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Posts published in November 2007

Imperial Valley residents win battle over new subdivision

An overflow crowd of Imperial Valley residents packed a community room in their neighborhood to hear State Representative Kevin Bailey question city officials on their approval of a new subdivision being built on a vacant tract of land in the deed restricted community without any public notice. The tract was previously listed in the deed restriction as an oil company reserve.
Bailey told the crowd, “An hour before this meeting, I was notified that the city attorney has determined that the newly replatted area will have to comply with existing deed restrictions for the neighborhood.” He went on to explain, “City officials said that their decision not to require a legal posting on the property or notices to be mailed to property owners within two hundred feet was based on inaccurate information provided by the developer.”
It was good news for the residents who were very concerned about the developer’s intentions. The plat plan that he filed with the city redefined a single family dwelling to include one that contains two separate living units. The developer, who attended the community meeting, said that although his original plan was to build 30 homes on the 2.7-acre property he understands that he will be limited to building one home per lot. He said he would build 16 single-family homes that will be approximately 1600 to 2000 square feet. The new residential structures will have to comply with the existing deed restrictions for Imperial Valley. Currently the only permit that has been issued for the residential site is to grade the property.

“It is a victory for the neighborhood to have the deed restrictions remain intact,” said Bailey. “ I will be meeting with the board of directors for the Homeowners Association to assist them in the planning process. The City of Houston has approved a design that allows for two private street easements on the property without a plan for the long term maintenance of the streets.” A city official quickly stated that the city would not be responsible for the private streets.
City Council Member Jarvis Johnson attended the meeting and supported the position taken by Bailey and the Homeowners Association.
He said many neighborhoods are facing similar problems and it is time that the city should adopt stricter measures to keep it from happening in the future.
City officials in response to a question about the impact on flooding in the neighborhood said that they had approved a unique design for the replatted area. The storm water drainage system will be designed to hold six inches of water over the entire tract of land. The houses will be constructed at an elevation that will allow the yards to become part of the storm water detention system without flooding the houses. A restricting device will prevent the water from flowing into the storm water system on Cotillion during heavy rain events. Once the subdivision has drained then the water being held back by the restrictor will begin to drain.
Several city officials joined Rep. Kevin Bailey in the meeting with residents including Jarvis Johnson, City Council Member District B; Marlene Gafrick, the Director of Planning for the City of Houston; Jonathan Michaels, Asst. City Attorney and Andrew Icken, the Deputy Director and Public Works.