About 75 residents attended a meeting hosted by City Council member Ellen Cohen to discuss Montroses proposed tax increment reinvestment zone, or TIRZ.
Thats when the City Council dedicates a portion of the property taxes for use exclusively in an area to improve the infrastructure.
Last year, residents protested when the city proposed including Montrose in the Midtown TIRZ. They cited a lack of transparency and said they werent given enough time to provide input.
The Houston City Council then referred the proposal back to the mayor.
At the urging of residents, the city has been looking into creating a separate TIRZ for Montrose.
At Thursdays town hall meeting, more than a dozen residents took the opportunity to comment, and some expressed passionate opposition.
Youre shoving this down our throat, one speaker said. Were not getting to vote. This is an (abomination).
When asked for a show of hands, supporters and opponents were about even.
David Arpin doesnt dispute that a TIRZ can help improve an areas infrastructure. But he has a problem with the governing board and its appointed directors.
Its just that, why should we be diverting that to a private government entity? he asked.
Council member Cohen says she respects the opponents.
I thought the meeting was terrific, she said.
Cohen believes a majority of Montrose residents support a TIRZ.
I think that a lot of the people that are very much in favor of the TIRZ expressed their enthusiasm through their civic clubs, she said. And their representatives are here.
One of them is Stephen Longmire, who presides over a Montrose civic club. He hopes the TIRZ will circumvent some of the bureaucracy involved with fixing bad streets.
So if the rules of this game are that if you have a TIRZ, you can get money and you can get your streets built, then lets have a TIRZ and do it, Longmire said.
A public hearing is set for next Wednesdays city council meeting, and a vote could take place Dec. 2.