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July 10, 2008

CITY'S PLANS AVAILABLE TO ALL ONLINE

Everyone now has access to the City of Houston's new General Plan at www.houstontx.gov/planning/GeneralPlan/GPHome.html. It includes a statement of values, including job growth, public safety, mobility, improved drainage, enhanced quality of life for our neighborhoods, and effective governance.

Through this website, citizens have direct access to adopted plans, including the Major Thoroughfare Plan, the Parks Plan, the Library Plan, and the City's 5-year Capital Improvement Programs. The site contains links to the ordinances and policies that govern land use and development within Houston.

The site will be updated as plans are revised.

In addition, we're nearing completion of a geographic information system (GIS) showing neighborhood-specific demographic and economic trends. When complete, that database also will be accessible through the General Plan site.

The City of Houston has detailed plans designed to allow our city to grow without excessive traffic congestion, flooding, or overuse of public facilities such as parks and libraries. The City has tried to balance the need for change and continuity in these plans. Our diverse citizenry has a variety of views on these plans. Some think we impose too few restrictions and taxes to accommodate growth, and others believe that current regulatory requirements and taxes used to finance long-term improvements are excessive. But this website will allow all Houstonians to be better informed about the extensive planning done by the City of Houston and a good-faith attempt to reflect the values of our community.

During hurricane season, especially, some may be interested in the Emergency Management Plan. It's also available on the website.

We encourage community leaders, civic clubs and other neighborhood groups to tell fellow citizens about this General Plan and how to find it on the web. Those without internet access at home may wish to explore the General Plan at a computer in their neighborhood library.

Respectfully,

Bill White

Mayor