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Council Members Criticize General Plan That Would Guide Development In Houston

The Houston City Council discussed the proposed “general plan” for more than three hours Wednesday. The debate turned out to be quite contentious.

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Picture of Houston planning director Patrick Walsh addressing City Council.
Houston planning director Patrick Walsh briefs City Council on Plan Houston.
The city’s Planning Commission approved Plan Houston last month after a steering committee worked on it for about a year.

Its purpose is to set a vision and goals that help city planners be on the same page for projects and policy decisions.

If that sounds vague to you, that’s what some council members argued.

“There wasn’t a proper needs assessment done,” District A Council member Brenda Stardig said. “I come from a project environment where we did curriculum design. This is not a proper document. This is not… This is fluff. If I had turned this in to my executives, they would have laughed at me.”

Patrick Walsh, director of the city’s Planning Department, said the plan should be considered as a starting point.

“This is the first step,” he said. “This just gets the ball rolling. Then we can move forward with the next phase, which is implementation and developing the level of specificity that I’m hearing a lot of council members advocate for.”

The council is scheduled to vote on adopting Plan Houston on Sep. 23.

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