With little discussion -- certainly compared to the uproar that preceded the vote -- the city council haspassed
extensive revisions to the new floodway plan.
The previous plan, which was introduced without much fanfare, seriously curbed any new construction and reconstruction in areas near bayous.
A good idea, maybe, but many homeowners all of a sudden found their land and house had been rendered value-less.
Groups sprung up to fight the new rules.
The rhetoric was, if not heated, at least playing to the heartstrings: "I am an 84 year old widow who is desperate and frightened. It appears because the flooding problem had not been addressed years ago, the value of my property has now been devalued down to nothing due to Ordinance 19-43. What will happen to me if I need to go into senior facility without the value of my home to pay for it?", one woman wrote.
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Channel 11 reports that " Wednesday's vote effectively reverses that decision [creating the floodway ordinance] with the caveats that the city must approve of new construction, inspect it regularly, and that new buildings in the floodway must be elevated."
Shit, it's Houston. It doesn't matter where you are, you can flood if the weather gods decide to make it so.
As long as the city doesn't start allowing massive parking lots and other flood-causing development right up to the bayou edge, it looks like things can be worked out without taking away people's biggest investment.
-- Richard Connelly