Monthly Newsletter
February 1, 2018  Issue 61
Residents of District E,
  
In January, the City of Houston began to send out Substantial Damage Letters to City of Houston residents living in the 100-year flood plain or floodway. Residents that do not live in the 100-year flood plain or floodway should not receive Substantial Damage Letters.
 
What is Substantial Damage? Substantial Damage means that the cost of restoring property to its pre-damage condition equals or exceeds 50% of the market value of the structure. For example, if the total cost to repair a home is $60,000 and the home is worth $100,000, the home is 60% damaged, making it substantially damaged.
 
I am more than sensitive to the devastation that this letter can bring to homeowners, but rest assured homeowner's do have options. There is no reason to stop your renovations or feel that you are trapped.
 
If the City determines a home to be substantially damaged, the homeowner has the following options to obtain a flood damage repair permit:
 
  1. Appeal the Substantial Damage Determination
    • Complete and submit the City's Appeal of Substantial Damage Determination Appeal Form at https://www.publicworks.houstontx.gov/notices/flood-damage-repair.html along with the required documentation demonstrating that your home or building is not substantially damaged (insurance proof of loss or personal proof of loss). This form and the required documentation can be submitted via email at fmo@houstontx.gov, US Mail or in person at the City's Floodplain Management Office (FMO). FMO will respond in writing. If a homeowner disagrees with FMO's response to their appeal they can take their appeal to the City's General Appeal Board.
 
  1. Show the flood damaged home is already in compliance by submitting an Elevation Certificate
    • To be compliant a home must meet the elevation requirements (lowest living floor must be 12 inches above Base Flood Elevation (BFE) in the 100-year floodplain, lowest horizontal member must be 18 inches above BFE in the floodway) and performance standards described in Chapter 19. For most structures, this will require submittal of an Elevation Certificate, based on the current surveying standards.
 
  1. Bring the flood damaged home into compliance
    • This is the option that people fixate on but after speaking with representatives at the Flood Plain Management office our office has found this to be very rare.
    • Should a homeowner choose to elevate their home it must be elevated to meet elevation requirements (lowest living floor must be 12 inches above Base Flood Elevation (BFE) in the 100-year floodplain, lowest horizontal member must be 18 inches above BFE in the floodway) and performance standards described in Chapter 19. Performance standards include, but are not limited to, flood resistant materials, flood-protected utilities and adequate flood openings.
 
The District E Staff has assisted several residents, answering questions they have regarding their substantial damage letters as well as helping those obtain verification of substantial damage in the case they have not yet received a letter, but suspect they might. If you think your home is substantially damaged but have not received a letter, please email districte@houstontx.gov and my office can assist you with requesting verification. You can also email the District E office if you would like assistance with the appeals process.
 
We understand that these letters are extremely discouraging but want to make sure residents are aware of the resources needed to appeal and carry-on with rebuilding. If you have any questions or would like more information, my office would be happy to provide you with a Substantial Damage Info Sheet and assist you with answering any questions you may have regarding the process. You may contact the District E office by calling (832) 393-3008 or by emailing districte@houstontx.gov.
 
The District E office is always a resource to residents and we will all get through this together, stay Houston strong!
 
 


Sincerely,

Dave Martin
The District E Office
900 Bagby, First Floor
Houston, TX 77002
 
Contact Information
  Phone: (832) 393-3008
Fax: (832) 393-3279
 
District E Team

Jessica Beemer
Chief of Staff & North
Sector Manager

Katherine Cunningham
Deputy Chief of Staff

Jordan McGinty
South Sector Manager

Javier Gonzalez
District E Intern

City of Houston Contacts
 
City of Houston 3-1-1
(713) 837-0311
 
 
Mayor's Citizens
Assistance Office
(832) 393-0955
 
Kingwood Community Center
(281) 348-2570
 
  Community Contacts
 
   Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce

 South Belt-Ellington Chamber of Commerce
 
 
 
 
Kingwood Super Neighborhood Council
 
   
  
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Still Going Strong: Plea For Three Campaign
 
The Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce has coordinated a mass letter writing campaign to ask the State of Texas to take immediate action on three items to help the Lake Houston Area recover and prevent future flooding: Remediation, Reduction and Representation.
  
1. Remediation: Full funding to dredge both Lake Houston and the San Jacinto River in order to remove the sand, siltation and debris deposits and stricter enforcement of TCEQ regulations on legal and illegal sand mining operations.

2. Reduction: Decrease the pooling level of Lake Conroe from 201 feet above sea level to 198 feet by pre-releasing water from Lake Conroe in a slow, systematic flow to ensure the dam at Lake Houston can efficiently and safely release the added water to the Gulf of Mexico. This is CRITICAL as the area has experienced three flood events since 2015.

3. Representation: Add three interim board members to the San Jacinto River Authority representing communities downstream impacted by the release of water from Lake Conroe. These appointed board members would serve until legislation can be crafted to best address the issue of downstream representation on their board.

The state has not issued any plans or funding to help with remediation in our communities. It is incumbent upon every citizen and business in the Lake Houston Area to gain the attention of state officials and decision makers and request action. 

The voice of the Lake Houston Area is being heard and has already received some great momentum. In December,   Mayor Sylvester TurnerCouncil Member Robert Gallegos (District I), Council Member Larry Green (District K), and Council Member Mike Knox (At Large 1) sent their own Plea for Three letters to the Governor and other state elected officials in support of this initiative. Chairman Lyle Larson, of the Texas Houston Natural Resources Committee has sent a letter to the Governor as well as a separate letter to the General Manager of the San Jacinto River Authority. The City of Humble has declared a resolution in support of the Plea for Three, which continues to gain momentum throughout our community. We must keep pushing forward and asking our community to get involved.
  
For more information about the "Plea For Three Campaign" visit RecoverLakeHouston.com to support in the following ways: 
  • SEND emails to all suggested state officials 
  • SHARE the campaign with your employees, co-workers, friends, neighbors, and customers
  • SPREAD the campaign on social media using #PleaFor3LakeHouston #RecoverLakeHouston. See sample tweets/posts, social media pages/groups at RecoverLakeHouston.com 
  • SIGN UP to get updates on the "Recover Lake Houston" movement (your email will not be shared or used for purposes other than Recover Lake Houston updates)
The Plea For Three Campaign is the initial step in a larger, long-term Recover Lake Houston Plan under the direction of the Lake Houston Area Long Term Recovery Task Force.

The future of the Lake Houston Area depends largely on the ability to rally the community and demand action to prevent flooding of this magnitude from occurring again.

Council Member Martin appreciates the Lake Houston Area Chamber spearheading this effort and encourages all residents to participate in this much needed call to action. Keep in mind these items are things that can happen immediately. Council Member Martin is sensitive to the long range plans the community needs in the form of infrastructure and improvement of drainage from the River to the Lake. Council Member Martin is dedicated to seeing through all efforts possible to make sure that flooding impacts to the Lake Houston area are reduced in the future and will continue to work diligently with local representatives to achieve this goal. 
District E Intern

The District E office welcomes our newest intern, Javier Gonzalez. Javier grew up in a small town in Mexico and moved to the United States when he was 7 years old. He is currently enrolled at the University of Houston seeking a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science with a minor in Psychology. After graduating with honors from the University of Houston in the Spring, he plans on attending Law School here in Houston to further his education. 

BARC

The District E Office has recently been receiving multiple calls from residents in Clear Lake concerned with loose dogs. To this day, only three separate incidents, occurring in the Clear Lake area, have been reported to BARC since December 2017. In light of this issue, we thought we would include a message from BARC:
 
Houston has the largest urban land area in the U.S. Its size and unique characteristics create challenging circumstances in regards to animal population and control. BARC is the agency assigned to the mission of providing animal control services to Houston residents. BARC's mission is to promote and protect public health and animal care through sheltering, pet placement programs, pet ownership education and animal law enforcement. 
 
Animal Enforcement Officers have a huge job to do. During calendar year 2017, BARC took in 26,868 animals. It is normal for them to receive more than 250 requests for animal control service in a day. The officers are asked to respond to exigent dangers, such as near-fatal maulings, HPD requests for assistance, aggressive animals on school grounds, wildlife situations and individual bite cases. BARC also receives many requests for action related to stray dogs and cats, as well as a surprising number of livestock incidents. All service requests are prioritized based on the severity of the situation.
 
Typically BARC has 10 Animal Enforcement Officers on duty per day, seven days a week for city wide coverage. If you need to report an animal related or issue or simply want to speak with an Animal Enforcement Supervisor you may dial 311, or (713) 837-0311. Please provide the 311 operator with as much information as possible, including your name and address, primary telephone number, address of the person you are making the complaint on (if available), and a description of the animal. BARC does not share your information with anyone. The operator will provide you with a case number and dispatch the call to an officer. The officer will prioritize the call based on the severity of the situation and respond in accordance.  
 
If you are experiencing an emergency please dial 911 and the Houston Police Department or nearest local Law Enforcement Agency will secure the scene until an Animal Enforcement Officer is able to respond. 
 
For more information about BARC, please visit their  website


Edgebrook Neighborhood Recovery Center

The City of Houston, along with local non-profit organization partners and in partnership with BakerRipley and Memorial Assistance Ministries, will be opening eight additional Neighborhood Restoration Centers (NRC) to offer long-term disaster recover support and services in neighborhoods hit hard by Harvey. To serve the South Sector residents of District E, a center has been opened in the Cabrini Hall at Saint Frances Cabrini Catholic Church, 10727 Hartsook Street, Houston, Texas 77034. The center is open Tuesdays and Fridays, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. 
 
This is a great opportunity for residents to get the help they need including long-term case management, basic need items such as food and toilet paper, as well as receive information from several City departments. 
Save the Date: Lake Houston YMCA Bridgefest

The Lake Houston Family YMCA's 26th Annual Bridge Fest will take place on Saturday, February 17 from 7:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. at the Lake Houston Family YMCA. With races of three distances for runners, joggers and walkers to choose from, the event is designed to encourage participation from all abilities and ages.

Lake Houston Family YMCA's 26th Annual Bridge Fest
Saturday, February 17, 2017
2420 West Lake Houston
Kingwood, Texas 77339
8:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
 
For more information or to register for Bridge Fest, click  here
Humble ISD Distinguished Alumni Award

The Humble ISD Distinguished Alumni Award will honor deserving Humble Independent School District alumni who have excelled in their field, made significant contributions to their community, and served as a positive role model and leader.  To read more about eligibility requirements or to submit a nomination today, please click here

Nominations will close on February 23.  This year's award will be presented at the Humble ISD Education Foundation Gala on Friday, April 13 at the Humble Civic Center.  

Solid Waste Bike Donation

Each year, the City of Houston Solid Waste Management Department helps spread holiday cheer with a donation of bikes to children between the ages of 6-12 in each council district. With the help of Humble ISD, Council Member Martin selected Olivia Comerford, a 4th grader from Deerwood Elementary, whose home had been impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Olivia was ecstatic to receive the bike! Thank you SWD!
District E Spring B.O.P.A. Dates

Council Member Dave Martin and the City of Houston's Solid Waste Management Department are holding their spring Batteries, Oil, Paint (latex only) and Antifreeze (B.O.P.A.) recycling collection events in the coming months. Council Member Martin invites District E residents to save the following dates: 

Southeast/Clear Lake
Saturday, March 24, 2018
9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. 
Ellington Airport Neighborhood Recycling Center 
Highway 3 at Brantly Avenue
Houston, Texas 77034

Kingwood
Saturday, April 28, 2018
9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Kingwood Metro Park & Ride
3210 W Lake Houston Parkway
Houston, Texas 77339

The events are free and open to all City of Houston residents and will be held rain or shine. A valid Texas driver's license or other proof of residency, such as a water bill, will be required.
 
In addition to B.O.P.A. items, residents may drop off scrap metal and large appliances. Large appliances include stoves, refrigerators, freezers and air conditioners.
 
Many common household materials are considered hazardous and need special disposal. When Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) is disposed of in the trash, it can contaminate landfills and subsequently our groundwater. This event provides a free and safe alternative for residents to rid their homes of potentially dangerous materials. Below is a list of acceptable and non-acceptable items for the March 5 collection event:
  • ACCEPTED ITEMS: rechargeable, Lead Acid, NiCad and Lithium Ion batteries, used motor and cooking oil (15 gallon limit each), antifreeze (15 gallon limit), latex paint (15 gallon limit), appliances and scrap metal including refrigerators, freezers and air conditioners.
  • ITEMS NOT ACCEPTED: Alkaline batteries, electronic waste, oil-based paint, paint without labels, household hazardous waste/chemicals, business waste, medical waste, radioactive waste, PCB's, Dioxins, ammunition, explosives, compressed gas cylinders, smoke detectors, household trash or tires.
Please also note that there is no need to bring empty latex paint cans or those that have hardened. These can be discarded with household garbage.

Residents may call 3-1-1, the City of Houston's Customer Service Hotline, for additional information or check online at   www.houstonsolidwaste.org.More information on the Solid Waste Management  Department and its services is also available on   Facebook  and   Twitter.


BAHEP Quasar Awards

On Friday, January 26 Council Member Martin and staff had the opportunity to attend the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership's 25th Annual Quasar Awards. 

This year's recipient of the prestigious Quasar Award was our Mayor, Sylvester Turner. BAHEP's leadership selected Mayor Turner for his many years of service to the State of Texas and the City of Houston. That service has repeatedly demonstrated the effectiveness of "Partnerships for Progress," which has contributed immeasurably to the economic strength of Bay Area Houston.
 
For the past two years, as the 62nd mayor of Houston, the Honorable Sylvester Turner has personally engaged with communities throughout the greater Houston area. It is significant that during the past year he has championed the regional initiative to build a coastal spine system to protect the people, businesses and industries that face the threat of massive destruction from hurricanes. Additionally, Mayor Turner's work to ensure a fiscally sound City of Houston will be a lasting testament to his outstanding leadership for decades to come.  As he has stated many times, what affects one of us affects all of us.  A financially healthy City of Houston translates to a healthy region which, in turn, attracts site selectors, businesses, and families who decide to call the region home due to its vibrancy and effective leaders. 
Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce General Luncheon

On Wednesday, January 31, District E staff attended the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce General Member Luncheon. The program included a presentation from CEO of the Lone Star Flight Museum, General Douglas H. Owens. General Owens's presentation included the museum's goal of inspiring and educating the minds of the young in the area of planes and flight. LSFM offers several programs and exhibits for young children. For more information on these programs, please be sure to visit the Lone Star Flight Museum's website
Lane Closures on TX State Highway 3/Old Galveston Road

Houston City Council Member Dave Martin would like to make residents aware that the City of Houston Public Works Department (HPW) will be making repairs to the top of a recently damaged manhole located at 16305 Old Galveston Road, beginning Monday, February 5, 2018. The project is anticipated to be completed by Tuesday, February 20, 2018. 
 
While making repairs to the manhole, HPW will be installing an air release valve. The air release valve is designed on pressure pipe at elevation changes and is located along the alignment based on modeling results of that pipe. An air release valve previously existed here and at some point was damaged and removed. This work order will restore the original designed location of the air release valve. 
 
During construction, the outside southbound lane of the 16300 block of Old Galveston Road will be closed during the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Drivers should expect reduced traffic speed through the channelized area during this time. To ensure driver and worker safety, traffic control measures will be in place at all times. The District E office has contacted the Houston Police Department's Clear Lake Substation to ask that officers monitor the location and provide assistance with traffic control as needed. 
Houston 3-1-1

Council Member Martin reminds all District E residents to continue to report storm debris by calling 311 or (713) 837-0311. Residents can also use 3-1-1 to report traffic signal problems, potholes, missed trash pickups and any other city-related concerns one may have. 

Please be aware that the City has still suspended junk waste collections. Once the Mayor announces when this will resume, our office will provide that information to residents. 

Once reported, individual requests can be tracked through the city's 311 website, accessible  here,  or through the city's 311 mobile application available on smart phones. As always, should further follow up be needed, the public is encouraged to contact Council Member Martin's office as well. 


Atascocita Shores Local Drainage Project

Beginning Monday, February 12, 2018, City of Houston Public Works will begin working on a local drainage project on Atascocita Shores Drive.  The project will remove and replace the collapsing/failing 60-inch storm sewer culverts that run under Atascocita Shores Drive.  Their current failure is impeding the flow of water into Lake Houston and is also causing the roadway pavement to sink.  Upon completion of this project, both issues will be resolved. There is no interruption in water or wastewater services anticipated during this project. 

Atascocita Shores Drive will be reduced to one lane in each direction from Shoregrove Drive and Atascocita Point Drive for the duration of the project. Construction is anticipated to be complete in mid-June, weather permitting. 
El Dorado Blvd. Reconstruction Project Status Report

Houston City Council Member Dave Martin and the City of Houston Public Works Department (HPW) have completed its review and analyses of all comments received during the public input period regarding the El Dorado Boulevard Widening Project. The results have been compiled into the  El Dorado Boulevard Reconstruction Project Status Report, available with other materials from the November 2017 public input meeting on the  Rebuild Houston website
 
Residents had the opportunity to provide public comment to HPW on the alignment options, beginning December 1 through December 15. Council Member Martin and HPW reviewed over 200 comments from residents, indicating their preferred choice for median width and requesting other amenities be included in the design. 

The  Project Status Report addresses the selected 17-foot (option 3) alignment as well as other requests such as the addition of a hike-and-bike trail, a traffic signal at Hickory Knoll Drive and El Dorado Boulevard, elevation of the bridge across Horsepen Bayou, and an extended turning lane at St. Clare of Assisi Catholic Church.

Now that the alignment has been selected and other amenities have been identified, Harris County Precinct 2 can move forward with the design phase of the project. HPW will move forward with recommending to Harris County Precinct 2, a 17-foot median as well as an extended turning lane at St. Clare of Assisi Catholic Church. At this time, there are no plans to include a traffic signal at Hickory Knoll Drive and El Dorado Boulevard, or elevate the bridge across Horsepen Bayou. Residents can expect the construction phase of this project to begin in winter 2018. 

Upcoming Events

Please refer to Council Martin's District E  website for location, time and more event details. Email the District E office if you would like us to include your upcoming event in future newsletters! 

City Wides

February 14
Valentine's Day

February 19
President's Day


Kingwood 

February 3
Kingwood Electronic Waste Recycling 

February 8
Summer Creek BizCom

February 14
Kingwood Service Assocation's Public Safety Committee

February 17
Lake Houston YMCA BridgeFest 

February 20
Kingwood PIP

February 21
Kingwood Super Neighborhood Meeting



Southeast Houston/Clear Lake 

February 10
Clear Lake Electronic Waste Recycling 

February 20
Clear Lake PIP

February 28
Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce's General Membership Luncheon