Monthly Planner
Updates from your City of Houston

December 2017

Complete Communities Kick-Off

Even with the specter of Harvey hanging over everything, the Planning and Development Department (P&D) moved forward with the Complete Communities kick-off meetings. Mayor Sylvester Turner attended each meeting and gave welcoming remarks and encouraged residents' participation in the Complete Communities initiative which aims to strengthen Houston's under-resourced neighborhoods. All five kick-off meetings had great turnout from excited residents and stakeholders. The meetings began in mid-October and ran through early November. The next round of follow up meetings have already begun in Acres Home. Follow up meetings in Third Ward, Near Northside, Second Ward, and Gulfton will be held in early 2018.
Visit the Complete Communities  website for more information and meeting updates. HTV recording of the kick-off meetings are available for viewing on each neighborhood webpage. See kick-off meeting highlights below:
Acres Home
  • Over 300 stakeholders attended the Acres Home Kick-Off meeting at the Acres Home Multi-Service Center on October 18, 2017.
  • The community participated in an asset map exercise where they identified what they loved about the community, where they lived, and what needed attention in Acres Home. The community was also asked what strengths Acres Home should build on, things they would like to change, and challenges in the community.
    Acres Home stakeholders work through a planning exercise at the Acres Home follow up meeting.
  • Nearly 200 people attended the Gulfton Complete Communities Kick-Off meeting held on November 9, 2017 at the Southwest Multi-Service Center.
  • Residents participated in breakout sessions to identify community needs in the areas of education, health and wellness, housing, infrastructure, transportation, and safety. Residents were then asked to identify and fill in gaps, and prioritize.
Near Northside
  • There were over 175 attendees at the November 2nd Near Northside Kick-Off meeting. The meeting opened with a musical performance from the Marshall Middle School choir and band.
  • Residents and community partners took part in a workshop to further prioritize the goals of existing plans in the Near Northside. City of Houston department leaders were on hand to share program information and answer questions. Residents were encouraged to rotate workshop topics areas, and a few residents reported back highlights of their conversations. One highlight included the proposal of an "Adopt-a-Crosswalk" program for the neighborhood.
Second Ward
  • Over 200 community members attended the November 6th meeting and participated in prioritizing the projects they wanted to see completed in their community. Input was gathered during the workshop session on 14 different planning topics. The results of this effort will be shared at the next public meeting.
  • City departments and outside agencies participated in a resource fair to provide residents with information about the work they do in the community.
Third Ward
  • Mayor Turner addressed the crowd of over 225 community residents and organizations at the Third Ward Kick-Off held on October 30th.
  • Six non-profits presented their community-supported plans. These six plans serve as the foundation for Third Ward's Action Plan. Attendees helped identify partners necessary to implementing projects and set priorities for projects.

Conventions Expand Awareness of Planning Topics
APA: P&D Transportation Planners Matthew Seubert and Robert Guthart presented Houston's Bike Plan at the American Planning Association's (APA) state convention in Frisco TX. They illustrated the necessity of more viable transportation options via bicycling, as a component of Plan Houston. The Houston Bike Plan was adopted by City Council and Mayor Turner on March 22, 2017. The City is in the process of identifying the next steps to prioritize and implement recommendations of the Plan. The Houston Bike Plan documents, maps, and spatial data are available to view and download.
Teresa Geisheker as a professional presenter at the National Tiny House Jamboree
JAM: The October 27, 2017 National Tiny House and Simple Living Jamboree (JAM) in Arlington, Texas, featured P&D staff member Teresa Geisheker as a presenter. Her topic, "Place for your Place: Residential Land Planning" was about homeownership siting issues. Teresa's talk as an invited panelist during the opening professional session, explained how platted subdivision lots can be a place for residential homes of all sizes.     
Houston Named Green Power Partner of the Year Award

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) honored the City of Houston with the 2017 Green Power Partner of the Year Award at the 17th annual Green Power Leadership Awards ceremony this past October. The City of Houston was one of only two organizations nationwide to be chosen as a Green Power Partner of the Year. This prestigious award recognizes America's leading green power users for their commitment and contribution to helping advance the development of the nation's voluntary green power market. Houston is currently using nearly 1.1 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually, which is equivalent to the electricity use of more than 100,000 average American homes annually. Read all about it at the EPA's green power website .
This is the second award Houston has received in recent months. Houston earned its second Silver Scenic City Certification, highlighted in the November newsletter, which took special note of the evolving Complete Communities program to revitalize under-resourced areas while allowing residents to stay in their neighborhood.  Get more details at Scenic City's website.
Planning Department Shines Spotlight on Resources

Here are some highlights of resources Houston residents may find useful that were recently identified for the Complete Communities program by city departments and community partners. Please share with your neighbor!
The Houston Public Library is offering qualified library customers the opportunity to earn an accredited high school diploma and credentialed career certificate through Career Online High School. It's specifically designed to re-engage adults into the education system and prepare them for entry into post-secondary career education or the workforce. This is not a GED program! For more information, visit Café College Houston at 1050 Quitman, Houston, TX 77009, call 832-393-1737, or visit their website .
Houston's Housing and Community Development Department administers the City's Homebuyer Assistance Program for eligible low- to moderate-income families. Funds may be used to assist an approved applicant in paying down payment, closing costs, and principal buydown. For more information, visit their website in English or Spanish .
Houston Health Department's Diabetes Awareness and Wellness Network (DAWN) is a resource for those suffering from diabetes or at risk. Members will make lifestyle enhancements to improve their disease management and quality of life. They do not diagnose or treat disease, but their website has information about the services they offer, such as cooking and physical education classes.
The Department of Neighborhood's Mow Down Program helps eliminate the problem of overgrown, vacant, or neglected lots in Houston. Partnering with Keep Houston Beautiful, the program supports nonprofit organizations to maintain abandoned lots in their neighborhoods. Visit their website  for more information.  is the main web page for City-wide Harvey response information. Within this web page, Harvey by the Numbers has statistics about what happened, and how the City is responding.
Administrative and Regulatory Affairs Department runs the 311 Houston Service Helpline, which is the City of Houston's consolidated call center for non-emergencies. Call 713-837-0311 or dial 311; e-mail; or visit the website at Want an easier, faster way to report issues to the City of Houston? Download the Houston 311 smart phone app. Report issues with pictures, descriptions, and more at any time of day. Available for both iPhone and Android.

Centerpoint Energy handles street lights that are out of service.  Report street lights that are out at their
portal . Be prepared to provide the number on the street light pole.
Fast Facts

Updated Recordation and Mylar Process: Plat Tracker applicants were notified on November 2nd regarding new guidelines for plat recordation. Beginning November 13th, 60-day old mylars will be discarded on a regular basis. If you have any questions, call the Development Services Planner of the Day at 832-393-6600.

Walkable Places Committee: In the coming months, the Walkable Places Committee will finalize the Walkable Places district application process, select pilot areas to create unique rules sensitive to the local context, and propose ordinance amendments to promote walkability in Houston. The adoption of the new ordinance is targeted for early 2019. Visit the Walkable Places website for more information.

Houston BCycle Expansion Update: Five new Houston BCycle stations were installed in October: Centennial Gardens, HCC Central, and at Rice University - Gibbs Recreational & Wellness Center, Greenbriar Lot, and West Lot. A total of 18 of the proposed 71 bike stations have been installed to date, increasing the BCycle network to 46 bike stations.
HCC Central Bike Station  
The bikeshare program expansion is funded by a federal grant award to the City of Houston's Planning & Development Department. Houston Bike Share, operator of Houston BCycle, is responsible for the 20% local match and implementation of the stations.   

Dockless Bikeshare: The City of Houston is proposing a 12-month dockless bikeshare pilot program that will be considered in early 2018. Dockless bikeshare is a service in which bicycles are made available for shared use on a short-term basis. Bikes can be borrowed at point A and left at point B. More information on this pilot is available on the dockless bikeshare webpage.
Congratulations to the Houston Astros!

Congratulations to our Houston Astros! History was made on November 1, 2017 when the Houston Astros defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 7 of the World Series. P&D's sixth floor offices had an excellent view of the November 3rd celebratory parade festivities. After Hurricane Harvey, Houstonians were ready to cheer this welcome and tremendous accomplishment!
Planning & Development

611 Walker Street, 6th Floor
Houston, TX 77002
Phone: 832.393.6600