This Week at City Hall

Apr. 26, 2013Office of Council Member Ellen Cohen

Development Ordinance Updated

Chapter 42 in the City’s Code of Ordinances governs development in Houston. To spur growth in under-developed areas outside Loop 610, amendments to this ordinance that will create a uniform set of guidelines for the entire city were voted on by Council. Important tools have also been created for neighborhoods to protect themselves from unwanted development. Though the majority of District C is located inside the Loop, and will be less affected by these amendments, the District C neighborhoods outside the Loop may see changes. Council Member Cohen and the City’s Planning Department will be co-hosting a town hall in May to explain these updates and answer constituent questions.

Development Town Hall
Thursday, May 9th, 2013
6:30pm – 8:00pm

Oak Forest Elementary School
1401 W. 43rd St.
Houston, TX 77018

National Crime Victims’ Rights Week

Over 20 victims’ rights advocate groups gathered at City Hall to be honored by Council for the critical services they provide for Houstonians in need. April 21–27 is designated as National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, a time to recognize the protections crime victims need to rebuild their lives, and also to acknowledge those who fight for these protections.

On the Agenda

The Houston Forensic Science Center was created last year to provide an independent facility that can perform forensic science services, such as fingerprint analysis and DNA testing. Although still in the beginning stages, the creation of the Forensics Center represents a major step forward for both technology and transparency in our city. Since the City’s current contract for latent fingerprint processing will expire by the end of June 2013, Council approved a one-year extension of this contract to allow for a smooth transition of lab testing during the interim until the Forensics Center is fully operational.  This additional spending authority will also eliminate the remaining backlog of approximately 3,700 property crimes cases requiring latent print analysis.

What’s Happening in the Annex

Earlier this year, Council Member Cohen and stakeholders from District C’s most congested neighborhoods met with a team of experts who are developing a Parking Management Strategic Plan for Houston. This week, they received an update on Phase I of this project, which included a study to gain a detailed understanding of the current parking situation in our city. During Phase II, the parking needs and goals will be outlined for each of the unique urban neighborhoods and business districts throughout central Houston, and with community input, neighborhood-specific action plans will be developed with this data.