A Richwood Place National Night Out to remember

We were ready. The planning was over and now it was time for National Night Out!

The tables were set, the band was finishing their sound check and neighbors were beginning to arrive. Right on time, the fire truck from our local HFD Fire Station 16, pulled up. They said they were going to park in the middle of the street, blocking it. That sounded good to me. Just then they got a phone call ,”We have to make a quick run. We’ll be back!” Off they went, to work.

Meanwhile, the band started playing. Allen Oldies Band, all dressed in classic suits and ties playing from a neighbors’ front driveway and serenading folks as they walked down the street. They were great! The dance floor, aka. the driveway, was open and the children started to dance. The dancing wouldn’t end until the music did, well after dark.

Neighbors arrived from all over our 12 block neighborhood, adding their appetizer or sweet dish to the table, signing in, slapping on a nametag and grabbing a beverage. The party was off to a festive beginning as everyone began to talk with their friends and neighbors. And, the Fire Truck and firemen returned from Station 16.

We had well over 125 neighbors in attendance. One of the first to arrive was a gentleman who has lived in Richwood Place for 38 years. He talked about the changes to the neighborhood and said this was his “first neighborhood event!” He had received 2 invitations, so he had decided to come on out for the party. There was the couple who just moved in. They were excited to meet more of their neighbors and get a feel for the neighborhood. Of course, there were the familiar faces, the folks who support and come to every event and then there were the new faces, some young, some older. But, new. Lots of new smiling faces. And, kids! There were children everywhere. They were dancing, sneaking cookies from the food table, playing with giant blow-up hammers, running, walking and being held by their parents. They were happy to see each other.

This night was special. It is one that won’t soon be forgotten. And, it wouldn’t have happened without some very special folks that I’d like to take a moment to sincerely thank.

First, thank you to our hosts. For offering your part of the block…again! For grilling, helping to set everything up and cleaning up after the party. Thank you for offering a driveway stage and dance floor. And, to our hosts that were busy welcoming our newest resident. We thank you for always supporting our great neighborhood! Welcome to Richwood Place, little one.

Second, a huge “thank you” to our sponsors!!! Our neighbor and friend, Ash Rowell and Duff Beer and Wine Distribution provided all of the beer and wine. If you were there, you saw the variety of really great beers he provided for the event. This was awesome! Ash, you and Duff outdid yourself! Thank you!

Our invitations and banner would not have happened without two of our sponsors: Moustapha El-Hakam, Attorney at Law and REPRINT!, Your Local Printer. Thank you to Moustapha for designing the invitations, banner and street sign toppers. Our neighborhood printer, REPRINT!, located at the corner of S.Shepherd and 59, south of 59 printed everything for us. Craig Pritchard, at REPRINT!, was amazing to work with. They were fast and did everything right the first time. I thought the invites and banner looked amazing.

And a big thank you goes out to two Neighborhood Realtors for sponsoring the event: Cliff Helmcamp with Greenwood King and Jerry Blum with Heritage Texas. These two sponsorships were key to us being able to hire the Allen Oldies Band. And, that was such a huge part of making the night as fabulous as it was. The energy was great and the music was awesome! Thank you to Cliff Helmcamp and to Jerry Blum for your sponsorships of the event. The band rocked!

Thank you to all of the neighbors for coming to National Night Out 2011! It was a huge success. Please support our sponsors, as they were a big part of this event being as successful and fun as it was.

We will be following up with folks and asking them to join the civic association. Dues go toward events like this one, security, deed restriction enforcement, beautification projects, etc. You can join by clicking the above tab “Join Today!” Annual dues for 2011 are $25 per household, or you are welcome to donate more. Thank you for your support. We hope to see you around Richwood Place!

Richwood Place, A Post about Deed Restrictions

According to the City of Houston Planning Department, our neighborhood was originally platted in 1924. At that time, and as the neighborhood developed, there were deed restrictions encumbering  most, if not all of the properties that had an improvement, i.e. a single family home built. There have been many changes since that time. Most notably, the vast majority of the original deed restrictions lapsed according to their terms.  Recently, in the early 90s, neighbors and particularly the Civic Association began working to again form deed restrictions that would apply to the properties within our boundaries indefinitely and ultimately preserve the residential character of the neighborhood. They did this under Chapter 201 of the Texas Property Code. http://www.houstontx.gov/planning/Neighborhood/docs_pdfs/Chapter201Chart.pdf

Because this process allowed property owners to exclude their properties from the restrictions, we do have a handful of properties within our neighborhood that are not deed restricted. We have entire blocks that are 100% deed restricted and other blocks that have 2 or 3 excluded properties. One of our goals as a Civic Association outlined in our bylaws is to encourage property owners to sign on to the deed restrictions, which offers certainty and security to themselves, future owners and neighbors. If you are concerned about an activity that may violate deed restrictions, do not hesitate to contact the deed restriction committee chair, Brian Kilpatrick (brianbkil@gmail.com) or the President of the Civic Association, Rebekah Maddux El-Hakam (elrebekah@gmail.com).

As a side note, the majority of our neighborhood now has both the minimum lot size protection and the minimum building line protection through the Houston Planning Department. This sets a standard for the entire block for twenty years concerning what can be developed and where. Properties on blocks that have been approved for this ordinance are not able to opt out of this protection. Our deed restrictions do not allow for structures of any kind, including fences, to be built closer than 20 feet from the front property line. However, a property that is not deed restricted, but is subject to a 20 foot setback by the Minimum Building Line Ordinance can build a fence as long as it does not require a permit (currently, permits are required for fences 8 feet tall or taller or built with masonry) Again, please let Brian or Rebekah know if you have any questions specifically about deed restrictions or any other neighborhood concerns.

Neighborhood Block Party- May 10, 2011

Thank you to all of the residents who came out last night for the RPCA block party. It was a huge success!

Special thanks to:

the Stefaniaks for co-hosting and grilling some very tasty burgers!

the Bakers for co-hosting and letting us party in your driveway!

my husband for making countless delivery runs between Lexington and Norfolk and helping me with party shopping!

Sue Bailey for designing, printing and distributing the flyers. And, the Board for helping to distribute the flyers.

Jeron Ravin from Councilmember Adams’ Office for attending.

Firestation 16 for making a special trip for the kids and the kid in all of us after a very long day of fighting fires. We are very grateful to you!

And, to each of you for attending and bringing so much food to share! Thanks for paying your 2011 dues. If you would like to pay online visit www.richwoodplace.org and choose “Join Today!” You can pay the minimum of $26 to join online for 2011 or select a larger donation amount. Remember that it is voluntary to join the civic association. By becoming a member you have voting rights and are supporting the civic association by funding neighborhood events, beautification projects, deed restriction enforcement, security and various projects that come up throughout the year.

We appreciate your support. Thank you to all of the Board members for volunteering your time to make a successful party! We hope to see you all again soon.


Rebekah Maddux El-Hakam

President, Richwood Place Civic Association

*If you have additional photos, please send them to me and I will post them.

BLOCK PARTY- Tuesday, May 10, 6-8pm Middle Block of Norfolk (1827 and 1831 Norfolk)

Please join your neighbors and the Richwood Place Civic Association for a Block Party and Membership Drive

May 10, 2011


Middle Block of Norfolk, between Hazard and Woodhead

at 1827 Norfolk

Come out. Meet your neighbors. Join the Civic Association if you haven’t paid your current dues. And, enjoy a good time!

Please plan to bring a side dish to share- something sweet or something salty and something to drink to share as well (wine or beer). RPCA will provide burgers, hotdogs, drinks, cups, napkins and utensils.

2011 Annual Dues are a minumum donation of $25. You will be able to pay your dues online at  www.richwoodplace.org very soon! And/or, you can pay them at the party. We hope to see you there!



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.