Item Coversheet


Meeting Date: 3/21/2017

Item Creation Date:

PLN- Ordinance approving amendments to Chapter 33, Code of Ordinances relating to the Bicycle Master Plan and the Major Thoroughfare & Freeway Plan

Agenda Item#: 37.


ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 33 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES, HOUSTON, TEXAS; adding Article IX relating to major City plans, including the Major Thoroughfare and Freeway Plan; providing for the adoption of the Bicycle Master Plan and creation of the Bicycle Advisory Committee; containing findings and other provisions relating to the foregoing subject; containing a repealer; providing for severability


This was Item 4 on Agenda of March 8, 2017


The Planning and Development Department (P&D) recommends City Council adopt an ordinance amending Chapter 33, Article II and adding Article IX to the Code of Ordinances. The changes will do the following:


- Create a new article, Article IX, in Chapter 33 for major plans;

- Clarify the existing annual processes related to the adoption and amendment of the Major Thoroughfare & Freeway Plan (MTFP), including duties and responsibilities of the P&D director, the director of Public Works & Engineering, the Planning Commission, and City Council;

- Improve the public engagement process for the MTFP by requiring a formal process for the public to submit comments on the adopted MTFP plan and any proposed amendments;

- Clarify the MTFP amendment application process and authorize a future fee to recover amendment processing costs incurred by the City. Note that the creation of the application fee is not part of this action, and consideration of any MTFP application fee requires separate council action in accordance with application of Administrative Policy and Procedure;

- Establish notification requirements and fee for applications to amend the MTFP;

- Create the processes related to the adoption and amendment of the Bicycle Master Plan, including duties and responsibilities of the P&D director, directors of other city departments, the Planning Commission, and City Council;  

- Establish the public engagement processes for the adoption and amendment of the Bicycle Master Plan, including a biennial public review by the Planning Commission for potential updates; and

- Establish a Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) to advise and make recommendations to the Planning Commission and the P&D director on topics related to bicycling. BAC members will be appointed by the Mayor and approved by City Council.


The Houston Planning Commission held a public hearing August 18, 2016 to hear comments from the public on the proposed amendments. Based on comments received, the amendments were revised to improve ordinance clarity, limit administrative authority related to the Bicycle Master Plan, and improve the public engagement process. The Planning Commission voted unanimously on September 1, 2016 to forward the amendments to City Council.


Subsequent to the Planning Commission consideration, additional concerns related to the Chapter 33 amendments were identified during the public comment period of the draft Bicycle Master Plan. P&D and the Administration worked with key stakeholders, including the Super Neighborhood Alliance, BikeHouston, the Houston Coalition for Complete Streets, and the Houston Real Estate Council to address the concerns. These discussions resulted in the codification of the Bicycle Advisory Committee, further improvements to the public engagement process, and clarification of the relationship between the MTFP and the Bicycle Master Plan. The revised amendments were provided to the Planning Commission during the Commission’s consideration of the Bicycle Master Plan on February 2, 2017, and to the City Council Transportation, Technology & Infrastructure Committee on February 13, 2017.






Patrick Walsh, P.E.


Planning and Development Department

Contact Information:

Brian Crimmins, Chief of Staff

Phone: (832) 393-6533

CoversheetSigned Cover sheet