April Updates

I have consolidated a few updates into a single post below:

  • I will attend the Neartown Montly Meeting tomorrow, April 27, at 7pm at the Cherryhurst Park Community Center, 1700 Missouri St, Houston, TX 77006.  The meeting agenda will include an update on the University Rail Line and the latest on the HEB Development.  Please feel free to attend as well.
  • A gentle reminder that the next Richwood Place Civic Association general meeting will be held Tuesday, May 11, at 7pm at Zoe’s restaurant on Shephard and Portsmouth.  Please plan to attend.
  • The next Neartown Development Forum will be held Saturday May 15th, 9 a.m – 1 p.m. at St. Stephen’s church Pecore Hall.  I will post the agenda when it becomes available.
  • Swamplot recently posted a HEB development update, including information about the variance application submitted by the new owners.
  • richmondrail.org recently published the METRO operations review findings from Mayor Parker’s transition team task force, which includes some commentary about the University Line as well as a link to a HoustonTomorrow article that provides a summary of the reports.
  • The examiner reports Buffalo Bayou could soon be named a National Heritage Area.  If approved, Buffalo Bayou will be the first National Heritage Area in the State of Texas and the Buffalo Bayou National Heritage Area can receive up to $1 million annually for 10 years.
  • KTRK posted an article about the recent city council vote to raise water and sewer rates.

Tuesday Night out for Richmond Rail – Marie Selma

The many wonderful restaurants along Richmond Avenue play a big part in making Neartown, Upper Kirby, and Greenway Plaza vital places to live and work. Studies show that restaurants are often the first businesses to benefit when rail service begins — rail transit brings hungry customers! But many Richmond restaurant owners are fearful of the disruption created during rail construction.

It’s in our interest to ensure Richmond businesses survive and thrive. Tuesday Nights Out are our way of showing Richmond business owners that RichmondRail supporters are their customers today and will continue to support them throughout construction. When we show up as a group of customers sporting green and white RichmondRail buttons and t-shirts, it sends a powerful message that we support rail and we support their businesses.

This month’s Night Out will be held at Marie Selma – 1617 Richmond Avenue.

Crime alert from BOCA

From the BOCA Mailing list:

Today at 4:55 am a resident in the 2100 block of Milford St. was awakened by an intruder who was trying break in to the home by picking the lock on the back door. The suspect, who is described as white male, about 5’10” and stocky, wearing white t-shirt with writing on it and faded jeans, fled when the owner turned on the outdoor lights. The fact that there was an alarm system, a high wrought iron gate, and residents clearly at home did not deter this burglar who also damaged the iron gate during his getaway. The one suspect was seen, but there may have been an accomplice. This incident is on the heels of a nearby auto theft that occurred on Thursday night in the 2100 block of Banks.

The Patrol reports that the suspect who had thrown pavers through windows on Banks several weeks ago is in custody. The Patrol apprehended another burglar last week in the 1300 block of Banks. It is a disturbing sign of these hard economic times that there are multiple burglars (or pairs of burglars) working in the neighborhood.

You can help deter these thieves by turning on your porch and outdoor lights and leaving them on all night. With the trees leafing out this spring, our streets are suddenly much darker at night and very few residents are leaving their outdoor lights on after 11 p.m. Please help deter these burglars by turning on your lights at night, all night. Although the Patrol can respond in a matter of a minute or two, it is no replacement for an ounce of prevention.

More burglary prevention tips can be found here.

If you see anything suspicious (including loitering), please call the HPD non-emergency number at (713) 884-3131. If there are sufficient reports from our neighborhood, the HPD will take additional actions.

$10 Trees Today Only

I just caught this on the morning news. Today from 8:00 AM to noon, Trees for Houston has trees for all Houstonians, just in time for Arbor Day! For a suggested donation of $10, you can choose four-foot-tall or larger tree. Then, with a little work and care, you will soon have something beautiful that can be enjoyed for generations.

4000 Greenbriar @ US 59

Available tree species inclues : Sycamore | Loblolly | Pine Live Oak | Shumard Red Oak Cedar Elm | Bald Cypress

City of Houston Off-Street Parking Community Meetings next 3 weeks

Off-Street Parking Community Meetings
The Houston Planning Commission is examining off-street parking issues and whether changes to Chapter 26 of the Code of Ordinances are needed. Some of the topics that will be discussed include, but are not limited to shared parking, parking management areas, types of occupancy and intensity of use (i.e. bars, types of restaurants, etc.), parking incentives for development along transit corridors or for restoration of historic buildings, lifts and valet parking, just to name a few.
The community meetings are as follows:
Wednesday, April 7 from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Havens Center1827 W. Alabama, Houston, TX 77098
Wednesday, April 14 from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Judson Robinson Jr. Community Center2020 Hermann Dr, Houston, TX  77004
Wednesday, April 21 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
United Way of Greater Houston
50 Waugh Drive, Houston, TX 77007
You may access the existing parking ordinance at
http://library.municode.com/index.aspx?clientId=10123&stateId=43&stateName=Texas; choose Chapter 26 in the left window.
If unable to attend one of the meetings, comments and ideas may be submitted by email to parkingcomments@cityofhouston.net or by mail to Dipti Mathur, City of Houston Planning Department, P.O. Box 1562, Houston, TX 77251. The process may be followed on the Planning and Development Department’s website at www.houstonplanning.com.

Rogue Car Wash Operation – 2000 Block of Lexington @ Shepherd

Dear Neighbors,

Wanted to alert you to a rogue car wash operation being conducted on the S. side of Lex @ Shepherd (behind 2020 SW FWY a.k.a. The Sullo & Sullo Bldg.). I spoke with the operator of the business (an African American male in his mid 40’s wearing a neon orange safety vest) who informed me that he planned to continuously set up shop at this location. Good luck.

I called HPD’s non-emergency line (713-884-3131) and reported the business activity two separate times over the course of several hours. I was called by Officer Jaquarya, Badge No. 7017, Unit No. 1A38E, who informed me that he would allow the operator to “finish up” on the one car he was currently working on but that was it. After all, he’s operating a business on the public ROW – a direct violation of the C of H Municipal Code, not to mention the area where he is operating is designated a “no parking” zone for good reason. According to Officer Jaquarya, this car wash outfit was contracted by Blackhawk Security (a lessee at 2020 SW FWY) to wash all their patrol cars.

I called Blackhawk Security’s Sr. VP (Bruce @ 713 526-7477) who was less than courteous and I informed him that any more car washing operations on the street will be reported to the police and he could be subject to citation given the fact that he is contracting with the mobile car wash service and is therefore able to exercise control over them.

If anyone sees this pseudo-business in operation on our streets (they tow a water tank on a trailer), I’d appreciate a quick call to HPD non-emergency to report.


Cherryhurst burglary

From the Cherryhurst web site:

Around 2:00am today (Easter Sunday) a Cherryhurst home (on Fairview) was burglarized while the homeowner slept. Burglars entered from the alley side. Items of value were taken from the home and the burglar(s) drove away in the homeowner’s car.