Group of residents in The Heights preparing for fight as developers try to build apartment complex

January 29, 2013 3:49:21 PM PST
A group of residents in The Heights is preparing for a fight as developers try to build a brand new apartment complex.

The proposed complex would be built at the northwest corner of Yale and 6th.

This block of land is a combination of a few homes and businesses, but it could soon become a 350-unit apartment complex, and the neighbors are upset.

When Andy Jones and his family moved into their dream home late last year, they never planned on moving out just six months later.

"Six weeks to two months after we moved, we got a call saying they wanted to build a five story apartment complex covering the entire block," Jones said.

He was told that developer Trammell Crow would put a 300-plus-unit apartment complex on this block. The only thing in the way: three homeowners.

"We didn't want to have an apartment complex all around us, so we sold," Jones said. "What are you going to do?"

With properties in hand, the developers asked for a variance so the project can move forward. When the signs went up four weeks ago, nearby homeowner Charles Harrison jumped into action.

"I understand the odds are against us, from our neighborhood standpoint, we don't want anything like what is being proposed," Harrison said.

Dozens of neighbors have gathered, building a website, talking about their traffic and congestion concerns and recruiting others to sign petitions. But the area's council member, Ellen Cohen, is realistic. She says stopping the complex is a long shot.

"City council is in no position to stop development," Cohen said. "We don't have zoning in Houston."

We have tried to call the developer a number of times, but our calls haven't been returned so far. All sides are expected to face off at a planning commission meeting Thursday.
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