Houston High Rise Ruling a Win-Lose

A judge's ruling provides a way forward for the proposed Ashby high rise development in Houston—a 21-story residential building that provoked a lawsuit by neighbors who have little recourse to protest developments in their city.

Erin Mulvaney reports on the much-anticipated ruling by state District Judge Randy Wilson with regard to the proposed Ashby high rise in Houston. The developer can move forward with the tower, denying the permanent injunction requested by the residents, but the ruling also granted $1.2 million to the 20 residents who filed suit against the developer, acknowledging that the development would constitute a nuisance.

The ruling has a tough line to walk, given the city's laissez-faire approach to land use regulation. Judge Wilson provided the following commentary on the request for an injunction by the residents: "If an injunction is granted, there is no question but that it will have a chilling effect on other developments in Houston," and "[as] Houston becomes more and more urbanized and denser, perhaps Houston should reconsider whether zoning is appropriate for this City…That is not for this Court to decide."

The Ashby controversy has been reflected in other development battles around the city in recent years: "The Ashby fight, raging since 2007, has influenced city policy and provided a template for similar battles in other well-off neighborhoods. Residents in neighborhoods from the Museum District to River Oaks and the Heights have since protested big development projects."

Full Story: Ashby ruling allows high-rise to go forward

Comments

Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

New! 4th Edition of the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs just released.
Starting at $24.95

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $209
poster

A Short History of America

From comic book artist Robert Crumb, poster shows how the built environment has changed throughout the decades.
$14.95
T-shirt with map of Chicago

Show your city pride

Men's Ultrasoft CityFabric© tees. Six cities available.
$23.00