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Inside District I Newsletter

Categories: Community,Events

The Houston Public Works Department is conducting a traffic study at the signalized intersections of McKinney at Milby, McKinney at Cullen, and McKinney at Telephone in the Eastwood area. I mentioned in last month’s newsletter that the test period, which began in February, is expected to last 3 to 6 months. The traffic study was initiated at the request of the community.

The purpose of the study is to collect data, analyze the intersections’ conditions and determine the most adequate traffic control for them. This may include the permanent removal of the traffic signals at the conclusion of the study.

During the study period, the existing traffic signals will not be operational and instead, stop signs will be placed on selected approaches. Proper warning and regulatory signage will be in place at the intersections to properly inform roadway users of these temporary modifications.

In case of any immediate negative findings, normal signalized control will be restored if determined that it is necessary. In addition, if the community – through its civic association – decides to forgo the study and maintain the signalized intersections, we will do just that.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss more in detail the scope of this study, please contact Public Work’s Traffic group at 832-395-3000 or submit your comments via email at Traffic.Hotline@houstontx.gov.

Respectfully,

Robert Gallegos
Houston Council Member
District I


Botanic Garden Progress Meeting

Join Councilman Robert Gallegos and Houston Botanic Garden President & General Counsel Claudia Gee Vassar at a community meeting Thursday, March 22 to discuss next steps toward the creation of a world-class botanic garden in southeast Houston.

Thursday, March 22, 2018
Park Place Elementary School
8235 Park Place Blvd.
7 to 8 p.m.

On March 7, Mayor Sylvester Turner announced that the Houston Botanic Garden Board had exceeded its end-of-2017 fundraising goal – reaching nearly $22 million – to begin work on Phase One.

For more information contact the District I Office at 832-393-3011.


Proposed Changes to Ch. 19 Could Require Stricter Rules on new Development in Floodplain

The City of Houston is considering revisions to Chapter 19 to ensure new dwellings are built high enough to save lives and property in the event of flooding. The proposed changes could require elevation of new development or additions to existing structures located within the 500-year floodplain, not just 100-year floodplain. For example, a new home in the 100-year floodplain could be required to be built X feet above the 500-year flood elevation.

*** X feet in the proposed revisions is still to be determined.

APPROACH
The City of Houston will reduce the risk of flood loss for future development and redevelopment by ordinance revisions, new regulations, building codes and design guidelines. Existing development will be improved through Capital Improvement Projects, buyouts, home elevations and demo-rebuilds.

RECOMMENDATIONS
Houston’s current code only applies to property in the 100-year floodplain and protects 1 foot above 100-year flood elevation. The proposed revisions would include property in the 500-year floodplain and protect X feet of 500-year flood elevation. It would also include no net fill in the 500-year floodplain.

The 100-year floodplain is land that is predicted to flood during a 100-year storm, which has a 1% chance of occurring in any given year. The 500-year floodplain has a 0.2% chance of occurring.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Does Chapter 19 impact anyone outside the 100-year or 500-year floodplain? This Ordinance does not apply outside the 100-year or 500-year floodplain.

Does the City plan to redraw existing floodplains based on current flood data? Harris County Flood Control District in partnership with FEMA is the lead on redrawing floodplain maps in Harris County.

Is my property located within the floodplain? Use the Harris County Flood Control District’s Flood Education Mapping Tool to help identify the location of a property: www.harriscountyfemt.org

NEXT STEPS
Timeline:

  • Thursday, March 15 – draft ordinance posted
  • Monday, March 19 – second presentation to council committee
  • Wednesday, March 21 – draft ordinance presented to Council for vote

RESOURCES
Revised Ch. 19 Ordinance – DRAFT


Pilot Programs Picks Up Over 1,600 Shopping Carts

In February 2017, Councilman Gallegos launched a pilot initiative to pick up shopping carts abandoned on public property in District I. The office partnered with the Solid Waste Department to conduct the collections Monday through Friday on a twice monthly basis. The pilot program is funded with District I Service dollars and is expected to continue through August of this year.

“Abandoned shopping carts are not only unsightly, but they can create road hazards and even lead to drainage issues if they end up in ditches,” said Councilman Robert Gallegos. While the final numbers of the pilot have not yet been calculated, in just 8 months of collection (February – October) 1,628 shopping carts were retrieved from roadways, sidewalks, esplanades, ditches, and parks in District I. This is in addition to the shopping carts picked up by retailers such as Fiesta Mart, Walmart, and others during the same time period.


carts pulled from a clogged drainage box

Despite efforts by some retailers to collect their abandoned carts, significant numbers of carts remain within the public domain. While most of the larger retailers have measures to keep carts from leaving their property, such as through the use of electronic perimeter barricades, or regularly scheduled collection, many smaller and mid-size retailers do not.

That is why during the budget discussion last May, Councilman Laster offered an amendment to create a citywide collection program that would require retailers to come up with better solutions to this problem. Unfortunately, the administration did not support the amendment and it was defeated. “This continues to be a priority for for me and many in our community,” added Gallegos. “I’ll continue working with my colleagues until we develop a permanent solution to eliminate this blight from our neighborhoods.”


Tree/Junk Waste Collection Schedule Resumes

The Solid Waste Management Department has resumed regularly scheduled Tree Waste and Junk Waste collections:

  • March 2018: Regular Tree Waste Schedule
  • April 2018: Regular Junk Waste Schedule

Remember odd months are Tree Waste and even months are Junk Waste.

Tree Waste months: March, May, July, September, and November.

Junk Waste months: April, June, August, October, and December.

Harvey Storm Debris is still being collected, so continue to place debris at the curb. Report uncollected storm debris to the City of Houston 3-1-1 service line.


Tour of Houston Bike Ride Coming to District I

Tour de Houston is a fundraising bike ride that benefits Houston’s Parks and Recreation Department. The ride will take place Sunday, March 18, 2018. This annual event offers Houstonians and visitors a unique way to view the city with bike routes winding through Houston’s historic neighborhoods, scenic districts and parks. The route this year will bring thousands of cyclists through parts of District I.

With three ride length options, the Tour de Houston is the perfect event for leisure riders or cycling enthusiasts. In addition, it is a BP MS 150 recommended training ride.

The ride begins and ends in Hermann Square at City Hall located at 901 Bagby. Riders and volunteers will enjoy a post-ride party that includes live music, free food and beverages. Registration is $35 for adults through February 16, and $40 through March 17.

To register visit www.houstontx.gov/tourdehouston.


Homebuyer Assistance Program

The City of Houston offers a Homebuyer Assistance Program that provides financial assistance up to $25,000! This program is available to qualified low-to moderate-income first-time homebuyers in the City of Houston to help reduce some of the costs associated with purchasing a home – including down payment and closing costs.

Contact the City’s Housing Department at 832-394-6200 or visit www.houstontx.gov/housing/hap to begin your application and start the road to homeownership!


New Festival Grants for Arts & Cultural Programming


The Festival Grant program provides support for arts festivals or the arts components of cultural festivals, which celebrate Houston’s diversity and promote the city’s creative identity as a unique arts and cultural destination. Interested organizations are encouraged to apply.

  • Max Award: $10,000
  • Deadline: April 9, 2018 at 5:30 pm
  • Grant term: July 1, 2018 – December 31, 2018

Festivals are defined as special events that are periodical (often annual) occurring within a limited time period, and should be inclusive and accessible to the general public. Festivals can present various performing, visual, and folk arts, or could be specific to a particular artistic discipline. Collaborative efforts utilizing the strength and knowledge base of more than one organization are highly encouraged.

Apply online by visiting www.houstonartsalliance.com/new-grant-opportunities

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