Whether you think the Stop Heights Wal-Mart effort is a righteous cause or the annoying whine of a bunch of fancypants elitists, I recommend you go check out this post to read the recommendations made by Responsible Urban Development for Houston to the city for how they would like to see the site get developed. Here, from there overall recommendations, are their specific goals:
• A more groundbreaking, innovative site design, which is original and productive and does not set a dangerous policy precedent with regard to “very ordinary” private developments within the City of Houston.
• A significantly better utilization of the site, and thus, a correction of the current potential major financial opportunity loss and neutral or negative Economic Impact.
• A development plan which addresses the concerns of area residents, home owners and local business owners.
• A revised 380 agreement which meets the requests of the public and provides a responsible compromise in order to promote achieving goals for all parties.
Seems pretty reasonable to me. If you read through it all carefully, you might even conclude that it’s quite possible to build a Wal-Mart as the anchor to this development and still meet these goals. That would require Ainbinder and Wal-Mart to think a little differently, but I don’t see anything wrong with that.
A Chron story about these recommendations, which were presented to the city on Wednesday, is here. Nick Urbano describes the meeting they had with Mayor Parker, Andy Icken, Council Member Gonzalez, and Mayor Parker’s deputy chief of staff Adam Harris. It sounds like things went pretty well for them, but we won’t really know until the next Council meeting. On a related note, Urbano, who lives right there on Koehler Street, responds to Lisa Falkenberg, and Andrew Burleson responds to a troll. Enjoy!