General Meeting

Guest Speaker and Houston's First General Plan

We were pleased to welcome guest speaker Brian Crimmons, the Chief of Staff of the Planning & Development Department, to our last General Meeting. His presentation, which he was willing to share with us (available by download below), outlined several key components of any good plan – the key function being to coordinate effort and increase collaboration across all City endeavors. The plan will address drainage, transportation, housing, community spaces, culture, growth, governance and more. The vision:

HOUSTON: Opportunity. Diversity. Community. Home.

Houston offers opportunity for all. We celebrate our diversity of people, ideas, economy, culture, and places. We promote healthy and resilient communities through smart civic investments, dynamic partnerships, education, and innovation. Houston is the place where anyone can prosper and feel at home.

We feel like that really sums up exactly what we love about living in Winlow Place and "in the loop" – it is the way our residents care about the neighborhood that makes this such a fantastic place to live. In addition to this powerful message, a few of the practical components of how to bring this plan to life were described (more detail available within the presentation).

  • Planning Coordination Tool
  • Performance Indicators
  • Neighborhood Enhancement Strategy
  • Growth and Development Strategy
  • Implementation Strategy
  • Leadership
  • Public Engagement/Community Events
  • Timeline/Milestones

Please download the plan by clicking here, and also be sure to sign up to receive email updates on the General Plan by going to the website, Plan Houston. To receive emails, click on the "Subscribe" button in the top right hand corner. They are also looking for opportunities for public input, so share your voice.

– by Caroline Garry

A Visit from Officer Victor Beserra

Winlow Place was pleased to have Officer Victor Beserra from the Houston Police Department as a guest speaker for the Winlow Place General Meeting on October 21. He reminded us of several important ways to ensure the safety and security of ourselves and our neighbors. A few that were discussed:

  • Report all crime. You can do this by calling 911 when appropriate, or the dispatch number (713) 884-3131 or by submitting a Police Alert Slip. Fortunately, crime has decreased significantly in our area. When HPD identifies/arrests one or two suspects, that often directly results in a significant decrease in the types of crime we tend to see which are more petty crimes – vandalism, theft, automobile break-ins and the like.
  • Communicate with the adjacent neighborhoods. Officer Beserra's patrol is between Montrose and Kirby from East to West, and from West Gray to Richmond from North to South.
  • Know your neighbors. This is one of the biggest ways to prevent crime. Introduce yourself and exchange phone numbers/email addresses. In a hypothetical situation, if the neighbor directly across from you sees a young man walking around your home, and doesn't recognize them, they can call you to ask whether the person should be on your property. You might say "Yes, that's my nephew Dan" – or you might say "No, nobody should be there." An ounce of prevention...
  • If you see a crime happening, and your heart starts racing: This is more than likely a time to call 911 when your pulse quickens. When calling 911, you can always request to speak directly to an officer – the 911 operator is a trained civilian, but not an officer. Let them know that you are feeling in danger if that is the case.
  • If you witness a crime that your gut tells you is not urgent: This might be a time to call the non-emergency dispatch number (an officer will still respond). The number for this is (713) 884-3131.
  • What about the door-to-door "Magazine Salesmen"? DO audibly answer if you're home, but don't open the door. This will let them know that you're home, and that someone is around/watching. This will prevent them from snooping around the perimeter of your home or engaging in a crime of opportunity.
  • If you have an alarm system, use it. Be sure to make it a habit – set both while away, and while at home. Same goes for cameras. While cameras do not always deter criminals at the time the crime is being committed, they can help in identification of them.

Many thanks to Officer Victor Beserra for taking the time to give such a great talk to Winlow Place. He also addressed several specific questions during our Q/A, which are not listed here. Please contact us for further information.

– by Caroline Garry

Guest Speaker: David Crossley from Houston Tomorrow

At our most recent Winlow Place Civic Club meeting, we were treated to a discussion lead by David Crossley of Houston Tomorrow. Mr. Crossley talked about Houston’s increasing size and density, and what that might mean for residents’ quality of life. 

With a majority of the job growth and new residents in just a few key areas, Houston’s new boom is creating challenges and opportunities for providing a more sustainable, urban, transit-oriented future. For example, the increasing density of certain parts of Houston creates a great opportunity for workable transit. Mr. Crossley discussed the potential for Bus Rapid Transit ("BRT") to be a cheaper and quicker alternative to light rail as a way to address our near future needs. At the same time, political influence at the city and county level doesn't necessarily coincide with the places that are experiencing the most growth, which could potentially lead to a misallocation of resources. 

After Mr. Crossley"s presentation, Winlow Place Civic Club members asked a variety of insightful questions about how future developments might affect Montrose in general and Winlow Place in particular. It was a lively and interesting discussion!

– by Ben Garry

Welcome to the New Winlow Website

Hello neighbors! Welcome to the new online community for Winlow Place! We've been working diligently to launch a new website that promotes the strong sense of community and activism we already have – we hope that this website offers a platform for discussion.

A few of the features of our website:

  • Website is easily updated by our board and officers, so we can keep information current at all times.
  • A feature of the history and what makes Winlow Place so special.
  • Easy-to-find, updated deed restrictions and bylaws.
  • A rich blog that will include information on topics from architecture, to gardening, to art and history, to safety. Please let us know if you have a topic you'd like to feature!
  • A quick, secure way to pay dues online.
  • A "welcome kit" for our new neighbors.
  • Resources for our residents to have at their fingertips – including an archive of our newsletters and other helpful links.
  • A calendar of events.

If you ever have content that you wish to contribute, please email us using the form on the Contact page. We rely on the tips and creativity of our neighbors to keep the content on our Winlow Place vibrant and diverse.

In the meantime, happy browsing and we'll see you around the neighborhood! Cheers.

– by Caroline Garry