78ºF

Houston Outlaws: Professional gaming team courts controversy

$20M franchise overtakes home in The Woodlands to chagrin of neighbors

THE WOODLANDS, Texas – The Houston Outlaws, a team of world-class video game players, has just leased and moved into a 5900-square-foot home in The Woodlands, and neighbors say the team’s intention to use the house as a training facility is a clear violation of community covenants.

“All the information we have comes from the homeowner who leased the property and they contend in those email communications there are going to be 18-20 people training per day in the home along with support staff,” said Scott Bruner, a neighbor in the West Isle subdivision.

The quiet neighborhood is filled with palatial homes, some worth more than $1.5 million.

On Thursday, KPRC 2 Investigates counted about a dozen people at the home, some of the people inside were wearing “Houston Outlaws” gear.

But attempts to talk to team members were met with “no comment” and an earlier email to the team went unanswered Thursday.

Neighbors are chiefly concerned with traffic, noise, and property values.

A public meeting Thursday of The Woodlands Residential Design Review Committee revealed a host of violations of covenant restrictions.

However, the matter is not settled. In February, another committee will take up the issue, after the team applies for a variance.

The following information was provided by Nick Wolda, Director of Communications, The Woodlands Township:

All Home Business applications require review and action by the Development Standards Committee. The Residential Design Review Committee for Panther Creek reviewed the application for a home business and provided a recommendation. The recommendation will be presented to the Development Standards Committee at the time of their review. The meetings are open to the public.

The Panther Creek RDRC recommended the DSC deny the variance due to the following:

  • The amount of the home used for the business operation
  • The number of employees,
  • Characteristics of the business the committee did not feel were in keeping with the Neighborhood Character
  • Concerns for parking

The RDRC did mention that if the DSC considers an allowance, they strongly suggest the committee focus on parking issues and stipulations to have vehicles towed if found in violation.

The Home Business application is anticipated to be reviewed at the Development Standards Committee at their regularly scheduled meeting of February 5, 2020. The meetings is held here at our office at 2801 Technology Forest Boulevard. Here is a link to the posting agendas to verify the items scheduled for review on the agenda.

https://www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/163/Development-Standards-Committee