01/13/15 1:00pm

Interior, 4950 Woodway Dr. Penthouse 2, Houston

Interior, 4950 Woodway Dr. Penthouse 2, Houston

This baroque 8th-floor penthouse condo in the Campton at Post Oak building at 4950 Woodway Dr. north of the Galleria has been available for rent at $9,500 a month since last September (marked down from the whopping $11,500 it began with in August). But there a few things you might want to know about the 3,948-sq.-ft. pad before you sign any lease: First, the unit’s owner since 2010 is Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson — who (in case you’ve been on a news blackout for the last several months) last November pled no contest to charges of “recklessly assaulting” his 4-year-old son with a wooden switch, and was suspended from the NFL for the remainder of the season. Second: Peterson hasn’t been paying his taxes on the property; after court proceedings at which Peterson failed to appear, a tax auction was approved by a district court a few days before Christmas.


Running Back To Pay?
02/10/10 11:04am

More than 700 of the abandoned or problem properties documented and written up by the Houston Police Dept.’s Neighborhood Protection Corps over the last 3 years belong either to the City of Houston or Harris County agencies, reports 11 News reporter Jeremy Rogalski. Approximately half of those properties are located in 4 not-so-fancy Zip Codes — 77016, 77026, 77028, and 77051 — three of which are in the northeast area of the city.

One piece of the problem: those tax-delinquent properties the county puts up for public auction:

. . . if they don’t sell, it becomes the county’s obligation to maintain them. But [Harris County Facilities & Property Management Chief Administrative Manager Jim] Lemond admits, the county can’t even check them all.

“We have two inspectors whose primary function is to do many other things and not this,” Lemond said.

As for the violations the city writes, there’s another problem: The county claims for years, the city never told it about the violations.

“No that’s not acceptable. Obviously that’s not acceptable,” Lemond said.

He added that his office was puzzled when the city did send over a packet of violation notices in June 2009.

“What are these, and where did they come from and what’s this all about,” Lemond recalled of his reaction.

But Montecella Flaniken, Assistant Director of Field Operations with Neighborhood Protection Corps, maintains the city had been routinely e-mailing the county of violations all along.

Graphic: KHOU.com

11/13/09 4:22pm

What are these Campbell Construction Company workers doing? Just building a fence down aways on Barron Ln. from their Missouri City office — in order to block the driveway belonging to their neighbor, Cesar Larias. Owner Jeff Campbell ordered the fence built after Larias refused to pay a $50 monthly fee to access his own garage.

Ten years ago, Campbell bought several parcels — one of which apparently includes Larias’s driveway and most of his front yard — from a tax auction. How’d they come up for sale? Channel 2 reporter Stephen Dean explains:

Court documents reviewed by Local 2 Investigates show that the original landowner who developed the entire neighborhood had divided off several of the strips of land in question, hoping to sell them separately someday if the government expanded Hillcroft Street down through the subdivision. That expansion never happened.

The original landowner died and Fort Bend County ended up selling the parcels of subdivided land at an auction on the courthouse steps because no one was paying taxes on those parcels anymore.

Until Campbell asked him and several neighbors to start paying a fee to access their own properties, Larias had no idea that his driveway and front yard did not belong to his family’s homestead. Alas, such appears to be the case.

Asked if he has considered selling the land back to the homeowners, Campbell said, “Yeah, but the amount they want to give for it, I don’t want to sell it for that. You see the situation that I’m in?”

Campbell insisted he’s not trying to gouge the neighbors or force them from their homes, although he admitted he may want to expand his nearby construction business.

“Well, my decision was to have them pay something to use it,” said Campbell. “I’ve been really above and beyond fair about it. I’m not trying to hurt these people.”

He admitted that it may appear heavy-handed for him to have placed a Dumpster across the driveway when the Larios family stopped paying for access.

Wait! How’d you reporter dudes find out about the Dumpster?