Add Uptown to the List of Development Districts Being Sued Over How They Were Formed

Uptown MD and TIRZ 16 Boundaries

A new lawsuit was filed yesterday against TIRZ 16, the Uptown Development Authority, and the city, alleging that the creation of the reinvestment zone in the Galleria area was in violation of Texas law, since the zone can’t reasonably be considered “unproductive, underdeveloped, or blighted.” Rather, the filing claims, the city ordinance that originally created the TIRZ used the justification that the Uptown area needed traffic decongestion to avoid losing its status as one of the wealthiest districts in the city, and to avoid draining business to the city’s ever-expanding suburban fringe. A hearing is going on today over a possible injunction on further spending or work on Uptown projects, and Mike Morris says that city council delayed a vote yesterday on allowing Uptown an additional $65 million in debt.


Yesterday’s filing also alleges a slew of Texas Open Meetings Act violations by the development authority, including the use of closed executive sessions to hide the details of land purchasing decisions.  The plaintiffs in the suit are listed as area restaurant owner Russell Masraff and resident Jim Scarborough (who’s been a spokesman of the political group largely composed of Cosmopolitan condo owners that formed to fight the proposed bus lanes on Post Oak Blvd. as well as a tower planned next door to theirs (before the most recent one, which tried to sue the condo owners first).

Map of TIRZ 16 boundary (blue) and Uptown Development Authority (yellow): Uptown Development Authority

Uptown Up for Trial

6 Comment

  • Always helpful if you at least the provide case caption, always better if you provide the court in which the complaint was filed, always spectacular if you provide a pdf of the complaint. Inquiring minds and all . . .

  • Long over due. ALL TIRZ’s are land grabs. And TIRZ’s are for sure formed and run by POWER obsessed lunatics. I hope ALL TIRZ’s are challenged in court. But the a-holes who control the TIRZ’s finances WILL spend MILLIONS to fight any reform efforts. And the pussies in the Texas Legislature will bend over and open their legs and do whatever the lobbyists tell them to do. It’s all too crooked and corrupt.

  • has an article about another tirz pulling some stunts with tax payer money to pay for a roundabout.

  • It would be nice if swamplot would do their homework.

    It was the the “would be next door high rise developer” that preemptively sued the Cosmo condo owners and not the other way around. However, the judge threw the case out.

    Btw the bus line is ludicrous, perhaps swamplot provides some facts over how many hundreds of millions the city wastes on a bus line that neither the uptown residents nor the shoppers of uptown businesses will never use.

  • If this lawsuit is successful, it will certainly derail the funding gravy train for the pie-in-the sky Memorial Park overhaul.

  • Why not just eliminate the I.S.D.s and put education under the control of county districts? We would have fewer and finances would be determined by population. Hmmm less government more for the kids.