"There's the study. And over there we'll put the swimming pool. And the driveway goes right there..."

The Bad Seed?

As we wrote about in October, the efforts to save the urban forest at 11th Street near T.C. Jester were running into problems. Namely, a deadline was looming and fund-raising efforts were millions of dollars short.

A solution has been worked out, although there's a nagging detail. If the Houston Parks Board can't raise $3.5 million to seal the deal, they'll take out a loan from Amegy Bank. For collateral they'll use five acres of the 21-acre park.

If they can't pay the loan, the land will become condos.

The Houston Chronicle reported that the Parks Board just got a big donation for the park — $100,000 from Bob Perry. That's Bob Perry of Perry Homes, one of the leaders in the effort to change Montrose and other distinctive Houston neighborhoods into a character-less collection of cookie-cutter townhomes.

Altruistic public service on Perry's part? Or was it a bit of before-the-fall butt-covering so he can say "I did all I could!!" as he crams some more two-story, garage-front, no-lawn yuppie shelters between the trees after the loan is called in?

We'll have to wait and see. Surprise us, Bob, surprise us! -- Richard Connelly

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