Slowpokes, Lot Lines Getting in the Way of Oak Removal, Parking Improvements Behind 34th St. Strip Center

Without providing too much detail on the scope of the accompanying construction (“a remodel the owner wants to do”), KHOU’s Marcelino Benito yesterday interviewed one of the proprietors of Oak Forest coffee house and occasional goat-yoga venue Slowpokes, who along with several customers and neighbors has been protesting landlord Naushad Momin’s apparent plans to chop down 2 large oak trees on site — to add more paving and parking spaces.

The oak trees sit at the southern end of the strip center at 1203 W. 34th St., which faces Alba St., and shade a lawn (pictured at top) adjacent to the Slowpokes patio deck. Chopping down trees to add more parking might appear to be a landlord’s prerogative, despite tenant opposition. Except possibly not in this case:


Views of the property from the HCAD website (below) appear to support a contention by Slowpokes tree defenders: that the oaks are not planted within the lot’s boundaries, but on public right-of-way facing the back alley.

The green area indicates the property boundaries according to HCAD data, overlayed by the appraisal district website on an older aerial photograph; the red arrows point to the oak trees.

Photo: Swamplot inbox. Diagram: HCAD Parcel Viewer

Oak Deforesting

5 Comment

  • They should check out it’s a permeable paver that allows you to drive on.

  • The aerial shot is misleading. The tree in question is on the property. The landlord still sucks though.

  • There apparently has been movement towards resolving the fight over the tree and green space. I believe the issue is that the landlord wants to incorporate the adjacent property as part of the strip mall and needs access across the back of the property under the fire code. Hopefully, the landlord will understand how important the green space is for Slowpoke’s business and work something out. Without it, Slowpokes would probably go out of business or have to find another location.

  • The 2 trees are being cut this morning. No notice and no permits.

  • TrueGrid sucks in Houston, it ends up becoming extremely warped a year into installation due to Houston climate, it was not made for this city.

    There is definitely something more nefarious going on with this landlord though… has anyone had a proper site survey done on this property showing property lines? I would like to see that. Also, why is the landlord just now concerned with adding parking? This is at least a 30 year old strip center, he is probably grandfathered into pre-Chapter 26 parking requirements, and if not, there are other ways to meet parking requirements. I think he is harassing Slowpokes unnecessarily.