Note: If you can, give a bit of support to the folks in Houston. I would recommend the Red Cross.
I woke up this morning to the devastating news about Hurricane Harvey and the pummeling that Houston is taking from mother nature. As a native Houstonian (annexation counts right?) we grew up with the threat of hurricanes and floods, the closest to me personally coming in 1994 when 20-30 inches of water dropped in a few days and led to a lot of homes in my part of the city getting flooded including those of close family friends.
So this morning on twitter Pro Publica, which wrote an amazing piece with the Texas Tribune recently about the dangers of potential flooding in Texas, was writing a twitter thread on the subject but said something rather odd. They blamed a lot of things but one of them was Houston’s lack of zoning, saying how it caused a push for more sprawl.
3/ Climate change plays a role. So does Houston’s utter lack lack of zoning, and relentless development in flood-prone areas.
— ProPublica (@ProPublica) August 27, 2017
Folks that read this blog probably know that Houston lacks “zoning” BUT it still has everything bad you need for zoning in the development code, it’s just not use based.
And all the discussion got me thinking about what does lead to sprawling land uses in Texas that gobble up precious natural riparian zones. There are a lot of things, but lack of “zoning” is not one of them. But I can think of two…