February 2012

News CouncilMemberThroughout the months of February and March, the City of Houston Planning Commission will hold four public meetings to discuss proposed changes to Chapter 42, the City’s Land Development Ordinance. Proposed amendments address topics such as average lot size in new subdivision plats, guest parking for certain single-family residential units and the extension of the urban area to Beltway 8.

The possible expansion of the urban area has caught the attention of many Houstonians. The amendment’s goals are to 1) allow for the redevelopment of obsolete commercial and multi-family areas and 2) provide a variety of housing styles at a range of price points. As suburbs outside the city limits continue to grow and provide a stock of affordable housing, the City of Houston risks losing middle-income families to these areas. The transformation of aging multi-family and retail complexes to more affordable and sought-after housing styles will serve to fill this middle-income housing gap. Please note that neighborhoods with deed restrictions that prevent further subdividing of lots, establish minimum lot size and restrict to single-family residential uses will not be impacted by this provision.

February 2012
Chapter 42 Meetings


All meetings are from 6:30-8:00 p.m. and will be held:


Monday, February 13

Sunnyside Multi-Service Center

4605 Wilmington

Houston, TX 77051


Thursday, February 23

Northeast Multi-Service Center

9720 Spaulding

Houston, TX 77016


Thursday, March 1

Sharpstown Community Center

6600 Harbor Town Drive

Houston, TX 77036


Thursday, March 8

Trini Mendenhall Sosa Community Center

1414 Wirt

Houston, TX 77055


The proposed ordinance can be found at the Planning Department’s website under the Development Regulations section. Please contact my office with any questions you may have.


Annual District CIP Meetings

District Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) meetings will be held starting this month. The CIP is a comprehensive document that outlines the City’s infrastructure improvement plan, organizes projects by priority and identifies funding for each project. The CIP extends five years out and is updated annually.


Each district’s CIP meeting is open to the public and is conducted in a question and answer format. Attendees will be able to address questions and comments to City officials and influence the following year’s CIP by way of their suggestions. Meeting dates are posted below. Please contact your district council member to sign up to speak or click here for more information.


District A Tues./Feb. 28 Spring Woods High School (Main Auditorium)

Helena Brown 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. 2045 Gessner Drive


District B Tues./March 06 Kashmere Multi-Service Center

Jerry Davis 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. 4802 Lockwood


District C Mon./Feb. 13 The Metropolitan Multi-Service Center

Ellen Cohen 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. 1475 West Gray


District D Wed./Feb 22 Judson Robinson Jr. Community Center

Wanda Adams 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. 2020 Hermann Drive


District E Mon./Feb. 27 University of Houston-Clear Lake (Forest Room)

Michael Sullivan 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. 2700 Bay Area Blvd

Thurs./March 22 Creekwood Middle School (Auditorium)

6:30 – 8:30 p.m. 3603 West Lake Houston Pkwy. (Kingwood)


District F Wed./March 07 Tracy Gee Community Center

Al Hoang 6:30-8:30 p.m. 3599 Westcenter Drive


District G Mon./March 19 Paul Revere Middle School (Auditorium)

Oliver Pennington 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. 10502 Briar Forest Dr


District H Mon./March 05 Jefferson Davis High School (Atrium)

Ed Gonzalez 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. 1101 Quitman


District I Wed./March 21 The E.B. Cape Center

James Rodriguez 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. 4501 Leeland Street


District J Thurs./March 08 Sharpstown Community Center

Mike Laster 6:30-8:30 p.m. 6600 Harbor Town Drive


District K Tues./March 20 Westbury High School

Larry Green 6:30-8:30 p.m 11911 Chimney Rock Rd



Can’t make your district’s CIP meeting? No need to worry! CIP requests can be made all year long via the 311 website. Look for the New Capital Improvement Request link under the Capital Improvement Projects, Streets and Drainage section.

HPL Fine Arts Programming

February is African American History Month, and the Houston Public Library has put together a package of programming that should whet the appetites of photography, music, literature and history enthusiasts across the city.

For the literature lover:
An Afternoon with Daniel Black
Saturday, February 18 – 2 p.m. – Central Library – 500 McKinney

Nationally acclaimed author Daniel Black will discuss his latest novel, Perfect Peace, a moving portrait of a large, rural Southern family’s attempt to grapple with an unconventional and desperate decision made by their mother.

For the blues buff:
Blues Preservation Panel Discussion
Saturday, February 25 – 2 p.m. – The African American Library at the Gregory School – 1300 Victor

Blues legend Texas Johnny Brown and other local blues musicians along with blues historians will discuss issues related to the preservation of the historic blues legacy of Houston.

For the history hound:
An Afternoon with Mignette Patrick Dorsey
Saturday, February 25 – 1 p.m. – Henington-Alief Regional Library – 7979 South Kirkwood
Award-winning journalist Mignette Patrick Dorsey will discuss her book, Speak Truth to Power: The Story of Charles Patrick, a Civil Right Pioneer, which tells the story of her father’s quest for justice in segregated Alabama on the eve of the civil rights movement.

For the photography fan:
Down in Houston: Documenting a Blues Community
Through March 18 – The African American Library at the Gregory School – 1300 Victor
Photographer James Fraher creates a portrait of the past and present of Houston blues with this impressive photo collection.

The entire list of programs can be found on the Houston Public Library website.

Don’t Hire a Therapist, Dial 311

I hear you had a terrible day. It started with a traffic jam because the traffic light at that major intersection was out, then you had to look at that obscene graffiti by your office again, when you got home you realized you missed your trash collection day because you forgot about the holiday schedule and, on top of it all, your kids won’t stop begging for a spayed or neutered fully, vaccinated dog. What a day! Tell me about it. Seriously, tell me about it, but first tell 311.


The 311 Houston service helpline and website can help you with every problem you had today (okay, maybe not with that unfortunate “reply all,” but you get the idea). From questions about traffic fines to complaints about sewer lines, 311 is the first stop for all your city service needs. Simply dial 3-1-1 from any phone inside the city limits or 713-837-0311 if you are outside the city and tell the professional, specially-trained operator what’s on your mind. There’s a 78% chance your problem can be solved on the spot, but in case it’s not, make sure to write down the six-digit service request number you are given. If talking on the phone isn’t your cup of tea, or if you need to make a report on the weekend or during the wee hours of the night, visit the 311 website to get started. Again, take down that service request number if you are given one.


Now that you’ve taken care of that, go ahead and tell me about your day. Remember that service request number you diligently made note of? You can call my office or the office of your district council member with that number to track the status of your service request and to ask any additional questions you might have.


Pheeeew. Feel better now?