10/25/16 3:15pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: WHY ITS EASIER TO KICK THEM OUT BEFORE THE LEASE IS EVER SIGNED Reading“Ironically, the stricter the rules are for evicting people (to ‘protect’ tenants), the stricter we have to be on rent qualification and deposit size, which makes it harder for many tenants to rent. It would be easier to take a risk on a marginal tenant (low credit score, less than a full month deposit), if the property code didn’t allow them to bunker down in the apartment for 2 months if they don’t pay rent. A good example of a well-meaning law backfiring.” [Cody, commenting on Palace Lanes Building on Bellaire Locked Up by LandlordIllustration: Lulu

10/19/16 5:24pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: YOU CAN LOVE THE BAY YOU’RE WITH AND STILL HARBOR SHIP CHANNEL FANTASIES Bayou illustration“I know that Galveston Bay is the economic engine of the Houston area, but it’s fun to ponder what 42 prime bayside acres could be other than a barge staging area, or what the bay woulda/coulda been had oil not been discovered nearby. Coulda been San Francisco, got Can Cerisco.” [JoeDirt, commenting on Kirby To Lease New Ship Channel Barge Parking Area, Pay for Barge Collision Oil Spill] Illustration: Lulu

10/14/16 2:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: A DIFFERENT TAKE ON THE BELLAIRE HIGH CAMPUS SWAP QUESTION Bellaire HS, 5100 Maple St., Bellaire, TX 77401“Currently, Sharpstown High is being rebuilt. Rather than tearing down the old school building when the new one is complete, let that become the temporary home of Bellaire. Stagger hours of the 2 schools, rent parking space at nearby vacant lots, run shuttles, etc. They’re geographically not that far from each other. This would allow Bellaire to be rebuilt on the same footprint and keep the student body together.” [Terri Bamberger, commenting on Hitting the Brakes on the Bellaire High School Chevron Campus Swap Talk] Photo of Bellaire High School campus at 5100 Maple St.: Houston ISD

10/06/16 4:45pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THAT HIGH HORSE WON’T KEEP YOUR FLOORS DRY Flooding Coastal Homes“Wonder how many areas will sue to get out of the high risk zones, only to get flooded years later, have no insurance, and cry foul. Note to those who are able to sue or survey themselves out of a flood zone… buy the insurance anyway! If you are [put] in a high risk zone, right or wrong, you are close enough to warrant the protection.” [Rex, commenting on A Quick Tour of Spots Where FEMA Will Expand Its Flood Hazard Zone In JanuaryIllustration: Lulu

09/30/16 2:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: DOES ‘EAST RIVER’ ERASE BAYOU HISTORY, OR DRAW IN NEW STUDENTS? Bayou illustration“‘East River’ . . . that does sound like a lame sort of urban infant suckling at Mama NYC’s teat. But really, a 2-word name with each word having a strong, apropos and simple meaning is positive. It is the east part of Houston, and it is a river (called a bayou). But not just [any] bayou — the womb of the city. In the 1840s-60s, the west of the Allen’s Landing section was nothing but a well-wooded open sewer and hideout/hangout for the various characters and scoundrels of Vinegar Hill. [But] east of Downtown it was a river, with masted ships and energetic influx. We should be familiar with every bend of it, but [the bayou’s history is] mostly unknown. ‘East River’ can serve as an introductory directional appetizer for those unknowers who are already here, and those yet to appear.” [Dana-X, commenting on Comment of the Day: The Ongoing Rewrite of Houston’s East Side StoryIllustration: Lulu

09/29/16 4:15pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE ONGOING REWRITE OF HOUSTON’S EAST SIDE STORY Former KBR Campus, 4100 Clinton Dr., Fifth Ward, HoustonEast River? Ugh, another name copied from New York City. We’ve got the East Village being developed (or is it ‘east village’, in all lowercase?), we’ve got Downtown, Midtown, and Uptown (none of which make any directional sense like they do in N.Y.C.), and now we have this. Is the area around it going to start to be called the Upper East Side?” [GL, commenting on Midway’s Latest Plans for the KBR Site; Big Turnout for the Public Housing Vouchers Waiting List; previously on Swamplot] Photo of former KBR site at 4100 Clinton Dr.: LoopNet

09/28/16 1:30pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: SAVE-THE-DOME SAGA’S PARKING GARAGE ENDING LEAVES ROOM FOR A SEQUEL astrodome“I think people are missing the larger view here. Of course there is plenty of current surface parking — but putting parking beneath the Dome begins to open up the possibility of densification on this site and on the old Astroworld site. This is the first, and necessary, step in transforming this entire area. I am betting that in 20 years or so this site will barely resemble the vast wasteland of parking lots and open space that it is today.” [SH, commenting on County Approves First $10.5 Million for Astrodome Basement Parking Garage Plan] Photo: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool

09/27/16 5:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: ANY NEW NAMING EPISODES WELCOME AMID THE ENDLESS EAST HOUSTON RERUNS Houston Neighborhoods on TV“The news calls everything between Downtown and Baytown ‘East Houston’ — so when West U is called ‘Southwest Houston’ for one day, I get a pettiness-fueled satisfaction out of it.” [tempeh, commenting on West U Shelter-In-Place Order Just Lifted Following This Morning’s ‘Southwest Houston’ ShootingIllustration: Lulu

09/26/16 3:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE PRICE OF SAVORING THAT MOUTHWATERING HOUSTON INDUSTRIAL FLAVOR Oyster wardens of TPWD“I always found that Galveston Bay oysters had a slight metallic tinge to them (as compared to oysters from Matagorda or San Antonio Bays) — and actually, I quite like it. Perhaps it could be said that a true appreciation for Galveston Bay’s environs doesn’t come without some carcinogenicity. Oh well — so be it.” [The Niche, commenting on Oyster Tycoons Fight over Baybottom Territory as Reefs Recover from Flooding] Image of state game wardens examining oysters: TPWD

09/22/16 3:30pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: DON’T ACT SO SURPRISED WHEN YOUR OUTER LOOPS GROW UP AND TAKE YOUR JOBS Trains to Office Buildings“I can understand the desire to keep jobs Downtown, as our freeway infrastructure was always designed for funneling traffic to Downtown but not through it (which has definitely backfired on us in recent times). Same for those toy trains we’ve just spent a fortune on for the past decade — the more jobs located downtown, the better the chance of seeing population gains and redevelopment in the surrounding areas as well. However, none of this is reason enough to double down on generation-old infrastructure . . . [and] really, Shell’s offices are nowhere near the ‘burbs of Katy. It’s in one of the largest office markets in the entire city that has been around for a long time now.” [joel, commenting on Shell’s Downtown Operations To Shed Offices, Scurry Over To Larger West Houston CampusesIllustration: Lulu

09/19/16 3:45pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: HOW HOUSTON’S PARK(ING) PROPONENTS SHOULD TAKE IT TO THE STREETS Park(ing) Day 2016, 500 McKinney St., Downtown, Houston, 77002“While I understand, generally, the sentiment behind this initiative, I think in Houston it may be a little misguided. If we want a more walkable environment, with fewer buildings set back behind parking lots, we actually need more on-street parking spaces (to both accommodate business patrons arriving by car and help buffer pedestrians on the sidewalk), and fewer off-street ones.” [LocalPlanner, commenting on The SUV-Sized Parks Parked By City Hall Will Expire in About An HourPhoto of Park(ing) Day: Allyn West

09/15/16 2:15pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: TAKE IN THOSE SCENIC INDUSTRIAL HOUSTON SIGHTS JUST LIKE A LOCAL! Fred Hartman Bridge, Baytown, Texas“I’ve got a better business plan when it comes to views from the new Beltway 8 bridge: Since the new one is going to be a suspension bridge much like the Fred Hartman bridge, climbing it like the  [Sydney] Harbor bridge will be out of the question. So here’s what I’ll do: For a fee, I’ll place a hole of strategic size in your back left tire. I’ll calculate the proper size in accordance to your vehicle make, number of passengers, and weight. You then take a leisurely drive up the bridge — and by the time you reach the apex of the bridge you will be forced to pull over as you can no longer drive on your flat back left tire. Then and only then will you have the glorious view of the Ship Channel that you crave as you wait for AAA. Remember, my fee will be very modest and you’ll be experiencing the REAL Houston bridge view experience that only we locals have been blessed with for years.” [DNAGuy, commenting on Houston Home Sales Bounce Back; Calling Brooke Smith as the Next Heights] Photo of Fred Hartman Bridge: Jackson Myers via Swamplot Flickr Pool

09/12/16 5:15pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: SNIFFING OUT FREEWAY BILLBOARD FINANCE CATCH-22S Redo of 3618 Burlington St., Westmoreland Historic District, Houston, 77006“I wonder what the particulate pollution is outside and inside of this house during various times of day and year? I wonder if one side of the house gets dirtier and needs pressure washing sooner than other, or if there is uniform pollution around the house? I guess its better not to know these things, because that might lower the potential value and an cause an acknowledgement of some salient dangers. I, personally, would think less about the highway if the sign were gone. [But] I guess the income from the sign could fund your HSA account and pay for all the inhalers you might need to alleviate your pollution-caused asthma.”  [Duston, commenting on Poolside Freeway Billboard Comes Down As Westmoreland Queen Anne Redo Wraps Up] Photo of partially deconstructed billboard by Spur 527: Swamplot inbox

09/08/16 2:30pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: ONE SET OF HOUSE RULES FOR ALL HOUSTON LOCATION GAMBLES Buffalo Bayou Bank Shift“So, whenever anyone in Houston gets upset about the impact a new development will have on their neighborhood, the chorus rises up and yells at them about how they should have seen it coming when they bought in a no zoning area. Fingers wag in their face about expecting government to save them from the impact of development when they had a choice to buy in a deed restricted neighborhood in the ‘burbs but chose Houston’s zoning-free wilds instead. But, when it is Mother Nature at work, the same [logic] gets thrown out the window. Everyone buying land along the bayou knows that it is a very active waterway that is constantly reshaping its banks. But when a few dozen owners of very expensive real estate . . .  come crying to the government to protect them from a problem that was very open and obvious to them when they developed their properties, suddenly they are given a free pass from having to be responsible for their decisions. . . . Buffalo Bayou is just fine the way it is. Anyone with a stabilization issue can pay their own way to deal with it.” [Old School, commenting on  Comment of the Day: Keeping Buffalo Bayou in its Place] Photo of Buffalo Bayou: Save Buffalo Bayou

09/06/16 5:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: KEEPING BUFFALO BAYOU IN ITS PLACE Buffalo Bayou at Barker Reservoir, Houston“Sounds nice — but that little part about the bayou being in the middle of the city, that’s why it can’t be left up to nature. . . . I understand the need to conserve and protect, but the Buffalo Bayou we know today is man-made. Ship Channel, Turning Basin, the resevoirs, Allen’s Landing, even the ill-fated Shepherd’s Dam all took a meandering stream and turned it into an industrial workhorse for Houston. Basically the ‘natural flow’ is impossible to get back; for that matter it never was something that the majority of Houstonians wanted. There are other bayous and creeks in the area that can take up the cause that don’t happen to be in one of the most expensive and sought-after flood plains in America. It is a noble battle but it was doomed to be one of beautification, not naturalization the moment the Allen Brothers decided to build a better New York City in Texas.” [SimplySid, commenting on Stop Trying To Fix Buffalo Bayou, Says Save Buffalo Bayou] Photo of Barker Dam outlet structure on Buffalo Bayou: Swamplot inbox