2011 was another year of significant progress in the District in all of our service areas. Our seven year journey of District revitalization was most evident when we were notified that the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR) had agreed to our request to use our District boundaries as a distinct geographic area. Why is this important one might ask? For that, a bit of background is needed. When talk of a District first came about seven years ago, the area we now know as the Brays Oaks District was commonly referred to as Fondren Southwest. Early this year we met with the HAR mapping team and presented our case that our community should be recognized as Brays Oaks and not included in the designation of Zone 20, Bellaire South. To our delight we were contacted by HAR in October and notified that our recommendations had been accepted.
During the year we reported on the District expansion to include the remainder of the Braeburn Super Neighborhood and the entirety of the Westbury Subdivision. This change added a new board member, Ms. Cindy Chapman, who you will learn more about in this edition. The expansion will also require updates to our Service and Assessment Plan which was up for renewal in 2012. Through this expansion, new services and plans will grow over time and we invite all of our new community partners in Braeburn and Westbury to attend upcoming board and/or committee meetings and get involved in the District.
If I had to choose one word to express 2011’s advances in Public Safety it would be “Watershed”. Watershed in that it marked a clear division between the days and perception of Fondren SW and the rebirth and realization of the phoenix now established as Brays Oaks. In October we celebrated the grand opening of the South Gessner Patrol Station. We continue to expand our public safety program through creative collaboration and we have partnered with the County Attorney to create a unique partnership that assists us in prosecuting undesirable nuisance businesses who try and operate in the District. We also expanded our after school bus program to include Westbury Christian and the India House. The good news which began in July of 2010 when the Heart of our District – 77071 was named one of the “Top 10 Safest Zip Codes” in Houston continued through 2011 with crime at a six year low.
In environmental and urban design we created a new litter abatement program. In keeping with our promise to make this the best District in Houston, we recognized that additional services were required in terms of litter abatement and general cleaning of the public rights-of-way. In business development we have created the Relocation Houston Program which is an initiative to showcase the District and Houston as an ideal place to work and live. We have hired a professional consultant, Davis Consulting, to assist with this outreach program. As we move forward into 2012 our comprehensive strategy will be tracked to gauge successes of the programs developed.
We hope that you will enjoy reading of all of our successes in this 2011 year in review and look forward to sharing even more good news in the coming year. Our best wishes for a safe and wonderful holiday season and a blessed New Year.