Safe Buildings and City Regulations

The City of Houston makes building owners jump through outrageous hoops to obtain permission to occupy and use their property. Ostensibly, these regulations are intended to ensure the safety of those use the building. But as a recent audit of the Life Safety Bureau of the Houston Fire Department discovered, those regulations are nothing more […]

Do It For the Birds

In May, a flock of migrating birds crashed into a 23-story building in Galveston, killing approximately four hundred birds. Claiming that the birds were confused by floodlights that illuminated the building, an online petition is demanding that the city of Galveston require building owners to turn their lights off at night.

The petition states:

Experts […]

Shared Sacrifices

Three weeks ago, Mayor Turner said that he wants voters to remove a cap on property taxes so the city can deal with its budget problems. In other words, he wants us to give him a blank check. He wants to be able to raise property taxes without the restrictions voters previously placed on the […]

Stay Out of Their Way

Everywhere we turn, someone is demanding that government do something. Often, that something is allegedly intended to correct some perceived injustice. Almost as often, the exhortations pertain to creating jobs, stimulating the economy, or something similar.

As one example, the Chronicle asks if City Hall should do more to encourage startup businesses. The paper discusses […]

Mayor Turner’s Latest Cronyism

The Chronicle reports that the city will lend $13.9 million to HEB to build a new grocery store near the Museum District. The money comes from a federal grant issued in 1995 to help revitalize downtown. Mayor Sylvester Turner said that he isn’t thrilled about the “deal,” but it will help provide fresh produce to […]

Trump vs. Houston

Last week, a Chronicle editorial proclaimed that the policies of the Trump Administration will have a devastating impact on Houston. While it is true that the policies cited–a border tax, import tariffs and immigrant roundups–will have harmful effects, the paper conveniently ignores the many equally harmful consequences of policies it advocates.

A proposed border tax […]

A War Story, Part 2

I previously wrote about my experience with the city regarding a four-plex I once owned. In light of the recent media hype about “affordable housing,” it is worth revisiting that experience. While the city allegedly seeks to promote more “affordable housing” for low income Houstonians, many of its policies do the exact opposite.

About a […]

The Solution to Houston’s Deficit

The Chronicle reports that the City of Houston will end the year with a deficit for the first time in its history. Mayor Turner attributes the $95 million deficit to the city’s ongoing pension problems. In a statement issues on Friday, he said

We must have meaningful pension reform and we must have a strategic […]

Little Bits 3

A Short Lesson in Rights The Chronicle reports that Little Woodrow’s prohibited a potential customer from entering one of its restaurants because the Houston-based chain does not allow entrance to those with tattoos on their face or neck. Whether one agrees with that policy or not, the owner has a moral right to determine who […]