A new lawsuit was filed yesterday against TIRZ 16, the Uptown Development Authority, and the city, alleging that the creation of the reinvestment zone in the Galleria area was in violation of Texas law, since the zone can’t reasonably be considered “unproductive, underdeveloped, or blighted.” Rather, the filing claims, the city ordinance that originally created the TIRZ used the justification that the Uptown area needed traffic decongestion to avoid losing its status as one of the wealthiest districts in the city, and to avoid draining business to the city’s ever-expanding suburban fringe. A hearing is going on today over a possible injunction on further spending or work on Uptown projects, and Mike Morris says that city council delayed a vote yesterday on allowing Uptown an additional $65 million in debt.
Yesterday’s filing also alleges a slew of Texas Open Meetings Act violations by the development authority, including the use of closed executive sessions to hide the details of land purchasing decisions. The plaintiffs in the suit are listed as area restaurant owner Russell Masraff and resident Jim Scarborough (who’s been a spokesman of the political group largely composed of Cosmopolitan condo owners that formed to fight the proposed bus lanes on Post Oak Blvd. as well as a tower planned next door to theirs (before the most recent one, which tried to sue the condo owners first).
- Suit Challenges Mechanism for Uptown Development Efforts [HAR]
- Previously on Swamplot: Never Mind the Lawsuit; Montrose Management District Still Marking Its Territory; Uptown PAC Feels Out New Routes Toward Stalling Bus Lanes, All New Highrises; Criminal Complaint Filed on Behalf of Cosmo Residents over Post Oak Bus Lane Land Purchases; Cosmopolitan’s Condo Association Preemptively Sued by Would-Be Next-Door Highrise Developer in Uptown; Popularizing TIRZwatching as a Houston Pastime; 40 Story Tower Proposed for Post Oak Corner Where That 50 Story Tower Won’t Be Going Up; Saving Uptown, Houston’s Masterpiece, from the Scourge of Dedicated Bus Lanes
Map of TIRZ 16 boundary (blue) and Uptown Development Authority (yellow): Uptown Development Authority