In a letter sent to Southampton residents, Mayor Parker says she is recommending that the city settle the lawsuit filed against it by the developers of the proposed Ashby Highrise. “Unfortunately, the city has no legal basis for stopping” the building from being constructed, she writes: “Even success in the courtroom in the City’s litigation against the developers . . . would not halt the project, since the developers would still be able to proceed with their current permit application, which mirrors that which the city was compelled to approve in 2009.”
Instead, Parker writes that the settlement will allow the city to “ensure some control” over certain aspects of the multi-story residential tower: “It will also eliminate any possibility that the developers can build a project as large as that sought in 2007, or that the City may be subject to damages for its failure to approve that permit applications, either of which can happen if the City loses the current litigation.”
But the building allowed under the proposed settlement may not turn out to be substantially different from Buckhead Investment Partners’ original proposal. Under the terms described in the letter, the city will grant a permit for a highrise 21 stories high (excluding the roof) that meets certain traffic conditions. That’s 2 stories shorter than the permit already granted by the city, but the height cap may not reduce the number of residential units in the building. “One such qualifying plan consists of 228 residential high-rise units, 10,075 square feet of quality restaurant use, and four residential town homes,” Parker writes. “In addition, the project will incorporate a pedestrian plaza as envisioned in the foundation permit plan originally filed in 2007, which enhances the appearance of the project fronting Bissonnet.” (See drawing above.)
Other negotiated items in the proposed settlement: driveways for trucks and passenger vehicles facing both Ashby and Bissonnet, with some restrictions; an 8-ft. fence along the south and east property lines; plantings on the south and east walls of the building’s 5-story parking garage; and various lighting and noise protections for neighbors. Plus, tower residents will have free loaner bikes and a free weekday shuttle service to and from the Med Center.
- Mayor Parker: Houston has no legal basis to stop 21-story Ashby high-rise [West University Examiner]
- City can’t stop the Ashby high-rise [Prime Property]
- Ashby Highrise coverage [Swamplot]
Plan: Buckhead Investment Partners, via City of Houston