Monthly Planner
Newsletter, August 2019
Planning & Development

2020 Census Complete Count Committee

On July 19, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, Mayor Sylvester Turner, along with members of Houston In Action, announced the members of the 2020 Census Complete Count Committee and outlined steps the county and city is taking to ensure every person is counted. This marks the first time Harris County and the City of Houston are working together to support a coordinated effort and will share the responsibilities of a 'Houston-Harris County Joint Complete Count Committee'. The committee will focus on reaching populations that are hard-to-count and will provide outreach and messaging tailored to fit our diverse communities. 

A complete census count is important as it determines congressional representation and federal funding for cities and states. It also provides crucial data about our neighborhoods and region that results in new businesses, schools, and services. A  larger and accurate 2020 Census count for Houston and the state of Texas could result in two more congressional seats and more funding for health, education, public safety, housing, and transportation projects. 

Texas currently receives about $43 billion annually in federal funds tied to census-provided numbers. The previous census also added four congressional seats to Texas. For each person not counted, the city of Houston will lose $15,780 (or $1,578 per person per year) for the decade. This translates into millions of dollars missed if thousands of residents are not accurately counted.

Participate in the  #2020Census  count so Houston gets its fair share of representation and funding! For more information, go to
Letter from the Director: The Center for Pursuit

Smiling faces from The Center for Pursuit
A Bright Spot in My Day

The Center for Pursuit is a new development on Harrisburg Boulevard, in Houston's historic East End. The Center for Pursuit is the new home for The Center, one of Houston's most revered non-profit programs, which has been providing services to residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities for nearly 70 years.
I am deeply familiar with The Center, having periodically volunteered there for years. It's an organization that compassionately serves more than 450 Houstonians. This new location will allow The Center to expand and further nurture its mission.
But, this new location does more. Instead of being a compound that focuses only on serving its clientele, the new Center for Pursuit will support its new neighborhood with a  cafĂ©, lots of green space and meeting rooms, all available to the community. The facility is positioned on the lot to provide shaded and safe, walkable spaces along Harrisburg, with driveways and the large parking garage situated at the back along railroad tracks. Because the new facility is located along a METRO light rail line, less than 1/10 mile from a station, in a community where many of the residents don't own a car, the development is highly accessible.
Mayor Turner is clear in his philosophy about development in Houston: build up, not out. As the Planning Department and development community work together toward following this philosophy, projects like this one, that fulfill the clients' needs while improving their surrounding neighborhoods, are important for our city's shared success. Bravo! For details, click here. 

Margaret Wallace Brown, Planning Interim Director   

City Council expands Market-Based Parking

On July 17, City Council voted to extend the area that is exempt from off-street parking requirements. 

Market-Based Parking (MBP) areas exempt property owners from the City's off-street parking requirements. MPB allows property owners to determine how much parking is needed to service their customers and provide that amount.

Before MPB was expanded, only property in the Central Business District area was exempt from parking requirements. Now, parking exempt areas include areas of east downtown and a large portion of Midtown. 

Less parking requirements support safer pedestrian and bicycle uses, preserves existing buildings, allows land to be put to its highest and best use, encourages higher density development and more. 

For more information on MBP, click  here.   

I-45 Community Workshops

How does I-45 affect you? How would you make it better? Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is proposing a major expansion of Interstate Highway 45 (I-45) and the City of Houston wants to make sure its residents voices are heard. 

The North Houston Highway Improvement Project (NHHIP)  is a project of the TxDOT that will reconstruct I-45 North, from Beltway 8 to downtown.  Mayor Sylvester Turner  has tasked the Planning & Development Department (P&D) to lead a public  engagement process to hear concerns from neighborhoods and businesses, as well, as identify opportunities for improvement to the project

P&D will host community workshops  to discuss and build consensus on community goals for addressing issues like housing, flooding, and others identified by people during TxDOT's official comment period. These discussions will aid the City and its team of experts to develop alternative designs and make recommendations to TxDOT on the project and  speak in a unified voice about wants and needs of the neighboring communities. TxDOT will attend the community workshops to answer questions about the project.  

I-45 project is one of the biggest infrastructure projects that Houston will see in a generation.  It is important that, if funded, it meets the needs of residents and businesses along the corridor.  Attend the I-45 community workshops and tell us how  TxDOT can make it better! 

Segment 2 & 3 - North: I-610 to I-10 and I-10 to US 59
Tuesday, August 13, 6-7:30 p.m., with introduction at 5:40 p.m.
Harris County Department of Education
6300 Irvington Blvd.

Segment 1 - North: Beltway 8 to N. Shepherd 
Thursday, August 15, 6 -7:30 p.m., with introduction at 5:40 p.m.
Aldine Ninth Grade School
10650 North Freeway
Segment 1 - South: N. Shepherd to I-610
Saturday, August 17, 10-11:30 a.m., with introduction at 9:40 a.m.
Burrus Elementary School
701 E 33rd St.

Click here for more information on the project.
Program Updates
Bicycle Advisory Committee:  The Bicycle Advisory Committee  normally meets the fourth Wednesdays of scheduled months, from 2:30-4:30 pm, at the Council Chambers at 900 Bagby. More news and details about the October meeting are here. 

Complete Communities: Mayor Sylvester Turner added five new neighborhoods to the Complete Communities initiative in June. These neighborhoods are Alief, Kashmere Gardens, Fort Bend Houston, Magnolia Park - Manchester, and Sunnyside. Click here to learn more about these communities.  

Historic Preservation: The deadline is fast approaching to apply for a historic tax exemption. A flier is available here. Contact the Historic team at 832-393-6600 for deadlines and details.

Prohibited Yard Parking: A record 1,448 lots in Woodland Trails North subdivision are now proposed for Chapter 28 prohibited yard parking protection. For program details, click here

Vision Zero:   Vision Zero  is coming to Houston! The City is j oining this national street safety strategy that is designed to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030. Read more about related announcements here

Stay up to date on Houston platting and permitting activity with these P&D publications:  Permit Report and Plat Report. Sign up for other P&D publications here.
Upcoming Meetings 
Planning & Development

611 Walker Street, 6th Floor
Houston, TX 77002