Ashby Highrise Trial Windup; The Upper Stoplights of TC Jester

BNSF North Casey Yard, Houston

Photo of BNSF North Casey Yards: David Elizondo via Swamplot Flickr Pool


5 Comment

  • Everyone hates the developers so most expect the jury will decide for the plaintiffs on that basis but at least the attorney for the defense made a point about how the homeowners are nothing more than spoiled pretentious brats who don’t believe the law applies to them. Should prove interesting if the jury awards damages on the basis of something that MIGHT happen instead of what HAS happened. Which will be one of many points appellate courts will probably use to toss out the verdict. That and the matter of the city having permitted the hirise which merely serves to underscore the point made by the attorney for the defense. They believe the law doesn’t apply to them.

  • Nuisance law is all about what might happen to your property. You do not have to wait to have your property ruined before you have a claim. The big question will be whether the developer can just pay damages or will be enjoined from building.

    Harris County juries tend to slant conservative. I do not see any disadvantage for the developers in terms of what a typical Harris County jury would tend to lean. I am not sure that sliming the other side is the best tactic either. If the plaintiffs are likeable on the stand, it could back fire.

    I doubt that the plaintiffs will prevail. If they do, the ultra conservative court of appeals will reverse. But, I am glad they fought the fight. Just because a development meets the City’s minimum standards does not mean that it will have no negative effect on the community. Nor does it mean that it is going to be a good thing for the community. Whether a development is so bad as to allow recovery in nuisance is hopefully a question that developers will have to seriously consider instead of just plowing over neighborhood concerns.

  • i think its weird that the residents’ attorney is framing it like the jury gets to decide “whether the Ashby high-rise fits this community” do they really get to turn this jury into a de facto zoning committee? i can’t believe this is even being allowed to happen.

  • Residents 1, developers 0. Unanimous verdict awarding $1.8 mil to some, but not all of the plaintiffs. Judge to rule on injunctive relief.

  • $1.7 million to 20 of the 30 residents to be awarded if the highrise is built. The judge will decide if it will be. That will be interesting. A state district judge possibly overriding the decision of the city to allow it. On the basis of it being a nuisance. And of course this will affect the lawsuit the residents in River Oaks are planning to file against Hines over his planned building on San Felipe. If the judge blocks Ashby, other judges will have to block others as well. Two mayors and several city councilmembers attempted to achieve zoning by ordinance. Now a judge may achieve zoning by allowing circumvention of the city charter on the basis that something is a “nuisance.” The proper venue for zoning is the voting booth. But some believe they shouldn’t have to abide by the will of the voters. And are willing to throw their weight and their money to prove it that they don’t.