In This Issue
|Newsletter of the Houston Heights Association|
|Volume Thirty-Six, Number Eight, August 2010|
|Click here for the print-format PDF version.|
|Click here for back issues.|
|Click here to return to main HHA site.|
Proposed Historic Preservation Ordinance Changes - Public Notification
[This notification by the City of Houston, Planning and Development Department was to be sent to owners of property in the current designated Historic Districts and those with applications currently under review. It had started arriving by the time we went to press. -Editor]
As a property owner within one of Houston’s proposed or designated Historic Districts, please be advised that the City of Houston is proposing amendments to the Historic Preservation Ordinance that are aimed at protecting historic properties within an historic district. Key provisions include the elimination of the 90-day waiver for historic properties when a Certificate of Appropriateness is denied by the Houston Archaeological and Historical Commission, revising the historic district designation process, and clarifying appropriate building materials.
Public meetings in the community will be held to receive comments on the proposed amendments. Information about these meetings and a draft of the proposed ordinance can be found online at . Any recommended changes will be considered by the Houston Archeological and Historical Commission, the Planning Commission, and City Council before adoption.
July 27, 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM, for all existing and proposed Historic Districts at Houston Community College - Central College, San Jacinto Auditorium, 1300 Holman Street.
July 29, 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM, for Avondale East and West, Courtlandt Place, Audubon Place, First Montrose Commons, Boulevard Oaks, Broadacres, Shadow Lawn, West Eleventh Place, Main Street/Market Square, Old Sixth Ward and Westmoreland Historic Districts at St. Stephens Church, 1805 W. Alabama .
August 3, 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM for Norhill, Woodland Heights, and Freeland Historic Districts at Proctor Plaza Community Center, 803 West Temple.
August 5, 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM for Glenbrook Valley at Glenbrook Methodist Church, 8635 Glen Valley.
August 10, 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM for Heights East, West, and South Historic Districts at United Way, 50 Waugh.
If you cannot attend one of these meetings, but would like to comment please email or mail your comments to Historic Preservation, City of Houston, Planning and Development Department, P.O. Box 1562 , Houston, Texas 77251-1562 by August 10, 2010.
[A summary of the proposed changes appears below. The Houston Heights Association has taken no official position with respect to these proposed changes.]
Historic Preservation Ordinance Summary of Proposed Amendments
The amendments are written largely to protect historic properties within our Historic Districts. Minor amendments are proposed for historic properties outside a district, i.e. landmarks and protected landmarks. The following is a summary of the proposed amendments. Public meetings and public hearings are planned for the end of July through September.
• Revised the Historic Designation process by eliminating the petition process. Instead a property owner or owners may initiate an application. The Planning Department will send cards to all property owners within a proposed district after holding a public meeting on the proposed district. In order for the application to move forward, 67% of the owners of tracts in the proposed district who return cards must indicate their support for the district. The boundaries may be modified to achieve the required support. Historic District designation may still be initiated by the Historic Commission.
• Further clarified the use of new materials for rehabilitation, restoration, addition of any landmark, protected landmark, or any building, structure object in an historic district, or any building, structure or object that is part of an archaeological site.
• New construction in an historic district must be compatible with the setback, exterior features, and proportions of contributing and potential contributing structures on the block face and facing block faces.
• Expanded the submittal requirements for certificates of appropriateness for the demolition of a historic structure and modified the criteria for demolitions proposed by nonprofit organizations.
• Eliminated the 90-day Waiver Certificate for contributing and potentially contributing structure within an historic district or for new construction in an historic district.
• The Old Sixth Ward Protected Historic District becomes an historic district, which will have the same protections it currently enjoys, thus rendering the separate treatment of the Old Sixth Ward Protected Historic District redundant.
[You can visit for the complete proposed ordinance with changes marked. The Houston Heights Association has taken no official position with respect to these proposed changes.]
Proposed Retail Development
The HHA Board is following the proposal for a large retail development at Yale and Koehler Streets (south of I-10). Members of the Board have met with the developers to express neighborhood concerns in one of a series of meetings arranged by City Councilmember Ed Gonzalez. At press time, few details were available, and the HHA Board had not taken a position on the proposed development.
Fire Station History & Pie
Enjoy an evening of history and lore about the Association’s newest property, the historic Houston Heights City Hall and Fire Station. Author, retired Heights fireman, and favorite son Paul Carr is our featured speaker at the General Meeting on Monday August 9.
Learn about the eccentricities and history of the building from the beginning to today. The original reason for the dual staircase is not what you probably have heard!
Paul has unearthed some fascinating early photographs and facts about the Fire Station. He also will tell us about some proposals for further restoration.
Marlene Stubler, the owner of Pie In The Sky Pie Co., is graciously providing the goodies in August. Everyone is invited!
General Meeting Schedule
Plan to attend the Houston Heights Association General Meetings each 2nd Monday of the month at the Houston Heights City Hall and Fire Station at 12th Street & Yale. Meet your neighbors, stay informed about the Heights and surrounding area, and enjoy the monthly programs. Each month is different, from Constable and Crime Issues to local theatre performances or how to get fit in the Heights.
The meetings commence at 7:00 PM. Become a member of the Houston Heights Association; you can join at the HHA website or in person at the 2nd Monday HHA General Meeting. There’s something for everyone!
September - Bicycling in the Heights
October - Bird-Dogs Cat-Fish in the Heights
November - Heights Businesses
December - HHA Holiday Home Tour Party & Charity
January - Art in the Heights
The HHA Restoration/Historical Committee meeting scheduled for August 19 will not be held due to the current excessive heat. The committee’s next meeting will be held on October 14. More information will be forthcoming.
Scavenger Hunt Needs Devious Volunteer
Plans are being made for the 5th Annual Heights Bicycle Rally & Scavenger Hunt. As usual, the event will be on the first Sunday in October.
The event is looking for a devious person to replace volunteer Martin Piké. Martin has produced the scavenger hunt clue list for several years, but this year he is busy with his new restaurant and doesn’t have the time to create the list of mystery sites along the rally route.
If you and a friend would be interested in trying to stump this year’s bicycle riding sleuths in the rally, contact Rally Chair Paul Carr at 713-869-0505 or for a rally map. Martin says he would be happy to discuss how he finds mystery sites with anyone that will take over the task. He would prefer that conversation to take place over a plate of ribs at Phil’s.
HHA Director Election Schedule
Seven of the fifteen positions on the HHA Board of Directors will be filled by election over the next few months. Five positions are opening due to normal expiration of terms; members elected to these five positions will have three-year terms. Two positions are for the remaining last year of terms ended by resignations.
The five nominees receiving the highest numbers of votes will fill the three-year terms; the nominees receiving the sixth and seventh- highest vote counts will fill the one-year vacancies. See the right column on page 2 for a list of current Directors.
The schedule for the election of Directors to serve terms starting in 2011 will be as follows, in accordance with the By-Laws and Policies of the Association:
• September 13, Nominations for Board of Directors will be held at the General Meeting. Nominators and nominees must be current members of the Association. Nominators may speak for two minutes, seconders for one. Please be sure before you nominate someone that your nominee will commit to serve. Nominees will not be allowed to speak on their own behalf during the September meeting.
• By September 15, the Election Committee will distribute to nominees election packets containing bylaws, policies, articles of incorporation, committee responsibility list, detailed election schedule, and a statement confirming that the nominee has read the bylaws and policies and agrees to serve in accordance with them if elected.
• By September 18, signed statements from nominees are due, as well as a 50-word statement from each nominee for publication in the October newsletter.
• October 11, nominees or their representatives may speak on their qualifications at the General Meeting for 3 minutes. They will also draw for ballot positions.
• On or before October 15, the Election Committee will mail a ballot with a control number to each member whose dues are current as of October 1.
• By November 6 at the close of the post office, ballots returned by mail must be received with control numbers intact.
• November 8, polls will be open for secret balloting in person from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM before the General Meeting. The Election Committee will tabulate ballots and announce the results during the meeting. The results will also be published in the December newsletter.
HHA Officers and Directors As Of July 2010
Year in parentheses indicates Director term expiration. Officer terms all expire at the end of this year.
Bill Baldwin, President-Elect, Director (2012)
Donna Bennett, Director (2010)
Amy Brooks, Secretary (not a Director)
Paul Carr, V.P. Property Management, Director (2010)
Paul Cottage, Director (2010)
Anne Culotta, President, Director (2011)
Angela DeWree, V.P. Meetings & Membership, Director (2010)
Mike Easley, V.P. Financial Affairs, Director (2010)
Simon Eyles, Director (2011)
Lindsey Lee, Treasurer, Director (2012)
Trudy Nelson, V.P. Information & Comm., Director (2012)
Martin Piké, Director (2011)
Chris Silkwood, Director (2010)
Kelly Simmons, V.P. Sponsorship & Fundraising (not a Director)
Christine Spin, Director (2012)
Bart Truxillo, V.P. Historic Preservation & Maint., Director (2012)
Lanna vonBaden, V.P. Community Outreach, Director (2010)
The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following 2010 Platinum sponsors:
2010 HHA Fun Run A Huge Success
More than 1,000 people lined up in front of Marmion Park for the race start on Saturday, June 6, for the 25th Annual Heights Fun Run, which also included a Walk and a Kids 1K. The post party, held inside Marmion Park, was abundant with food, refreshments, and fun.
The 5K certified course and race was sanctioned by the USA Track & Field and the Gulf Coast Association USA Track & Field. Run Wild Sports managed the race, which this year featured “race chips” designed to record each runner’s exact time as they crossed the finish line. Luke’s Locker allowed us to use their location for early packet pick-up.
In addition to the Overall Open and Master runners, thirteen separate age groups received prizes for finishing first and second in the run, for both male and female categories. All Kids 1K participants received an award. We would like to recognize the first place 5K race winners in each category [at right] and offer our congratulations to all of the race, walk, and 1K participants.
Many thanks to HHA’s 2010 Summer Sponsors who made this event possible: Platinum- KBR, Republic Services, and San Jacinto Stone; and Bronze- Boulevard Realty, Rampart Builders, Bank of Texas, and Phil’s Texas Barbecue. The wonderful and unique event logo, brochure, and commemorative t-shirt were designed by Gus Tello. After party food, fun, services, and refreshments were generously provided by: El Bollilo, Bungalow Fitness, The Hot Bagel Shop, Superslow Zone, Katz Coffee, Luke’s Locker, Raceshots.net, Memorial Heights Emergency Center, My Fit Foods, Dr. Gabor Farkas, Chiropractor, and Space City Construction and Remodeling. Thanks go out also to the dozens of volunteers who pulled this event together. We are greatly appreciative of Constable Jack F. Abercia, Precinct 1, and his dedicated law enforcement officers who volunteered their precious time providing security for the event.
Wonderful door prizes were generously donated by Jubilee, Star Pizza, Suffuse Tea, Petite Retreat, Superslow Zone, Bungalow Fitness, Four Season’s Hotel, John Rodriquez, Memorial Heights Emergency Center, and many more!
Thanks again to all who volunteered for, donated to, and attended this year’s Fun Run and we hope to see you again next year. [And thanks again to you, Andrea, for pulling it all together. -Editor]
Fun Run Winners
Overall Male: Ryan Smith
Overall Female: Katrina Price
Master Male: Bobby Williamson
Master Female: Sabra Harvey
14 and under: Timothy Messen
15-19: Ryan Dimarco
20-24: Aaron Azios
25-29: Zachery Cater-Cyker
30-34: Claudio Rodriquez
35-39: John Yoder
40-44: Thomas King Jr
45-49: Stewart Crouch
50-54: Dale Lee
55-59: Michael Waldau
60-64: Roger Boak
65-69: Lee Brown
70+: Louis Snyder
14 and under: Julia Ward
15-19: Taylor Phillips
20-24: Kristy Halverson
25-29: Corrie McClure
30-34: Nikki Dillard
35-39: Melissa Henderson
40-44: Caroline Burum
45-49: Melissa Hurta-Crites
50-54: Alison Stewart
55-59: Sandy Parker
60-64: Elizabeth Ahrens
65-69: Miechtilele Williamsen
70+: Ellin Grossman
Or 17 Ways to Help Make the Heights Community Better Than Ever - Volunteer for a HHA Committee or Annual Event
Share your time and energy with these committees:
1. Boulevard Beautification
3. Crime & Security
4. Donovan and Marmion Parks
7. Flower Gardens
8. Holiday Food Baskets
9. Land Use & Preservation
13. Volunteer Coordination
Or with these annual events:
14. Houston Heights Bicycle Rally and Scavenger Hunt
15. Houston Heights Holiday Home Tour [see below]
16. Houston Heights Fun Run [see above]
17. Houston Heights Spring Home & Garden Tour
To volunteer or for more information, email or call 713-861-4002. Join the fun!
The Holiday Tour Patron Party kicks off the Heights Holiday season, and we need a few elves to help! Minimum time commitment. Costume not required. Contact .
Got December Plans?
Yes, we know it’s a bit early, but if you think you might be interested in volunteering as a Docent or in some other capacity for the 2010 Holiday Home Tour, please email your name and email address to Elizabeth Poirrier at so that we may contact you.
Constable Patrol Program June Statistics
The deputies reported the following for the month of June: On the east side, 8 arrests, 24 park checks, 36 citizen contacts, 2 alarm responses, and 83 vacation watches. On the west, 4 arrests, 35 park checks, 56 citizen contacts, 1 alarm response, and 33 vacation watches.
The deputies wanted to remind us that the crime of “breaking into a vehicle” is up this year in Houston. Remember to remove all valuables (cell phones, laptops, purses, and wallets) from your cars and lock them. Vacation watches and home inspections are available thru the Constable Patrol Program.
HHA Good Neighbors
David Awwiller and Lori Summa are HHA members and live in the 700 block of Harvard. They were part of the group of HHA volunteers that helped clear the jungle at the nearby home of handicapped Heights resident Michael Adair last month.
David and Lori have now instructed their landscaper to clean Michael’s front yard each month when he mows their yard, at their expense.
Neighbors like David and Lori are part of the reason the Heights neighborhood is such a wonderful place to live.
Please welcome the following new members to the Houston Heights Association.
Our thanks to the following donors for their generous support of the programs of the Houston Heights Association.
The following donors gave to the Fire Station Fund in memory of Bob Pearson, long-time HHA volunteer and Fire Station Chair.
The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Summer 2010 Bronze Sponsors:
The Houston Fire Department and the Blue Cross Blue Shield CareVan have teamed up again to offer FREE childhood immunizations at HFD Fire Stations. Below is the fall schedule. Immunizations are from 4:00 to 7:00 PM at the locations below.
A parent or guardian must accompany every child. You will need to bring your child’s current immunization records when you come to the clinic.
If you would like more information on the CareVan including the latest on the vaccines your children may need, please visit . We all know how important it is to have your child immunized, so please pass this valuable free service information along to your friends and neighbors.
Woman’s Club News
Houston Heights Woman’s Club members are volunteering to sort school supplies and clothes for the Child Protective Service’s Bear project. Dates are available in July and August. Contact Peg Anderson at for details.
Texas wines is the theme for the next Cork and Fork set for July 17. Hostesses and hosts are Barbara Skerrett, Patsy and John Howard, and Martha and Ivan Pieratt. Activities begin at 7:00 PM at the clubhouse, 1846 Harvard.
There was a lot of laughter and learning at the club’s first Bunco party in June. The next one is scheduled for July 29 at 7:00 PM at the clubhouse.
The next general meeting of the organization will be September 14. A guest speaker will be announced at a later date.
Back-To-School Health Fairs
Neighborhood Centers Inc. presents their Back-To-School Community Health Fair Series offering the following services:
Locations and Dates
For additional information, call 713-669-5244 or visit .
Change Happens! Mentoring Program
Change Happens! is a community-based, non-profit organization located in the Third Ward, founded in 1989 by the Rev. Leslie Smith. It began as an alcohol and drug prevention/intervention and outpatient treatment program, and has expanded to meet the needs of the entire family through a number of services.
The Youth Service department offers mentoring programs aimed at supporting families to empower their children and the community. A mentor is defined as a wise and trusted counselor, teacher, or positive role model. Through screenings and an interviewing process, they are able to provide a safe environment for the children they serve, qualified and dedicated volunteers, and uncompromised professionalism.
The mentoring programs offers a community-based program called MATCH, (Mentoring Activities to Children of Hope). This program is designed to reduce or prevent youth involvement in gangs, academic failure, and the onset of use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs, as well as other risky behaviors. The MATCH Program’s target population is children in the greater Houston area that have one or more parents incarcerated. In this program, the mentor relationship is developed through one-to-one activities within the community. The MATCH program allows an opportunity for children to develop positive relationships, bonding, and strengthen protective factors.
For more information please contact LeTia Benjamin, At Risk Youth Facilitator, 3353 Elgin Street, Houston, TX 77004, 713-374-1261, or .
Support Local Business
Please support our local business community. Shopping local saves time and gas, and it keeps your money within the neighborhood.
A good starting point would be to consider our business members and sponsors. Our current sponsors are featured in every newsletter and on our web site, . Our business members are also listed on our web site through the “Area Businesses” tab or directly at and in our semi-annual printed Business Directory.
Thank you for supporting Heights businesses.
Calendar of Events for August-September 2010
HHA headquarters: The Fire Station is on the corner of Yale and 12th Streets.
Every Wednesday to Saturday, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Historic Houston’s salvage warehouse is open. See .
Every Monday, 7:30 to 10:00 PM, Houston International Folk Dancers introductory lessons at Oddfellows Hall, 115 E. 14th.
At The Fire Station
Every second Monday, 5:00 to 7:00 PM, and every fourth Monday, 8:00 AM to noon, the City Council District H Satellite Office is open at the east door.
October 3, Bicycle Rally
December 3-4, Holiday Home Tour
February 27, 2011, Awards Dinner
April 1-3, 2011, Spring Home Tour
June 4, 2011, Heights Fun Run
Copyright and Submissions
The Heights is published monthly by the Houston Heights Association. Its purpose is to acknowledge achievements and to inform HHA members of events.
Copyright 2010, the Houston Heights Association and/or the authors unless otherwise noted.
Newsletter inquiries, suggestions, or submissions should be directed to:
Editor, The Heights, P.O. Box 70735, Houston, TX 77270-0735;
email ; or leave a message on 713-861-4002.
Staff and Contributors
Editor: Mark R. Williamson
Assistant Editor: Kathleen S. Williamson
Sharon Balke, Paul Carr, Angela DeWree, Simon Eyles, Lauriel Hindman, Eleanor Lane, Elizabeth Poirrier, Andrea Sharp, Marianne Sulser, Dean Swanson, Lanna vonBaden.