If you live in the City of Houston or within its extra-territorial jurisdiction (ETJ), the City provides an easy way for you to track the progress of new developments near you.
Step One: Go To the Plat-Tracker Map
The City provides an interactive map based on geographic information system (GIS) technology. In your browser, go to a website called Houston Plat Tracker Plats. GIS maps translate database information into a familiar map format.
- After navigating to the site, scroll and zoom to your area of interest.
- Select a base map to suit your taste. Choose from satellite views, street maps, topographic maps and more. Do this by clicking on the four squares in the upper left hand corner.
- Turn on the layers that interest you. Choose from City Limits, Council Districts, Management Districts, TIRZs (tax increment reinvestment zones), ETJ, historical districts, and more. Do this by clicking on the layers icon next to the base map icon.
- With the tools in the upper right corner, you can draw on the map, measure distance and direction, print, bookmark and share.
- By now, the map should be populated with a mass of color-coded outlines.
- Click on any colored area to find background information about it, such as the developer and the application number. At the bottom of the informational pop-up box, there’s an interactive link to the City’s Planning Department website where you can learn more about the project.
Step Two: Look Up More on the City Planning Department Website
The City Planning Department website offers much more information about projects that may concern you, especially if they are coming up for a vote in the Planning Commission. Here you’ll find interactive and PDF spreadsheets that list which projects will be considered in the next meeting of the Planning Commission. The site also lists the:
- Subdivision plat name
- Application Number
- When the developer submitted files
- Subdivision Plat type
- Whether a variance request exists
- The location of the issue on the agenda
- County, City, Council District, Precinct
- Key Map code
- Census Tract
- Zip Code
- School District
- Address of the development.
- TIRZ, Management District, Historic Districts if applicable
- Super Neighborhood Council
- Park Sector
- Proposed Land Use
- Property Size
- Number of Lots
- Appraisal District ID
- Applicant Company
- Applicant’s Name
- Applicants Phone
- Subdivision Plat with flood zones, if any, superimposed
The Houston Plat Tracker Plats website contains future and past agendas, the planning commission calendar, and development regulations. It also contains a design manual and a host of other tools in case you feel something is amiss.
Finally, it lets you set up an account so you can get notifications of what future meetings will consider.
Possible Step 3
If you find something disturbing, sign up to express your concerns at the Planning Commission, or call your city council person’s office.
You can also request copies of the drainage analysis and construction plans at a certain point in the project.
Informed citizens keep everyone conscientious. No one cares about your home like you! So keep your eyes open for new projects in your neighborhood or upstream.
To learn more about 15 other GIS maps that the City makes available online, visit this start page. You can find fascinating information about land use, demographics, flood hazards and more. Good luck.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 3/17/2021
1296 Days since Hurricane Harvey