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.
2017 Major Thoroughfare and Freeway Plan Amendment Requests
As part of the annual Major Thoroughfare and Freeway Plan (MTFP) amendment request process, the City of Houston Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on Thursday, July 20, 2017 at 2:30 p.m. in the City Hall Annex Chambers, Public Level (900 Bagby Street, Houston, Texas, 77002). The purpose of the Public Hearing is to allow interested citizens to be heard concerning proposed changes to the 2016 Major Thoroughfare and Freeway Plan.
Information on each proposed MTFP amendment will be available for public review at an open house to be held on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the United Way Community Resource Center (50 Waugh Drive, Houston, Texas, 77007). Amendment applicants and Planning and Development Department personnel will be available at the open house to answer questions.
More information about this year’s amendment requests can be found on the 2017 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 and provide your comments. Comments will be received through May 31, 2017.
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.
Historic Districts Design Guidelines
Historic preservation design guidelines are being developed for nine historic districts in the City of Houston. Phase 1 of this project will produce design guidelines for the following districts: Houston Heights East, Houston Heights West, Houston Heights South, Freeland, Norhill, Woodland Heights, and Old Sixth Ward. Phase 2, which will begin in 2017, will include design guidelines for Main Street/Market Square Historic District and Glenbrook Valley Historic District. 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.
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 brings 19 years of experience in community development, planning, engineering, and municipal infrastructure management to the position.
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