Houston zoning rules appealed

By Floyd Ingram/Chickasaw Journal

HOUSTON – Zoning and zoning enforcement is the key to a better quality of life in any community and Houston city officials believe that.

The Houston Mayor and Board of Aldermen voted last week to uphold city zoning ordinances, but in each case told the property owner there are ways they can get what they want and still follow city rules.

In one case a property owner wanted a fence to separate her yard from a neighbor, a second case involved putting new trailers in an old mobile home park.

The first case saw Shelia Buchanan approach aldermen wanting a fence in her front yard that reached to the street.

Buchanan initially wanted to erect a fence that was 8-feet high and made of wooden panels. Houston ordinances prevent fences from extending in front of houses to the street for both visual appeal and traffic safety reasons.

Buchanan’s request to build the fence was tabled by the Houston Planning and Zoning Board because she failed to appear.

Aldermen told Buchanan the city does allow fences that you can see through, such as chain link fences, that go to the street. Aldermen also pointed out fences under 4-feet in height are also allowed.

Buchanan agreed to alter her plan and said she would approach the Pamp&Z Board with the new variance this week.

The other case involved Noe Lopez’ desire to haul off old trailers in a mobile home park he recently bought on Davis Street and bring in new ones.

The property is currently zoned R1 (residential/single occupant) and was grandfathered in years ago. Changing the zoning to R3 (residential/multi occupant) would allow it to meet city codes.

Aldermen pointed out the four mobile homes were not visible from a major street and the property owner was actually trying to up-grade the property.

Aldermen voted to begin the process of rezoning the Davis Street property to R3.

The Houston Planning and Zoning Board is made up of representatives from each city ward and meets every month to address zoning concerns and develop plans for the best used of land inside the city limits of Houston.