Heights Dry Zone Signature Gatherers Return from the Hunt Victorious

HEIGHTS DRY ZONE SIGNATURE GATHERERS RETURN FROM THE HUNT VICTORIOUS TABC regional headquarters in Heights Medical Tower, 427 West 20th Street, Suite 600 Houston Heights, Houston, 77008Reports comes from both NextDoor and The Heights Life blog that the H-E-B-backed Houston Heights Beverage Coalition has collected the signatures it needs to trigger a local election over legalizing carry-out beer and wine sales in the Heights dry zone. The petition was officially issued in mid-May, at which point the 60-day collection clock started ticking; the group claimed they needed 1,500 signatures to meet the required threshold of 35 percent of the population living in the zone. [Previously on Swamplot] Photo of TABC regional headquarters at 427 W. 20th St.: LoopNet

23 Comment

  • YEAH!!!!

  • I just can’t wrap my head around how a neighborhood made up of probably 90% progressive liberals supports such a regressive law as having a dry zone.

  • If I assume those 35% signed it because they are in favor of beer and wine then it sounds like a slam dunk. I wonder who is verifying names and addresses? Do renters count? What about condo dwellers? Does anyone have a clear idea of the rules? Just asking.

  • I don’t care one way or the other on the petition – but it sounds like the petition organizers are good at making things happen. Can we put them in charge of road repair next?

  • All it takes is money, so possibly grocers, distributors, and other commercial interests could take over road repair. Not sure how addresses will be verified; renters will have a vote, although obviously minimal interest in the neighborhood. If those who are delighted at the prospect of carry-out beer, wine, malt liquor and fortified wine would kindly provide their addresses to a distributor, perhaps a convenience store could be arranged for every block. As for now, there’s an un-deed-restricted building on our street that would do nicely as a take-out for a quick Colt 45 or Boone’s Farm. BQ license here we come.

  • Major Market: City pension reform.

  • @MC:
    It’s because the opposition to relaxing prohibition isn’t about alcohol, it’s about land use regulation, and (some) progressives love land use regulation more than they hate restrictions on personal freedom.
    .
    @j:
    As long as you’re registered to vote at an address within the dry zone, you’re eligible to vote on the question, so renters in the area can vote, absentee landowners cannot. However, the boundaries of the dry zone don’t coincide with current voting precincts. In fact, the dry zone includes parts of no fewer than 8 precincts, and not a single precinct is entirely within the dry area. I have no idea how the county (I presume it’s the county) will conduct the election.

  • Don’t kid yourself, this is about grocery snobs wanting an HEB, nothing more.

  • @MC it’s also because the prohibition movement and the progressive movement were quite intertwined in the early 20th century. That changed in the 1930’s and 40’s.

  • To all of the people in Woodland Heights and Norhill who think the dry area should vote for this, why dont you repeal all of your strict building/historical codes and laws thus allowing development east of Studemont for the precious HEB to come in and make more profit so they can pay for JJ Watt’s endorsement contract.

  • @Darby Mom. I’m not sure what your problem is. First off the world is not ending nor is the sky falling because people want to be able to buy beer and wine from a grocery store. Secondly, its incredibly offensive that you would suggest renters don’t care about the neighborhood. We pay a good bit of money to live in an area that we selected. Just because I can’t afford to buy into the area yet doesn’t mean I don’t care. What a shortsighted and unbelievably obtuse thing for someone to say. Stop clutching your pearls so tightly… they might turn to dust.

  • The City Secretary must decide whether the petition is adequate, not those seeking the signatures.
    .
    I imagine the City will be very careful in deciding the validity of the signatures or else risk unending litigation.
    .
    The problems:
    .
    1) From what I hear on NextDoor, people OUTSIDE the dry area also signed the petition.
    .
    2) I have also heard that some people may have put down addresses in the dry area but they are not residing there or registered to vote there, especially for the petitions gathered at local restaurants and bars. and
    .
    3) the petitions were not adequately completed.

  • 1500 signature requirement? That sounds totally wrong. I wonder what the city will say.

  • It’s about doing away with an archaic, do-gooder ordinance. If the Carrie Nations in the area get mad, that’s just too bad.

  • Planning my Texas Public Information Act (TPIA) request now! The petition sounds bogus.

  • Neighbor Man:
    I also heard on NextDoor that shape-shifting reptilians signed the petitions and that some of the “real” humans filled petitions out for themselves AND for their pets, as evidenced by 118 out of the 1500 signatures with the given name of “Bella”.

  • “It’s not just about HEB people,”

    Not sure what your issue is with the Woodland Heights and Norhill, but those neighborhoods are not part of the Heights and thus cannot participate in the election– WH and Norhill are part of the Near Northside. Moreover, a person who supports deed restrictions and historic protection can also like HEB. One has nothing to do with the other. [insert eye roll emoji here]

  • Shocking that a petition collected at bars in not accurate! There is no way they verified all those petitions.

    As to renters being offended that homeowners are annoyed they have a say: homeowners accept that you can vote but it say your one year lease is equal to a 30 year note in terms of commitment to the area is total hogwash. You will understand when you buy a house.

    I hope the ordinance stands. Homeowners don’t want alcohol in their area. Yes, the voting process is Byzantine but Houston accepted that when it annexed. Houston or Harris County must verify these signatures and establish a voting process that incorporates the are accurately, and we need a very accurate following of the statute enabling repeal.

    Homeowners bought houses with the ban in effect. It’s basically like a deed restriction at this point. Perhaps HEB can build their store and deliver wine and beer to homes via an app. Sounds like that would be easier than voiding this ordinance.

  • @commenter7. Respectfully I disagree. Yes you made a 30 year commitment. You can also sell tomorrow for, what is admittedly an assumption on my part, a significant amount more than what you bought in for. Part of the reason you can do that is because people like me choose to live there even if we can’t afford to buy a house just yet. Yeah I could buy a home in the Katy prairie but to what end? I like the area and I prefer to spend my money there. If you want a quiet family friendly neighborhood move to the woodlands. You’re four miles from the downtown center of the fourth (third) largest city in the US. This isn’t stepford wives.

  • I meant to write I prefer to spend my money *Here.

  • Go szzzz.

    And Mel, please, please tell me there really is an eye roll emoji!

    If HEB hired a firm to get the necessary signatures, I’m pretty sure they’re going to go to some lengths to make sure they’re valid and will likely get well beyond what they need to be sure. They already know that some whiny titty baby is going to sue should they not get their way.

  • Actually, what we would be voting to overturn was no mere ordinance. The dry ordinance was already in effect when Houston Heights considered annexing itself to City of Houston. Keeping the ordinance in place in perpetuity was a condition of bring annexed by Houston.

    As a fourth-generation Heights resident, I have mixed feelings about repeal. The prohibition helped keep the neighborhood from even deeper decline in the 1970s. (Look at what small bars did to other, adjoining neighborhoods. The next property goes commercial…or rental…then it’s a domino effect.) I wish there was a variance option that allowed for something other than an all-or-nothoing choice.

  • If they are victorious why have they not filed with the City Secretary? Once they file the real shenanigans will begin as those signatures and voters are scrutinized.