I am quoted in Houston Business Journal About Ashby High Rise – “Backdoor Zoning for the Wealthy”

April 30th, 2014

The Houston Business Journal interviewed me for a piece about the never-ending Ashby High Rise dispute.

“It’s backdoor zoning for the wealthy,” said Josh Blackman, a Houston lawyer and assistant professor of law at the South Texas College of Law in Houston.

Because there is no zoning in Houston, the disgruntled neighbors argue construction of the high-rise must be halted to adhere to city nuisance laws.

“The neighbors argue the high-rise itself is a nuisance because it is out of place and doesn’t fit in with the community,” said Blackman. “That’s not what nuisance law really is. It’s things like noise, pollution or vibrations.”

What’s next? Wilson can rule that the building cannot be built altogether or that it can be built with modifications to its current design. However, the case could go on for years with appeals and will undoubtedly affect future construction projects in Houston if the residents opposing the towers win.

“It really could chill development in certain parts of Houston since developers would be afraid of facing years of litigation,” Blackman said.