Your monthly updates from the
Planning & Development Department
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Plan Houston- We Want Your Input
Your city leadership wants your input! The Planning and Development Department is currently collecting responses to a short, three-question survey to get a feel for what Houstonian want from their city. Visit the Plan Houston website for more details and to complete the questionnaire. It is available in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Vietnamese, and it only takes a couple of minutes.
Plan Houston, One Year Later
Houston's First "General Plan" was written in 1913 by Landscape Architect and F.L. Olmstead Apprentice, Arthur Comey. Fast forward to today: The historic passage of a unique, Houston-style General Plan, is near the one year milestone! Plan Houston was adopted by City Council in the fall of 2015 and all departments are working to implement the goals from Plan Houston.
City wide, Mayor Turner is now aligning all Departments towards measureable goals that align with Plan Houston's Core Strategies. We are bringing forth an initiative to engage the public in the budget process in a new and exciting way. This pilot project includes four components : an on-line survey to determine citizen priorities, a citizen's satisfaction survey, reconvening the Plan Houston Steering Committee, and a Mayor/Council budget retreat. We anticipate doing this each Fall.
The Planning and Development Department is in charge of the on-line survey and would like your help in spreading the word.
Go to  and add your vote to the survey today!

GIS News- My City Map Viewer has Been Updated
A new mapping system has been uploaded, replacing CTP (Consolidated Transportation Planning) and My City! The new interactive maps make it easier than ever to look up important information regarding platting, planning, and other city services. Visit the new My City application for more information.  
Get to Know Historic Preservation
The Historic Preservation group within the Planning and Development Department is tasked with the job of saving Houston's historic structures and neighborhoods. They work with homeowners to insure any changes to protected structures meet the preservation ordinance, and they organize the Houston Archaeological and Historical Commission meetings.

The Historic Preservation office covers an array of projects each year, with the bulk of their time being dedicated to Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) applications. After an ordinance change in 2015, there are two paths a COA application can take: a review by the Houston Archaeological and Historical Commission (HAHC) or an Administrative Approval.
HAHC review is required for significant projects; until the ordinance change last year all projects went to the monthly commission meeting which led to long wait times. Today, the HAHC reviews items in the following categories: alteration, additions, new construction, demolition, relocation and restoration.
Alternatively, Administrative Approvals cover simple projects such as replacing a non-original door or window with something more appropriate, new garages with a footprint under 600 square feet and alterations to non-contributing structures.
The City of Houston currently has 22 historic districts and over 400 landmarks. COA activity is highest in the Greater Heights Area; Houston Heights East, Houston Heights South, Houston Heights West, Woodland Heights and Norhill accounted for 78% of all HAHC applications.
When Administrative approvals are combined with the HAHC approvals, the overall approval rate is 93%. If an applicant is denied, they have the option to appeal their case to the Historic Preservation Appeals Board (HPAB), a separate body consisting of former HAHC and Planning commissioners.
Along with HAHC applications, the historic preservation office has processed 87 applications for administrative approval between January and June. 
In addition to reviewing Certificate of Appropriateness Applications, staff reviewed and researched four landmarks and eight protected landmarks in the first half of 2016.
A landmark designation offers recognition to a significant building and allows the opportunity to receive tax exemptions for appropriate work while also allowing a 90 day waiver on work to the property.
To learn more about the Landmark and Protected Landmark designations, or our Historic Districts. please visit the department's Historic Preservation page.