News From Houston City Council District K (January/February 2017)

February 19, 2017

District K Valentine’s Day Senior Luncheon

Thank you to each of you for attending the “We Love District K” Seniors Valentine’s Day Luncheon. Over 300 seniors from District K joined us for lunch, line dancing and a wonderful afternoon of fellowship. Special thanks to Mr. Alam of The Red Rooster for providing the location and the food and KROGER for the beautiful roses!

District K Celebrates Arbor Day along Sims Bayou

On Saturday, January 21, 2017, District K celebrated Arbor Day with an annual tree planting event. Council Member Larry Green partnered with Trees for Houston and the Houston Parks Board to plant 100, 15 gallon trees along the Sims Bayou corridor.

Arbor Day is a holiday in which individuals and groups are encouraged to plant and care for trees. By the 1920s, each state in the United States had passed public laws that stipulated a certain day to be Arbor Day. On the first Arbor Day, April 10, 1872, an estimated one million trees were planted.

“Trees are essential to life. They are an important part of every community, and I am elated when we can add more trees throughout the district.” states Council Member Green. Thank you to all of the environmentalists who came out to support this worthwhile event. We will enjoy watching the trees grow over the years to come.

South Houston Concerned Citizens Coalition Hosts Its 4th Appreciation Awards Banquet

The South Houston Concerned Citizens Coalition (“Coalition”) held their 4th annual awards banquet on January 21st at The Fountain Life Center. The semi-formal gala entitled Community of One highlighted the contributions and supporters of the Coalition during the 2016 calendar year. Council Member Green, along with other notable community leaders, were acknowledged and recognized for their continued service to the greater Hiram Clarke community.

“As a past recipient of one of their distributed awards, I continue to applaud and acknowledge the good works and stewardship of the Coalition,” states Council Member Green. As an added bonus to the event, other noted elected officials were on-hand to offer kind words and support the Coalition as they celebrate their annual yearly event. Congratulations to all of our 2016 awardees.

HISD Hosts Madison High School Community Meeting

Last month, HISD hosted the 3rd and final Madison High School Community Bond meeting to review designs and reveal an overview of construction plans for the school’s new $82.7 million building. HISD anticipates the construction to start this calendar year with a target completion date of late 2018.

Community stakeholders throughout the Hiram Clarke area turned out to hear from the project manager, architect, and the contractor, and to ask them questions.

“We’re excited about the new building,” Reyna said. “I get calls every day asking when we’re going to start seeing some bulldozers and (construction) activity on the campus. We can’t wait to get started.” The new two-story building, which is part of HISD’s $1.89 billion bond program, will be built facing West Orem Dr. on the school’s existing athletic fields. Once the building is complete, the current school will be demolished and new athletic fields will be developed. A two-story foyer will double as a dining commons and large gathering space, while providing plenty of natural light throughout.

“Since voters approved this 2012 bond for a new Madison High School, the Hiram Clarke community is happy to see HISD move forward on this construction project,” states Council Member Green.

The new facility’s academic wing will showcase the school’s career & technical education programs, including metal working, automotive and agriculture. Academic neighborhoods will be connected by learning commons, giving students a place to study and collaborate. Other features of the new school include main and auxiliary gymnasiums and a 25 meter lap pool.

“We are trying to make sure the students understand that this is for them,” Reyna said, noting that community centers were part of the plans for the new campus. “This is going to be a place where they can come and learn, and where they can spend their time when they’re not in school.”

For more information on HISD building programs, visit www.BuildHISD.org.

SuperBUILD at Townwood Park

On Saturday, January 7th District K volunteers joined with Houston Habitat for Humanity to build the walls that will be used for Habitat homes throughout Houston. It was 24 degrees outside but the die-hard volunteers did not let that stop them from helping make Houston a great place to live.

In honor of Super Bowl LI, Super BUILD LI is an exciting opportunity to leave a lasting legacy by building affordable homes for low to moderate income Houstonians during the period leading up to the big game. The homes will be located in 5 neighborhoods-5th ward, Sunnyside, Acres Homes, East End and Central Southwest area. Special thanks to all of our volunteers who came out to help build the walls and continue to help us build strong communities.

Westbury High School Celebrates Groundbreaking Ceremony

This month, Westbury High School held a celebratory groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of construction as part of the voter-approved 2012 Bond Program. Westbury High School is programmed for a new two-story addition and renovations to the existing building to accommodate 2,300 to 2,500 students. The new $40 million facility will feature 26 new classrooms that will replace current portable buildings, flexible learning centers, a commons area designed to serve a dual purpose as both a dining and gathering space, and two gymnasiums. Last month, Council Member Green participated in the grand opening of Westbury High School’s new baseball and softball fields. These were included in an early phase of the overall school renovation project.

Earlier this month, HISD sponsored a community meeting to address final design plans and provide an overview of what students, staff, and constituents can expect during the construction phase of this project. “This renovation project is what constituents voted for during the 2012 HISD bond election. I’m glad to see that HISD is finally moving forward on the groundbreaking construction phase of this project,” states Council Member Green.

The construction plans call for the front entrance to be redesigned and relocated to the atrium area to create an easily identifiable and prominent main entry. Two sets of doors will create a secure vestibule. Visitors may enter the foyer, but must get authorization to go further into the school. The site plan also features a one-way student drop-off and pick-up area in front of the school, as well as bus pick-up and drop-off at the back, which will relieve traffic congestion.

Westbury is among 40 schools, including 29 high schools, being renovated or rebuilt as part of the 2012 Bond program. Active construction is currently underway on roughly three dozen projects – more activity than at any other time in district history. For more information on HISD building programs, visit www.BuildHISD.org.

District K Hosted Neighborhood 101 Symposium – Prohibited Yard Parking Ordinance Program

Earlier this month, the District K office facilitated a Neighborhood 101 symposium on February 11 at the South Gessner HPD Substation that addressed the Prohibited Yard Parking (PYP) Ordinance Program. This informative workshop provided attendees with the information about a protected ordinance to discourage parking on front yards. In addition, ParkHouston (formerly Parking Management) highlighted their role with parking enforcement as well as the Houston Police Dept. DRT officers.

Currently, there are 25 District K neighborhoods participating in the PYP program. “I strongly encourage these PYP participants to continue to monitor their respective community and report violations to 311 and their respective HPD storefront,” states Council Member Green.

For those District K communities not participating in the PYP program, contact the Abraham Zorrilla with the Planning Dept. at 832-393-6634 to schedule an appointment. If your neighborhood is interested in applying for the PYP program, you can download the application from the Houston Planning Dept. website: www.houstonplanning.com.

SAVE THE DATE! – District K Announces the 2017 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) Meeting

Council Member Green is scheduled to host the annual District K CIP meeting on Thursday, March 9, 2017. This year’s CIP meeting will occur at Hiram Clarke Multi-Service Center, 3810 West Fuqua St., 77045 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The CIP meetings are held every year to inform citizens of upcoming projects scheduled in their respective communities. The meetings afford citizens an opportunity to learn, voice their concerns and address City of Houston officials regarding project planning & delivery. An update on the city’s implementation of Rebuild Houston will be provided as well.

An Interactive Map and documents for ReBuild Houston’s Draft “5+5” ten-year plan (FY 2018 – 2022) can be viewed at www.rebuildhouston.org. To view the current FY 2017-2021 Adopted Capital Improvement Plan (or any of the CIPs from the last 5 years), visit www.houstontx.gov/cip.

The 12th Annual Tour de Houston Rolls through the District K

The annual Tour de Houston bike ride, presented by the Apache Corporation, will take place Sunday, March 19, 2017. The annual fundraising bike ride will consist of a 20, 45, and 60 mile route. Now in its 12th year, the annual bike ride offers Houstonians and visitors a unique way to view the city with routes winding through Houston’s neighborhoods, scenic districts and parks while raising funds for the City’s Reforest Houston program.

This year, the proposed route will wind from City Hall (downtown) through District K – hitting the South Braeswood, Brays Oaks, and Fort Bend Houston communities. The turnaround point will be Blue Ridge Park located in Fort Bend Houston.

While Tour de Houston Presented by Apache Corporation is a fundraising ride, it also serves as a recommended ride for the BP MS 150. We encourage BP MS 150 participants to participate in the many recommended rides offered throughout the Houston area. Riders will start and end at City Hall located at 901 Bagby. The Mayor’s Office of Special Events is planning for an estimated 5,000+ riders. Along the route, riders will find fully-stocked rest stops, mechanical support, along with police and medical support. The ride will conclude with a post-ride party at City Hall for participants and volunteers with live music and lunch.

Registration is now open!
Pre-Registration – February 7 – February 21 — $35; $20 kids (12 yrs. and under)
Registration – February 22 – March 18 — $40; $20 kids (12 yrs. and under)
Onsite event registration- March 19 — $45 – CASH OR CHECK ONLY
Ages 12 and under is $20.00 for the duration

More details including packet pick-up and schedules for pre-registered riders can be found at www.tourdehouston.org.

SAVE THE DATE! – District K Annual Keep District K Beautiful Day is Scheduled for Saturday, April 8

It’s that time of year again. This is an early heads-up. Council Member Green is calling all District K civic associations to participate with the annual
Keep District K Beautiful Day event scheduled for Saturday, April 8. Generally, the District K event coincides with the Keep Houston Beautiful Day festivities across the city.

Last year, Council Member revised the Keep District K Beautiful Day event into a Keep District K Beautiful Month event. We had 10 District K communities participated with beautification and de-litter clean-up initiatives. “We are encouraging the same enthusiasm as last year. I’m asking District K communities to step-up and partner with the council office to aesthetically enhance your respective community. This initiative will go a long way to not only beautify your neighborhood but also foster positive community engagement,” said Council Member Green

If your community is planning a clean-up or beautification event as part of the Keep District K Beautiful Day initiative, it is strongly recommended that your community group contact Keep Houston Beautiful to secure your supplies. Also, contact the District K office so Council Member Green can make his rounds during this day-long event.

The Houston Parks and Recreation Department Announces After-School Program with HISD

City Council approved four (4) schools that were selected as part of a contract with the Houston Independent School District for the operation of the After-School Achievement Program (ASAP). This program is being administrated by the Parks and Recreation Dept. This year, only one (1) of the four selected schools are located in District K — Hobby Elementary School.

A request for proposal was posted on the Parks Dept. website and mailed to area schools, non-profit organizations and past program applicants. Interested applicants were required to attend at least one of seven application workshops to be eligible for funding. The Parks Dept. received a total of 21 applications in which four schools were selected. All the selected schools were required to commit minimum matching funds of $10,000 cash and $10,000 in-kind.

Houston Police Department Positive Interaction Program (PIP) meetings

District K has three (3) active PIP meetings administered by the Houston Police Department. All PIP meetings are open to the public; regardless of where you live.

Westbury PIP Meeting (every 4th Tuesday of the month at 7:00 p.m.)
Aramco Building
9009 West Loop South Freeway
Houston, TX 77096

For more information, please contact the HPD Westbury Storefront at 713-726-7126. The Westbury HPD Storefront hours are 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Hiram Clarke/Fort Bend Houston PIP Meeting (every 2nd Monday of the month at 7:00 p.m.)
Hiram Clarke HPD Storefront
4363 West Fuqua St.
Houston, TX 77053

For more information, please contact the HPD Hiram Clarke Storefront at 713-433-2720. The Hiram Clarke HPD Storefront hours are 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Brays Oaks PIP Meeting (every 3rd Tuesday of the month at 7:00 p.m.)
Braeburn HPD Storefront
7576 West Bellfort Ave.
Houston, TX 77071

For more information, please contact the HPD Braeburn Storefront at 832-394-7555. The Braeburn HPD Storefront hours are 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Any Annual Civic Association Meetings Planned on the Horizon?

The Spring and Fall season is the time of year a significant number of civic associations host their annual civic association meetings. Since coming into office, Council Member Green has continued to make a commitment to visit every civic association within the District. If you are receiving this e-newsletter and Council Member Green has yet to attend your annual civic association meeting, please contact the District K office at 832-393-3016 or districtK@hosutontx.gov to schedule an appointment.

Has Your Civic Association Been Updated with the District K Council Office?

Update your civic association contacts with the District K council office. If your civic association has recently elected new officers, changed the primary contact person, new e-mail address, new contact number and/or new or changed meeting location, time, and date, please take a moment to update your contact info with the District K council office.
Periodically, the District K office sends pertinent information about District K news and City of Houston topics of information relating to your neighborhood and neighborhood association. To ensure you and your civic association receives this information, we need you to update your contact info. Thank you for your help and your interest in District K.

Applications Now Open for City of Houston Summer Jobs

The City of Houston has just announced that it has more than 450 summer jobs available for students between the ages of 16 and 21 years of age. It’s is a great opportunity to “learn and earn” while making $8 or more an hour. Students can start applying today, and the final deadline is March 20. The positions offer at least 32 hours a week from June 12 to Aug. 3.

City departments now hiring include:
Library Operations
Houston Police Department
Park Maintenance
Parks Community Centers
Houston Fire Department
Information Technology
Houston Health Department
For a complete list of departments and to apply, visit www.houstontx.gov/summerjobs. Questions? Email SummerJobs@serhouston.org or call 713-773-6004 or 832-393-6148.

Receive Plat and Permit Reports by E-Mail

The City of Houston economy is picking up steam. With this increase is a number of development activities within the District. Keep up with development and construction projects in your neighborhood. Sign up for the City’s E-Plat summary report and the E-Permit report to find out about plat and permit applications.

The Plat Summary E-Report contains information about the plats, replats, variances, and special exceptions to plats that will be considered at the upcoming Planning Commission meeting. The report provides locational, plat, and applicant information for each application in an Excel format that can be easily scrolled through, or sorted, based on particular data, such as council district.

The Houston Planning Commission meets every other Thursday at 2:30 p.m. in City Hall Annex Chambers, 900 Bagby St. unless otherwise posted.

The Plat Summary E-Report is usually sent out approximately a week before Planning Commission meets, while the Planning Commission Agenda is posted three days in advance of Planning Commission meetings on the Planning & Development Department website (www.houstonplanning.com).

The Permit E-Report provides information regarding any new construction, remodeling, or change-of-use permits by zip-code in an effort to inform citizens of activity in their neighborhoods. This E-Report is e-mailed every Monday.

To sign up, click here.

Express Toll Lanes Underway for SH 288

SH 288 has begun construction on an express toll lane that will involve the construction of four new tolled lanes within the existing median, eight new tolled direct connectors providing connectivity with the Sam Houston Tollway, new tolled direct connectors connecting SH 288 to Holcombe Blvd. near the Texas Medical Center and the reconstruction of eight direct connectors at I-610.

When this $815 million construction project is complete, motorists will have the option to use the Express Toll Lanes for a faster, more reliable commute, or the free general purpose lanes along 10.3 miles between US 59 and Harris/Brazoria county line at Clear Creek.The SH 288 expansion will include three major interchanges:
Beltway 8, which will include (8) direct connector/ramp bridges
Loop 610, which will include (8) direct connector/ramp bridges
The Texas Medical Center, which will include (2) direct connector/ramp bridges
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), with SH 288 Express Toll Lane Project team developer Blueridge Transportation Group (BTG) and project contractor team Almeda-Genoa Constructors (A-GC), will oversee the construction of this highway project. The project is expected to be complete in mid/late 2019.

For more information about this highway project, contact Raynese Edwards at raynese@btg288.com.

United Way Community Building Grants Program

Last year, the District K office facilitated a Neighborhood 101 symposium that addressed the United Way Community Building Grants Program. The United Way of Greater Houston created a fund that focuses on community-building initiatives. This program provides grants from $1,000 to $10,000 for short term projects or one-time expenses that will have a positive impact in the community.

A strong candidate for a Community Building Grant award:
1) serves a health, community, and/or human service purpose;
2) is a one-time purchase or short-term project;
3) generates community interest and volunteer participation;
4) leaves a lasting, positive impact on the community.

Examples of projects may include: refurbishing a playground, cleaning up a dilapidated lot, painting a community center, constructing a ramp to allow wheelchair accessibility, or creating a public art project. More details will be provided at the mandatory Funding Conference (please see dates on the next page).

Eligible groups must be nonprofit organizations that have been in existence for at least two years and provide services in Harris, Fort Bend, Montgomery, or Waller Counties. This may include: neighborhood organizations, civic groups, environmental groups, scouting troops, schools, churches, fraternal organizations, arts groups, clubs, volunteer initiatives, membership organizations, and other similar groups. All applicants must provide the most recently completed and filed