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Posts published in July 2006

NF Townhall Meeting opposes Wayside Village housing project

North Forest community members recently voted to reject the Wayside Village project to build 1600 homes in Northeast Houston.
Super Neighborhood 47 held a community Townhall meeting on Monday June 26 to discuss a planned vision for Northeast Houston and the proposed Wayside Village Project by Woodmere Development at N. Wayside and Little York. More than 75 residents came out to voice their concerns.

Houston City Councilmen Jarvis Johnson and Peter Brown were invited and present. Woodmere Development was invited but did not show.
Councilman Peter Brown presented examples of ideal community development plans that have worked very successfully in communities similar to the communities in Northeast Houston. It was very empowering and informative and helped the audience to more intelligently choose wise development and examine the Woodmere plan.

On this night the community unanimously rejected the Woodmere development plan layout to build 1600 homes and its proposed MUD tax for water utilities. More taxes in an already overtaxed community were unacceptable and would take away affordability for many home buyers. Additionally, there were no planned or impact studies done on education, environmental and community sustainability for the surrounding communities.

Property values, taxes, flooding, crime, education are major concerns of the community and were not addressed by the Woodmere plan. The consensus for the betterment of the whole community was all extensive development should seek to be on the same page with the planned blueprint and vision of the community.

“We are taxed and some of those who access our tax dollars evade the taxpayers? Invading a community with development and evading the taxpayers with information is bamboozling the people,” said Ivory Mayhorn a member of Super Neighborhood 47.
“This community deserves the same respect as the upper scale communities. We invite developers that insure quality and growth for the community at large. Any kind of development is not good enough. We need to know what is coming in to our area. Proposed Developments that go ill planned today means crime ridden abandon housing, BFI dumpsites, motels, and gang members in our backyards tomorrow. Accountability has been a hard thing to come by in recent years and it is essential that our elected officials stand by the people.”

Councilman Jarvis Johnson stated that he stands by the people and would surely help in bringing in development that works for the real needs of the community at large.

Community development does not necessarily mean community growth. Jarvis addressed the principal challenges facing Northeast Houston as. 1) long term economic deterioration in the basic infrastructure of the area and decline of the tax base and lack of wholesome amenities, affordable housing, and central areas for business expansion; 2) high rates of unemployment, 3) disjointed and unfocused community development initiatives 5) courses to take for community self-help 6) impediments to housing development and commercial growth; and 7) lack of responsible community development that ignores the needs of the community and stated that efforts to meet these challenges would be met.

With the implementation of its vision planning, Super Neighborhood 47 seeks to achieve a balance in economic and community development said Robin Curtis, President of Northeast Beyond 2000.
The community plans to conduct feasibility analyses to provide recommendations for appropriate land use and retaining opportunities in development. Efforts to keep the communities informed and participating in the implementation process include focusing on the interrelationships between community needs and a variety of connected programs rather than on narrow. single-purpose programs where the developer is here today and gone tomorrow without a connection to the whole community.

Jackie Mayhorn, President of Super Neighborhood stated that through this process, local leadership skills are developed and the community’s capacity to help itself is increased.  “This is empowerment!  The key is enabling all segments of the community to have a voice when it comes to mapping out a path for community empowerment and involvement in securing a better future for all families. Through information sharing, communities can begin to learn the best practices for instituting economic and community development programs and projects.”
The next vision planning session will be addressed in the July meeting. All Superneighborhood 47 meetings are on the 4th Monday of the month.The Next meeting is Monday, July 24, 2006 at 7:00 p.m., Greater Oak Grove Baptist Church 9829 Sandra St at Polly (near Shadydale Elementary) Houston, Texas 77016. The whole community is welcome.