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Old 05-06-2008, 01:36 AM
Location: Macao
15,687 posts, read 34,675,136 times
Reputation: 9219


I love the idea of NOT having zoning. I imagine there would be some problems, of course.

BUT, does this mean that a person can essentially live in a place, and start a business just across the street or down the street, or anywhere else they want?

Does it also mean that there are few housing restrictions on what kind of stuff you'd want to build and own?

What are the POSITIVES that people see from this? I'd love to hear more.

I've lived in Asia for years, and love that people can own businesses and live near their businesses with relative ease. Not to mention that you can walk to many businesses very easily from your house. While I'm not expecting Houston to have it quite that good. But I am glad there is a city that doesn't zone everything so much that people have to drive just to get a video or a coca-cola.
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Old 05-06-2008, 08:19 AM
1,262 posts, read 5,691,728 times
Reputation: 949
Yes, you can do that. Houston is very laissez-faire with regards to development.
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Old 05-06-2008, 08:22 AM
Location: Houston, TX (Oak Forest)
4,516 posts, read 11,309,583 times
Reputation: 3607
You can pretty much do what you want outside of deed restricted communities. It does lead to some odd combos such as warehouses sitting next to residential houses sitting next to stores but for the most part I think it is better. Then again I'm a libertarian. The biggest bonus is that it keeps building costs down. Part of the reason housing on the coasts is so much higher is because of over active government restricting where people can build and making the permitting process long and expensive.
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Old 05-06-2008, 08:37 AM
Location: where nothin ever grows. no rain or rivers flow, TX
2,028 posts, read 7,332,795 times
Reputation: 442
Houston seems pretty normal to me when it comes to 'zoning issues'. I dont know any place where theres not one or more things out of place.
may i ask what kind of business youre strategically placing near homes? many subdivisions/apartment complexes are built behind a prime business lot on a main road.
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Old 05-06-2008, 09:28 AM
Location: Spring, Texas
406 posts, read 1,490,560 times
Reputation: 161
Even though we don't offically have "zoning" ...

New ..."planned developments" have areas designated for residential and the fringe generally reserved for commercial. Even in established areas such as the Heights you still have to go through the city to get your plans approved (platting wise) then begins the pemitting process....need I say more! It's not as simple as you may think.
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Old 05-09-2008, 10:55 PM
Location: Southeast Texas
564 posts, read 1,792,897 times
Reputation: 198
Yes, no-zoning allows a lot of freedom, but the asterisk to the no zoning in Houston is that there are still aggressive deed restrictions. Houston has more master-planned communities within its boundaries than any other US city, and with an active HOA (which isnt' always the case, granted), deed restrictions may be heavily enforced (there have been news stories over the years of residents being threatened with all kinds of fines and legal actions for defying even some of the most esoteric regulations, including the color they use to repaint their homes).

So, yes, no-zoning allows almost any type of new development to come in with little city regulation, but if the particular development is a master-planned development (like Royal Oaks in west Houston, for example), then deed restrictions can still be just as, well... restrictive.
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Old 05-10-2008, 08:06 AM
Location: Gringolandia
291 posts, read 761,141 times
Reputation: 620
I think the importance of zoning in Houston is overstated. The only places where it makes much difference is in the older neighborhoods where deed restrictions have expired and have not been renewed.. Anyone paying more than $100,000 for a house in Houston is unlikely to be looking for one in those neighborhoods. In the great majority of other neighborhoods, deed restrictions are enforced enthusiastically. Any violator will lose in court and will have to pay large legal fees. Not worth it.
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