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UPDATED AGAIN “Super Block”; Mayor’s Statement

November 9, 2014 By:George Boehme

Local News

UPDATED: Sunday, November 9.

UPDATED MASTER PLAN: Master Plan

UPDATED MAYOR’S STATEMENT: Mayor’s Statement

UPDATED FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

From the Mayor’s Statement:

“There are no plans to eliminate the Library, Community Building or Senior Services. However, due to the age of the buildings, they will need to be rebuilt in the foreseeable future. It is anticipated that any decision to rebuild those buildings would require voter approval at that time.”

ORIGINAL POST

Here is a list of updated facts regarding the West University Place proposed land-use plan (Super Block). This is a land-use plan for future municipal facilities to be built or replaced over the next 30 to 50 Years. These facts were developed after conversations with elected officials and city administration today.

  • Changes to the Library, Community Building or Senior Services Building are not under consideration. Also, there are no plans to consider selling or trading the city library, senior center or community center tracts.
  • Any future facilities would require the sale of bonds, which would require additional public meetings and possible city-wide votes.
  • The proposal does NOT include the use of “eminent domain.”
  • It has been a goal of previous City Councils to relocate the public works maintenance facility, located on the northeast corner of Milton at College, to a more suitable location outside of the city. This is where garbage trucks and other trades vehicles are serviced and sometimes stored.
  • Prior to the completion of the master plan, West University Baptist Church notified West U it was going to build  a youth center on the property it currently owns on the south side of Amherst Street next to the City Hall parking lot.
  • Existing zoning rules allow WUBC to build a youth facility on the Amherst site. The City Council was concerned the proposed construction would foreclose the option of relocating future municipal facilities contiguous to city hall.
  • West U asked WUBC to consider building its youth center at Milton and College, the current location of the municipal maintenance facility. Under that scenario, West U would receive the land currently owned by WUBC contiguous with city hall.
  • West U would relocate its maintenance facility outside the city.

Two informational meetings are scheduled for November 17 at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. in the West U Community Center at 6104 Auden to provide information about the long range facilities master plan and to gather public input. The West U City Council will not discuss this topic or take any action in any meetings until after the two informational meetings take place on November 17.

 

74 Responses to “UPDATED AGAIN “Super Block”; Mayor’s Statement”

  1. MiltonWatchDog Says:

    Run, Vernon, Run. I will support you for Council or Mayor. You have brought light to dark dealings of Council and the City Manager that uninformed West U residents that may have never been aware of. And when you win, fire the City Manager, City Attorney and our 3-day a week Police Chief.

  2. David B. Says:

    Thank you, Vernon, for identifying yourself and standing up to those who choose to hide. Anonymous and Election Time — please reveal yourselves.

  3. truerock Says:

    The City should use eminent domain to purchase the Baptist church’s property on Amherst. The City cannot handle the traffic, crowds and demands on services from a mega-church.

    Pastor Roger refers to “developing our plans for growth and expansion” and his “accelerated vision” in his letter to his congregation. His vision is that “West University Baptist Church is in a season of growth”.

    If Pastor Roger has aspirations bigger than West U then his ego may be to big to fit in such a small city.

    • Agree Says:

      Pastor Roger’s statement is disturbing.

    • Sportxbra Says:

      Mayor Fry and Council didn’t do their homework.
      The Library property is out-of-bounds.
      Hands off Mayor and Council.
      You are out of touch, uninformed, incompetent, insensitive to your constituents.
      Bye bye!!!

  4. Vernon Tyger Says:

    I have nothing but love for Election Time and Tangley Resident.

    There may be different ways to interpret facts, and I’d be happy to meet at Starbucks on Buffalo Speedway tomorrow at 1:00pm to discuss them. One thing is irrefutable; MOST OF OUR COMMUNITY DOES NOT WANT INCREASED COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT IN OUR CITY.

    • Anonumous Says:

      Election Time, please lets focus on the issues. No need to create a vitriolic environment. Somebody could reach the conclusion that you have personal issues with Vernon Tyger that carried over to this debate..

  5. emetz Says:

    I read the proposed zoning ordinance changes. There were provisions in there for heights of up to 45 feet and three stories. The proposals were not consistent. There was also discussion of having a parking garage on the back part of the property as that would have been the only way to generate enough parking spaces. The changes were a purported need because if some disaster befell the existing properties then they couldn’t be rebuilt as the are currently configured. However, the zoning changes would have been a windfall rather than a make whole. It was also rushed along. Kudos to Vernon for at least bringing the issues to light.

    • emetz Says:

      I was referring to the PROPOSED changes from 2011 which were never passed-largely due to community opposition. Parking structures were clearly discussed as part of that plan.

      • emetz Says:

        You can see in the Cit Council minutes from 10/13/2011 that that plan was modified based on public feedback. Ironicilly, there was extensive discussion of the Super Block as well.

        The Town Center: Mr. Wilson said the prior Town Center proposal has been modified in three basic respects.
        ( 1 ) Height limitation has been limited to 35 feet, with no extensions for anything including rooftop equipment;
        ( 2) there has been a lot of back and forth as to whether there should be an express limitation to two stories. He said he believes that a consensus was reached late week net there should be such an express limitation, because with construction needs and parking requirements combined, you can’ t really get three stories in 35 feat anyway; and
        ( 3) no parking structures will be permitted in that District

        He said other than those three changes the prior proposal is being brought forward again.

  6. emetz Says:

    Why is it a foregone conclusion that the library and senior center must be replaced? There are many buildings in many cities around the country (not to mention the world) that are continuously used for hundreds of years. The existing building are well suited to their purpose and the scale of the city (as opposed to the humongous Community Center on Bellaire). It seems that by removing those two buildings from the equation the rest of the swaps and re-locations could happen and no one would be forced to move.

  7. Anonumous Says:

    Election Time, can you please point to misleading statements on Vernon’s website? It would be greatly appreciated.

  8. Anonumous Says:

    Tangley Resident, can you please point to incorrect statements that Vernon’s website makes for the Zoning/Town Center issue and the SuperBlock? I would greatelly appreciate it.

  9. Kristen Says:

    This does not need to be as confusing as they are making it. Are they “swapping the library and community center?” From their poorly worded blanket statements- it appears we are “trading” 9000 square feet of land on Auden for 5000 square feet of land on University/Amherst. Is this true? Do we understand the value of the real estate in question? The church is a lovely neighbor- but the city needs to ensure it is making decisions in the best interest of the CITY and not rushing to make a church imposed timeline.

    No question the library needs an overhaul. But the community center? It’s lovely. I also would love to see the garbage trucks relocated. I’d just like my city government to be transparent with their decisions.

    • Sunset Says:

      It all seems very simple to me. The city can use eminent domain of the properties belonging to the church adjacent to city hall as they do not want a youth center there. The idea of giving the church land now used for the garbage trucks sounds absurd. Having such a large piece of land in the center of the city should be put to use for all of the citizens. Now here’s an idea – The current gym @ the rec center is too small so why not have one in the center of the city so people can walk or bike to it. I personally would like to see more youth activities sponsored by the city in this central location. I used to like the community center when it had activities for all ages. I find it depressing now.

  10. advocatefortransparency Says:

    It is my understanding that tonight’s council meeting is not for any decisions regarding the Super Block. That discussion will occur on November 17 at the town hall meetings. No decisions regarding property swaps with the church are being made by city council until January of 2015 in a public council meeting and the library, senior, community buildings are not being considered. Am I missing something? Isn’t this what we wanted? It sounds like tonight is purely the Kelly/Reilly/Dutch circus where they parade the poor seniors out that are allegedly being kicked out of their homes (tomorrow). Sounds like it’s only about the show to them now.

    • Neighborhood Senior Says:

      I am a Senior. Your comments about “poor seniors” are insulting.

    • Anonymous Says:

      advocate for lack of transparency is more like it. Do some research would you? This whole rushed mess stinks to high heaven.

  11. longcat Says:

    One interesting point I haven’t seen raised is the ongoing economic impact of this situation. Every lot the church purchases decreases the amount of property tax the city could collect by up to $5-6,000 (which is the going west u tax rate for a new construction house that could be built on that lot) – which then has to be made up by the rest of us. With the # of lots that they have bought, that all adds up to a considerable burden (in perpetuity) on the rest of us.

    As for the city itself, why does West U need any more land in a super block? Our population is stagnant. Is there some major hiring boom or major expansion of services provided contemplated in the future? If not, I would think the city could live within its existing footprint and not contribute to foisting our neighbors on University and Amherst out of their houses (regardless of the Mayor’s statement, it will have a chilling effect on values for those houses and whether current residents can economically benefit from any improvements to their structures). Put yourself in their shoes – what would you want to happen if it was your home?

    • Brokelyn Says:

      Why does the church need all this property?? I am not of their faith, I receive no benefits from them, and by forcing this issue they are being bad neighbors in our City of Neighbors

      Look at this message board as evidence. All that the church has done has divided us and caused great fear and anger. Nobody has had the guts to say it yet, so I will. If the church won’t work with us then it can get out of town.

  12. Rice Resident - I live nearby 2 Says:

    Agree with “I live nearby” so call me I live nearby 2. Let us get those trash trucks and industrial complex out of the city center. I’ve love not to have to see those things every morning and evening. Lets go through the proper steps to get everyone to agree.

    • Lucille Says:

      One of the many suggestions made in the past was to hire a professional company to collect the garbage, thus no more trash trucks. It would be another step by the city to urbanize West U. However, the large trucks that provide this kind of service would add to the congestion and damage the fairly new streets.
      I like the new Instant News format. It’s not as cluttered.

  13. Cincinnatus Says:

    Pay attention to what the Mayor’s statement does not say. It does not say that the library and community center will not be sold. That was never the plan short term. The plan was to sell those properties to West U Baptist church, and then lease them back for 5 to 10 years. That scheme is consistent with the mayor’s statement. It would be a terrible idea. We need to show up tomorrow night to ensure that no City properties are sold period. My house is more than 70 years old. It does not need to be replaced. The City manager wants a brass nameplate with his name on a new building. We don’t need that.

    • longcat Says:

      That sounds plausible, and I’m 100% against selling that land to the church. If the structures need to be rebuilt in the future, then they can be rebuilt on that land which fronts the Elementary school and not residences across University. I wouldn’t want the library and senior center built across the street from my house, and they are much more appropriately located on Auden. I’m not anti-WUBC, but I can’t say that I like the thought of them controlling 2 whole blocks and most of the highly visible land fronting the elementary school on Auden just so they can build some youth center and who knows whatever else they dream up.

      The youth center will undoubtedly increase already congested traffic in this area during WUES pick up and drop off and bring more non-west u traffic into the heart of the city.

  14. Serious Says:

    Saddle up folks . . . an election is coming.

    I’d like to know a few items: 1) A statement from each member of council, stating their support or lack of support for this land swap. Need specifics and reasoning. 2) Who on council will be seeking office next year 3) who will go out on a limb and actually say they are running or gearing up for a run at a council position – this is directed to anyone who wants to declare . . . but mainly to Mr Tyger, Mr. Kelly, Mr. Reilly 4) a realistic timeline for this land swap business – are we talking about something that will happen in the next month, before the election, or after?

    Simple questions. Common sense questions.

    I think I speak for a number of people that just want all of the motivations put out there and let us make decisions on our own.

  15. advocatefortransparency Says:

    Concerned, Please accept my sincere apology, I did not realize lawyers had feelings. Seriously though, based on the research it does sound like a city cannot stop it but can require that it be built to the city’s code requirements. I guess we must also assume that a youth center must be a bad thing in West U.

  16. Anonymous Says:

    Please accept my sincere apology, I did not know lawyers had feelings.

  17. Concerned in West U Says:

    Gotta love the anti-lawyer attack from Mr. Transparency. I guess it’s okay for Zoning Lawyer to post something you agree with, but if somebody questions that viewpoint they are an evil lawyer?

    My point on the RLUIPA was to question assumptions that are being presented as absolutes in order to stifle opposition. As I stated in my original post (and more concisely put by Mike Brem), RLUIPA does not grant carte blanche to churches to do anything they want, and city zoning decisions are frequently upheld in situations just like this one. Zoning Lawyer’s response does not change my view.

    For the record, I am not necessarily opposed to the plan if there is full transparency and public support. I just don’t appreciate city officials trying to sell it to us on the basis that they are legally helpless to stop it.

  18. advocatefortransparency Says:

    I have found that anytime I report a car blocking the sidewalk or otherwise parked illegally and notified the city they immediately addressed it. Have you ever tried that?

  19. Georgetown Resident Says:

    Why does our city allow cars to park on the sidewalk? It’s dangerous and against the law. I agree with Sports Bra. Kind of stupid that we paid millions to install sidewalks and then we render them useless.

  20. WU History Says:

    It might be helpful to understand the history of the Community Center land. It was donated by Dave Austin and W.D.Haden (early 1940s) to the City with reversion rights if no longer used for a community center. The City may not have clear title to the land??
    Sources: “Stepping back in time- History of west University Place”, 1999, by June Begeman TX 976.414 Beg (available at West U, Harris County Library).
    West U Historical Society Records are at Houston Public Library MRC: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/houpub/00209/hpub-00209.html

  21. Mike Brem Says:

    As a party directly affected by this whole affair, I’d like to ask a question of Zoning Lawyer. If, as you say, “the law is clear regarding the issue of a church being able to build a youth center on residentially zoned land”, why haven’t you cited a case for that proposition?

    I read the two cases (and others on the same issue) cited by Concerned. While you’re correct that they aren’t precisely on point with our issue here, the underlying rationale for for both is a simple thought: “RLUIPA cannot stand for the proposition that a construction plan is immune from a town’s zoning ordinance simply because the institution undertaking the construction pursues a religious mission.”

    As Kate noted above, we’re persuadable on this issue and a case standing for the proposition you’re urging would be “helpful” to you use your words. I’ll look forward to your response.

    • Mike Brem Says:

      Since you admit there’s no case law and the statute isn’t clear, then you also have to agree that your statement that “the law is clear regarding the issue of a church being able to build a youth center on residentially zoned land” is a bit of stretch, don’t you?

      My quick research and Concern’s both suggest that it’s anything but clear and, if anything, the City has the slightly better of the argument.

      As a property owner in the proposed Super Block, this issue is obviously pretty important to us.

  22. Nancy Gilbertson Says:

    Dear I live nearby: A change of this magnitude needs to be honestly, clearly, and accurately communicated to the residents. David got involved at the request of an elderly friend. The Baptist Church has been pursuing / trying to get her property for years. She is upset and worried as are some of our neighbors on University Blvd. We do not know what the Church or City of West U really wants or has agreed to behind closed doors. What a mess both players have created with all the secrecy.

  23. Concerned in West U Says:

    I disagree with Mr. Boehme’s bullet point #6 stating that “existing zoning rules allow WUBC to build a youth facility on the Amherst site.” That lot is very clearly zoned residential, and the city is NOT required to issue a variance or special exception to allow construction of a youth facility. This would set an effective precedent to allow any religious institution to construct a similar building in the middle of any block in the area.

    I also disagree that the “Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000” is a legitimate concern here. That law is designed to stop cities from passing or applying zoning laws in a way that unfairly burdens religious institutions. It does not stop a city from enforcing its common sense residential zoning laws. There are literally dozens of reported legal decisions where churches lose these cases. See for example: (1) Living Water Church of God v Charter Twp. Of Meridian (2007, CA6) 258 Fed Appx 729 [“Township’s decision to deny church’s application for special use permit to build larger facility did not impose a “substantial burden” on church’s religious exercise, so as to violate Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act”]; and (2) Cathedral Church of the Intercessor v Inc. Vill. of Malverne (2005, ED NY) 353 F Supp 2d 375. [“Simply because church is religious institution does not mean it receives unencumbered right to zoning approval for non-religious uses.”]. In the case of West U Baptist Church, the city has already worked closely with the church to facilitate construction of a huge complex in the middle of West U. For the church to turn around and sue the city because they were denied the right to plop an oversized “youth facility” next to people’s houses would not be a case that has a high chance of success (not to mention pretty shameful to sue the city which has been nothing but a good neighbor to them).

    I have noticed that city officials keep invoking the Religious Land Use law like frightened schoolchildren. “Oh poor us – the church will file a lawsuit and they could recover attorney fees!” Given the actual facts and the law here, this fear-mongering seems contrived, and part of whatever plan has been cooked-up.

    • advocatefortransparency Says:

      Sounds like another proud member of the fraternity of attorneys ($$$$). We all get to pay the bill with our tax dollars on an unwinnable lawsuit. Help me understand again why the youth center is a bad idea on the corner of Milton, instead of the garbage facility. Based on the drawing it looks much better and I’m sure it will smell much better.

  24. advocatefortransparency Says:

    Well it sounds like you’re in luck Christina. It appears that was only one of many options presented by the citiy’s consultant for the city to consider. It appears that the existing library, community building and senior building are not in play at all. However we all should continue to pay attention just to make sure. I plan to attend the town hall meetings on November 17th to make sure since that is my primary concern.

  25. Christina Propst Says:

    So…about the land on which the library now sits…does anyone know the truth? Did Mayor Fry in fact propose selling it to WU Baptist Church, in which Councilman Ed Heathcott is a leader, with a 10 year lease back? That is what his Mayor Pro-tem appears to be saying.
    I am 100% opposed to selling the Library and Community/Sr.Center land to the church.

    • Mike Says:

      I know for a fact it was part of the Master Plan . You can see it for yourself, it is buried in the master plan on the west u website. Come on people wake up. Show up at the council meeting Monday night. Listen to your neighbors, you won’t believe what is going on if you are really interested!

      • West U Resident Says:

        I think Mike is really Bob Kelly in disguise.

      • Lucille Says:

        Mike is right. All this discussion and yes, mess, could have been avoided if residents attended the council meetings and watched what their well-meaning neighbors come up with. I lived on a corner lot for 40 years, enjoying gardening, etc. paying no attention to what was going on at city hall. One day, I realized that a plan was underway that turned the easement that ran the entire length of my lot into a section of a jogging trail complete with trash receptacles. Of course, none of the council would have had a jogging trail in their yards. I could just imagine the crowds of jogging lovers who would flock to West U from other areas of the city. As it was, Greenway Plaza employees enjoyed lunch time runs in the city. If attending the meetings isn’t convenient, at least take turns attending the meetings.

  26. Mike Says:

    you are very snarky tangle resident. This has nothing to do with bob Kelly or Vernon. The city and church were working very quietly to completely change the city center. The church gets more property, their new youth center, a parking lot where the library and sr. center are, and we the taxpayers get to move a bunch of buildings, increase traffic, buyout 4 of our fellow citizens homes, and take on a bunch of new debt. Why don’t you do a little research before “snarking”?

  27. PushinMyBabyIntoTheStreet Says:

    And Michael Ross should take on a wheelchair and try to get from the Super Block to the future Kirby/West U retail center, that’s going to happen, via our improved sidewalks, without being forced into the street by corner lot driveways that block sidewalks, but only after he wheels by WU Church and prays he will make it alive without getting run over by all the cut through traffic from Kirby. There’s a ramp for that. Just check with ADA.

    • Lucille Says:

      I didn’t realize how bad it has become, since I haven’t had a baby in a carriage to walk since 1962. I do remember pushing my mother in a wheelchair and needing more ramps in the early 1990s. You might consider speaking at one of the City Council Meetings about the problems of just walking. There are probably many others who have the same difficulty.

  28. advocatefortransparency Says:

    I think Lucille has it right. What’s important to Ross is whatever is important to at least three of his city council.

  29. Lucille Says:

    Why is it that if a resident or employee has an interest in the governance of a city, it must be driven by ulterior motives providing personal gain?

  30. advocatefortransparency Says:

    Now that’s a cause I could get behind.

  31. PushinMyBabyIntoTheStreet Says:

    Speaking of vehicles, West U should spend all the money on a parking facility, free to residents only, that takes their parked vehicles off the streets and off the blocked sidewalks of almost every damn corner house. Now this is something for Kelly and the boys to chew on.

    • Lucille Says:

      Parking facilities have their drawbacks. Multi-level parking garages seem to attract crime and skateboards. I lived on a corner lot and used my garage to park my car instead of storage. The older houses may only have a single-car garage since not all families had two cars. However, houses were constructed with the garage in the back and a long driveway along the side for parking. Of course, the biggie is that now big houses are built on small lots. The fortunate owner of a big house probably has a staff that has to park on the street since the house may be built as close as allowed to the street. Blocked sidewalks didn’t interfere with my daily walks as much as all the leaf blowers.

      • PushinMyBabyIntoTheStreet Says:

        Hon, I can just see you jogging down University or Rice Blvd in your sports bra running your surrogate babies in the streets cause those damn cars were blocking the sidewalks on the corner lots. Oh, maybe that was before the sidewalks were all redone and before Surburbans/RangeRovers were dereguire. Just try today to walk around any block in WU without having to put your baby carriage in the street, guided by your sports bra or your nanny.

  32. advocatefortransparency Says:

    I cannot believe that the city revised/clarified their position after public input. Oh wait, that’s what we asked for.

    Who was it that was saying that the city was planning to demolish the library now and evict the seniors tomorrow? That must have been Reilly and Kelly’s BS to scare everyone.

    • West U Resident Says:

      I’m pretty sure Tyger got roped into sending the petition for Bob Kelly and Brennan Reilly. This is their big issue. Well, running for office is Kelly’s big issue, and this issue is a vehicle to get publicity.

  33. fawaz hashmi Says:

    The first two bullets are a total revision of whats been stated in the mayors letter and published. Additionally, how does “Existing zoning rules allow WUBC to build a youth facility on the Amherst site” – is anyone now allowed to convert residential properties to non residential purposes – thats BS. The city does not have to provide the permit to build the facility.
    What would the city’s position be if someone wanted to build a mosque? Or a temple? I doubt if the city would be so accommodating – there is a reason we have a separation between church and state since we are not Iran.
    It means saying NO – HELL NO to the baptist church – just because you acquire a property does not mean you can make it for you want it just because you are a church.

  34. advocatefortransparency Says:

    Help me understand why we prefer the church to build their youth center and parking lots all around the homes on Amherst and University instead of on the corner of Milton and College and then use the parking they already have along Milton to the senior building? I’m sure the city could find an attorney that would agree that the city should prevent the church from building and then we could all pay hundreds of thousands of dollars over the next five to ten years while appearing on national news. That attorney would be the only winner.

  35. Nancy Gilbertson Says:

    Remember the Town Center Project. Slightly different players, except for our city Manager, same problems with private interests over resident interests and reluctance to share the “facts”. This was eventually tabled a few years ago due to public opposition. I am sure eventually it will quietly be back in the works. I believe Ed Heathcott represents the interests of the Baptist church. This does not make him an evil person, but in my eyes he is misguided. West U is about 2 square miles with approximately 15,000 people, existing traffic congestion on the streets affected here. The Baptist church has some plans for I guess some kind of youth center. Who knows what they are planning, it could be a half-way house, or dog park. We have every right to know what is going on and vote on the outcome.

    • West U Resident Says:

      Nancy The Town Center project is alive and well and slated to be voted on in the next few weeks.

  36. West U Resident Says:

    You’re on the right track, Tangley, but I think it’s more Bob Kelly trying to make a comeback and run in May.

    • Mike Says:

      You have no idea how in bed mike ross, the church and the city are in letting the church build and acquire property. Get your facts. This is George doing mike ross bidding. This thing stinks.

  37. Kate Brem Says:

    My husband and I own one of the properties in the proposed super block and have, understandably, been engaged in this process since we received the first notice almost a month ago. We are both lawyers and have read and read again the existing zoning regulations and case law interpreting them. With regard to your bullet point, “existing zoning rules allow WUBC to build a youth facility on the Amherst site,” we simply do not understand why this is true. We are persuadable on this point, but given what we have read, we do not at this time understand why the city has not simply told the church that the property where WUBC wishes to build the youth facilty is zoned single family and not appropriate for the youth facility. There is talk of a recent US Supreme Court case. Having read that, it does not seem to apply to a youth facility prohibited by pre-existing zoning regulations that apply equally to all citizens, whether or not religious in nature.

    • fawaz hashmi Says:

      Kate – you are correct. There is nothing that says this is preordained existing law. See me post below. I am considering inviting the ACLU to this meeting

  38. Lucille Says:

    3rd bulleted point: The proposal does NOT include the use of “eminent domain.”
    If the City of West University Place has declared that they intend to take property and pay an amount the owners have no choice but to accept, how is it not eminent domain? “If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck, it is a duck.”

    • Lucille Says:

      InstantNewsWestU.Com:
      “Council to Consider Plan to Purchase Properties” October 8, 2014
      “West U Council Meeting to Consider Land Purchases” October 11, 2014
      “Council Approves Super Block Plan“ October 13, 2014
      “West U Council to Discuss Real Estate” October 24, 2014
      “Super Block Could Become Campaign Issue” October 27 2014
      Village & Southwest News:
      “West U Council’s Lack of Transparency Hit’s Residents’ Nerves” Nov. 4, 2014
      “Super Block Idea Ignites Super Opposition in West U” November 4, 2014
      “This is not how we do things in West U”
      HoustonChronicle.com / Chron.com
      “West U signals plans for municipal super block” October 21, 2014
      “Super block plan draws residents’ opposition” October 29, 2014
      Channel 13, ABC News
      “West U super block plan worries neighbors” Video November 7, 2014
      Channel 11, KHOU News
      “Residents Don’t Want to Move” Video November 7, 2014

  39. West U Resident Says:

    Some people actually want to get away from things when they are on vacation. I have a feeling that is the case here.

  40. Be involved it matters Says:

    A “fact” is something that is indisputably the case. It is a fact that the city staff, city council, and the Church do want the facts to come out.

  41. Vernon Tyger Says:

    It appears that Mayor Pro Tem Susan Sample’s view on the “Super Block” differs from Mayor Bob Fry’s, which has also occurred regarding the proposed 2012 Town Center Zoning Changes – allowing 3 stories.

    Since Mayor Bob Fry is out of town, we’re getting a taste of Susan’s leadership as acting Mayor.

  42. Terri Koehler Says:

    Where did this information come from Mr. Boehme? Please cite your source. Certainly it does not match Mayor Fry’s statement (http://www.westutx.gov/modules/showdocument.aspx?documentid=4168).
    Moreover, Mayor Fry states, “We believe that upon learning all of the facts, a future Council will support this decision and the public will see its wisdom.” So it is a “decision”? What is the point of citizen input if a decision has already been made?

  43. Christina Propst Says:

    A much circulated summation of a conversation with Mayor Pro Tem Susan Sample contradicts the 1st bulleted point:
    “The mayor proposed paying for the $2mm cost by selling the land for the library to the church in exchange for a 10 year lease back, which is about the remaining useful life on the library building. (The library building was built in 1963.)
    · Susan believes that the residents may prefer to have $2mm more in debt than losing the land on which the library now sits and is interested in hearing the community’s views. ”

    So…has history been revised or has the Mayor’s library land sale/lease back idea now been scrapped ?

  44. Ed Nikonowicz Says:

    Is there a source for the first 2 bulleted points? The mayor’s letter and the FAQs link seam to contradict those 2 points.

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