Pappas Bar-B-Q Charred on Little York; Broken Pool Promises in Canyon Lakes West

fifth ward abandoned

Photo of Liberty Rd at Solo St., Fifth Ward: David Elizondo via Swamplot Flickr Pool


14 Comment

  • Re: Cullinan Park

    Cullinan Park , as they admit, get very little use from Houston’s citizens. While I am thankful the City recognized the value of the land 30 years ago and purchased it I feel they should now agree to SELL the land to either Sugar land or the State of Texas and use the proceeds to purchase new parkland that can be used closer in or improve existing parks that need refurbishing. To just allow the people of the Sugar Land area to continue using Houston’s property without paying for it seems fiscally irresponsible of the city as once annexed it would lose all it’s value since Sugar Land would never allow it to be repurposed in the future.

  • @WR Be careful proposing such good ideas. It makes too much sense for it to ever work.

  • @WR: The City of Houston has never met a parcel of land that it was not willing to sell for cash. The problem is that they cannot just sit down with the City of Sugar Land and sell it to them the way you would sell your car to your neighbor. The land would have to go through the bid process, meaning that Sugar Land of the State would have to fork out some serious cash to beat out developers. Letting Sugar Land take over the park will free up funds to maintain other parks in Houston.

  • Here’s a idea—How about Sugar Land buying that former prison property and making it an actually PARK! These suburbs like Sugar Land never a lot much land for parks, they just grow and grow and they ratio of people to parks just gets wider and wider. I guess they feel they can come up and use our public parks here in Houston. Suger Land created a kitchy Town Center, now how about your own park. I mean a real park, not some 20 acre tract with 2 ball flakes and a jungle gym, I’m talking about a real
    park. Sugar Land now has like 75000 people, maybe it’s way past time for them to acquire substantial acreage for a park, this would be perfect. Do they really need another poorly designed business park? I’m sure not one person on their council has even thought about this for a park, their all salivating over the tax dollars that think they can get for paving over this 250 acres of fields. Total waste of a real opportunity for something that the entire community could enjoy and be proud of. I live by Hermann Park and I love it. The park adds value to my house and it’s a real asset to the neighborhood. It would take years to make this park into a mature setting like Hermann, but with the move to “Green”, it would be well with the effort. Ah well, it won’t happen and that’s why I’d never live in Sugar Land, they’d always chose a “business park” over an “actual” park.

  • @Old School said: “The land would have to go through the bid process, meaning that Sugar Land of (or) the State would have to fork out some serious cash to beat out developers. Letting Sugar Land take over the park will free up funds to maintain other parks in Houston.”

    Sugar Land can vote a bond to finance the purchase but my preference (and I bet Sugar Land’s) would be for the State to take possession …. both seem to have plenty of money to throw at such a project. Besides, the terms set in the bidding process can (and often are) can be set so that they are onerous to development.
    As for the freed up funds are talking miniscule amounts that would easily disappear into the system still leaving Houston with an investment in parkland that it’s citizens do not use. Get rid of it!

  • RE Gulf Freeway/59 split: Has anyone seen renderings of the proposed changes? I’m curious to know how they plan to create that “double entrance” from Cullen to 45 and 590/288. I searched online, but couldn’t find anything.

  • @WR: The State has chronically underfunded TPWD. TPWD had to threaten to close 20% of the State parks just to get the 2013 legislature to minimally fund the agency. The state has lots of cash, but is not directing it to TPWD. The recent purchase of the Powdernhorn Ranch near Matagorda was almost entirely with BP spill funds. I would certainly agree that the state should buy it. But the reality is that the state won’t.
    Sugar Land could issue bonds to buy it, but folks in the burbs can be pretty stingy with bond elections.
    The savings from giving control over the park go beyond maintenance cost (which is real money). The City will get out of liability for the park, which has become a significant concern after the rape in the park.

  • Old School,

    Minimum bid = the agreed on amount between Houston and Sugarland
    Deed Restriction requiring it being a publicly accessible park/greenspace

    would that work?

  • At one time (’09 or ’10) the Botanic Garden bunch wanted to put it in Cullinan Park. I’ve looked online for the reason they dropped that location but with no success.

  • Houston can’t sell the park to Sugarland without some serious backlash from the people who kept Sugarland from having it in the first place, as represented by the conservancy. That tract basically scotched a tentative plan by Sugarland to build another runway for its airport, IIRC. The lady who bought it thought that letting Sugraland own the land outright would be an outright environmental disaster. I have no clue if she was correct; she might have been, for all I know. Houston has realized they have an albatross – they own the land, but they can’t develop it to collect any taxes on it. Its value is on paper, and citizens have to pay for the upkeep.

    On the other hand, the prison isn’t very far form the airport, and neither is the park. I haven’t seen their exact positioning on a map, but I can’t help but think the timing on this arrangement isn’t entirely accidental. Would a business park suddenly become more enticing with a well maintained parkland nearby? Would tax rebates get offered to a company who paid for an improvement or two? The value of the property to Sugarland has gone up enough that they may have an incentive to maintain it. Houston gets to offload an expense, the conservancy gets to keep the place, and Sugarland finally gets some involvement in the public space within their own city limits. It’s a win-win.

  • Perhaps you should look at a aerial map of the park’s location before predicting any future runways.

  • @Shannon, Ever considered that we may not need such big, expensive parks in the suburbs. My acre lot seems fine for whatever activities me or my family ever needs. And the pool is nice as well. Not everyone needs a park(though our neighborhood has a plethora of them, along with pools) but I can see your point if you are living ITL like bees and ants on that 5000 sq ft lot.

  • Interestingly enough, Sugar Land’s population now is pretty much right where Houston’s 1910 census count was — right before Hermann Park was established. So I think the suburb is actually doing just fine in the measure of parkland area. They have 1200 acres adjacent to the Brazos River and a linear park on Oyster Creek. In the interest of geographic balance, however, another large well-maintained park for residents north of 90A to enjoy would be quite welcome.

  • Re: Broken Pool Promises

    Those buyers need to check what they signed at closing, as there is probably an amenity disclosure in their paperwork that addresses their situation.