Program is one of four recommended in 2019 report prepared by RGME’s Michael Bloom
The City of Houston has announced that it has approved moving forward with one of the four recommendations of the August 2019 Incentives for Green Development study and report.
The new Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) Tax Abatement program is designed to encourage the implementation of GSI in private development. In addition, the city has updated the LEED tax abatement program in order to promote more private development taking advantage of the existing incentive.
The Incentives for Green Development report, which was funded by Houston Endowment, was prepared by Michael F. Bloom, P.E., of R. G. Miller Engineers, in association with Keiji Asakura, PLA, and Abigail Phillips, PLA, of Asakura Robinson Company; Janet Clements of Corona Environmental Consulting; and Alisa Valderrama of Neptune Street Advisors.
The report recommended four incentive programs, including integrated GSI development rules, property tax abatements, an award and recognition program, and increased permitting process certainty and speed. All were designed to promote development using typical GSI design elements including green roofs, rain garden bioretention systems, permeable pavements, rainwater harvesting urban forests, constructed wetlands and other strategies to manage rainwater.
Once the tax abatement application process is underway, the city plans to work toward implementing the remaining three of the report’s recommended incentive programs.
“Storms are coming at greater frequency, intensity, and cost,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner in a release announcing the program. “This is an economic issue. The new Green Stormwater Infrastructure Tax Abatement program is a good start, and in alignment with many of our priorities, including Resilient Houston, Harvey Recovery, and our Climate Action Plan.”
The full Incentives for Green Development report is available at www.houstontx.gov/igd.