Monthly Planner
Updates from your City of Houston

November 2018
Tactical Urbanism 
Planning Department staff members joined in the October 7 Sunday Streets program in Near Northside to feature a constructed tactical urbanism demonstration of a parking protected bike lane on Irvington Blvd. Tactical urbanism is a term used to describe low-cost, temporary changes to the built environment of public places, intended to model improvements, such as street right-of-way modifications, in local neighborhoods.
Tactical urbanism demonstration on Irvington Blvd.
This particular design - a first for Housto n - is planned for neighboring streets Hardy and Elysian, and the display helped residents get acquainted with the new configuration before construction begins later this year. Harris County Precinct 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis stopped by for the activities. The Commissioner, along with  
Precinct 2 Commissioner Jack Mormon and District H Council Member Karla Cisneros have pledged funds for the new bike lane.

Staff was so inspired by the success of their project at Sunday Streets that they returned to the office to illustrate these concepts and ideas for their coworkers. The Transportation Planning team created mock curb extensions and pedestrian crossings along their section of the hallway.
For more information about other transportation initiatives in Houston, visit ouweb page.
A Spotlight on Historic Preservation
Interim Preservation Officer Matt Kriegl and Planners Cari Foster and Sarah Fanelli make up our Historic Preservation division. Recently Kriegl was highlighted in the city's internal newsletter, City Savvy.
Staff members Cari Foster, Matt Kriegl (interim Historic Preservation Officer), and Sarah Fanelli provide historic preservation planning services to the public via the Houston Archeological and Historic Commission
It's been a busy year for the Historic team. This spring saw new  Historic Design Guidelines for Houston Heights historic districts. Chapter 33 ordinance modifications are still being considered to add enforcement capabilities to historic preservation work. In addition, our historic preservation toolbox has grown with an electronic application system called Historic Preservation Tracker. This system provides residents and decision makers more accessibility to information about pending Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) activity in Historic Districts. All Historic COA Applications are now submitted through this online Historic Preservation Tracker. 
The P&D Historic Preservation team stays busy, processing COAs, completing site visits, and advising on ordinance changes. Kriegl and the team deserves the recognition from City Savvy.   
Texas Planners converge in Galveston for #APATX18
The State Conference for the American Planning Association (APA) was recently held in Galveston, with representation from the department. P&D Planner Carlos G. Espinoza y Sanchez, APA Ambassador, was one of several organizers for the conference, which included a timely focus on disaster preparedness of historic proportions. Several representatives of P&D also attended and participated in this professional conference, and two staff individuals also moderated panel sessions.  

Planner Melissa Beeler, along with colleagues from the public and private sectors, hosted a session at the American Planning Association (APA) Texas Conference on their experiences in advocacy and bureaucracy. Beeler joined three other Millennials on a panel discussing how younger planners look for a more fulfilling work environment that aligns with their personal values.
Important residential land planning points were presented by Planner Teresa Geisheker at an American Planning Association (APA) panel session. She moderated a session which included professionals from Austin, Houston, and Dallas discussing basic land planning concepts, related residential building codes, innovations in residential building, the tiny house movement, permanent supportive housing such as single room occupancy sleeping units at New Hope, and Austin's Imagine master plan, as it pertains to residential planning.

Development Services Information  
Want more information on specific planning projects? The public can find information about all platting applications, including variance requests, on our web page at various locations. Instructions for subscribing to the plat report publications, and finding the Houston Planning Commission agendas and related information, are detailed below.
All Departmental Publications
Register here  to receive any or all of nine available publications. Note that currently, all of the Complete Communities publications are the same; simply enroll for the one community publication that most interests you. You can change your preferences at any time.
Bi-weekly Plat Report
Want information about all submitted platting activity delivered to your e-mail? Go to . Select Publications from the section titled 'Resource Links' on the right side of the page. Click on 'subscribe to our e-Newsletters' and fill out the information requested. Select 'Plat Report' and any other publication email list you would like to receive. The plat e report publication is published every two weeks, approximately 7 days before the next Planning Commission meeting. The report is an excel file that may be sorted by several variables including super neighborhood boundary, and if a variance is being requested.
Plats with Variance Requests
To see information about all plats under consideration, including those also with variance requests, go to the Plat Tracker home page  On the left, go to 'current agendas' to view a pdf copy of the Planning Commission's current agenda for the upcoming meeting. Scroll to the variance section as applicable. Applications are listed in alphabetical order. The 'previous agendas' heading has information about prior plats.
Planning Commission Action
In addition, everyone can obtain more information by attending the Planning Commission meeting at which any item of interest is heard. The schedule is listed online, and meetings are held at 900 Bagby.  At these (bi-weekly) meetings, staff's analysis and short reports are presented, people can sign up to speak for a minute or two on an item, and everyone can hear Planning Commission deliberations and actions taken on the agenda's items. These meeting are also broadcast on HTV, Houston's municipal television channel.

Program Updates

Please visit our web site at for complete updates on:
Mayor Turner meeting with attendees after CCU
Complete Communities: The first Complete Communities University, which educated attendees from local communities and super neighborhoods, was recently held. Workshop topics included Mediation & Conflict Resolution by the City Legal Department, Department of Neighborhoods information, Community Outreach by AARP, Running Effective Meetings by BakerRipley, Census 2020, and Fundraising by the United Way. Mayor Sylvester Turner provided closing remarks, including information about upcoming items on the November 6 ballot. See program details here

Walkable Places and Pilot Programs: There is an upcoming Walkable Places Committee meeting November 14, from 4-6 pm, at City Hall Annex, at 900 Bagby St. The next scheduled meeting is January 9, 2019. Click here to view the latest information about the Committee's activities, and the three walkable places pilot areas: Emancipation Avenue, Midtown, and Near Northside.
Houston BCycle Expansion:  Five BCycle stations were installed in October in the Texas Medical Center (TMC) in the vicinity of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson campuses. This recent installation brings the total to 10 BCycle stations for the TMC area. The last four stations slated for the TMC will be installed sometime next year. The bike stations will provide more options for commuters and an easier way for employees, students and visitors to get to and from the various hospitals and campuses. These stations are part of the City's Houston BCycle expansion project that is funded by a federal transportation grant. Visit the P&D project page for information about the expansion project and ride a Houston BCycle today!
Stations at the corner of Pressler St and Bertner Ave
Bertner Ave and S Braeswood Blvd
UTSHC Housing and Rec Center
Planning & Development

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