Thursday, November 08, 2007

Southampton Residents Warn the Rest of Houston: Hands Off Our Ordinance, Plebes

As far as we know no one has even pretended that the now-delayed-for-90-days ordinance aimed at keeping a 23-story high-rise from affronting "affluent" homeowners of the Southampton and Boulevard Oaks neighborhoods is anything but a whimsical maneuver tailored to satisfy one small, localized constituency of the well-off. But must the Southamptonites and Boulevard Oakies be so flagrantly proprietary about it?

We're referring to a comment the Houston Chronicle's Mike Snyder extracted from Chris Amandes, identified as "an attorney who chairs a task force of leaders of the two neighborhoods," who's

worried that a lengthy delay [in city council approval of the ordinance] would prompt efforts to add features to the ordinance that might jeopardize its passage.

"There are lots of opportunities for anybody who has any kind of land-use issue to tie their wagon to this ordinance," Amandes said.
In other words, Away with your wagon and other nettlesome development issues. This is our ordinance.

If nothing else, this controversy has made for an edifying spectacle, in particular the notion of these agitated rich folks rallying to forestall the creatively destructive impulses of market capitalism.

Then there's Mayor White, who must be putting a little extra strut in his step following the 86-percent stamp of approval he received in Tuesday's election. According to Snyder, White said the message he's sending to the developers of the planned high-rise is this: "You'd better stop this thing, because I'm going to stop it unless you stop it."

It's Marshal Kane, with the Southamptonites as his Quaker bride.

Cue the Tex Ritter.

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