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Houston Residents Express Frustration as Developer Builds Commercial Site Without Permits

Houston, TX – Residents of the Shepherd Forest neighborhood are expressing frustration and concern over ongoing construction on a commercial site that lacks the necessary permits. Despite efforts to halt the project, developer Scott Lichtenberg has continued construction without approval, prompting backlash from the community.

Sherry Evanicky, a long-time homeowner in Shepherd Forest, voiced her dismay, stating, “We have been fighting the developer on this project for over two years with no warning.” The property in question, bordered by the 610 Loop and Oak Forest Drive, has seen extensive construction work, including concrete slabs and mounds of dirt, despite lacking proper authorization.

City records obtained by ABC13 reveal that Lichtenberg has been involved in the project since 2022, with plans ranging from townhomes to apartment units. However, none of these plans have been approved, leaving residents uncertain about the project’s scope and impact on the community.

Despite repeated citations and fines issued to Lichtenberg for various violations, including the absence of permits and environmental permits, residents feel frustrated by the lack of substantial consequences. Delinda Holland, another resident, emphasized the need for developers to adhere to city regulations, stating, “We’re not trying to stop development, but they have to be responsible and follow the law.”

The Shepherd Forest Civic Club has sought resolution through dialogue with the developer but claims to have been ignored at every turn. With limited resources to pursue legal action, residents feel powerless to address the situation effectively.

Efforts to contact Lichtenberg for comment were unsuccessful, with the developer dismissing inquiries as “fake news.” Meanwhile, City Council Member Abbie Kamin, along with Houston Public Works and the City of Houston Legal Department, are aware of the issue and have been monitoring the situation closely.

While the city explores potential enforcement measures, including court proceedings, concerns remain regarding the developer’s disregard for regulations and the impact on nearby residents. Patricia Williams, a former president of the Civic Club, expressed apprehension about the project’s integrity, questioning, “If you don’t have permits, how do you know it’s going to be done properly?”

With Lichtenberg scheduled for a trial in May, residents await further developments in their ongoing battle to hold the developer accountable and protect their community from potential harm.