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Vote On Post-Harvey Floodplain Rule Postponed Till April 4

The ordinance would impose stricter regulations on building within the 500 year floodplain, raising construction costs in Houston.

The Houston City Council has approved an agreement with Harris County that will allow its Flood Control District to buy out several houses that got flooded during the Memorial Day flood of 2015.
In this archive image, the Houston City Council approved an agreement with Harris County to allow its Flood Control District to buy out several houses that got flooded during the Memorial Day flood of 2015.

Houston City Council  postponed a vote on Wednesday to change the city’s floodplain ordinance in the wake of Harvey. Several members insisted on a delay to consider amendments and to let more members of the public to weigh in.

The proposed changes include requiring new or redeveloped structures be built at least two feet higher than the 500-year floodplain. That would raise the cost of construction. Currently, the rules only regulate building within the 100-year floodplain.

Mayor Sylvester Turner said he understands the need for debate on such changes, but he insisted the proposal has overwhelming public support. He’s already spoken on the proposal at community meetings in 10 city council districts.

“I asked the question, after going through it, ‘How many are in favor of the changes?’” said Turner. “Most of the people, and in most of the districts well over 90 percent of the people, raised their hands in support.”

Turner announced that he’d speak in the remaining districts ahead of next week’s vote.

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Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media’s business reporter, covering the oil...

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