Comment of the Day: An Absurdist Everyman’s Visit to His Local Management District Board

COMMENT OF THE DAY: AN ABSURDIST EVERYMAN’S VISIT TO HIS LOCAL MANAGEMENT DISTRICT BOARD Illustration of Master Planners“If you attend a TIRZ meeting at 8:00 AM on a Friday morning, you will realize the distrust and dissent that the TIRZ has created in a once cohesive community. As the meeting convenes, you can hear the roar of the cement truck in the background, covering every square foot of the TIRZ district with parking garages and multistory apartments. And where is the detention for all this impervious surface? The storm water runoff is detained in the residential streets and private homes of the surrounding neighborhoods. Just try signing up for the Public Comment period. Your 2 minutes disappear as the Chair detects an speaker unsympathetic to the TIRZ and cuts the mike. Your questions are not answered, so you try again, this time with an Open Records Request. Now you meet the TIRZ lawyers, plural, a sassy bunch, who can look you in the face and say with impunity that the record does not exist. It was just a typo.” [Long Time Houstonian, commenting on State Bill Would Call for TIRZ Elections in Certain Cities That End in ‑OUSTONIllustration: Lulu

8 Comment

  • Its certainly time to get some sunlight in these boards. We elect all other positions doling out hundreds of millions of dollars. How’d they get an exception in the first place?

  • @All TIRZed Out: They presumably cut some pols into the game.

  • Ge t rid of the TIRZ’s. They’re a bunch of power mad, money sucking LEECHES..@ AllTIRZedOut: They “donated ” to the re-election funds of local pols aka legalized BRIBES !!!

  • this is how:
    http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/TX/htm/TX.311.htm
    .
    My favorite part is what qualifies as a TIRZ:
    .
    Sec. 311.005. CRITERIA FOR REINVESTMENT ZONE.
    .
    parts 1 through 3 exactly what you would expect, impoverished area, area where no one wants to build, under served area.
    .
    part 4 is basically, you and a bunch of your buddies that own contiguous land can ‘petition’ the city. That’s all it takes. From what I’m reading, if you had 5 people who owned ONE single piece of land, you can petition for that land to be its very own TIRZ, and as the only thing you have to do is submit a petition, there’s no vetting process that I see, you are now the proud parents of a TIRZ!.
    .
    The best thing to do though, is to buy up land with you and your buddies, then create an area that includes other businesses in the area that don’t account for more than 50% of the wealth of that land, then make it a tirz. make the other guys taxes work for you, rather than the city!
    .
    up until that 4th method of creating a TIRZ, it’s a great program aimed at helping underserved communities.

  • TIRZ boards are really strange things. With my limited knowledge of TIRZ boards I’ve seen two different spectrums.

    You have the TIRZ board managed by developers because they own the large tracks of undeveloped land. In these areas, the developers take most of the TIRZ funds for improvements for their site only.

    Then you have the community TIRZ, with members that drive Mercedes and Lexus cars when you know that they shouldn’t be able to afford them.

  • All sounds about right in the good ‘ole’ H. Good times!

  • @MrClean – in both versions you mention, the board members are apoointed by the mayor with approval by city hall

  • @Tirz Watch – My limited understanding…. but are TIRZ members first are voted in by other members and then assigned by council / mayor.