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HAR Offers Recommendations on Houston’s Proposed Land Development Regulations

At its January 2012 meeting, the HAR Board of Directors approved recommendations to City of Houston officials currently drafting changes to Chapter 42 of the Code of Ordinances.  The changes relate to the city’s land development regulations and would include the expansion of the city’s “urban area” from Loop 610 to Beltway 8, clearing the way for developers to more easily subdivide lots and build townhouses or other high-density properties in that area.

The recommendations were drafted by REALTOR® members of the HAR Governmental Affairs Advisory Group (GAAG), and submitted to the HAR Board of Directors for approval.  As advocates for the interests of both residential and commercial REALTORS® and property owners,  HAR will continue to monitor the City of Houston’s proposed changes to Chapter 42 and remain engaged with elected officials throughout the process. 

The following letter was sent to Houston Mayor Annise Parker and all members of Houston City Council:


February 7, 2012

The Honorable Annise Parker
Mayor, City of Houston
900 Bagby
Houston, Texas 77002

Dear Mayor Parker,

On behalf of the Houston Association of REALTORS® and our 24,000 members, we want to thank you so much for the time, attention and interest given by you and your Administration on the issue of proposed changes to Chapter 42 of the Code of Ordinances.  As this matter is brought before the community through public meetings, and ultimately before Houston City Council, we would like to share with you HAR’s recommendations regarding Chapter 42.

  1. Any action pursuant to an amendment of Chapter 42 of the Code of Ordinances that imposes restrictions on land use, development or classification, should be required to be recorded in the real property records at the county level per affected property. If there is a cost associated with such recording, the applicant for such action should bear the cost.  Such actions include, but are not limited to, minimum lot size, set back requirements, building height restrictions, overhangs, and easements.
  2. Regarding applications required to be made to the City of Houston for any action referenced above, HAR recommends that applicants have the signed approval of 67% or more of the owners of each property affected by the application.
  3. HAR recommends that proposed section 42-192, relating to sign posting requirements for new single family residential subdivisions which contain certain reserves, be stricken.
  4. Regarding any proposals to Chapter 42 pertaining to side setbacks, HAR recommends that the construction of porches and patios be excluded from actions requiring a construction and perpetual maintenance agreement with the abutting property owner when construction is within three (3) feet of a property line.

Thank you so much for your interest in our concerns. We look forward to working with you and your Administration on this matter.  We welcome the opportunity to hear from you.

Sincerely,

Wayne Stroman                              A. David Schwarz, III                                      Dana Kervin
2012 Chairman                              Co-Chair                                                         Chief Political Strategist
HAR Board of Directors                Governmental Affairs Advisory Group

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