The Texas House is considering a bill that would severely limit the ability of local governments to impose historic designations on private property. Under current law, local authorities have broad discretion in designation historic landmarks and subjecting such properties to government control.
As might be expected, preservationists are up in arms. Steve Sadowsky, the historic […]
Jerry Nickelsburg, an economist at UCLA, writes that cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles have a shortage of affordable housing because of supply and demand. The demand for housing exceeds the supply, and so prices have risen. This is true, as far as it goes.
Just last week, the Chronicle reported that Harris […]
Last week, City Council approved the Houston Bike Plan. The plan is allegedly intended to expand the city’s bike trails from about 500 miles to 1,800 miles. But as I noted in my last post, the plan isn’t really about bike trails. It’s about the city assuming more control over land use in Houston.
Bicycle activists (I didn’t know that there were such things) achieved a significant victory this week when City Council adopted the Houston Bike Plan. Lest you think that this is a satirical piece, let me assure you that it is not. I can’t make up stuff like this.
According to the Chronicle,
the plan sets […]
Joe Webb, chairman of Blueprint Houston, an organization that helped draft the city’s General Plan, recently repeated the statist mantra that planning isn’t the same as zoning. At the same time, he noted that the plan will help the city control development and make neighborhoods better.
Technically, Webb is correct. Planning is a process of […]
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 […]
Of major cities in the United States, Houston is always among the leaders in the affordability of housing. Yet, the Chronicle, frequently eager to bash the city, notes that
a report last fall from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas pointed out, Houston homeowners are the most cost-burdened in the state, with more than 10 […]
Since 2012, state officials have been encouraging the development of “affordable housing” in “high-opportunity areas”—those with better schools, lower crime rates, and residents with higher incomes. The state has been using tax credits as an incentive to developers. But the program isn’t working as planned, and the reasons aren’t surprising.
Developers are running into two […]
To many people, the absence of zoning in Houston explains every ill—whether real or imagined—that plagues the city. A comment to a recent Chronicle article illustrates this attitude:
It was too late to build the city of our dreams in 1836. They built a no zoning sprawl in a swamp and never corrected either mistake.
Almost without fail, critics of Houston point to some other metropolis as an example of what a city should be like. The critics want parks and bike trails. They want mass transit and sidewalks. They want walkable communities and sustainable development. Other cities have these things, and Houston should have them too.
Interestingly, the critics […]