Mayor Sylvester Turner kicked off a new program on April 17, 2017 that aims to improve quality of life for residents in areas that are not thriving at a level enjoyed by other Houston neighborhoods. Acres Homes, Gulfton, Second Ward, Near Northside and Third Ward are the first neighborhoods selected for the mayor’s new Complete Communities initiative. The city will work in a concentrated manner with stakeholders in each community and partners across Houston to create more complete neighborhoods with enhanced access to quality affordable homes, jobs, well-maintained parks and greenspace, improved streets and sidewalks, grocery stores and other retail, good schools and transit options. The work in these areas will help develop solutions that are transferable to other communities across the city. Please visit the project page for more information.
Historic Districts Design Guidelines
On Wednesday, December 13, 2017, the Houston Archeological and Historical Commission (HAHC) voted unanimously (with one abstention) to approve the Houston Heights Historic Districts Design Guidelines, as drafted in August 2017, with a number of amendments. A presentation will be given to the Quality of Life Committee on Wednesday, January 24th, 2018. For more information and updates go to the project page.
New Committees: Walkable Places and Platting Standards
The City of Houston Planning Commission has created two committees – Walkable Places and Platting Standards – to review and consider potential changes to the City’s Code of Ordinances (Chapters 26 & 42) pertaining to walkability and platting. These two committees are chaired by members of the Commission and comprised of a broad-spectrum of stakeholders from the community.
Proposed Amendments to Chapter 28
The City seeks input on proposed changes to the rules for Hazardous Enterprises found in Chapter 28 of the Code. The proposed amendments establish a variance process, clarify notification requirements, and improve enforcement language. To view the proposed changes, please click here. Submit comments to email@example.com.
2018 Major Thoroughfare and Freeway Plan Amendment Requests
The Planning and Development Department is now accepting applications requesting amendments to the 2017 Major Thoroughfare and Freeway Plan. The submittal period for the annual amendment process will close on March 2nd at 5 PM. A pre-submittal meeting with department staff is required before an application can be submitted. You can begin scheduling those appointments by contacting Wu Ying at 832-393-6643 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The application form and more information about this year’s amendment requests can be found on the 2018 MTFP amendment requests webpage.
Lower Westheimer Corridor Study
The Lower Westheimer Corridor Study is the City of Houston’s first Enhanced Pre-Engineering Study, a process applied to corridors with unique historic, cultural, and community significance requiring an advanced level of design sensitivity. The process is intended to develop a preferred design that enhances the character of the corridor while improving mobility and safety, enhances collaboration between stakeholders, and ensures the design considers community interest.
The final public meeting of a series of three public meetings was held on April 20, 2017. Proposed concepts and enhancements developed throughout the Enhanced Pre-Engineering Study were presented at the public meeting. Please visit LowerWestheimerStudy.org to review these proposed concepts.
2016 Annual Report
The Planning and Development Department (P&D) recently completed its 2016 Annual Report, which highlights core services and achievements for the year, and initiatives P&D expects to embark on in 2017. The report has been posted on the P&D website and can be viewed as a webpage or in PDF format.
Houston Bike Plan
The Houston Bike Plan was adopted by City Council on March 22, 2017. The Plan’s vision is to transform Houston into a safer, more accessible, gold level bicycle-friendly city by 2027. Full completion of the bikeway network will put comfortable bikeways within reach of over 95% of people and jobs in the city. The Plan is the result of broad, inclusive public engagement in 2015 and 2016 including over 100 meetings and public events in all 11 council districts. Please visit HoustonBikePlan.org to view the Plan and related documents.
Amendments Approved to Off-Street Parking Ordinance (Chapter 26)
On March 1, 2017, City Council approved amendments to Article VIII of Chapter 26 of the Code of Ordinances related to Off-Street Parking and Loading. The amendments correct a typo, clarify bike rack standards, and allow for reasonable administrative flexibility within the rules similar to the flexibility already found in other sections of the existing ordinance. To view the amendments, please click here.
Amendments Approved to Chapter 33
On March 22, 2017, City Council approved amendments to Chapter 33 of the Code of Ordinances related to the Major Thoroughfare & Freeway Plan and the Bicycle Master Plan. The amendments clarify the existing annual processes related to the adoption and amendment of the Major Thoroughfare & Freeway Plan (MTFP) and establish the processes related to the adoption and amendment of the Bicycle Master Plan. To view the amendments, please click here.
About the Director
Patrick Walsh, P.E., is the Director of the City of Houston’s Planning and Development Department. Walsh was appointed Interim Director by Mayor Annise Parker in November 2013 and confirmed by the Mayor and Council on March 12, 2014.
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