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Keep Houston Press Free
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Ruling Means a Win for So-Called Ashby Tower Monster

After they won the first round, we're sure the folks over in the Rice Village area are quite upset after a judge today ruled to let what they consider a monster high-rise move ahead.

State District Court Judge Randy Wilson denied a motion to stop the 21-story tower project after hearing arguments in the case last week, according to reports. Neighbors in the area have been fighting for close to a decade to halt the project; the latest salvo was to get the building deemed a nuisance.

But that didn't happen.

A local law professor explained it this way to the Houston Business Journal:

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Josh Blackman, a Houston lawyer and assistant professor of law at the South Texas College of Law, called the residents' claim of nuisance "backdoor zoning for the wealthy," which isn't proper use of the law. "The neighbors argue the high-rise itself is a nuisance because it is out of place and doesn't fit in with the community," Blackman said. "That's not what nuisance law really is. It's things like noise, pollution or vibrations."

The ruling is a win for Buckhead Investment Partners, who are heading up the 1717 Bissonnet development. The situation seemed to be going in their favor when the city recently sent a letter to the judge in the case that showed its reluctance to get on the wrong side of developers in the matter.

But it doesn't seem like the folks over in the neighborhood are going to back down. We'll see soon enough.

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