July 2017
Updates from your City of Houston
Planning & Development Department
In This Issue
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Complete Communities
The Mayor's Complete Communities initiative is well underway. The Planning and Development Department is spearheading this pilot program to revitalize under-resourced areas, while allowing residents to stay in their neighborhoods.
The City is conducting a six to nine month community engagement process to help local residents and businesses identify improvements to strengthen communities. The timeline for next steps is outlined below.
For more information visit the Complete Communities website.
Division Highlights: Community and Regional Planning
The Department of Planning and Development ensures a vibrant and sustainable Houston by addressing the dynamics of growth in a rapidly changing social, cultural, and economic environment. The department's Community Sustainability Division has been rebranded to the Community and Regional Planning Division, to better reflect its current comprehensive scope in this mission. Staff members from this Division also have key roles in the Complete Communities initiative.
This Division coordinates and administers departmental programs that seek to preserve the development character of Houston's communities. These initiatives are often opt-in, requiring significant community participation and agreement. The programs include:
  • Minimum Lot Size/Building Line Program, which allows individual blocks (or in the case of minimum lot size, complete neighborhoods) to establish a lot size below which a lot cannot be subdivided and/or a building line or setback which all new structures must comply with; and
  • Prohibited Yard Parking Program, which allows property owners to establish an area where the parking of vehicles on front or side yards of single-family residential properties is prohibited.
Among many varied duties, our Community and Regional Planning Division also coordinates annexation related questions from the public and elected officials. Planner IV Rupesh Koshy is an expert in this field.
Congratulations to Rupesh Kushy on obtaining his second Masters degree.

Koshy, who handles the Department's annexation work under the leadership of Division Manager Nicole Smothers, also recently achieved his second Master's degree, this one in Analytics. His expertise adds to the scope and breath of this important department function.


Kudos to all the Planners who work in the Community and Regional Planning Division, which includes Christopher Andrews, Lynn Henson, Mohdudul Huq, Annette Mitchell, Misty Staunton, David Welch, Bala Balachandran,  and Abraham Zorrilla.  

Fast Facts

Planning Commission Committees: Walkable Places Committee plans to resume meetings on August 2, in the City Hall Annex Chambers, 900 Bagby St., at 4 pm. Please confirm meeting dates on the committee website.

Sustainable Supplies: Our office supply contractor, Staples Inc., reports that there is a high preference for Millennials  to consider employment at businesses that have an active and publicized sustainability component, like the growing practice at the City of Houston. In addition to conserving resources regularly, the Planning and Development Department is also pursuing methods of integrating more sustainability practices into our ongoing procurement and usage of office supplies.
Tree Protection: The Parks and Recreation Department has a hotline for the public to report suspected incidents of illegal tree removal from city right of ways. Call the hotline at 832-395-7100 or 3-1-1, or you can anonymously report via their website.

The new bike share kiosk at Moody Park
is open for business
Houston BCycle Expansion Update:   Five new bike stations were installed in June at Emancipation Park, Jury Assembly (the county's jury assembly area), Moody Park, Baldwin Park and Navigation Esplanade. A total of 10 of the proposed 71 new stations have been installed.
*F unding for the expansion of the bike share program is via a $3.5 million federal grant to the City of Houston's Planning & Development Department.  Houston Bike Share, a local non-profit and operator of the Houston BCycle program, is responsible for the 20% local match.  For more information, go to Houston BCycle.
Staff Spotlight: Chile
A Recap on South American Urbanism 
Chile, like many countries in Latin America, follows an old world model towards urbanism, with densely packed cities, impeccable public transportation, and street life, even in the smallest of towns, that rivals major cities here in the US. Traveling has also been a passion of mine, and once I became an urban planner, the need and desire to experience the world grew stronger. As an urbanist, travelling is an opportunity to understand not only how other cultures live, but also how their cities function.   - Carson Lucarelli
Images from Planner Carson Lucarelli 's travel
to Chile illustrate a country punctuated by dramatic
urban landscapes and unrivaled geographies