July 15, 2008
From the "You're new around here, aren't you?" files

I only just now got around to reading this article on some issues folks in the Sabine Street Lofts are having with the kidz at the new Jamail Skate Park, but all I really needed to read was this bit:

"I just think when they build something as large as that, that has such a huge impact on the community, there should be a public hearing process, but there wasn't one," said Dee Carpenter, who has lived in the lofts for four years. "No one ever checked to see if parking was going to be an issue, and it has been."

Yeah. See, that's not how we do things here in Houston. We let developers build pretty much whatever they want wherever they want, and when neighborhoods complain about it, they get drowned out in shouts about the free market, why a lack of planning is good, and zoning is bad. Those of us who've lived here for a longer time tend to find a certain amount of comfort in the ritual, no matter how often it plays out. The more things change, and all that. But thanks for playing.

Snark aside, I generally like that we have the Jamail Skate Park, and I didn't see anything in the story to suggest to me that this was an insurmountable issue, or even a particularly difficult one. I sympathize with the Sabine Street folks, and I hope they get this resolved quickly and satisfactorily. But man, did that quote amuse me.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on July 15, 2008 to Elsewhere in Houston

We really need a series of these parks throughout the city. How many kids live close enough to the Jamail park to get there on their own? Of course they have to be driven. I sympathize with the folks at Sabine Lofts, but at this point I think their best bet is to lobby for similar facilities in other parts of Houston. Just don't be surprised when the city doesn't conduct impact studies before they build 'em.

Posted by: Andrea on July 15, 2008 9:58 AM

I support the skate park as well. But I haven't seen any other group of park users around town that are as negligent with trash as the skate boarders. I live near "Easy 7," one of the original informal skateparks on White Oak Bayou at 43rd street that was formally developed by the city several years ago. The skaters leave trash everywhere. That area of the park is littered with food sacks and wrappers and drink bottles all the time -- even though the area is lousy with trash cans!

Posted by: Teresa on July 15, 2008 2:47 PM

Your post title is beautifully self-referential. Shouldn't it be "You ain't from around these here parts, are ya?"

Posted by: Kenneth Fair on July 16, 2008 5:35 PM
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