A Day Late, Gene Locke Weighs In On The Ashby High-Rise

Yesterday we told you how "disappointed" two of the three main mayoral candidates were with the city's decision to approve a high-rise development near Rice even though rich people live near it.

We hadn't heard from Gene Locke, considered by many to be the front-runner in this year's race, but now we have.

And Locke is....disappointed.

The misfortune of Ashby High Rise is that it has created a situation where there are no winners. If there is one thing that we have learned over the past two years, it is how important it is that we create consistent, predictable and transparent rules governing development. People need to be able to protect the historic character of their neighborhoods so that we maintain an excellent quality of life for all Houstonians. At the same time, our city needs to grow and diversify to meet the economic challenges of tomorrow.

As I have said many times in my campaign, I will bring together the stakeholders involved in neighborhoods and development so we can explore fresh ideas that will ensure that we continue to be one of the fastest growing cities in the nation and maintain livable and vibrant neighborhoods.

No winners? It sounds like we need a "win-win" solution!!

And here it is, Locke-style:

As our city becomes denser, we will need to balance the responsible growth that drives our city with the recognition that development can have impacts beyond the borders of the land being developed. The development approval process must not only be predictable, but also open and transparent so dialog can occur early in the process among all stakeholders.

As mayor, I am committed to exploring various avenues to achieve and maintain the balance necessary to continue making Houston a unique and vibrant city in which to live including incentives that will drive high-rise development to major thoroughfares.

The boilerplate is heavy with this issue, as it seems to be with every issue in this race. It's going to be a looong two months to Election Day.

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