Editor's note: The original story incorrectly stated a board member voted against the resolution, when the member abstained. The story was updated to include the correct description of the voting procedure at the meeting.
June 18 5:03 p.m.
The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce's Business Advocacy Council voted 18-2 on June 18 to approve a resolution to be sent to chamber leaders asking to support the delay of an incorporation vote for The Woodlands.
The resolution requests incorporation not be placed on the ballot before voters until after 2021, according to the resolution text. It will come to the full board of the chamber of commerce for a vote July 2, according to chamber officials.
The reasoning for delaying the vote, the resolution states, is because the coronavirus pandemic did not allow for a community education process regarding incorporation.
Members of the chamber and their guests in attendance at the meeting as well as those attending virtually were able to vote on the resolution. In addition to the 18-2 vote approving the measure, eight attendees abstained.
Under state law, a majority vote is required for residents to approve incorporating into a city. The Woodlands Township board of directors has until Aug. 16 to decide whether to put incorporation on the November 2021 ballot.
The Woodlands’ boundaries are within the extraterritorial jurisdictions of the cities of Conroe and Houston. Legislation passed in 2007 provided The Woodlands Township the authority to enter into Regional Participation Agreements with both cities.
The RPA protects The Woodlands from annexation by Houston and Conroe until 2057. However, The Woodlands may choose to incorporate earlier with a public election. Once incorporated, a city cannot change back into a township.
A comprehensive incorporation study performed by The Novak Financial Group in 2018 was temporarily deferred by the township board of directors due to the pandemic. The township held its first incorporation planning meeting since March 2020 on June 17, reviewing highlights of the study and discussing water and utility services.
Information from the township on the incorporation planning study can be found at www.thewoodlandsincorporationstudy.com.