News


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  • March 09, 2021 4:42 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Parking Survey

    ParkHouston is reaching out to Museum Park stakeholders for their   feedback in the annual review of the Community Parking Program, implemented a year ago. Stakeholder feedback has been vital from the inception of this program. Now, ParkHouston wants to know how the implementation has impacted Museum Park. Use this link to complete a short survey. ParkHouston will provide the results in April.

    One More Important Survey-Use of Public Sidewalks

    The City of Houston is accepting public comments concerning the use of the public sidewalks by private vendors for the rental or sale of goods. The comment period will end on March 15 at 5 PM.  Give your input at
    https://www.houstontx.gov/parking/ordinance-amendments-comments.html

    Please complete both these important surveys that impact our Quality of Life in Museum Park.

    HPD South Central Report

    MPNA’s March 3 meeting offered robust discussion with HPD officers, Commander Carolita Johnson and Sgt. Christopher Weiche, including a report showing overall crime statistics in Museum Park down 32% from the same period in 2020. Of particular interest are Theft, down 15%, and Burglary of Motor Vehicles down 52%.

    Record of Decision

    TxDOT has issued the Record of Decision (ROD) for the North Houston Highway Improvement Project. More information is available at http://www.ih45northandmore.com. This project includes the suppression of 59. Slated for a late 2021 start.

  • February 24, 2021 12:59 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    TxDOT Issues A Record of Decision for the North Houston Highway Improvement Project

    TxDOT has taken the next step in the implementation of the North Houston Highway Improvement Project by issuing the Record of Decision. 

    The portion of the project, labeled Segment 3, directly impacts the north end of Museum Park, depressing US59/I-69 between I-10 and Spur 527 south of Downtown. Segment 3 is slated to begin in late 2021.  You can view the details of this project at http://www.ih45northandmore.com/

    Dr. Luis Ostrosky

    At the February 3 MPNA meeting, Dr. Luis Ostrosky, Memorial Hermann TMC and the McGovern Medical School, Infectious Diseases spoke and answered questions regarding COVID-19 and the efforts to distribute vaccine in the Houston area.  You can watch the video of his presentation here.

    HPD South Central Report

    Sgt. Brian Alms, Community DRT (Differential Response Team) Officer reported crime statistics comparing January 2020 to January 2021.  Overall crime for the area (which includes the Texas Medical Center) is down overall 34%.  Commander Johnson and her team continue to focus on clubs and violations.

    Livable Places Action Committee

    The LPAC continues monthly meetings where the focus for the last three meetings has been buffering.  Current buffering ordinances were implemented in 2011 to provide some protection to single-family residences from high-rise, high density abutting developments.  With input from the committee, the Planning Department is developing new ordinances to strengthen those currently in place.  Garage screening, outdoor lighting, and noise issues were the topic of discussion at the February 9 LPAC meeting.  You can view that meeting and supporting documents at https://houstontx.gov/planning/meeting_documents.html.

    The next meeting of the LPAC is slated for March 9 at 3:00 p.m.  A link to the meeting will be posted on the Planning Department Website, https://houstontx.gov/planning/meetings.html.  If you have questions or suggestions, please email committee member Sandy Stevens at info@museumpark.org.                 

    Green Team

    The MPNA Board approved expenditures of $6000 for professional pruning and fertilization of trees located on the 1700-1800 block of Southmore.  As reported earlier, the Green Team is coordinating with the City of Houston Parks Department for removal of a dead palm tree.  They also have plans to amend the soil and install three end caps.


  • January 30, 2021 3:04 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Livable Places Action Committee

    The COH Planning Department's Livable Places Action Committee held it’s fifth meeting on Tuesday, January 12 to continue discussion of buffering ordinances and options to address concerns expressed by residents throughout the city of Houston. Thanks goes to Museum Park neighbors who dropped a pin in the interactive map tool to identify dense developments with good/bad buffering standards. You can access the summary of the map sites here.  

    Planning Department staff have identified four separate topics including Physical Separation Standards, Garage Sheathing Standards, Lighting Fixture Standards, and Noise Control Standards to address through the committee’s work. For further details or to view the presentation, go here. 

    If you have comments or questions regarding the ongoing discussion of the Committee, please join the next meeting of the LPAC slated for February 9.  A link to the meeting will be posted on the Livable Places Action Committee website. You can also reach out to Sandy Stevens who serves on the committee.

    HPD South Central Report

    Many thanks to HPD’s South Central Commander Caroleta Johnson and Sgt. Christopher Weiche who attended the January MPNA meeting to report the most recent crime statistics and update residents regarding HPD’s interaction with Almeda bars. Overall crime is down 35% in Museum Park (10H70 Beat that includes the Medical Center), December 2019 to December 2020. The largest drops appear to be in Burglary of Motor Vehicles, down 50%, and Auto Theft, down 70%. 

    South Central Officers are having ongoing conversations with Bar 5015 owner regarding ways to be a good neighbor including monitoring noise levels to stay within permitted levels. HPD will be working with Precinct 7 Constables and Parking Management to address the multiple issues occurring at peak times.

    MPNA Green Team

    The Green Team is focusing on the Southmore esplanades between Jackson and Almeda through the spring. Fifteen live oak trees will be professionally pruned followed by fertilization of the small oaks, the dead palm tree will be removed, the soil will be amended, and three end caps will be installed.

    Security Survey

    Safety & Security Chair Deirdre Barrett is preparing a security survey to disseminate to the neighborhood. Watch for it. 
  • December 19, 2020 4:17 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Make Your Voice Heard: City of Houston Buffering Ordinances  

    The COH Planning Department's Livable Places Action Committee is considering improvements to current buffering ordinances implemented in 2011 to protect single-family residences from the impact of high-rise development that either directly abuts or is within 30 feet of a single family residence. 

    As Museum Park has already experienced high-rise construction within the neighborhood and anticipates additional development, please take this opportunity to give input as it considers changes by participating in the Planning Department’s interactive mapping tool by December 31.

    On the Let's Talk Houston website, scroll down to the MAP IT tab, click on the map and follow the directions:

    • Place a pin on the map showing the location of a tall structure adjacent to single-family residence
    • Answer 3 quick questions
    • Upload a photo (optional but encouraged)
    • Leave comments or suggestions.

    To view a video of the Livable Places Action Committee's December 8 meeting as well as meeting notes and other documents, visit the Livable Places Initiative.

    Bar Noise Issues

    Council Member Sallie Alcorn’s Regulatory and Neighborhood Affairs Committee is formulating recommendations to address noise issues associated with bars located near residential areas. 

    CM Alcorn is talking with the mayor regarding next steps, which may include strengthening the current ordinance. Look for an upcoming opinion piece from CM Alcorn in the Houston Chronicle.

    Holiday Donation to HPD’s South Central Command Station

    The MPNA contributed $100, matched by an MPNA member, for a total $200 donation to Share the Joy, the pet food distribution event hosted at the South Central Command Station on December 5. 

    By supporting this outreach, Museum Park offers our thanks to the officers of South Central while supporting those who are struggling with the Covid economic downturn.

    Happy Holidays

    MPNA Board MembersSandy Stevens, Pam Campbell, Deirdre Barrett, Lynn Dahlberg, Cathy Ehlinger, Kim Mickelson, Bill Powell, Greg Quintero, Louis Selig, Cynthia Tang, Joselyn Thomas, and Cindy Woodswish you Happy Holidays! 

    Though we are unable to celebrate with our usual holiday gathering, we look forward to a New Year of hope and good health.


  • November 16, 2020 6:33 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    2021 MPNA Officers

    At the November 4 meeting of the Museum Park Neighborhood Association, the slate of officers submitted by the nominating committee of Sandy Stevens, Greg Quintero, and Cynthia Tang was approved by acclamation.

    Regulatory and Neighborhood Affairs Committee

    The RNA Committee headed by CM Sallie Alcorn met November 2 to discuss the issue of noise, mostly associated with loud music emanating from bars, restaurants, and party houses near residential properties. View meeting here.

    Livable Places Action Committee     

    The LPAC Committee including MPNA President Sandy Stevens met October 20 to review several technical changes to existing ordinances. Committee members agreed to the changes primarily designed to bring them into line with current practices. View the meeting here. 
    ____________________________________________________________________

    Holiday Dinner Cancelled

    Plans for the MPNA Holiday Dinner at Lucille’s have been cancelled for 2020 due to Covid 19 restrictions.  Tentative plans for a spring backyard event at Lucille’s are underway. Check out the Houston Chronicle for feature stories about Chris and Ben Williams and their non-profit, Lucille’s 1913.

    In and Around the Neighborhood

    Java Lava has reopened.  Stop by and welcome the coffee shop/restaurant back to the neighborhood.

    Also try out the new Hermann Park Restaurant, Ginger Kale, located between the mini-train station and McGovern Lake. 

    Happy birthday to May!  May Hill, a long term resident of Museum Park, turned 98 on November 10.  May served as Parliamentarian of MPNA for many years.

    ___________________________________________________________________

    Myhomeishere.org

    Please take a moment to complete the survey being conducted by Harris County and the Kinder Institute at Rice University. The “My Home is Here" housing study will inform recommendations for safe, affordable and inclusive homes for the Houston region through 2030. Your participation is a part of the work that Harris County is conducting to ensure safe homes are available to residents of all ages, incomes and backgrounds.

    Caroline Promenade

    Next step on the Caroline Promenade includes pruning of trees along Caroline.  Funding for the removal of dead and unhealthy branches was provided through former CM Dwight Boykins' office and Southeast Management District, as part of the Caroline Promenade pre-design grant. Keep an eye out for the improvements. Get a copy of the Caroline Promenade pre-design here.

    Our Resilient City:  The Joy of the Journey

    • Check out the panel discussion hosted by Museum Park Super Neighborhood on October 14.  Panelists, Marissa Aho, Chief Resilience Officer, City of Houston; David Fields, Chief Transportation Planner, City of Houston; Jaime Gonzalez, Resilient Cities Director, The Nature Conservancy- Houston; and Jay Maddock, PhD, Co-Director, Center for Health and Nature, Professor of Environmental Health, Texas A & M University.
           A recording of the meeting is found on the MPSN website.
  • September 14, 2020 11:08 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Rice Management District Update on the Ion

    Ryan LeVasseur and Sam Dike, members of the Rice Management team, appeared virtually at MPNA virtual meeting on September 2 to update Museum Park stakeholders regarding progress on the Ion.

    Scheduled for opening in early 2021, the Ion, formerly the Main Street Sears building, will include event and programming spaces, office spaces, academic uses, flex workspaces, and small cafes. To watch the replay and learn the details, go to: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/fqkw1aa9.

    National Night Out 2020 Plans

    In keeping with City of Houston and Harris County guidelines, Museum Park Neighborhood Association is encouraging small, socially distanced, outdoor neighbor gatherings in place of our traditional large neighborhood National Night Out. Mark your calendars for Tuesday, October 6 and watch for an upcoming email outlining suggestions for the evening.

    Get details and information on how to host one of the neighbor gatherings by contacting info@museumparkna.org.

    Notes from the Super Neighborhood

    Pre-design for the Caroline Promenade was completed earlier this year. Next step includes pruning to improve the health of the heritage oaks located in the esplanades along Caroline. SN is acquiring wood chips to spread on the Caroline esplanades as well as a few additional MP esplanades to enhance the soil.

    The Planning Department will be hosting a virtual Transit Oriented Development meeting for properties located within 1/2 mile walk of transit stations September 17, 2:30 p.m. Details and access to the meeting are here.

    The Super Neighborhood's next meeting is slated for September 9, 5:30 p.m.  Guests include Dr. Kyle Shelton discussing the Kinder Institute's 2020 State of Housing Report and Lena Sweeny, Houston Recovery Center. Details and log-in information can be accessed by emailing Info@museumparksn.org

    HPD PIP Meetings (September 8 and September 15)

    The City-Wide PIP (Positive Interaction Program) virtual meeting is slated for Tuesday, September 8 at 6:00 pm. Join the live streamed meeting here to hear Lt. John Coburn, HPD's Internet Crimes Against Children Unit to learn how to protect your children against online predators.

    South Central Command Station will host the Local PIP meeting, Tuesday, September 15, 6:00 p.m. Sgt. Evans with the Special Victims division will present the evening’s program.

     In Other News

    The City of Houston Planning Department has formed a new committee to address current development codes. The Livable Places Initiative will address among other issues improved buffering for existing neighborhoods. Sandy Stevens will serve on the committee.

    The next MPNA meeting, which will include election of officers for 2021, is slated for Wednesday, November 4. If you are interested in serving on the MPNA Board, please contact us at info@museumparkna.org. More information coming in October.

  • August 21, 2020 9:09 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Buffalo Soldiers Museum

    MPNA held its second virtual meeting August 5, 2020 hosting Desmond Bertrand-Pitts, grandson of the museum’s founder, who shared a bit of history of the museum, which opened in 2001, and moved to its current building in 2012.  The museum has been closed for the last four months due to Covid-19 with plans to reopen in September.

    Check out their website to find out ways you can help the museum as it celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2021. 

    TOD & Walkable Places Ordinances Approved by City Council

    Houston City Council unanimously approved the Transit Oriented Development and Walkable Places ordinances Wednesday, August 5. The ordinances will go into effect on October 1 after finalizing the TOD map. For further information, check the City of Houston’s Planning Department website.

    Prior to ordinance approval the Museum Park Super Neighborhood hosted a walk along Caroline and San Jacinto streets Monday, July 27, to discuss anticipated ordinance outcomes in MP with Council Member Carolyn Evans-Shabazz and others. In addition to the District D Council Member, CM’s David Robinson and Amy Peck were in attendance along with several from the Planning Commission, Planning Department, Museum Park neighbors, and others. 


    HPD South Central Command Station

    The pictured banner, provided by Buffalo Specialties, was displayed on August 14 when South Central hosts their “Back to School Drive-Through” in support of the children living in the precinct. MPNA donated $100 toward the support of this annual Back to School program. 

    In September South Central HPD will be offering free virtual CPR classes with follow-up to complete certification. Details to follow.

    OTHER NEWS

    Private Security Study:  Security Chair Deirdre Barrett is heading a group of interested residents wishing to establish a private security group for Museum Park.  If you have interest in such a group and/or you are willing to serve in such an effort, please email Deirdre at info@museumparkna.org.

    Southmore Bridge: According to TXDoT, Southmore Bridge will open later this month. The MPNA Green Team's next beautification project is planned for the nearby Southmore esplanade. 

    Museum Park Treasure Hunt Continues…The Community Engagement Team will continue the Museum Park Neighborhood Treasure Hunt for three more weeks. Each weekly clue will be published leading to a hidden token in the neighborhood. The lucky winner will exchange the token for a $10 gift certificate to a local business. Continue to look for email announcements and clues on the MPNA website and MP Facebook page. 
  • July 09, 2020 8:22 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Guest:  County Clerk Christopher Hollins
    MPNA held its first virtual meeting July 1, 2020 to host County Clerk Christopher Hollins, who discussed voting protocols put in place for the July 14 primaries and the November 3 election

    • Safety protocols are in place at all voting sites for poll workers and voters: social distancing, hand sanitizing stations, face masks available, curbside voting.  Finger protectors are available to use when voting, and a no touch identification process is in place.
    • If you choose not to wear a mask you may vote curbside or if you choose to go in, at booths provided for non-mask wearers.
    • Qualifications for vote by mail: 65 or older, away from county, imprisoned, disabled. Covid can be considered a disability factor but not the only factor.
    • Currently very short wait times for early voting (early voting for primaries through July 10).
    • 800 plus locations in Harris County anticipated for the November elections.
    • Still accepting volunteers to assist with November elections.
    • For detailed information and FAQ’s, go to https://www.harrisvotes.com.

     TOD & Walkable Places Updates
    City Council’s Quality of Life Committee heard the Planning Department presentation regarding the proposed Transit Oriented Development and Walkable Places ordinances June 24.  Present at the virtual public meeting were MPNA President Sandy Stevens and MPSN President Kathleen O’Reilly along with other Museum Park Residents. Several residents spoke to the committee regarding the impact of the proposed TOD ordinances on the neighborhood. Check out City of Houston Planning department website to review ordinances. To see the recorded meeting, go here.
      TOD and Walkable Places Ordinances are expected to be on the City Council agenda later this summer.

    Reporting Litter on TXDoT Property

    • If you are a twitter user, you can report litter on TxDoT property through their account at http://twitter.com/txdothouston.
    • Thanks to CoH Solid Waste Management Department, litter at 59 and Main was recently cleaned up.  According to Director Harry Hayes, “This is part of the Mayor's Covid care strategy to mitigate any issues which could arise surrounding public health.  The crew will be on a schedule for the duration.”

     Department of Neighborhoods Grant
      

     Green Team Chair Cynthia Tang confirmed the receipt of the Department of Neighborhood’s matching grant dollars of $2,445 for the installation of seven end caps and a small Texas Natives Garden in the Crawford esplanades from Wentworth to Wheeler.  Thanks to Cynthia and team for their hard work while practicing social distancing in their efforts to connect and beautify Museum Park.
                                                                                 

    Private Security Study
    Security Chair Deirdre Barrett is heading a group of interested residents wishing to establish a private security group for Museum Park.  If you have interest in such a group and/or you are willing to serve in such an effort, please email Deirdre at info@museumparkna.org

    Museum Park Treasure Hunt                
    The Community Engagement Team is sponsoring a Museum Park Neighborhood Treasure Hunt beginning July 11.  Each week over the following four weeks, clues will be published leading to a hidden token in the neighborhood.  The lucky winner will exchange the token for a $10 gift certificate to a local business.  Look for email announcements and clues on the MPNA website and MP Facebook page.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • June 05, 2020 10:56 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Walkable Places/Transit Oriented Development ordinances advance to City Council

    The Planning Commission met Thursday, May 28, with the consideration of Walkable Places and Transit Oriented Development ordinances at the top of the agenda. TOD streets are determined by proximity to rail stations along with other criteria, and will include nearly half of streets in Museum Park as either primary TOD streets (mandatory) or secondary TOD streets (opt-in). See map here.

    Designed to promote denser housing near transit stations, TOD ordinances ease certain developer requirements including parking requirements.  The ordinances also provide reduced setbacks that give developers more buildable area allowing larger buildings closer to the street. Developers will be required to provide among other benefits wider sidewalks, a safety buffer (area between street and sidewalk), and landscaping along the streets. Several MP streets are lined with heritage trees, which give Museum Park its distinctive character and which may well be impacted by the reduced setbacks. For detailed description of TOD, see here

    Because of the complexity of the ordinances and the difficulty in parsing the impact on Museum Park, several residents, including Museum Park Super Neighborhood President and MPNA President, attended the virtual meeting with specific requests:

    • Hold additional public meeting(s) to better assist residents in understanding the complexities of the ordinances.
    • The existing buffering ordinances are not part of the WP/TOD ordinances and as currently written do not require noise, light, garage, or wind shielding for residential properties on transit corridors. Prior to enacting WP/TOD these ordinances must be updated and strengthened in collaboration with potentially impacted property owners.
    • Recognize the unique qualities of the neighborhood, a destination for 12 million visitors a year to the cultural institutions, museums and Hermann Park.
    Additionally, District D CM Carolyn Evans Shabazz, At-large Council Members, David Robinson and Sallie Alcorn spoke at the Planning Commission on behalf of the requests sought by the residents. CM Letitia Plummer provided a letter of support.  

    Despite the requests to defer action on Museum Park, the Planning Commission voted unanimously to advance the Transit-Oriented-Development and the Walkable Places ordinances to City Council.

    MPNA will continue to work in concert with Museum Park Super Neighborhood to secure additional public engagement with the Planning Department so that all Museum Park neighbors can understand the changes that will impact the neighborhood. At the same time we will continue to seek changes in the buffering ordinances that will protect our neighborhood as development continues.

    Thanks to HPD's South Central Station


    MPNA VP Pam Campbell along with HPD Officers Thomas and Gentry.

    On behalf of the entire neighborhood, MPNA purchased and delivered 50 rotisserie chickens (per HPD menu request) to officers of South Central Command Station, Thursday, June 4.  Our neighborhood is thankful for the service of these officers and during these stressful times, it is especially appropriate to show Museum Park’s gratitude.

    Miller Outdoor Theatre Performances Cancelled Through July 30

    In accordance with the CDC’s most recent guidelines, the Miller Theatre Advisory Board is cancelling all performances through the end of July 2020.  

    “Regretfully the fireworks will not take place this year. Hoping that we will be able to have fireworks for July 4, 2021,” Cissy Segall Davis, Director, Miller Outdoor Theatre.

    MPNA Community Engagement team still hopes to schedule our annual Miller Outdoor Theatre social in the fall.

    Museum Park residents and stakeholders are encouraged to post notices regarding the cultural institutions in Museum Park on the MPNA Facebook page.

                                      

                                              

                                      Click Here for More information

  • May 22, 2020 4:54 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Planning Commission will be voting on proposed Walkable Places (WP) and Transit Oriented Development (TOD) ordinances at the upcoming Planning Commission Meeting (online access to meeting is here) on Thursday, May 28.  Museum Park will be significantly impacted by the proposed TOD rules since the designation for primary and secondary TOD streets includes many streets in our neighborhood (See map here).

    A separate grass roots effort has established a website to gather signatures requesting that Museum Park be omitted from the TOD until concerns are addressed.  You can access/sign the petition here.

    The ordinances are aimed at increasing residential density along transit corridors, reducing automobile traffic, and creating more pedestrian friendly areas. However several concerns regarding the impact of TOD on Museum Park have been raised (see below)

    MPNA, in collaboration with Museum Park Super Neighborhood had earlier requested to be omitted from the initial TOD implementation until further review of the impact of this ordinance on our neighborhood, and to better tailor ordinance that fits Museum Park.  However, despite this request, Museum Park is slated for inclusion.  

    Concerns regarding TOD impact on MP:

    • Residential Buffering (including light-reduction from parking garages, sheathed lighting, and noise baffling) is essential to the quality of life of our residents and visitors.  Current protections afforded residents under residential buffering ordinances are removed for developments locating along TOD streets.  Allowing developers to forgo these standards in a TOD is unacceptable to those who already live in the impacted areas.
    • TOD developments will qualify for reduced parking requirements—market-based parking along primary TOD streets, and 50% reduction along secondary streets. As a destination district (14 museums and cultural institutions) MP regularly experiences parking stress.  The newly activated (February 11) Community Parking Plan (CPP) prohibits residential parking permits for developments of 125 units or more.  Museum Park stands firmly behind this component of the CPP.
    • With its backdrop of Museums and Cultural Institutions, MP seeks to partner with Planning to recognize this unique neighborhood as a Design District.  Such recognition will better address one of the Design Principles set out in the TOD Users’ Guide to be sensitive to local context.

    Walkable Places ordinances will include an application/approval process for property owners to request block(s) to be so designated and will allow for public comment and objection. WP is currently being piloted on the Near Northside & in Midtown.

    Links



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The Museum Park Neighborhood Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in Houston Texas.