Harris County residents in the eastern area of Katy will have an opportunity Jan. 20 to meet with their commissioner and contribute to a local community plan and mobility study.

In a nutshell

Harris County Precinct 4 Commissioner Lesley Briones will host the public forum with the hopes of gaining insight from residents on where the biggest gaps and opportunities are to improve transportation, housing, infrastructure and community spaces, Briones said.

“In the unincorporated part of Katy, we have nearly 200,000 residents, and we know that this is one of the fastest-growing areas not only in our precinct but one of the fastest-growing areas in Texas,” she said. “So we need to make sure that the infrastructure we have is ready not only for our current needs but is future ready.”

The event is from noon-2 p.m. at Houston Community College-Katy’s community room, located at 22910 Colonial Parkway, Katy. The event will be set up like a workshop, where attendees can participate in tabling exercises, and view exhibits and maps, said Luis Guajardo, director of planning for Precinct 4.

The background

The feedback from this event will be incorporated into the Katy East Community Plan and Mobility Study, which kicked off in October and is set to move forward throughout this year. The study area includes the portion of unincorporated Harris County south of Clay Road, west of Hwy. 6 and following the county line up to Katy Fort Bend Road, according to the study's website.

Prior to this effort, Briones held a listening tour where she made 12 stops throughout the county—the Katy stop was in November—to hear from community members. With Briones beginning her second year in office, she said these events help her listen to and understand the community's priorities.

Zooming out

Briones said, when complete, the plan will include prioritized project recommendations for various projects, which could include:
  • Roads
  • Parks
  • Sidewalks
  • Safety
  • Flooding
“The end goal is this community-led vision for a comprehensive list of capital projects that will help mobility, connectivity, economic development, reduce flooding, and then we will basically prioritize them based on what we hear from the community,” she said.

Harris County is leading this effort, so funding for the projects will mainly come from the precinct’s five-year capital improvement program budget as well as state and federal grants, Guajardo said.

“We're really excited to dive into this initiative and see where that long-term vision leads us, but we are very action oriented as well,” he said. “So while there will be a long-term vision in this, we are going to be looking at very interim then short-term steps that we need to take as we make capital investments out there.”
The Katy East Community Plan and Mobility Study kicked off in October and is set to move forward throughout this year. (Courtesy Harris County Precinct 4)
The Katy East Community Plan and Mobility Study kicked off in October and is set to move forward throughout this year. (Courtesy Harris County Precinct 4)
What’s next

The Jan. 20 event is the first of three public forums coming to the area for the Katy East Community Plan and Mobility Study. Guajardo said staff plans to release a draft of the project recommendations in April, giving the public and stakeholders an opportunity to provide further comment. The third workshop, which could happen in June, will include updated recommendations, and staff will receive the last round of community comments.

Precinct 4 staff encourage Katy-area community members to participate in an online survey to weigh in on the area's priorities for the study.