2019 continues to be a very active year for the Land Use Committee. The function of this committee has always been to serve as a resource for accurate information on the restrictions and goings on of Houston Heights development, as well as a mechanism for members to voice concerns and amplify their voices when it comes to new developments. One of the hottest topics at Land Use these past few months has been the proposed 66-unit at 610 Oxford by Urban Genesis known as White Oak Highline.
Currently the developer is requesting an off-street parking variance from the City of Houston Planning Commission to allow 74 off-street vehicle parking spaces and 8 bicycle racks (32 bicycle spaces) in lieu of the ordinance-required 87 vehicle parking spaces for a multifamily development. According to Urban Genesis, this is in keeping with their model of bringing to the market a studio- and one bedroom-only product for more multi-modal urbanites.
Though many residents in the immediate area are opposed to the variance request citing the parking and traffic strain which already exists in the area, Urban Genesis has put forth a number of considerations toward the neighborhood and offered to enter into a legally binding Development Agreement outlining how they intend to be good neighbors. Urban Genesis outlined their rationale for the variance request and the terms of this agreement on page two of this document following a very well attended town hall discussion at the April Land Use Meeting, in addition to several meetings with smaller task forces from within the neighborhood.
While Urban Genesis has stated they intend to move forward with a studio-only version of the project in the event of a denial, the request will be back on the Planning Commission agenda for the Thursday, April 11 meeting following a deferral on March 28. Residents can continue to write in favor of or opposition to the request to the Planning Department at firstname.lastname@example.org, in addition to appearing at the Planning Commission on Thursday, April 11 at 2:30 PM in the City Hall Annex Chambers, 900 Bagby.