Planning, Growth, and the Mayor’s Race

PLANNING, GROWTH, AND THE MAYOR’S RACE Christof Spieler looks for a mayoral candidate’s winning coalition: Pro-Planning and Anti-Growth people don’t want their neighborhood to [change], and they want [the] government to protect it. These are NIMBYs; in local terms, they’re the “Stop Ashby Highrise” crowd. Pro-Planning and Pro-Growth people think the city will grow and change, but want that growth to guided. Locally, this is Blueprint Houston. Pro-Growth but Anti-Planning people think the city should grow, but that private developers should be left on their own to figure out [how] that growth will happen. That’s Houstonians for Responsible Growth. Anti-Planning and Anti-Growth seems like an oxymoron in a city like Houston. But there are people in this group — they see their city is changing and they don’t like that change, but they think that change is being driven by government. Call them the tea partiers. Here’s what makes that split important: none of these four segments are big enough to govern the city alone. Pro-Growth/Anti-Planning ruled the city for decades — but Pro-Planning/Anti-Growth neighborhoods are pushing back. And, as the Ashby Highrise shows, they’re nearly at a stalemate.” [Intermodality]

9 Comment

  • This is informative but doesn’t explain which mayoral candidate shares which view…

  • Face it, most of Houston has turned into a 3rd world cess pit. More on the way.

  • @Nick: Follow the link in the story for Spieler’s take.

  • And believe it or not, the stronger pro-planning and anti growth groups will speed it to your observation markd.

    Pro-planning and Pro-growth is oxymoronic!

    Pro-growth only happens in a Pro-planning environment if there is corruption by big business and developers skirting around the Pro-planning rules!

    At least our current system, we know what developers and businesses are doing out in the open. Backroom deals happen more when central planning is in place. Just check out Dallas and Atlanta.

  • Yeah, no kidding about the corruption kjb. I just posted in the most recent “Ashby” article about that. To recap: I have personal knowledge of such cases. And just last week, the fmr. Dallas Mayor Pro Tem was convicted of bribery, conspiracy to commit bribery, and extortion with respect to dealings that he had with some apartment developers. Just search for the terms ‘Dallas,’ ‘Zoning,’ and ‘Bribery’ to read all about it.

  • Face it, most of Houston has turned into a 3rd world cess pit. More on the way.

    The best example is Fourth Ward. American General at one time wanted to turn it into River Oaks East. Didn’t happen. But the plan that Houston Renaissance supposedly was going to follow went out the window when everyone on the board realized how much they could make stealing land and then flipping the land and of course, they, too, wanted to turn it into River Oaks East. Also didn’t happen. Mainly because the Attorney General’s Office stepped in and said, no, you use public funds to buy land for affordable housing, you either provide the affordable housing or you sell the land without profit to someone who will provide the affordable housing. No one, by the way, has explained how Houston Renaissance managed to spend $24.5 million to buy $6.5 million in land.

    But then our controllers never really did an audit. Either of them.

    It’s often not the lack of planning but the greed of some developers who really don’t care about anything but flipping the property and making as much profit as they can and “moving on down the road.”

  • Pro-plan, pro-growth is my stance.I agree things like land use and density are market driven and I’d say no to traditional zoning.

    But parking issues, noise and light pollution, drive-thru’s, shade trees, parks, quality architecture, new-wave urban designs, etc, might all be things the city could handle with planning. Neighborhoods would be nicer, and investors would build nicer stuff if they had a guarantee their neighbor wasn’t going to drop a turd

  • ok markd, this city will turn into a cesspool…

    unless WE do something about it.

  • asdfjkl;:,
    It sounds like you’re anti-plan, pro-growth, pro-infrastructure, and pro-ArchitecturalReviewBoard. Those are all different issues. One has to do with land use control, one has to do with demography and traffic, one has to do with building stuff, and the other has to do with regulating taste.