Houstonians Ready for Regulation

A survey shows that 2/3rds of Houston residents are ready for stricter land use regulations. This follows a number of high-profile clashes between neighborhoods and developers who want to build in them.

Houston is famous for never creating a zoning code, but public opinion may be tilting in favor of stricter controls.

"Rice University sociologist Stephen Klineberg, who has gauged voter support for zoning and stronger development protections for decades, said much of the support for such planning improvements likely falls at the feet of the Ashby high-rise development.

The Ashby developers had run into a permitting morass at City Hall after nearby residents objected to the project, complaining it would tower over their neighborhoods and overwhelm traffic facilities at the intersection of two two-lane streets."

Full Story: Poll: Voters want tough land-use law



Say it ain't so...

The lack of zoning in Houston is a great asset to the City. It's one of the main reasons Houston can be both economically vibrant and affordable to the middle class at the same time. I hope they don't throw the baby out with the bathwater because of one high rise development in an upper-class neighborhood (like zoning would have prevented that). It's not like they don't have any land-use laws on the books at all... zoning just turns a somewhat market-oriented process (developments have to be justified based on their returns) to a political process (where developments are justified based on which developer is connected enough to get the variance).

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