Jersey Village City Council moves forward with tax investment plan for Jersey Village Crossing

A draft indicates the proposed boundaries for the Jersey Village Crossing TIRZ.[/caption]

Jersey Village City Council unanimously voted to establish a Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone for the 274-acre Jersey Village Crossing area following a public hearing at last night's council meeting.

The TIRZ will allow the city to take tax revenue generated in Jersey Village Crossing and place it into a separate fund that can be used for structural improvements and enhanced infrastructure in that area. It will exist for a period of 30 years.

Jersey Village Crossing covers the area south of Hwy. 290 around Jones Road in Jersey Village. Several businesses and companies already exist within it, but a lot of the property is vacant and city officials said they hope to attract more quality family-oriented retail, dining and entertainment options.

"The idea behind the Jersey Crossing is a mixed-use development," City Manager Austin Bleess said. "High-end retail and office space is the goal behind that with associated residential units. A sustainable development that provides the residents of Jersey Village with more retail choices, job opportunities and more residential options is what economic trends show is desired."

Economic development, including in Jersey Village Crossing, was a major goal in the city's 2015 comprehensive plan, Bleess said.

"Jersey Village can expect reasonable growth over the next 30 years, with ongoing demand for both residential and non-residential real estate," he said. "The Jersey Crossing site would capture a fair share of that growth so long as it includes a mix of mutually reinforcing land uses for both day and night."

In comments supporting the TIRZ, Councilman Andrew Mitcham said it will allow Jersey Village to compete with other cities that use similar economic development tools, including Tomball and Sugar Land.

The development is expected to be the location of a light rail stop in the future, as laid out in plans by the Metropolitan Transit Organization of Harris County. However, it is unclear when the light rail project will begin, and city officials said business development will likely take place first.

The plan will also eventually require the annexation of some of the city's extra-territorial jurisdiction, including properties around Wright Road.

Several residents expressed concerns during the public comment period of the July 17 meeting, many of which centered around how the TIRZ board would operate.

Bleess clarified that seven-person board would feature at least five members appointed by city council and up to two members appointed by Harris County if the county chooses to participate. The overall financial plan for the TIRZ, as well as any projects, use of bonds or eminent domain, would have to be approved by council, he said.

The creation of the TIRZ follows council's unanimous adoption of several other economic development programs at its June meeting that will take effect citywide, including property and sales tax abatements to incentivize certain businesses to build in Jersey Village.

A draft of the TIRZ financial plan was made available to the public before the public hearing, and a final version could be adopted at the Aug. 21 council meeting, Bleess said.

Residents still concerned about flooding


Residents at the July council meeting also used the public comment period to discuss the city's ongoing efforts to mitigate flooding. The city brought in Dannenbaum Engineering Corporation to conduct a long-term flood study, and engineers presented their proposal to the city in June.

Resident Fred Ziehe asked council to have Dannenbaum take a closer look at the White Oak Bayou bypass, which was built in 2010 with the purpose of directing flood water around the city. He said the bypass no longer slopes in the right direction near the city, causing water to back up and flood the main channel.

Although earlier studies conducted by the U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers showed the bypass functioned properly, Ziehe and others said a fresh study was needed to see if that was still the case.

"[Dannenbaum] told us that surveying the bypass was not part of their study, and I was flabbergasted that they would not do that," Ziehe said. "I think this [study] should acknowledge that people have seen water flowing in the wrong direction. We are asking the city and Dannenbaum to resurvey that to see if it has changed since it was built in 2010."

A final set of recommendations from Dannenbaum could be adopted as early as the Aug. 21 meeting.

 
By Shawn Arrajj
Shawn Arrajj serves as the editor of the Cy-Fair edition of Community Impact Newspaper where he covers the Cy-Fair and Jersey Village communities. He mainly writes about development, transportation and issues in Harris County.


MOST RECENT

Eleven days after officials across Harris County's criminal justice system met to discuss how to alleviate overcrowding at the county jail during the coronavirus pandemic, progress has been "excruciatingly slow," according to the Harris County Sheriff's Office. (Courtesy Brian Jackson/Adobe Stock)
Progress 'excruciatingly slow' on effort to address overcrowding at Harris County Jail

"I know it is keeping many of us awake at night, and it should. It absolutely should," said U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal, who is presiding over an ongoing lawsuit dealing with the county's felony bail practices.

Harris County continues to report more confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Cy-Fair area. (Community Impact staff)
2,610 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Cy-Fair from Jan. 20-26

In the past seven days, 2,610 new cases have been confirmed locally, and eight Cy-Fair residents have died due to the virus.

Hungry Howie's Pizza's newest location is on West Road in the Cy-Fair area. (Courtesy Hungry Howie's Pizza)
Hungry Howie’s Pizza opens new location on West Road in Cy-Fair

Diners who register in advance can get a free junior pizza at today's pre-opening event.

Texas Medical Center offers coronavirus updates

More than 118,000 people have received their first shot.

Harris County Flood Control District is planning to submit preliminary flood plain maps to the Federal Emergency Management Agency in late 2021. (Kelly Schafler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Harris County's preliminary flood plain maps to be released in late 2021

The new flood insurance rates in Harris County could take effect in 2023 or 2024.

Cleaning products are stored in a Cy-Fair ISD campus custodian closet. (Courtesy Cy-Fair ISD)
378 new COVID-19 cases reported in Cy-Fair ISD schools Jan. 18-24

This is the highest number of cases confirmed in any given week since the start of the school year, up from 298 cases the previous week.

From left: Edward Leutsch, Nina Hermann and Rodney Alexander were among the first Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital patients to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. (Photos courtesy Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital)
Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital patients age 75 and older begin receiving vaccinations

Many of the patients eligible to get vaccinated in the past week said they have missed spending time with loved ones in person and were eager for this first dose.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced the opening of a COVID-19 vaccine waitlist at a Jan. 25 press conference. (Screenshot courtesy Facebook)
Harris County to open waitlist for COVID-19 vaccines Jan. 26

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo warned that vaccine supply remains "extremely limited," and it will still take time for those waitlisted to get an appointment.

Harris County Emergency Services District No. 11 filed a counterclaim against Cypress Creek EMS on Jan. 22. (Andy Li/Community Impact Newspaper)
Harris County ESD No. 11 issues counterclaim against Cypress Creek EMS for $20 million

According to the counterclaim, the district is suing Cypress Creek Emergency Medical Services for about $20 million in “missing and stolen taxpayer funds.”

Harris County Emergency Services District No. 11 met Jan. 21 at its new administrative offices. (Andy Li/Community Impact Newspaper)
Harris County Emergency Services District No. 11 lays groundwork for 911 dispatching plans

Cypress Creek EMS currently serves as a dispatch facility for 17 emergency agencies.

(Courtesy The Connection School of Houston)
A guide to Cy-Fair private schools in 2021

See extracurricular activities offered, current enrollment and tuition rates at local private schools.