The Houston City Council has postponed Wednesday’s proposed changes to the Housing Buffer Code for newly built commercial developments. The proposed change would provide protection to Houston citizens living in residential neighborhoods as it relates to commercial buildings such as high-rises near single-family homes.
Over the past two years, the city has worked with residents and developers to come up with new requirements that will not only allow the city to continue to develop, but also protect its residents. Some have expressed the negative impact that skyscrapers and other commercial buildings have on residential areas.
For example, the city’s current Chapter 42 Housing Buffer Ordinance requires buildings over 75 feet tall to be only 30 to 40 feet from single-family homes on larger lots. The newly proposed change will allow housing buffering for all single family and multifamily developments (smaller multifamily developments with 8 units or less per property).
Margaret Wallace Brown, the city’s director of planning and development, said the city wants to make sure new developments don’t negatively impact nearby families.
“As Houston continues to develop, we live closer to each other, so more and more people are moving to Houston. We don’t want this development to cause problems for existing residents.” she said.
The proposed change would also require mid-rise buildings over 65 feet in height to have a 15-foot buffer between housing developments. Other changes that will take effect if approved are garage screening and lighting standards for commercial parking lots, lighting fixtures outside commercial garages, and screening standards for trash bins adjacent to streets and residential areas.
The agenda item was tagged by Council members Sally Alcorn, Mike Knox, Michael Kubosch and David Robinson. This means the council will have to vote on it next week.
“There’s a language issue they’re working on and I’ve spoken with the administration and some of the stakeholders,” Alcorn said. think.”
Although the vote has been delayed, District C Council member Abby Kamin said the change is an important compromise for residents who want to continue living in the city.
“These are very important when talking about neighborhood protection and increasing development within the loop,” she said.