Heights residents fight back against condo

September 24, 2010 3:52:30 PM PDT
Heights residents sure have had their fights recently, as many continue to battle a proposed Walmart at Yale near Interstate 10. Another group of residents are setting their sights on a proposed condo complex. Hundreds of signatures have been gathered, and those against the project are getting ready to challenge the development.

Plans are in the works for the condos to be built on East 5 ? Street and Frasier along White Oak Bayou.

Those signatures were gathered about three years ago when the plot of land was propositioned as a potential place for development. Since then, it had died down because the developer never did anything.

But now, they're considering building that development by placing 64 condos. It might not seem like a big deal, but residents on the other side of the sidewalk said building the condos would damage the neighborhood.

Frasier is a quiet street in the Heights.

Lined with 17 historic homes, Michael Jungnickel has lived here with his family for 15 years.

"We've got it really good here, and everybody's pretty happy with the way it is," Jungnickel said.

But there is a chance that might not happen.

At the end of Frasier, just beyond the city's hike and bike path, is 1.3 acres of land a developer wants to use for as many as 64 condos.

Eyewitness News talked to the developer about their plans for this property. They say there's nothing immediate, and they're in the very early stages so there'll be no development for at least the next two years.

But that's very little time for the residents who face the prospect of construction and increased traffic.

"It becomes unsafe for our kids here and it's just gonna sort of change the complete feeling of this really great little neighborhood that we have," Heights Resident Elizabeth Hutchison said.

The city acknowledges that Frasier is the only path to the proposed development but that it is early in the process and there is no done deal.

"We're working to make sure that the proposed development will meet all of the city's rules and we will do what we can to mitigate any impact on the neighborhood, you know, within our power," said Jennifer Ostlind with the City of Houston.

The developer, LSR, has other properties in Houston, but it's the one at the end of Frasier that has residents here worried about the future of their idyllic street.

Now that the redevelopment of the land has resurfaced after three years, these residents are gathering their troops again and they're going to begin another petition drive.

The residents also plan to stay in close talks with the city to see if it can stop the development or at least alter the developer's plan so that it's more congruent with what they say already exists along their street.


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