Hiram Clarke – South Post Oak TIRZ (#9) Expands Its Boundary

larry-green-tirzThe South Post Oak Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ #9), better known as the Corinthian Pointe development TIRZ has officially expanded its boundary to annex approximately 149 additional acres into the Zone. City Council approved the measure unanimously.

The South Post Oak TIRZ (#9) was created by City ordinance in 1997. Following the passage of the TIRZ creation, City Council also approved a Project Plan for the Zone. In 1999, City Council authorized the creation of the South Post Oak Redevelopment Authority to implement the Plan.

“With the expanded annexation of TIRZ #9 beyond its small geographical boundary, the TIRZ can now begin to capture undeveloped land that is ripe for development purposes while increasing the taxable value within this area,” states Council Member Green.

In addition to the approved TIRZ expansion, the TIRZ Board of Directors had to approve a proposed amendment to the existing Project Plan. The amended Plan outlines the added 149 acres to the existing Zone that will further enhance the roadway infrastructure, pedestrian access, general mobility, and increase mobility. The South Post Oak Redevelopment Authority will continue to implement the Project Plan and the Reinvestment Zone Financing Plan for the TIRZ; to develop a policy for the financing and construction of public infrastructure improvements necessary for the development of mixed use, residential, commercial, retail and other related land uses within the zone; and to develop and implement a development policy for the Zone. The South Post Oak Redevelopment Authority Board shall consist of the same members of the TIRZ #9 Board.

“I’m delighted that the TIRZ #9 Board was able to expand its border to further promote economic development for the TIRZ.” I want to thank Algenita Scott-Davis, TIRZ #25 Board Chairperson, for working diligently with her Board colleagues and the City of Houston Office of Economic Development to see this process through,” states Council Member Green.

District K Celebrates A Klean It Up/Green It Up Event

klean-it-upThe District K office celebrated a community Klean It Up/Green It Up wildflower planting event earlier this month in partnership with the Houston Parks Dept. The wildflower planting event occurred in two (2) locations within the Hiram Clarke community. One planting took place at Townwood Park (3403 Simsbrook Dr.); and the other location occurred along the vast esplanades of West Orem Dr. from Almeda Rd. to Hiram Clarke Rd. The volunteers that participated in the event included youth and seniors.

The Townwood Park planting was a collaboration with the Houston Parks Dept. and the Houston Parks Board as part of the annual Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Planting Project. This event consisted of spreading wildflower seeds along the banks of Sims Bayou as part of the Bayou Greenway initiative. The West Orem Dr. esplanade planting was coordinated by the Houston Parks Dept.

“I am most appreciative the District K council office was able to partner with the Houston Parks Dept. and the Houston Parks Board to support this wildflower planting event. Events like this will make a better Houston and a more beautiful District K,” states Council Member Green. “Last year, we planted over 2,000 trees throughout the District. This year we are planting more trees and adding wildflowers to our Klean It Up/Green It Up campaign. Enhancing the quality of life for District K residents is a top priority for me. One way to accomplish this is by partnering with other agencies that share the same aesthetic goal.”

Council Member Green Demolishes Another Dilapidated Structure within District K

demolish-structureEarlier this month, Council Member Green, in partnership with the Dept. of Neighborhoods, demolished another unsound, dilapidated residential structure. The demolished property was located at 5162 Wickview Lane within the Briarwick subdivision of the Hiram Clarke community.

Promoting public safety and enhancing the quality of life for residents are top priorities for Council Member Green. One way to accomplish this is by eliminating blighted, hazardous buildings within District K neighborhoods. In addition, this demolition is part of the District K Klean It Up/Green It Up initiative.

The Klean It Up/Green It Up campaign is an initiative focused on beautifying District K through tree plantings, community clean-ups, mini-murals, an increased focus on recycling, and elimination of blighted structures among other green initiatives. The campaign will utilize special events, community partnerships, and a robust social media program to help educate residents on how to make District K a healthier, greener, and more environmentally friendly place to live and raise a family.

Council Member Green states, “I’m excited the District K council office was able to move forward with the demolition of this dangerous building site within the Briarwick subdivision. Over the years, 5162 Wickview Lane has detrimentally plagued this area. Through continually working with the District K council office, this community’s persistence has been notable.”

This demolition event is part of the City of Houston’s demolition initiative, which will include razing a number of dangerous buildings at locations across the city. The initiative will continue until all of the designated structures have been demolished.

Is Westbury Square Up for Redevelopment?

During the past several months, residents of Westbury have noticed a large For Sale sign placard at the Westbury Square commercial site. It looks as if a deal may be in the works for this dilapidated commercial strip center to see new life as a renewed residential community.

westbury developmentThe broker company, Camelot Realty, has not finalized everything as of this date, but the Houston Business Journal has reported that the property is under contract to be sold to the Villas at Westbury Square LLC – a group of developers who have projects in Texas and Florida. The current owner, Alfred Antonini, has put the Westbury Square commercial center up for sale once before; however; this deal may actually come to fruition.

Council Member Green states, “the Westbury community has long-awaited something positive to come out of this derelict property. If this proposed deal happens, it will be a game changer for this prime tract of land. Nestled in the heart of Westbury, the proposed development will be the catalyst for quality retail that is so needed in this community.”

The District K office will continue to monitor the transaction.

Westbury Community Previews Westbury High School Campus Renovations

westbury schoolThe Westbury community got a preliminary snapshot of the proposed additions and renovations under the 2012 bond program for Westbury High School. This public community meeting was organized and coordinated by HISD so the community could provide feedback on early design concepts for this renovation project.

“I’m really excited to see the improvements at Westbury High School. This is a step in the right direction,” acclaimed Becky Edmonson, Westbury Civic Club President and a member of the school’s Project Advisory Team.

The current proposal consists of constructing a new 2-story addition to the existing campus at the corner of Chimney Rock and Dryad. This new building would feature learning centers, new replacement athletic facilities, as well as a commons area that would serve a dual purpose as a new dining cafeteria and gathering space. The assigned architect informed the attendees that the goal is to use the new building to help give the students a state of the art facility to support 21st century learning styles. This would eliminate the need for those temporary buildings located off Burdine St. in back of the campus.

The design team highlighted the relocation of the school’s main campus entrance to a more prominent location which will help create a new identity image for Westbury High School. In addition to a new entry for the campus, there will be other areas within the existing campus renovated to create flexible use for 21st century learning environments in both the new and existing portions of Westbury High School.

As part of the renovation design, HISD officials illustrated that the new baseball and softball complex will be situated along the east side of Gasmer Rd. on non-contiguous property purchased by the District. This new athletic complex is being done in addition to the $40 million bond project. HISD administrators are looking into options to create a safe passage for students to get back and forth to the new athletic complex.

HISD Board is funding a proposal that could add some additional money to all 2012 bond school projects. Since 2012 when Houston voters approved the District’s $1.89 billion bond program, the District has seen an unprecedented and unanticipated spike in construction costs of nearly 40%.

If approved by the HISD Board, the $211 million would be distributed proportionately to each project’s original construction budget to support needs related to the project scope.

District K Offers FREE Spay/Neuter and Pet Wellness Services

barcAgain, the District K office sponsored another successful pet wellness services event. This event was a collaborative sponsorship of BARC, Emancipet, SNAP, and Friends of Life. Like the previous event, the District K office reported an overwhelming positive response to sponsor the event again in the Spring of 2016.

This recent pet wellness services event consisted of 3 District K locations — the Hiram Clarke Multi-Service Center, the Platou Community Center in Chimney Rock Park, and the Marian Park Community Center. Overall, we completed a total of 197 surgeries

For more information about BARC’s spay/neuter pet wellness services, contact the BARC office at 832-395-9003.

HISD Considered Approval of $211 Million for 2012 Bond Program

The Houston Independent School District’s Board will consider a proposal by District administrators to add $211 million in funding to the 2012 bond program this month. The proposal would cover unprecedented and unanticipated inflationary construction costs.

So far, HISD has spent $208 million of the voter-approved funds for the 2012 bond, including $44.5 million on real estate. If approved, HISD would issue $200 million in new maintenance debt. The District K office was told that this new debt would not impact funding for any other school district needs, its credit rating or the tax rates paid by property owners. The remaining balance of $11 million needed to cover the inflation-related construction fund gap would be taken from the reserve fund of the 2007 bond program. Thus, the $211 million would be distributed proportionately to each school project’s original construction budget to support needs related to project scope. Under the 2012 bond the schools in District K that are currently approved are Madison High, Dowling Middle, Parker Elementary, and Westbury High.

For more information on the district’s building programs, please visit www.BuildHISD.org.

National Night Out Was a BIG Hit in District K

nno-2015Across the nation, National Night Out was celebrated on the first Tuesday in August; except for the state of Texas. The Texas date is the first Tuesday in October, due to the heat. However, this didn’t stop the District K civic associations from organizing and coordinating big and small National Night Out events earlier this month. Like the mission of National Night Out, the event encourages community involvement toward building a safer and better neighborhood.

“I want to thank those District K neighborhoods that reached out to the council office to attend their block and neighborhood parties,” states Council Member Green. “This event offered neighbors an opportunity to meet the folks across the street, down the street, and next door as well as celebrate the positive initiatives of your civic association and provide important information about public safety and security concerns.”

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.

Southwest PIP Meeting (every 4th Tuesday of the month at 7:00 p.m.)
Pilgrim Lutheran Church
8601 Chimney Rock Rd.
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 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.

Braeburn 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.

Citizens Invited to Provide Input on HPD Body Camera Policy

This month, Houston Police Chief Charles A. McClelland, Jr. and HPD commanders hosted a community meeting to answer questions and accept input on the Department’s draft policy for outfitting all police officers with body worn cameras. The meeting was held at the Moody Park Community Center on the northside of Houston.

Chief McClelland spoke on the importance of citizens being informed on the body camera policy on the HPD YouTube channel.

HPD began outfitting officers with body cameras in December 2013 when 100 cameras were purchased and distributed to officers in a pilot program. With much of the funding secured to purchase body cameras for all officers, HPD is aiming to roll out more cameras before the end of this calendar year.

HPD’s draft policy on use of body cameras is posted on the department’s website. Citizens can continue to provide input by e-mailing their comments thru Monday, October 26.

City Offering Pro-Bono Legal help for Small Business

Obtaining legal advice for small businesses can be costly and stressful. The City of Houston’s Office of Business Opportunity announced a partnership with the Association of Pro Counsel (APBCO), Vinson &Elkins, LLP, and community organizations to establish the “Virtual Legal Lab”. The Virtual Legal Lab gives small businesses the opportunity to schedule one-on-one Skype sessions to ask questions with pro-bono attorneys.

The Virtual Legal Lab will be hosted on the following dates:
October 28, 2015
November 18, 2015
December 9, 2015
December 16, 2015

To make an appointment for the Virtual Legal Lab or for more information, please go to www.houstontx.gov/obo and click on Virtual Legal Lab.

CASE for Kids City Connections

case for kidsCoordinated by Harris County Department of Education (HCDE), the CASE for Kids Division (The Center for After-School, Summer and Expanded Learning) is to strengthen, support and sustain after-school programs and out-of-school time activities. CASE believes a quality out-of-school time program provides avenues for opportunities for youth to excel, explore, and expand their horizons before school, after school, on weekends, and during the summer.

CASE for Kids City Connections, is a new initiative funded directly by the City of Houston to support organizations that address the need for youth services outside the school day. Projects will take place in a variety of locations including schools, community centers, and churches. Grants are designed to 1) meet individual City Council district need and 2) provide prevention-based programming that addresses gaps in services to youth. Proposed projects must serve youth in grades K-12 before school, after school, on weekends or during summer hours. Some examples of out-of-school time activities that could possibly be funded through this new youth initiative include robotics camps, homework assistance, cheerleading/dance groups,and team sports.

The District K office recognized two (2) organizations that received CASE funding through this initiative. The organizations are PAIR which was award $2,250 and Young Audiences of Houston which was awarded $1,890.

To be eligible for funding, applicants are required to be a nonprofit organization designated by the IRS as having 501(c) 3 status for at least one year prior to August 2015. Applications will also be accepted from, established charter schools, faith-based organizations, or civic groups. All applicants must serve youth located in the city of Houston.

To apply for funding, interested organizations will submit two documents for review and a formal application to CASE for Kids. CASE for Kids will review applications by city council district and will consult with each Houston City Council Members to make final selections for funding.

Grant awards will range from $2,000-$10,000. New funding will be provided to out-of-school time organizations next Spring. Applications are due by January 29, 2016 for funding availability from March 1 to May 31. Application forms and guidelines can be downloaded on the CASE for Kids website: www.afterschoolzone.org. For more information on City Connections, please contact CASE for Kids at 713-696-1331.

Trees For Houston Offers Trees for Schools Program

Trees for Houston is sponsoring its Our Trees For Schools Program to provide and plant much needed trees on Houston area school campuses. Providing far more than shadier sidewalks, this program fosters a sense of pride and cooperation both in the students and in their surrounding communities. Participating schools are identified and selected based on recommendations from parents, teachers, principals and district administrators.

Once the candidate school has been selected, the campus grounds are surveyed in order to determine both the adequate number and appropriate species of trees that should be planted. As with all Trees For Houston plantings, the trees are maintained and monitored by Trees for Houston for two years to ensure survival.

Averaging about 25 campuses a year, Trees for Houston has planted nearly 40,000 trees at Houston area schools. These trees foster pride and cooperation in the students and their community.

To request trees at a school, contact Trees for Houston at 713-840-8733. To access the Trees for Schools Program form, e-mail [email protected].