Thursday, March 25, 2010

Save the Alabama Theater, Metro, zoning, govt transparency, affordability, and more

Passing along some smaller misc items:
“Cleveland has 22 different zoning designations and 673 pages of zoning guidelines. By contrast, Houston has almost no zoning. This permits a mix of uses and styles that gives the city vitality. And the paperwork in Houston is so light that a business can get going in a single afternoon. In Cleveland, one politician bragged that he helped a business get though the red tape in "just 18 months."

Randall O’Toole, author of "The Best-Laid Plans: How Government Planning Harms Your Quality of Life, Your Pocketbook, and Your Future," says Houston does have rules, but they are more flexible and responsive to citizens’ needs because they are set by neighborhood associations based on protective covenants written by developers."
"To make the cut, a ‘burb had to be within 25 miles of the most populous city in the state, have a relatively high median household income, and outmuscle its competitors in terms of racial diversity, crime rates, and good weather. On the cost side, data provider OnBoard Informatics calculated each ‘burb’s living expenses, which includes home prices, taxes, and transportation costs."

BNET likes it on a national basis:

"The best big-state deal may be Texas, though, where you can move to Harris County’s Deer Park, near Houston — and the median family income is $89,348, and the average home price is $131,709. Now that’s affordable."
Finally, HAIF and Swamplot are reporting the imminent demolition of the Alabama Theater's beautiful interior for a Staples. GHPA is calling for a targeted email and phone call campaign to two specific people at Staples. Here's my old link on the petition to save the theater with over 23,000 signatures. Please consider joining the campaign, and feel free to use my template if you prefer email over calling (although I'd bet calling has more impact):
Mr. Davis and Ms. Errico,

Please do everything in your power to preserve the beautiful, historic interior of the Alabama Theater as you build your new Staples store in Houston. The building is a landmark, inside and outside, and was a favorite of Houstonians in its most recent incarnation as a bookstore. You will earn thousands of loyal local shoppers with well-preserved store.

Here are some pics of that beautiful interior:

Information on a preservation petition with over 23,000 signatures:

Forum thread saying you are the people to contact:

Thank you for your time and consideration,
-Tory Gattis blog

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At 5:51 AM, April 02, 2010, Anonymous KHH said...


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