The complicated thing about trying to turn an old Heights home — like this one at 733 W. 24th St. — into a coffee shop is that the neighborhood’s original lots are smaller than Houston allows for commercial use. Although the house pictured at top sits on a pair of adjacent 25-ft. lots, their combined frontage still falls short of the 60-ft. minimum required to lump them together into a space for something other than single-family residential.
But that’s not stopping the owner that bought the house earlier this year from seeking an exception to the rule. On Thursday, Houston’s city planning commission will consider a variance that’d allow the plans to go ahead anyway by consolidating the lots into a single 50-ft.-wide, business-friendly parcel.
Then comes the question of parking. Right now, a driveway leads up to a carport on the west side of the house:
The new owners plan to blaze a one-way trail for cars on the flip side of things, in the yard that buffers the house from a neighboring bungalow. Five slant parking spots would then share the backyard, just shy of where the new driveway turns left to merge with the alley that runs between Durham and Shepherd, south of 25th St.:
Slated for preservation: the front porch, which could make a nice outdoor coffie-drinking area:
- 733 W. 24th St. [HAR]
Site plan and aerial: Houston Planning Commission Agenda. Photos: HAR