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Tools to Track Permit Applications for Developments Near You

Have you ever been flooded by a new development? Did you learn about the development AFTER bulldozers started knocking down trees? There’s a much better way. The City of Houston offers several tools to help you track applications for new developments long before the bulldozers start belching diesel fumes.

GIS PlatTracker Map

The first is an interactive, color coded GIS map that shows the status of all permit applications in the City and its ETJ (extra-territorial jurisdiction). The ETJ extends well beyond the boundaries of the City. Going up 45, it extends to 242. Going up 59, it extends to Roman Forest.

City of Houston PlatTracker map for Northeast Houston and Lake Houston Area as of 4/30/2020

If someone has applied for a permit to develop a piece of land, it will show up on the map. Notice the purple areas along the West Fork west of the Kingwood Country Club. That’s how I learned about the reactivation of Romerica’s plans.

The color of the parcels corresponds to the stage of the application. Clicking on the parcel pulls up an information panel that gives you more history including the date the developer submitted the application, when it will be reviewed, the review stage, and more.

Zoom in and out as wide as you want. Just be aware that the wider you zoom, the longer it takes the screen to refill with all the plat information. There’s a lot more of it!

As I zoomed out around Kingwood, the number of new developments that I was unaware of shocked me. If you want to see humongous changes, look south of Humble, east to Huffman, west to Spring, and north to Porter and New Caney. Kingwood is a relative island of quiet in a sea of change.

Other Related Interactive Maps

The PlatTracker Plat Map is just one of thirty other interactive maps that you can use to explore and monitor the City around you. They include, but are not limited to:

  • Land use
  • Water flood hazards
  • Governmental boundaries
  • Demographics
  • Annexation history
  • Address and Permit Information

PlatTracker Agenda/Spreadsheet

Once you have identified a development you are interested in, another site can help you learn more about when the Houston Planning Commission will consider applications related to the site. It will also give you:

  • Subdivision plat name
  • Application Number
  • Date Submitted
  • Subdivision type
  • Variance requests
  • Location on the Commission’s agenda
  • County
  • Council district
  • Precinct
  • Census Tract
  • Zip Code
  • School district
  • TIRZ (tax increment reinvestment zone) if any
  • Superneighborhood Council
  • Land Use
  • Number of Lots
  • Acreage
  • Appraisal district numbers
  • Developer Name
  • Applicant Company
  • Applicants Name
  • Phone Number

You can even download the latest documents related to the application.

For Planning Commission meeting dates and agendas, click here.

Situational Awareness for Concerned Citizens

Wow. Everything you need to put your mind at ease. Or stage a protest. All at your fingertips.

These are great tools for concerned residents and citizen activists.

I’m sure a lot of Elm Grove residents wish they had known about these tools before the bulldozers started knocking down trees in Woodridge Village.

For future reference, I’ve added links for these sites within ReduceFlooding’s Links Page under the Community heading.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 4/30/2020

975 Days since Hurricane Harvey