Headlines: Getting Rid of Diesel Delivery Trucks; Growing Pains in The Woodlands

Photo of St. Arnold Brewery: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool

17 Comment

  • The Woodlands article describes it as “urban life without the grit, funkiness, aggravation and fear”. Couldn’t have put it better myself. No wonder it’s still a lot more popular with SANE individuals vs. the urban pioneering trend.

  • Right on commonsense, it’s all potemkin downtowns and genuine imitation pasteurized process cheese food product for me! The real stuff is too scary.

  • The Woodlands is nothing more than a example of our “throw-away culture” and reminds me of the fictitious city of Stepford … it has no soul. Wait 40 years then get back to us on how it works out in the long run.

  • The Woodlands’ rosy living is operating on borrowed time.
    I can’t say the it will seem as appealing a place to live when people bear the full cost of living there. Will people want to live there when all major highways are tollways (except for 45)? What about when water costs increase? What about road maintenance? TXDot is already trying to shift a lot of ‘their’ roads to cities to avoid costs.
    It will still offer a more suburban alternative to inner loop Houston. That’ll be it’s appeal. I just don’t think it’s apt to describe it in such glowing terms when compared to Houston when it’s nowhere near an apples to apples comparison.
    Come on. Now you’re just trolling.

  • “Unsightly” (their term, not mine) reality started crowding The Whitelands’ borders some time back. It’s just going to get realer around the edges.

  • @DNAGuy, sure the Woodlands is not for everybody, but what real cost are you talking about? They collect property taxes, sales taxes, and association dues… They maintain their own roads, their own MUD districts. In fact they’re more efficient than a city. There’s even new construction in older sections that were established in the 80’s and the older homes are being replaced. The area around the mall with all the new highrises and businesses is tantamount to the the density of a city core.

    Woodlands people love the tollorad, it’s only a couple of bucks to drive in luxury and let the peasants duke it out on I45.

    @passiveagressivebike, is living in a neighborhood with real crime and real poverty, and real weirdos somehow a right of passage?

    The Woodlands has been around for 30 years and is only bigger and better, inner loop has a lot more issues to worry about than Woodlands ever will.

  • The woodlands wouldn’t have come into existence, and wouldn’t exist, without the “grit”, etc. of Houston. Of course it’s nice, it’s a suburb, where residents escape from the true urban area that sustains their lifestyles.

  • commonsense, you got it right in the first half-sentence. The woodlands is not for everybody.

    People who are attracted to the woodlands think the cultural amenities offered by central Houston aren’t worth the “grit, funkiness, aggravation and fear”.

    People who are attracted to central Houston think the (slightly) lower crime and banishment of poor people aren’t worth the banality of the woodlands.

    This does not make one group sane and the other insane, it means different people value things differently.

  • Some family folk living up there have said that in recent years The Woodlands as turned into The Hoodlands.

  • @commonsense
    Here’s some details on what the Woodlands would have to pay for if they were to incorporate:
    A lot of the things they would have to pay for are currently subsidized with monies from other parts Montgomery / Harris county. Granted this happens in other parts of unincorporated parts of the counties.
    The difference is, however, those places aren’t as dense. Heck, it’s a great deal for the Woodlands to have two police forces providing the public safety for the area. However, it’s not the most efficient use of Harris or Montgomery county resources. Greater good and whatnot.

  • The township of the Woodlands doesn’t pay for roads, police, parks, courts, and few other “city like” services. The county pays for these things. So if the Woodlands was to become a city they would have to increase their taxes by 70% to cover the extra cost. So everyone else in the county is subsidizing the Woodlands lifestyle.
    you can be pretty efficient if other people are paying for you way of life.

  • Yes, the Montgomery county provides a lot of services to The Woodlands but the Woodlands also pays dearlyto Montgomery County in poperty taxes (most expensive and highest concentration of expensive homes in the entire county). I’ve heard it being referred to as the Crown Jewel of Montgomery county by the tax officials. It could be argued that the Woodlands is providing for the rest of the county.

  • It is funny to hear people in the burbs grouse about how “iffy” it is inside the loop. While Houston has its good parts and bad parts, compared to places like Philly, Chicago, DC, etc., Houston’s urban core is squeaky clean and safe. The stuff about “grit, funkiness . . .” etc. is just code for not wanting to be around poor people, ethnic food and artists who do something other than portraits of your family wearing the same white oxford and blue jeans.

  • So The Woodlands is getting a free ride from Montgomery County??? That is a joke.

  • I feel that, in a nutshell, what The Woodlands has going for it is the benefit of PLANNING.
    Schools, parks and shopping are equitably and conveniently arranged. Expectations are met and folks (particularly from out-of-state, out-of-country and with kids) buy in at a steady pace.
    Other side of coin:
    There are no organic “happy surprises” in T.W.’s Program. This is under-lined by some very successful “out-parcel” owners, completely surrounded by T.W., yet free to do what they want.
    One example: The always-packed Black Walnut Cafe (including other offices, dry-cleaner, Sonic, Double Dave’s Pizza as well as apartments) on Research Forest Drive where T.W. has built only a food-and-housing-desert of (historically verrrry under-rented) tech office space.
    I do not think Montgomery County actually subsidizes T.W. because the steep property assessments pay for a lot, including roads that have not been turned over to the county after a proved level of usership. Most of the M.U.D bonds have been paid off. In fact, T.W. has subsidized OTHERS – churches come to mind – to facilitate ingress/egress (over pipelines) as well as parking (shared with schools on, I believe, The Woodlands’ dime)
    As for fire protection, T.W. has benefited immediate exo-woodlands communities by including them in their service areas. OKAY, SO NOT COINCIDENTALLY, doing so gives them the Certificate of Need to build new stations in the first place.
    Yep, no doubt, the Hardy Tollroad is T.W.’s private drive-way. Money speaks. And politicians answer.
    The relationship between T.W. and Montgomery County has been, on balance, a Win-Win, I beleive.
    BUT, let’s not forget that T.W. wouldn’t exist if not for the fed’s subsidizing of the early 1970’s.
    George Mitchell was able to transform 1000’s of acres of old NG land into a planned community utilizing HUD matching grants, provided be build all levels of housing, including subsidized for income, age and mobility. That’s how small, starter-homes ended up on the Houston Open Tournament Players’ Golf Course.
    And he kept on horizontal-drilling under T.W. until it was tapped out!
    Lessons: Make hay while the sun shines. Be a good neighbor. Pay yourself first.

  • There are no horizontal wells under The Woodlands. There are very few wells at all, and nearly all of them were dry, if the Railroad Commission records are to be believed.

  • I think everybody is really missing the most important message from these headlines:
    Juan Carlos is fantastic and he makes my day every time I’m sitting at the forever backed up W Dallas/Montrose light.