Friday, May 23, 2008

Residents Review HS Exit Plan; Request Meeting with Humble ISD

Here’s an update on the high school construction issue, where Kings Forest residents on Valley Manor are asking Humble ISD to consider their requests in the placement of a parking lot exit that has been cut through the trees (click here to see larger view of photo). These residents are asking for your support. Please send an email to saying that you support their efforts to relocate the entrance as shown in this architectural drawing.

Residents have questioned the need to place the exit along the back of the school’s property line on the former Kings Forest easement (shown in green on the architectural drawing) in lieu of grouping ingress/egress near the existing entrance.

Today affected residents reviewed the proposed change that the school district believed would mitigate the impact of the parking lot entrance on adjacent homes.

Deborah Yocham, Director of Facility Planning and Construction for Humble ISD, showed the architectural drawing with the proposed exit split by an island to provide a visual block of the school buildings when plantings grew to sufficient height. Inclusion of the island would widen the exit to 73’.

Residents are asking that ingress/egress be placed near the existing entrance, which is located across from the greenbelt, not their homes. By doing so, their homes would not be adversely impacted by cars and buses exiting the parking lot. In addition, their view of the parking lot and buildings would be ameliorated.

Yocham explained that placing the entrance where residents prefer would cost additional funds and result in a loss of some parking spaces. She also was unsure whether the desired rerouting would meet City of Houston fire codes.

Residents asked for a meeting with school district officials, the architectural firm and fire department to explore alternatives to the proposed entrance. Yocham expressed sympathy for the residents’ concerns and indicated she would set up the meeting.

Residents are angry that they had not been informed by the Kings Forest board when the setback modification was granted. Yocham agreed that the school district would not have been able to locate the proposed exit across from the residences and along the property line if the Kings Forest board had not waived 25’ of the existing 50’ easement created by Friendswood Development.

“Traffic already is very heavy in front of our homes,” said Jan Mohr, whose home is across from the proposed entrance. “Locating this exit along the property line will push this traffic deeper into Kings Forest, potentially affecting homes further in on Valley Manor. The school district is being very responsive to our concerns, so we hope that we can find a solution that is acceptable to all.”