The structure of the city of Katy’s departments and staff is changing to include a newly created community development department. On Aug. 8, City Council approved an ordinance to create the department effective Aug. 15, along with a new community development director and an executive director of public works and community development position.

According to City Administrator Byron Hebert, the community development department would oversee the building and permits, and planning departments. Works out of this office would include geographic information system tools, community development and grants.

Need for this department to separate from public works comes as the city prepares future plans for expansion and population growth, Hebert said.

“The new community development department, under the direction of the new [community development] director, will assist in implementing the city’s comprehensive plan, which is currently underway,” Hebert said.

The community development director will plan, direct, manage and oversee the activities and operations of the planning and permit/inspection departments.

The executive director of public works and community development will be responsible for the executive oversight of both the public works and community development departments.

This initiative was championed by Council Member Dan Smith—who advocated for a dedicated staff member concerned with economic development in the city through an overall broader strategy to make the city more small-business-friendly, who would also ease permitting and be a liaison between staff and City Council.

Editor's note: The date the new department becomes effective was updated due to new information from City of Katy sources.