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 […]
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 […]
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.
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A History Lesson: What We Can Learn From the 1990s Zoning Debate Typically, when we study history, we learn about the consequences of something that happened. Seldom is there a meaningful reason (or even […]
You can tell a lot about a person by what he chooses to complain about. Critics of Houston’s lack of zoning stand as an example. They claim that Houston has developed without a plan. What they are really denouncing is the fact that Houston has developed without a central planner.
Complexes like Greenway Plaza, the […]
During the last debate over zoning in the 1990s, zoning advocates wanted us to believe that Houstonians want planning and planning means zoning. Councilman Jim Greenwood, who lead the pro-zoning efforts, named his organization the Ad Hoc Task Force on Planning and Zoning. He and his allies stressed the fact that zoning would allow for […]