May 2017
Updates from your City of Houston
Planning & Development Department
In This Issue
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Mayor Unveils Complete Communities
Whereas Plan Houston provided the framework, a new initiative is adding an implementation component to those strategic goals. Mayor Sylvester Turner announced his Complete Communities program on April 17, 2017, a project that aims to improve quality of life for residents in areas that are not thriving at a level enjoyed by other Houston neighborhoods.
Acres Homes, Gulfton, Second Ward, Near Northside and Third Ward are the first neighborhoods selected for the mayor's new Complete Communities initiative. The city will work in a concentrated manner with stakeholders in each community and partners across Houston to create more complete neighborhoods with enhanced access to quality affordable homes, jobs, well-maintained parks and greenspace, improved streets and sidewalks, grocery stores and other retail, good schools and transit options. The work in these areas will help develop solutions that are transferable to other communities across the city. Visit the Complete Communities website for more information.
Commission Works to Regulate Tall Towers
Towers are an infrastructure component of the cellular service industry's network, which the City of Houston permits in some cases. A team of Development Services planners review administrative applications, and provide support to the Houston Tower Commission. The commission considers waiver requests and protested applications, for cellular and other types of towers that are 60' or more in height. The commission is comprised of appointees from various technical disciplines and community groups. Cell phones have become an integral part of emergency response systems, so coverage for all citizens is a consideration. For more details on tower permit requirements, for both cellular and other types of towers, see the Tower Commission website or Chapter 28, Article XVI of the  Code of Ordinances .


Houston's Tower Commission reviews all towers being built 60'  or taller.

Staff Highlights: TH¿NK TANK
Planner Misty Staunton facilitates a periodic exchange of innovative ideas at "TH¿NK TANK" events for the Planning and Development Department. It's a brown bag lunch hour, with urban planning stimulation mixed with conversations and ideas. 
An introduction to a table top GIS (Geographic information Systems) application was explored at a recent Brown Bag forum. As pictured in the foreground below, the session included Council Members David Robinson and Michael Kubosh, Director Patrick Walsh, Assistant Director Michael Kramer, and staff members from the department. 

Fast Facts
Planning Commission Committees: The next Walkable Places' meeting is a design charrette on May 3 at 4 pm, and will be held at the Julia Ideson Library building instead of City Hall Annex. Platting Standards will resume meetings in June 2017, as evaluation of the Committee's focus continues. Visit the department website for more information.

Bike to Work Day: Please join Mayor Turner on National Bike to Work Day, Friday, May 19, 2017, for a fun bike ride in and around Downtown Houston. Register for this event here . The ride kicks off at 7:30 am at City Hall and will conclude at Hermann Square with a free breakfast. Vendors will be on-site to assist with bike tune-ups, and volunteer bike wranglers will assist HPD with keeping the riders on the route.

iSpeak Houston: iSpeak Houston is the City of Houston's official portal for resources, information and media that promote public access to essential information and services in languages other than English. The iSpeak website hosts language cards in the 25 most-widely used languages in Houston that assists residents with accessing basic services in their native tongue.