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Planning Commission Approves ‘Plan Houston’

It’s now up to the City Council to adopt the city’s first general plan – a strategic vision for a city known for not having zoning laws.



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The unanimous vote by the Planning Commission means the City Council will consider adopting Plan Houston in an upcoming meeting.

This general plan sets a vision for the city, along with strategies to achieve several goals. The tag line says: “Houston: Opportunity. Diversity. Community. Home.”

The plan identifies 32 goals put into nine categories, such as culture, economy, transportation and housing.

But some on City Council are still not clear on what the final effect will be.

“Take the culture/arts,” said council member Jerry Davis at a recent meeting. “They came and showed us a plan and I was able to touch it and look at it and understand where they were going. With this, this is like theory and wishes.”

One of those commenting during the Planning Commission’s hearing Thursday was city council member David Robinson, who is also on the stakeholder committee for the general plan.

Speaking to the board, he addressed his colleague’s concerns.

“I think today, I would challenge you as we go forward towards an implementation that we begin to think about what in fact this might look like in diverse parts of town; how a general plan might really come to bear fruit for our great city,” Robinson said.

A steering committee consisting of governmental entities and organizations like different chambers of commerce developed Plan Houston in less than a year.

If the council adopts it, the city is not obligated to implement the plan. The document is meant to function as a road map.

Houston would join other major U.S. cities that have general plans, including Los Angeles, Chicago and New York.