Transit Oriented Development: It's not too late to make your voice heard.

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.

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