Planning & Development DepartmentHouston, the 4th largest city in the United States, is a dynamic, growing city, rich in culture and diversity. The Planning and Development Department's mission is to work to ensure that it remains a vibrant and sustainable city by partnering with decision makers and the community to balance a spectrum of needs and interests while addressing the dynamics of growth and change.

 

Complete Communities
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.


Lower Westheimer Corridor Study
Study AreaA public meeting will be held April 20, 2017 from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM at the Metropolitan Multi-Services Center, 1475 W Gray St. The format of the public meeting is an open house beginning at 6:00 PM, followed by presentations from the study team at 6:30 PM. Visit LowerWestheimerStudy.org for details.


Bike To Work Day
Please join Mayor Turner and friends on National Bike to Work Day, Friday, May 19, 2017, for a fun, Celebratory Bike Ride in and around Downtown Houston. Come explore existing bikeways including the City’s famous off-street trail network and Houston’s recent extension of its first two-way separated bike lane known as the green mile! All participants must register for this event. Register at: https://www.houstonbikeways.org/bike-to-work-day-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 PreservationHistoric 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.


Walkable PlacesNew 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.