The Chronicle’s Mike Snyder comments on the the Ashby Highrise’s latest failing grade:
Since March of last year, [Matthew] Morgan and [Kevin] Kirton have submitted various versions of their permit application eight times, and the city has rejected it eight times.
Since one definitition of insanity is taking the same action repeatedly and expecting a different result, some observers have speculated that the developers were building a record for a lawsuit. The language in their timeline shows they’re prepared to take this step, whether or not it’s been part of their strategy all along.
The developers are portraying this case as an example of heavy-handed and inequitable city regulation that all developers should worry about. How much support they’ll get from their industry colleagues if they choose to go to court remains to be seen.
But Jennifer Dawson, writing in the Houston Business Journal, notes that Buckhead Investment Partners has been fiddling with those plans they keep submitting:
An alternate plan calling for a 226-apartment tower is on the drawing board and will be put into place if not enough condos are sold.
In order to address traffic concerns, Buckhead recently made some changes to the project design and commissioned an expanded traffic study.
Under the new plan, the Ashby driveway would only be used as an emergency exit. Buckhead also relocated the main driveway on Bissonnet to the center of the project, instead of having it on the east end of the site.
“It optimizes the traffic movements in and out of the driveway from both directions,” Morgan says.
Meanwhile, the development website still shows the older plan:
And a blogger at the Stop Ashby High Rise site points out that the project’s latest rejection by a city engineer cites “inconsistencies between various plan sets they have submitted.”
- Burying the lede [Houston Politics]
- 1717 Bissonnet Background & Status as of 2-25-09 [Buckhead Investment Partners]
- Traffic concerns cause more tower troubles on Bissonnet [Houston Business Journal]
- 1717 Bissonnet [Buckhead Investment Partners]
- Stop Ashby Update, 2/17/09 [Stop Ashby High Rise]
- Plan Check Comment Information [P&D]
- Ashby Highrise coverage [Swamplot]
Images: Buckhead Investment Partners