CITY OF HOUSTON TO LAUNCH TWO NEW PROGRAMS PROMOTING GREEN DEVELOPMENT
Programs are based on Incentives for Green Development report prepared by RGME’s Michael Bloom
The City of Houston has announced the launch of two new programs based on recommendations of the August 2019 Incentives for Green Development study and report – the Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) Awards and Recognition Program and the Expedited Permitting Pilot Program.
Both programs are designed to encourage the implementation of “green” development in Houston.
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 encourage private sector development projects to use GSI design elements, including green roofs, rain garden bioretention systems, permeable pavements, rainwater harvesting urban forests, constructed wetlands and other strategies to manage rainwater and to provide other valuable public benefits, such as shade extreme heat mitigation, pollinator habitat, and pollutant removal.
The City adopted the property tax abatement program in December of 2020 and is now working to implement the final incentive of the four recommended in the 2019 report: creating an integrated set of rules and regulations for GSI.
“We are futureproofing our city,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner in a release announcing the programs. “The creation of the Green Stormwater Infrastructure Awards and the Expedited Permitting Pilot programs set the precedent of recognizing and supporting the developments that have already adopted GSI and resilient measures, and will encourage more to do so in the future.”
More information on all of the incentive programs and how to apply is available at http://www.houstontx.gov/igd/.