A proposal regarding the proximity of high-rise structures to single-family residential areas was presented to the city council development and regulatory affairs committee, which offers three buffer options. The proposal will be presented to the Super Neighborhoods Alliance next.
Plans for a buffer ordinance, as reported by Your River Oaks News, have been spurred by the recently developed Ashby High Rise. The location of the high-rise received a rather large outcry from single-family home neighbors. Ashby is a Rice Village-area development that will be a 23-story multi-use building at the time of its completion, and will be constructed in the middle of a residential neighborhood. Because no buffer ordinance was in place when Ashby was approved, the building will continue with construction as planned.
The Planning Department favors an ordinance which demands that developers of high-rise buildings provide a 30-foot buffer between their developments and the nearest residential property. Chris Amandes, a member of the Houston planning commission and a representative from the Southampton Neighborhood, argues that the 30-foot buffer rule wouldn’t do enough for single-family homeowners. Amandes favors the option which requires a 50-foot buffer between the two property types and also requires that the tallest parts of the building be placed further back–a practice known as “feathering.”
“It wouldn’t stop Ashby High Rise from happening,” Amandes said. “But it would prevent another one from happening.”