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March 18, 2019, 08:12:56 am
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Author Topic: Residential Smoke Shop  (Read 2578 times)
City Father
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« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2017, 11:39:10 am »

Having no zoning laws in Houston is a great talking point, but almost irrelevant.  It is technically true and has resulted in some weird things, but they have a lot of "regulations" that would normally be part of the zoning code.  Coupled with deed restrictions, buffers, tax increment zones, and other regulations and it starts looking a lot like zoning.  Failing that, the zoning is enforced by He Who Has More Money to Hire Attorneys.  If I don't want your new building, I can call it a nuisance, claim it reduces my value, or come up with some other reason and sue.  A developer has been trying to put a high rise in near Rice University for a decade... as far as I can tell there is no zoning issue that should stop it, but it also still hasn't been built.

This is a fun tour of some of the oddities that the strange zoning in Houston has helped create:

Also, strange how a city without zoning doesn't look that different than every other big city in Texas.  

Do you really think that? I can see how the general sprawl is similar, but it is quite a bit different overall.

Outside of the very affluent/central-west-of-downtown areas (Midtown/Montrose), Houston has terrible walkability for such a large population compared to other big cities in Texas. It is lacking in "enclaves", the great urban mini-town centers that are so common in Austin and decent in Dallas (Knox-Henderson, Bishop Arts District, Oak Lawn, Deep Ellum, South Congress, Cezar Chaves, etc). Houston has some, but not at the level of its peers and the ones it does have are either full of newer developments (which often lack charm) or are just behind in being updated (Like some of the main streets areas Montrose).

Dallas is bad overall too, but it does have those areas which have created some great urban mini-towns and most have tons of older buildings and homes in tact.

San Antonio is a bit lacking in walkability for most of the city also, but has some great districts and tons of older historic buildings whereas Houston demolished most of the older homes. The downtown is pretty great for pedestrians with the River Walk and the Pearl Brewery District is quite an awesome development.

Now these differences are not all just zoning differences, but having factories next to homes can't be great for keeping people in those neighborhoods. It is bizarre how many sky scrapers and tall corporate-looking buildings are right next to neighborhoods of houses. The downtown is pretty much like any other downtown in Texas though in that it has plenty of skyscrapers along with some older quaint areas and a pretty large amount of parking lots.

« Last Edit: August 31, 2017, 12:04:21 pm by TulsaGoldenHurriCAN » Logged
City Father
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Posts: 1036

« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2018, 10:18:38 am »

Anyone have any updates on this?

I was just reminded of this and hoping it is dead in the water. It has been 2 years.
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