What's Happening 

HELP SAVE HISTORIC GLENBROOK GOLF COURSE, BAYOU GREEN SPACE, ACCESS TO PARKS AND HIKE & BIKE TRAILS

 

On January 27th, 2015, the City Council of Houston, at the specific direction of Mayor Annise Parker, entered into a contract to lease historic Glenbrook Park and Golf Course and bayou green space to the private non-profit corporation known as Houston Botanic Garden (HBG). The lease states that HBG will receive 120 acres for the total sum of $100.00 for each 30 year term, renewable for up to 90 plus years. The botanic garden will fence out the community, charge an entry fee, and block off the historic passageway that connects the communities of Park Place and Meadowbrook . This is a lower income, ethnically diverse community with a disproportionately low amount of green space per capita when compared to other parts of Houston and other cities. This contract was negotiated and executed by the city without posting adequate public notice or conducting public hearings as required by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code.

In addition to losing 120 acres of beautiful wildlife rich green space, the community will also be losing a part of Charlton Park, one of the only parks in the area.  A four lane vehicle bridge is proposed for construction through this 8.7 acre park and over the original oxbow portion of Sims Bayou into the private development. The City contract states a commitment of at least $1 million through its Capital Improvement Plan or other funding to road and bridge improvements, or any other form of access leading to and around the Botanic Garden, and Charlton Park. CIP funds come from taxpayer dollars. The Sims Bayou oxbow provides crucial wildlife habitat and it is adjacent to Houston Audubon, Sims Bayou Urban Nature Center. In addition, the bridge will be directly across from Park Place Elementary. This location will negatively impact traffic flow and the safety of children and pedestrians.

Area residents have formed Houstonians for Urban Green Spaces (HUGS) and Save Glenbrook Green Space.  HUGS is working to stop this environmental, economic and racial injustice. We are seeking the support of Houstonians, schools, youth groups, and community and environmental organizations in our effort to stop this injustice and implement a sustainable plan that will continue to provide green space and wildlife habitat. Members of Sierra Club and other groups have joined in the cause. We hope you are willing to lend your support as well. Contact us with your ideas, sign up to help, sign up for canoe and green space tours and upcoming activities. We are willing to meet with your group and provide information.
                                                                             PARKS FOR PEOPLE
                                                                             PEOPLE FOR PARKS

 

Contract Lease Agreement Explained

  • March 31, 2014:  Town Hall meeting held by District I Council Member Robert Gallegos to discuss locating a botanical garden at Gus Wortham Golf Course.  A brief mention of Glenbrook Golf Course as a possible alternative location was made. After Gus Wortham won the fight to remain a golf course, no Town Hall meeting was held before the mayor gave away Glenbrook Golf Course.

 

  • January 27, 2015: City Council entered into a contract lease agreement with Houston Botanic Garden  

 

  • January 27, 2015: City Council passed an ordinance committing the City to improvements to the entranceway with at least 1 MILLION in CIP funds at TAXPAYER’S expense, into the private Houston Botanic Garden.

 

  •  The proposed four-lane private entranceway bridge may cut through Charlton Park and cross the original channel of Sims Bayou. This will drastically impact traffic conditions and negatively affect this historic neighborhood as well as Park Place Elementary, Park Place Library, St. Christopher Church and School.

 

  •  HBG will pay the City of Houston $100 TOTAL Rent for the Term of 30 YEARS, with the option for 2 additional 30 YEARS terms; a total of up to 90 YEARS for $300 . This appears to be a very preferential rate for a private special interest group (HBG).

 

  •  HBG will conduct business as a PRIVATE, non-profit corporation and RETAIN ALL REVENUES.  An ENTRANCE FEE will be charged comparable to major U.S. cities. The average fee in other cities is currently $20-$27. This will NOT be a FREE garden with open access to the community. The historic right-of-way, noted as COUNTRY CLUB LN., which connects the communities of Park Place and Meadowbrook will no longer be open for passage.

 

  •  City of Houston will PAY FOR ALL WATER used by HBG for irrigation.  TAXPAYERS will pay the water bill for the HBG.

 

  • The City Of Houston can add any property, in addition to Glenbrook Golf Course and an access route through Charlton Park, that is acquired by the City or its subsets or the HBG during the term of the agreement.

 

  • *TIRZ #8 has expanded from 640 square acres to over 8,000 square acres and now it includes Glenbrook Golf Course and adjacent property. TIRZ can request that the City condemn any nearby homes or property the HBG desires by EMINENT DOMAIN to add to the 134 acres under contract. TIRZ does not have the right of EMINENT DOMAIN, but the City does.

 

  • The Sims Bayou Hike and Bike Trail that has been a fixture of city planning for years will no longer run adjacent to the bayou and will instead be re-routed along a residential street South of the bayou so as not to interfere with the HBG lease. In order to reconnect the location of the proposed route with existing trails to the West, which lie on the North side of the bayou, the city proposes to build a new bridge across the main channel of the bayou, adjacent to an enormous sewage lift station/ pipe and Interstate 45.

  • HBG has been offered larger sections of land where there is community support, but HBG has rejected offers.

 

  • The original deed for the property of Glenbrook Golf Course specifies that if the property ceases to be used as a Country Club, the city may subdivide the property without lot restrictions anywhere except along River Drive. 

 

*Sign change.org petition here / print then sign bridge petition herecontact your representatives.

*Attend City Hall Meetings Contact glenbrookgreenspace@gmail.com / Instagram @glenbrookgreenspace