Mayor Parker, by now I believe that you are completely aware of the situation regarding Metro’s sale of the Pinemont Park and Ride to the Houston Housing Authority and their intention to build a 300 unit low income apartment complex. What you may not be aware of is the ongoing effort to paint anyone who is not behind this project a racist, classless individual that refuses to give “poor people a chance” according to Lance Gilliam’s article in a recent Houston Chronicle column. I believe that this is a very interesting public relations ploy to paint the residents of Forest West and the surrounding communities this way, and it seems to have been successful so far for them. I do not believe that Lance Gilliam or anyone else at HHA particularly cares if we are racists or not. I believe what they care about is using the Hurricane Ike funds before they run out.
I am a black woman, with a husband and a son, who moved here September of 2013. I oppose the 300 unit apartment complex because we are a community that is currently over served by the amount of apartment complexes surrounding our neighborhood. Complexes that are so rundown that currently bring crime into our neighborhoods and keep us on edge everyday. I want to be able to ride our bikes in the neighborhood or even, at this point, put out our trash after dark safely. It seems to me that HHA could take over one of these existing properties and rehabilitate them, creating something good out of an dangerous situation, and in the process, save the city money.
If our Mayor and Metro and City Council allow this property to be built, you are destroying our property values. The property will decrease the property tax revenue that our city and our education system so desperately needs. We will forever be upside down on our mortgages and our neighborhood will never achieve what we were striving for, for we will be completely enclosed by apartment complexes. Our neighborhood schools are over capacity as it is, so these hard working folk that will be inhabiting this new 300 unit apartment complex will find that their children receive a second class education, that in some ways, will perpetuate the cycle of poverty that these people are fleeing. Many of these people rely on public transportation and will be forced to walk up a major street at least a mile to catch the first available bus. There will be no neighborhood work opportunities, as this project will take the space where a retail facility could employ members of the community. I shudder to think the damage a new facility could do to our already stressed traffic conditions and our sanitary sewage system. Many of these future occupants may wonder what good it did to put them in a community with no opportunities left.
Mayor Parker. I voted for you, and I believe my voice deserves to be heard. We in Forest West believe we deserve our voices being heard as well.
In response to Mr. Robinson and the rest of METRO Board, that group of self-serving bureaucrats, why was the Park & Ride built in the first place, only to be declared surplus in later years? What kind of long range planning was done originally to make a decision to spend what I’m sure were millions of taxpayer dollars to build and maintain a property that was always three to four times the size that was needed, and then years later be deemed surplus? And now the threat of “rent-adjusted” apartments being built on the property! This mess is squarely in the laps of METRO, and it should be up to METRO to correct the situation, which appears hopeless. Hopefully the citizens of Houston will realize that the entire METRO operation needs to be revamped, the entire METRO Board replaced, and hopefully by individuals with more foresight, who care more about the city and citizens of Houston and less about the prestige, pomp, and pageantry of being a METRO board member. You bureaucratic hacks did nothing to prevent such a situation from arising, and now it appears as if everyone else is going to suffer the consequences.
I just read your article about the former Oakbrook Apartments next on DeSoto Street next to the White Oak Bayou trail and want to thank you for bringing it to the forefront and front page of The Leader Newspaper.
Late last year I sent a report to Houston 311 containing pictures of the condition of these abandoned apartments and asking why they haven’t been torn down under Mayor Parker’s city beautification efforts? Unfortunately, instead of the City of Houston taking a keen interest in following up and sending me a proper reply. I got a call from a city inspector about 3 months later asking about the property. He said to me that he was unable to find the apartments [it’s very obvious where they are located] and then it turned out that my complaint was given to an inspector who covers the Houston Heights and not the region where the apartments are located. He instructed me to make another report so that it would be routed to the right inspector.
I was disturbed by the incompetence of the City of Houston services and did not understand why after 3 months nothing was done and I had to start from scratch.
It’s a wonder why the apartments remain a huge eyesore for those of use who ride our bikes on the trail and have to pass these each time wishing that one day that they would disappear.
I hope and plead that after your article the Mayor, the local city councilperson [I hope that it’s not “do nothing” Ellen Cohen] make the tearing down of these apartments and converting the land preferably into a nice park/green space for all of us to enjoy as we ride down the scenic trail.
Please stay on top of this and do a follow up article.
I loved [Jonathan McElvy’s] article this week. It’s nice to read about a good guy instead of crime all the time.
I enjoyed [Jonathan McElvy’s] article in The Leader. I haven’t watched golf forever but watched the Masters and had not even heard of Jordan Speith before. It’s refreshing to see a young man like this handle himself well. It all has to do with the way he was raised and the importance of family.
Father Clint Ressler to take up new position in Texas City
Thank you for the tremendous growth experienced by St. Rose of Lima Church during your tenure. Without your energy, leadership, and spiritual guidance none of this would have been possible! Your presence will be sorely missed, and may the Lord continue to guide you at your new parish.
As an unofficial part of our family, we prefer to see this as your next adventure. After all, you are just down the street, in a sense. Easily met at a great seafood or steak place on 45. We, as others, feel you are a part of our family and don’t ever intend to let you feel we will just forget you. We will patiently wait until St Rose will again be your home. In my heart, I know there is a reason God has you going to Texas City. Children and adults alike will benefit from your shining example and leadership and love. Everyone will love you just as we love you. Go with a happy heart and know we will be sad to say goodbye but look forward to your next homecoming. Third time’s a charm. Maybe we can keep you.