November 30, 2023

Elevating Our Drainage Standards and Flood Damage Prevention Regulations

There are three aspects to our flood mitigation efforts:  local, regulatory and regional.  While, as the name implies, our ongoing Regional Drainage Improvement Program fits squarely within that third category, one of the deliverables in the first phase scope of work is very much regulatory in nature.  Over the past several months the Program engineering team has assisted staff and our citizen Building and Standards Commission in proposing revisions to our drainage design and flood damage prevention regulations, which have now been adopted by Council.

It was, candidly, a tedious and highly technical (some would say boring) deliberation, which made it easy to lose sight of what these amendments are all about.  The major takeaways are that (1) based on best available science (i.e., the most updated floodplain maps), new homes will generally have to be built one foot higher than the minimum required currently; and (2) we’ve now formally incorporated the commercial drainage standards, borrowed from the City of Houston, that we’ve historically utilized but not previously codified, to go along with our existing residential drainage standards.

November 13, 2023

Euthanasia Policy, Dog Pound Update

Our city departments work hard, day in and day out, to deliver the high quality of services residents and stakeholders expect.  They are committed to doing so with transparency, and often in close partnership with the community when appropriate.  Which is why it can be so frustrating that they frequently find themselves having to battle misinformation and dispel rumors, time that could be better spent providing services.

The latest example comes in the form of online postings falsely claiming there’s a new policy under which more dogs would be euthanized at the Bellaire Pound.  It’s a scare tactic, plain and simple, employed by some dog advocates to elicit an emotional response and sense of urgency for fosters and adoptions.  Sure, we all like seeing dogs rescued from the pound, but this isn’t the way to go about it.