The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 84, July 1980 - April, 1981 Page: 144
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
Southwestern Historical Quarterly
J. G. Miller, a realtor and vice-chairman of the 1929 anti-zoning organi-
zation, aided in the creation of the new anti-zoning group. On May 16,
1938, in Miller's offices, the Association Against Zoning was formed by
more than "2o real estate operators and property owners." The Associa-
tion chose David Hudson, the chairman of the Houston Real Estate
Board's membership committee, as its leader. The Association charged
that zoning was an "unwarranted interference with property rights,"
and that "Real estate will become a football controlled by a political
Two days later, on May 18, 1938, several hundred opponents packed
a city council meeting on zoning and attempted to intimidate the coun-
cilmen. The meeting was so disorderly that Mayor Richard H. Fonville
threatened to call police, warning the Association members that he
would not tolerate such tactics in the future. The next council meeting
on zoning was scheduled for the following week, and in the interim,
zoning opponents organized a thirteen-member business committee
chaired by E. H. Borden. Hugh Roy Cullen, a petroleum titan and
benefactor of the University of Houston, was a member of that group.22
The following week, on May 26, almost 250 zoning opponents at-
tended the council meeting and threatened to work for the election de-
feat of any councilman who supported zoning. In addition, they at-
tempted to intimidate councilmen by shouting and leaning "over the
backs of the Council members and on the Council table." The two or
three zoning supporters in the audience were easily negated. The coun-
cil had previously supported zoning, but, under pressure from the
Association Against Zoning, Councilman Frank Holton moved to kill
the ordinance. Although there was no second, the council voted by a
three to one margin to end municipal funding for the zoning commis-
sion. As a result, on May 31, 1938, the zoning board resigned without
completing its work, and with that action the zoning controversy of
1938 came to an end.28
21Houston Press, May 13, 17 (second and third quotations), 1938; Houston Chronicle,
May 17 (first quotation), 20, 1938, Oct 14, 1959.
22Houston Piess, May 18, 19, 21, 1938; Houston Post, May 20, 1938; Houston Chronicle,
May 18-20, 1938, Oct. 14, 1959
23Houston Chronicle, May 27, 1938, May 26, 1968 (quotation), Oct. 14, 1959; Houston
Press, May 26, 27, 31, 1938; Houston Post, May 27, 31, 1938. In addition-although they do
not convey the tenor of the meetings-see the Minutes of the Houston City Council:
Book II, Oct. 14, 1937-June 3o, 1938 (n.p, n d.), especially May 24, 25, 26, 1937 (micro-
film; HMRC). It was during the May 26, 1938, meeting that Commissioner George B.
Waters suggested a referendum on zoning.
Here’s what’s next.
This issue can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Tools / Downloads
Get a copy of this page or view the extracted text.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Periodical.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 84, July 1980 - April, 1981, periodical, 1980/1981; Austin, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101225/m1/180/: accessed May 19, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.