Professor Andrew Teas
Houston Land Use Policy
Houston is a large city with very unique qualities that most cities cannot even begin to understand, but is this just Houstonian pride talking? No, actually one of the unique qualities that Houston has is how we handle our land use planning. Houston is well known for not having any zoning ordinances, which has become a well-known topic for a while now. People argue weather our lack of zoning is chaotic, unorthodox, or independent and distinct. Another unique quality that we have is where our political culture stands. Dr. Elazar’s “Individualistic - Traditionalistic” study of political culture talks about three categories moralistic, individualistic, and traditionalistic, which entails what category Texas falls in and why. This study of Political culture can help relate to reasons why Houston lacks at land use planning and whether it is for the best or worse. The land use planning in Houston is different from other cities because we don’t have zoning ordinance, meaning that we can have for example “the fanciest restaurant in town right next to a tattoo parlor…” ,UH of Architecture Dean Patricia Oliver. Other cities have a different system that involves color-coded maps that let people know where and what they can and can’t have in those properties. Cities that have regulations do it because they believe that if the government doesn’t tell them what to do with the land it would be chaotic. Houston, on the other hand thinks that property owners decide what works best for their property not the government. Even though everything seems unrestricted in Houston we do have a form of organizing certain areas like neighborhoods with “deed restrictions” where owners voluntarily agree to certain restrictions when they buy property. We also have “property rights” which means that one the government cannot tell you what to do with your land. Due to the system that...
Citations: Newell, Charldean, David F. Prindle, and James W. Riddlesperger. "Texas Political Culture."Texas Politics. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. Print.
Teas, Anderew. "HCC Eagle Online: Login to the Site." HCC Eagle Online: Login to the Site. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Jan. 2014.
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