June 13, 2005
Far out development followup

Last week I linked to a Chron article about development farther and farther away from Houston's core. This article is a followup of sorts to that, and it's a nice discussion of some of the issues that way-out development causes, especially for those in between the new places and the big city, plus a look at what Houston is doing about some of this. Take a moment and read it.

One thing I want to highlight:

[T]he expansion of the Katy Freeway cited by executives of two companies planning developments near Fulshear as one reason their projects are feasible has required the condemnation and destruction of numerous homes and businesses. The city of Spring Valley, which lost 90 percent of its commercial tax base to make way for new freeway lanes, raised property taxes by 27 percent last year.

Among the dislocated residents was Suzanne Wetzel, who had lived in Spring Valley for 17 years. She moved to a leased townhouse after all the homes on her block were razed for the freeway expansion. Wetzel said that because of rising area property values, the payment she got for her house wasn't enough for another of comparable quality.

This is exactly the sort of thing I was talking about when I said that the real cost of destroying an established neighborhood in order to enhance "regional mobility" far exceeds the dollar-and-cents total of the eminent domain process. Spring Valley may never recover from this. Who wants to put a price tag on that?

Posted by Charles Kuffner on June 13, 2005 to Elsewhere in Houston | TrackBack

Yeah, they tried to do that to Webster with the NASA One expansion and Webster fought back.

Here's a link, see comment number 8 down the page:


Posted by: ttyler5 on June 14, 2005 2:53 AM