Editor's note: This report has been updated to reflect that House Bill 5334 will require the Cypress Creek Drainage Improvement District's temporary board of directors to receive approval from the city of Houston, not all municipal utility districts in the Cypress Creek watershed.

A bill has been filed in the 88th Texas Legislature proposing the creation of the Cypress Creek Drainage Improvement District. If approved, the bill would take effect Sept. 1.

What happened: State Rep. Sam Harless, R-Spring, filed House Bill 5334 on March 30, according to the Texas Legislature’s website.

If approved in the ongoing 88th legislative session, this bill would:
  • Create a board of five temporary directors; and
  • Require an election to be called for five permanent directors and to confirm the creation of the district.
The back story: The Cypress Creek Flooding Task Force initially proposed the creation of the Cypress Creek Drainage Improvement District in May to help mitigate flooding in the Cypress Creek watershed, which covers largely unincorporated communities.
  • The Cypress Creek watershed has a history of flooding, having received 29.3 inches of rainfall during Hurricane Harvey in 2017, which flooded 9,450 homes within the watershed, according to the Harris County Flood Control District.
The details: HB 5334 states:
  • The Cypress Creek Drainage Improvement District’s boundaries would run the area of the Cypress Creek watershed, except for areas falling within the cities of Waller and Prairie View.
  • The district would not have the powers of eminent domain, to impose a tax or to issue bonds.
  • If an election is not called by Sept. 1, 2027, the district would be dissolved.
Those named to the proposed district’s temporary board of directors—who are also members of the Cypress Creek Flooding Task Force—are:
  • Joe Myers and Mark Adam;
  • Barbara Schlattman, chair of the Green Medians Project; and
  • Calvin Cobb and Clara Lewis.
What’s next: The next steps for HB 5334 to be passed in the ongoing legislative session are:
  • The bill will be considered by the House of Representatives and the Senate, needing two-thirds of the members’ approval to pass.
  • To hold an election for a permanent board, the temporary directors must get the approval of each municipality falling within the district’s boundaries. This includes the city of Houston only, according to task force President Glenn Wilkerson.