04/23/18 1:45pm

The Southmore bridge — known to get real cozy with floodwaters as they course down 288 — made its last stand this weekend as crews cleared the way for a new, presumably higher roadway that’ll be built in its place. Lanes of 288 — pictured above from the northbound side — shut down to accommodate the demolition. The bridge itself had been closed since earlier this month closed on Friday. Now, thru-traffic is being detoured to the Blodgett and Binz St. bridges across the highway via its north- and southbound feeder roads. The estimated opening date for the new structure: mid-to-late next year.

Photos: Swamplox inbox (from Southmore); Drive288 (from 288)

High-Speed Demolition
04/23/18 12:00pm

Mayor Turner announced last Thursday that 115,000 storm drains would be put up for adoption as part of the city’s new Adopt-A-Drain program — already 5 have been claimed downtown by members of the public. (One of them — dubbed the “Director’s Drain” — is cared for by public works director Carol Haddock, reports the Chronicle’s Mike Morris.) The custodians Houston really wants to engage? “Schools,” as well as, “individuals, families, youth organizations, businesses (large and small), civic and non-profit organizations, fraternities, [and] sororities,” according to the website set up for the program. There, prospective adopters can view an interactive version of the map above showing what drains are and aren’t yet spoken for, as well as claim their own.

Then comes the responsibility: “Turner wants Houstonians to clear their drains at least four times a year, particularly when rain is in the forecast,” writes Morris. Although, the city adds, they should: “stop working and call the city’s 311 helpline if they encounter needles, construction debris, animals, firearms or chemicals.

Map: Adopt-A-Drain Houston

Adopt-A-Drain
04/23/18 8:30am

Photo of Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park: Marc Longoria via Swamplot Flickr Pool

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