TREE RULE REVENGE AND OTHER LOCAL REAL ESTATE TARGETS ON JULY’S STATE SPECIAL SESSION HIT LIST So what all’s on governor Greg Abbott’s to-do list for July’s special legislative session, following the variously dramatic finales to House and Senate business during the normal session last month? Some 19 topics are included in the governor’s shortlist after the maybe-killed-on-purpose sunset legislation (which Abbott has said has to pass before anything else can be done); the extensive extra credit list, he says, is meant to “make [the extra session] count.” Plopped in the middle of property tax reform, caps on local spending, changes to local permitting processes, and changes to how cities deal with construction project rules: a ban on local tree ordinances — at least, the ones that impact tree-decisions on private property. (Why the sudden focus on what the governor calls “socialistic” plant regulations, which is placed even higher up the list than taking another go at a bathroom bill? The leafy beef seems to stem from Abbott’s own run-in with an Austin tree regulation back in 2012, which didn’t ultimately prevent him from getting rid of a couple of large pecans he wanted to remove, but did slow things down.) [Office of the Texas Governor; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Swamplot inbox
CITY NIXES WHITE OAK MUSIC HALL’S DEJA-VU STAGE PERMIT PLAN The city isn’t planning to renew a permit for White Oak Music Hall’s temporary-but-kinda-not-temporary outdoor stage once it expires next month, Erin Mulvaney reports this week. Tickets have already been sold for concerts scheduled later in October and November, but the public works department now says that the temporary stage’s operating permit will expire on October 5th when the structure has been up for 180 days — and no, says Mayor Turner, the venue can’t just take the stage down and put it back up again to get a new one, as the developers told Mulvaney they were planning to do. Mulvaney writes that the White Oak folks applied for permits for a planned permanent outdoor stage several times in the winter and spring, but took a break from resubmitting after the plans failed code review a few times; another set of application materials was submitted last Wednesday. [Houston Chronicle; previously on Swamplot] Photo of White Oak Music Hall’s temporary stage during setup in April: Swamplot inbox
COMMENT OF THE DAY: HOW TO EASE HOUSTON INTO THE ZONING ZONE “Another example of the city’s zoning-style regulations that have been built up over the last 20 years or so. They couldn’t get people to vote for zoning, so they are building a zoning apparatus slowly and in small pieces.” [Anonymous, commenting on The Setback Setbacks at 1403 McGowen St.] Illustration: Lulu
The jutting, Tyvek-wrapped facade of the under-construction Krispy Kreme donut shop at 3055 S. Loop W. has looked like this for a while now, says a reader curious about the store’s progress. Following the North Carolina pastry chain’s complete retreat from the area in 2006 after a lawsuit with its main regional franchisee, the company opened 2 new Houston stores in 2015, though the announced-then-retracted February grand opening date of the Hwy. 6 location turned out to be much more December-ish than originally planned.
Eater attributed the slow-off-the-line opening to permitting delays, though regional franchise manager Guillermo Perales told the HBJ that the delays had to do with fears that the crowds would be too large for the store’s originally-planned infrastructure to handle. As for the South Main store? Posted to the inside of the front window is a highlighted letter from October documenting the donut stand’s theoretical ability to withstand hurricane-strength winds:
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Slow Rise in South Main