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Check out some recent On Forum Statements from citizens

Howard Marblestone inside Sugar Land December 7, 2017, 10:12 AM

Please give close attention to usable Public put ins and take outs of recreational watercraft on the Brazos and Oyster Creek.

Name not shown inside Sugar Land December 1, 2017, 10:11 PM

What an amazing piece of work. Thanks to our citizen led PARCS Board for their effort to deliver a plan for moving Sugar Land forward as a great place for all to live and enjoy the out of doors. Bravo!

Christopher Qualls outside Sugar Land December 1, 2017, 2:50 PM

The plan recognizes that more staff will be needed to support the recommendations for additional programming, events, amenities, etc.; however, it does not include specifics. Using benchmark research on other similar communities and recommendations from other parks and recreation directors, the report should provide general recommendations on the number of full, part-time and seasonal staff required. It also should include recommendations on an organizational chart to define responsibilities of staff as the organization and systems continues to grows.

Name not shown inside Sugar Land November 30, 2017, 4:42 PM

As a native of Richmond and having moved to Sugar Land in 1988, I have seen it all.

I am sad that in Richmond, we did not preserve more of our beautiful historic homes.

That is a main concern for me.

The other big concern is the loss of green space.

I live not far from the “Sugar Factory” and would love to see that be a priority in its development.

I frequent both Eldridge and Memorial parks and feel fortunate to have access to both for daily exercise.

So I guess my main concern is the preservation of as much green space as possible in our growing city.

We recently visited the charming town of Boerne on the outskirts of San Antonio. Their visitor’s center will soon be relocated. It is currently located in a charming historic building just off the main road.

Directly behind this beautiful property, complete with old oaks, is a Walmart store.

I could not help but envisioning in my mind’s eye how the property probably used to be “out in the country.”

We need to preserve our history and our green spaces. We do not have much of either left.

The loss of the Palms theater is an example of what should not be done.

KEITH STEPHENS inside Sugar Land November 30, 2017, 10:50 AM

If we have not already done so please take a look at what has been done up in the Dallas area

This is a nice model of what could be done in our area....

Name not shown inside Sugar Land November 29, 2017, 10:59 AM

I can't wait for the improvements to get underway. I think the plan looks great and is comprehensive. However, and I may have missed this, I would like to ensure that there are safe walking and biking paths to not only the parks and recreation centers, but to the key shopping and community services e.g. to the library, town center, neighborhood schools. Currently there is no safe way to bike from Telfair to the library because there is no bike or pedestrian path from University Blvd to the library. Please ensure safe bike and pedestrian access is included in the plans.

thank you.

John McNamee inside Sugar Land October 23, 2017, 3:47 PM

I would like to enter the following comments and observations with regard to the draft Land Use Plan document (the "Plan").

Good Points of the Plan:
• It promotes the protection of existing neighborhoods and places a priority on preserving the suburban design that has made Sugar Land a desirable place to live.
• It promotes the preservation of historic neighborhoods. However, it does not provide sufficient detail about how the process should be implemented.
• The proposed cottage style close-spaced housing areas provide single family housing options for senior adults to age in place without the traditional demands of yard care. They also provide privacy and independence not found in high density high-rise structures. Many senior citizens in this area are used to living in a single family setting and find high-rise apartment or condominium type living unappealing. This design also promotes the goal of more walkable neighborhoods and increases the housing density of land use without the extreme high density of traditional townhomes or condominiums. This type of development should be counted toward the Plan's goal of 12% higher density housing.
• It calls for cooperative communication between the city and school districts to manage growth with respect to school impact.
• It advocates support for the Sugar Land Airport and placing limitations on the type of construction allowed near the airport is very encouraging. However, to that end, I am concerned that development off the south end of the runway, across Highway 90, is encroaching too close to the departure path of the runway. (Refer to Land Use Map, page 99) The current corridor for lateral spacing may meet FAA standards, but is too narrow for long-term cohabitation between the airport and the surrounding structures. Other cities, such as Santa Monica in California, have experienced significant conflict between their citizens and the airport because they allowed development too close to the approach and departure lanes from their city-owned airport.

Points of Concern:
• The plan advocates a limitation of 12% of residential construction for high-density multi-family type structures in both the existing city and the planned ETJ annexation areas. However, the current multi-family percentage of 9.7% considers only the existing city limits. The ETJ areas have a very low percentage of multi-family construction. Since the ETJ addition represents approximately a 40% expansion of the city, a 12% limit would represent a very significant increase in high-density structures. The Plan limit should be lowered to 10%.
• Some of the listed areas for redevelopment into a NAC are long and narrow, and may not allow sufficient set back to adjacent neighborhoods to allow for mid or high-rise construction. The Plan, and the Planning and Zoning Commission must take a position to protect the neighborhoods in lieu of allowing any variances to height restrictions.
• The implementation of store fronts and offices in redevelopment planning should be limited to Activity Centers and not in residential infill.
• The plan recommends a considerable development of pedestrian trails in existing parks and through neighborhoods. Often referred to as "hike and bike" trails, they assume that both pedestrians and cyclists will use them. However, as experience in other cities has shown, this often results in considerable conflict between pedestrians and bicycles, often leading to accidents and safety issues. Unless the City can provide separate lanes, or find a way to allow for the mixed use to coexist, the widespread development of such trails may be problematical.
• Section 7 b of the Plan (reference Figure 19) discussed the establishment of pedestrian and bicycle pathways within existing cul-de-sac neighborhoods. The assumption is that such pathways would encourage walking between sections of the neighborhood. This is doubtful since most people wish to commute to the public amenities (i.e. stores, businesses, etc.) on the major streets and not to other private dwellings across a neighborhood. Such pathways would be expensive, difficult to build and provide little use to the citizens.
• The plan devotes a great deal of discussion to maximizing taxable value of land and development. While it is important for the city's long term financial stability to have a viable tax base, it appears that the main message of the Plan is to maximize tax revenue as opposed to preserving the value and viability of our neighborhoods. To follow the logic of the discussion, we should encourage the eventual elimination of any single family development in favor of all high density development. This is especially true in the sections on infill and redevelopment of older neighborhoods. I think this conveys the wrong message to the citizens and gives the P&Z Commission subliminal marching orders to promote only higher density development planning.
• The plan does not place any limitation on the total number of housing units within any Activity Center or MDMU building for an infill or redevelopment project. There should be a limitation on the maximum number of units that can be incorporated into any area, both in terms of each structure and in multiple structures within a project.

In conclusion, the current draft of the Plan is an improvement over previous attempts, but still requires considerable input on the part of citizens and the Planning and Zoning Commission. Unfortunately, current city standards, such as the Development Code, create potential problems. For example, the requirement that mid-rise construction within Activity Centers be a minimum of four stories high is a significant conflict with the intent of the set-back provisions. Many of the "inspiration" photographs used in the Land Use Plan show mid-rise structures less than four stories high, which is a direct conflict with the current standard. The Development Code standard should be revised to eliminate the minimum height requirement.

Name not shown inside Sugar Land October 23, 2017, 2:59 PM

I support a 10% cap, not a 12% cap, on the total number of multi-family units as a percentage of the total number of housing units in the City and ETJ. Based on a document provided by the Planning Department at a January 2016 P&Z Meeting, Sugar Land currently has 9.7% multi-family residential units as a percentage of the total housing units. Based on the stated population, that statistic excludes Greatwood and New Territory. After the December annexation, the number of total housing units will significantly increase, and almost all of the increase will be from single-family homes. Thus, if there is a 12% cap on the total number of multi-family units as a percentage of the total housing units in the City and ETJ, this will allow far more than a 20% increase in apartments and condos.

Dan Weber inside Sugar Land October 23, 2017, 11:32 AM

As a 17 year resident of Sugar Land, I would like to contribute the following comments to the Land Use Advisory Committee:

1. Given the recent developments dealing with Hurricane Harvey, I would like to see specific wording which addresses the impact of current / future development on managing drainage and flooding. In the draft there are vague mentions of this topic. I prefer to see something specific.

2. I prefer setting a cap on the total number of multi-family units as a percentage of the total housing units in the City and ETJ at 10%. Doing so would keep the percentage of multi-family units from growing significantly and possibly prevent high density population corridors - which in my opinion would lead to future hot spots of crime, traffic, infrastructure needs and property devaluation of the surrounding area(s).

Ray French inside Sugar Land October 22, 2017, 9:06 PM

As a 24-year resident of Sugar Land, I would like to contribute the following comments:
1. Overall the draft Land Use Plan is well presented and documented, reflecting the good work of the Land Use Advisory Committee.

2. The draft Land Use Plan does not address the impact of development/redevelopment on drainage/flooding. In the Vision section, there are a few brief mentions of “floods” (p. 50), “flood plain” (p.58) and “storm water management” (p. 55), but considering recent events, residents would expect a more in-depth discussion.

3. Having “Protecting Single-family Neighborhoods” as the first goal is good to see and reflects the priorities of most current residents.

4. Page 71 includes a formula for the maximum number of dwelling units permitted in an Activity Center: “3 dwelling units per developable acre”. It is quite helpful that under the section for each Regional and Neighborhood Activity Center, the maximum number of dwelling units under this formula is explicitly stated.

5. Specifying a cap on the total number of multi-family units as a percentage of the total housing units in the City and ETJ is a good step. Having this cap as part of the plan should, at least, provide a good starting point for objection if any parties try to ignore/exceed the cap. The value of 12% is difficult to assess without knowing what is the current value. In an agenda for a P&Z meeting of January 12, 2016, there is a table which suggests that the value at that time was 9.7%. So, a cap of 10% would seem reasonable, as that would keep the percentage of multi-family units from growing significantly. In contrast, a cap of 12% would allow more than a 20% increase in the percentage of multi-family units relative to the current percentage.