Monthly Planner
Updates from your City of Houston
 

 
March 2018
Fiscal Empowerment and Complete Communities
 
The Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund awarded the City of Houston with a grant to establish a Financial Empowerment Center (FEC) in Houston. The Fund provides both funding and focused technical assistance to mayors and their teams to help them embed systemic financial empowerment programs and policies into city services, to improve individual and family financial stability. According to Margaret Wallace Brown, Deputy Director of the Planning & Development Department, the grant is being used to develop and implement a plan by which the City will coordinate with a non-profit entity to offer financial counselling services that will increase the financial stability of Houstonians.
 
The program will provide free, high quality, one-on-one financial counseling to help people reduce debt, increase savings, pay down debt, and establish or build credit. Final program details are expected by summer, so stay tuned for information on Houston's FEC progress.
  
This FEC program is part of Mayor Sylvester Turner's Complete Communities initiative. In addition to the FEC work, the creation of Complete Communities Action Plans for each pilot neighborhood is underway. Most action plans have been presented to the public for final comment. Meeting details are being finalized for the remaining Open House event for Gulfton's Draft Action Plan and will be posted online as soon as it is available. To learn more about the Complete Communities program and pilot neighborhoods, visit the Complete Communities website
Educating Visitors   

The Planning & Development Department hosted a workshop for a student delegation from the Republic of Korea (South Korea) that visited Houston as part of an educational program at Incheon National University to broaden learning and experiences abroad. Houston was one of two cities selected for their studies abroad. The students wanted to learn more about planning in Houston and our unique, "no zoning" regulatory environment. Our planners did an excellent job presenting on general planning issues and an overview of Plan Houston, Walkable Places, Historic Preservation, and the Houston Bike Plan. A special thank you to department staff Muxian Fang, Carlos G. Espinoza y Sanchez, and Arica Bailey for putting this together and to our presenters Chris Andrews, Lorelei Willett, Lynn Henson, Wu Ying, and Deputy Director Margaret Wallace-Brown.
 
Republic of Korea student delegation and P&D staff

Be In The Know: Resources

Did you know that the Department regularly updates interesting statistical data, and provides this information on our web site? Both P&D and sister agencies offer the community a wealth of data resources. The City's Demographer, provides biweekly and monthly reports on a variety of facts and figures for posting on the P&D website. The Planning and Development Department uses information from the U.S. Census Bureau, along with other agencies, to develop demographic data and estimates for the City. For example, click to view an infographic which illustrates how we compare with the ten largest cities in the U.S. in terms of Demographics, Social, Economic and Housing characteristics.
 
If you find this information interesting, below are additional useful data application tools found on the Houston-Galveston Area Council website.
 
Regional Demographic Snapshot is an interactive tool that provides a quick summary of key demographic variables for a user defined geography in the 13-County H-GAC region. The data is based on U.S. Census American Community Survey 2012-2016 5-year estimates and is available at County, City, Zip Code, Census Tract and Block Group levels.
 
Use the Regional Land Use Information application to view and query current and forecasted land use for the H-GAC region. Visit the Regional Growth Forecast page for more information. Updated based on 2017 Regional Growth Forecast.
 
H-GAC's Regional Growth Forecast Report is an interactive application that summarizes changes in Households, Household Population and Jobs for different geographic levels (Counties, Regional Sector 10, Regional Sector 25 and Places) based on H-GAC's 2017 annual regional growth forecast. 
 
Regional Flood Information is an interactive GIS tool that provides information on neighborhoods and population vulnerable to potential flooding and hazards. It consolidates data from various federal and local agencies relevant to recent flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey in the H-GAC 13-county region.
 
ACE is a mapping application to identify existing activity center(s) based on density and connectivity index using a hexagonal grid system. Updated based on 2017 Regional Growth Forecast.
 
Urban Forestry tool helps users to assess urban forests (land cover and tree canopy) in areas and to develop urban forestry planning projects that identify and prioritize urban forestry conservation and restoration efforts. 
  

Program Updates

Major Thoroughfare & Freeway Plan (MTFP): The MTFP amendment process is underway. The application submittal period closed on March 2. Applicants will be required to make a brief presentation regarding their proposal to the Planning Commission. To view the process and timeline, go to the MTFP webpage.
    
Walkable Places: The Walkable Places Committee will meet on March 7 to discuss potential ordinance amendments. The meetings are held in the City Council Chambers located in the City Hall Annex, 900 Bagby St. at 4 pm, and the public is invited to attend. More details can be found on the Walkable Places website.

Fast Facts
  
Floodplain: Mayor Sylvester Turner requests your feedback on proposed flood ordinance changes. Instead of referencing 100-year floodplains, the City would use the "500-year flooding plain" as the new standard. You can take an online survey  to give your feedback. This information and more is available online on the Houston Recovers  website.
 
Capital Improvement Plan (CIP): Houston's CIP's primary purpose is to be more cost effective in meeting City's goals to serve Houstonians. A series of public meetings are being held to hear public opinion. Go to the Department of Neighborhoods website  for more information.
 
Hazardous Materials (HazMat): The City has proposed changes to the rules for Hazardous Enterprises, found in Chapter 28 of the Code of Ordinances. The proposed amendments establish a variance process, clarify notification requirements, and improve enforcement language. Comments can be submitted to planningdepartment@houstontx.gov .
 
Citizen's Police Academy: Organized in 1989, the Citizens' Police Academy emphasizes the importance of citizen involvement in preventing and fighting crime, and offers a 10-week training course. Visit their website for more information. 

Planning & Development

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