The West Houston Association Newsletter | August 2016 | View in browser
President's Message: WHA's Policy Priorities in 2016
Auggie Campbell, President, West Houston Association

West Houston AssociationThis summer, WHA's board members, committee leaders, and partners, like Representative Jim Murphy, worked hard to identify WHA's top priority projects and policies. WHA engaged in a number of workshops, drafting exercises, and email exchanges. So what were the results?

1) Build & Fund Regional Flood Control. Regional Flood Control is the top priority for WHA for the foreseeable future. The Tax Day Floods illustrated the need for a regional solution to flood mitigation in Greater West Houston. Efforts from the Executive Committee and WHA members like Lee Lennard, Steve Robinson, and many others have helped bring solutions in to focus and partners to the table. WHA has been evaluating regional flood control solutions. In the past, WHA has expressed reservations about HCFCD's ability to build and maintain additional big infrastructure projects. We are working with HCFCD, the City of Houston, various officials, and others to find a way to secure a shared vision, funding, and mechanisms necessary to provide a viable long term flood control solution. read more
Event Preview: West Houston Flood Control Forum

West Houston Association
Left: Russ Poppe, HCFCD Executive Director. Right: Steve Costello, City of Houston Chief Resilliency Officer
Houston Flood Control Forum Keeping with WHA's Policy Priorities, Steve Costello and Russ Poppe will speak at our September 15th Flood Control Forum at the Westchase Marriot. Registration opens at 7:30 am.

Steve Costello has often spoken about the complementary and interdependent roles between the District and the City of Houston on flood control issues. This forum will explore that interdependence and the ways that each entity has and will approach flood control in West Houston and Western Harris County. read more
Event Review: Elected Officials Forum

West Houston AssociationOn August 30th, Houston’s 180th birthday, WHA was honored to have so many of our elected officials attend our reception. From better roads and schools to better budgets and regulations, we realize that elected officials will always have more work to do. Last night was a chance to briefly recognize all that elected officials have done in our community and a chance for WHA Chairman John Moody to mention how MUDs have helped. Thanks to all of the Greater West Houston delegation for your service to our community. read more

Coming Soon: 2017 Development Map & 2016 Demographic & Economic Profile

West Houston AssociationFor most of 2016, the West Houston Association has worked with BGE Inc. (Kerry Gilbert & Associates) on its 2017 Development Map and CDS on a 2016 Demographic & Economic Profile. David Hightower has chaired WHA's Maps & Demographic Working Group. This group has deliberated to make sure that WHA obtains the most up-to-date information and provides an opportunity for its members and the public to see the results. WHA last published an economic and demographic profile and a development map in 2014.

WHA intends to publish the 2016 Economic & Demographic Profile in October 2016. CDS's Steve Spillette and Ty Jacobson have worked on new data and visualizations concerning how Houston's population has moved westward and how U of H's new Katy campus will serve Greater West Houston.

The 2017 WHA Development Map should be available in February 2017. The draft map above reflects newly anticipated land uses, the proposed updates to the Major Thoroughfare Plan, and the latest developments provided by a number of our members. If you have any additional updates or comments on the map, please email
WHA Policy Intern Amanda Kraynok: My Experience at WHA

West Houston AssociationMy past two years at Texas Tech University School of law showed me what the law is and how to think about legal principles. My time at WHA allowed me to not only apply my education, but to study and understand how these decisions impact long term urban planning and development. I saw organizations pull together individuals with expertise from various fields such as law, engineering, data analysis, education, healthcare, and many more to serve the common purpose of developing and sustaining Greater West Houston. All of the individuals that I encountered were incredible at what they did and cared deeply about their community. read more
What’s Not Being Said About MUDs
by Steve Spillette, CDS

West Houston AssociationThis week, the Houston Chronicle published an article about a Municipal Utility District and the dissatisfaction of some homeowners that the MUD might issue bonds, which they believe could raise they property tax rates. The article, in my opinion, was slanted toward an angle that MUDs represent a developer-run local government agency run amok, with little oversight and unchecked taxation power. What this article fails to provide is the overall economic benefit that MUDs provide, and the reason for their existence in the first place. It also doesn’t explain who truly bears the cost of the initial infrastructure – the developers.

All development, in an economically advanced society, needs to have access to safe water supply, sanitation services, and drainage infrastructure for each household or business. In rural areas, on-site wells, septic systems, and on-site detention and permeable surface typically satisfy this need for households because residential lots are usually large enough to adequately accommodate these facilities. Conventional suburban development doesn’t have this luxury, however, so common systems shared by all the property owners must provide such services. Obviously these common systems are not free to construct; in fact, they comprise a very significant component of development costs. read more
Committee Updates & Related News
Education & Workforce Development:
U of H Report
Chair: Chanda Cashen Chacon, Texas Children's Hospital
October 17th, 2pm at Texas Children's Hospital West Campus

On August 15th, the committee met to review the statistics and information developed by CDS and HCC. Some of this information will be in the WHA Economic and Demographic Report. The October meeting will focus on providing understanding of how primary and secondary students are placed on career paths and how industry and advanced educational programs can help.
Flood Control, Drainage & Wetlands:
Regional Planning & Flood Control Forum
Chair: Lee Lennard, Brown & Gay Engineers, Inc.
Next meeting: October 10th, 2 pm at WHA

The committee met on August 9th at WHA's office and discussed policy and project considerations for 2016-2017. Lee Lennard and Auggie Campbell meet with HCFCD staff on August 25 to discuss Drainage Corridor Requirements, mitigation banking, and regional flood control in Greater West Houston. Steve Robinson and Auggie Campbell met with Katy Prairie Conservancy soon. We have set our Flood Control Forum for September 15th at the Westchase Marriot (7:30 am). Steve Costello and Russ Poppe (who will likely be the newly appointed HCFCD ED) will be our speakers.
Quality Planned Development:
Cypress Creek Lakes
Chair: Peter Houghton, Howard Hughes Corporation - Bridgeland
Next meeting: September 7th, noon at Cypress Creek Lakes

The QPD committee will meet at Cypress Creek Lakes' new recreation center for a tour and continue discussing the WHA 2050 Plan and the QPD Marketing Plan.
Regional Mobility:
Commuter Solutions
Chair: Mark Kilkenny, Mischer Investments
Next Meeting: September 12th at noon in WHA's office

After the July 12th meeting with Lloyd Smith, Harris County Transportation Planning Manager, and Kerry Gilbert, WHA held a small commuter solutions workshop with key committee members, Houston Community College the Memorial, and Energy Corridor Management Districts. The group worked on ideas for Park & Ride Locations, improvements for bus routes, and public and alternative transport options. WHA has drafted a letter to City of Houston officials, including the mayor, to support the major thoroughfare plan amendments in Greater West Houston.
Sustainable Infrastructure:
Recognition Program Development
Chair: Jim Russ, EHRA
Next meeting: September 13th, 7:30 am at EHRA's Office

The committee met on August 9th at 7:30 am at EHRA's office and refined the concepts for recognizing development teams through a WHA Sustainability Program under development by the committee. The program will provide applicants with recognition and provide WHA members with information on which sustainability programs are most effective. Jim Russ presented a draft of the program matrix to the Executive Committee on August 23rd and said that the next step would be to tailor applications to ensure that WHA collected the right information.
Water Resources:
BRA Update on Allens Creek Reservoir
Chair: Jack Miller, R.G. Miller
Next meeting: September 22nd, 2 pm at WHA’s Office

At the committee’s upcoming meeting, David Collingsworth of the Brazos River Authority will provide an update on planning Allens Creek Reservoir. The committee will keep working on its 2050 Plan. The committee plans to have the 2018 whitepaper for the 2050 plan update completed by the end of July, 2017.
WHA on Social Media

The West Houston Association is working to increase our presence on social media via Facebook and Twitter. Please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to keep up with the endeavors, events, committees and current issues of the West Houston Association.
2016 Planned WHA Events
Look for more details in 2016 as these event dates and times are confirmed.

Sept. 15
7:30-9:30 am

  Flood Control Forum
Marriott, Westchase

October 3
2-5 pm

  WHA Golf Tournament
Top Golf

November 17
12-2 pm

  14th Annual Tri-County Judges Forum
Marriott, Westchase

12-2 pm

  State Issues Forum
Location Pending

December 15
6-9 pm

  Annual Christmas/Year-end Party & Awards Banquet
Westin, Memorial City
*Dates and venues are subject to revision based on scheduling and contract considerations.
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