New security changes planned for condo complex the county has labeled as 'dangerous'

July 2, 2012 3:40:24 PM PDT
A condo complex in southwest Houston has been called "dangerous" and a haven for crime and gang activity. Now owners have agreed to do something about it.

It all stems from a lawsuit filed last month by the state and the Harris County attorney against the Le Promenade complex on Bissonnet near Fondren.

Dozens of condo owners showed up in civil court Monday as lawyers hammered out an agreement to tackle security concerns at the complex the county attorney calls one of the most prominent neighborhood nuisances in our area.

"I mean, it's just, it's horrible, it's deplorable," neighbor Hilary Rochelle.

She lives in a subdivision near the troubled complex and says she's tired of the problems there spilling out into the streets.

"The drunks falling all over the place. You see prostitutes everywhere. You see drug deals going on," Rochelle said.

In an effort to crack down on the problem and clean up the place, the state and the Harris County Attorney's office sued Le Promenade, taking all the condo owners and its HOA to court.

"Most folks, when they bought into this condominium project, probably did not realize the kind of criminal activity that was going on," said Harris Co. Attorney Vince Ryan.

Out of more than two dozen homeowners who showed up for the hearing, only one woman told us she felt safe at the complex.

"I never had any problems," said condo owner Alicia Flores.

It took all sides several hours Monday morning to agree on an action plan to help curb the crime and gang activity. The county says this place has become known for.

Among the security changes agreed to in court, the HOA and homeowners here at Le Promenade say they will now hire two uniformed police officers and two security guards.

The complex will also have to install surveillance cameras and improve lighting throughout the property. It must also board up vacant units and install new access gates for residence.

Even with those court-ordered changes, some neighbors say only time will tell if it really makes a difference.

"They had cameras up in Kingsgate. They had cameras up in the Promenade, and the tenants took them down," said Rochelle.

The HOA's attorney told us it will immediately start addressing the issues in the agreement. All sides are due back in court for an update in September.

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