Stricter Flood Rules May Reach Past City Limits

March 17, 2004

In an effort to hold true to his campaign promises, Mayor Bill White agreed on Sunday to extend his plan to implement stricter runoff regulations in the city to Houston's extra-territorial jurisdiction, at least on an interim basis, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Group leaders from The Metropolitan Organization asked that White and three City Council members support an independent study to determine appropriate runoff regulations for developments across the county, including the city's extra-territorial jurisdiction (ETJ).

They also asked the officials to support a proposed runoff rate of one-half an acre-foot for every acre covered by new construction in the ETJ until that study is completed.

The city officials agreed.

The city's current detention standards, intended to reduce the impact of new construction on flooding downstream, range from .2 to .45 acre-feet per acre. The new standards recommended by the city's Director of Public Works and Engineering Jon Vanden Bosch would boost runoff detention standards to one-half of an acre-foot per acre of construction.

On Sunday, White said he supported stricter runoff requirements and agreed to extend Vanden Bosch's recommendation to the ETJ.

City Councilwoman Ada Edwards, who chairs the council's committee on flooding and drainage issues also agreed to support stricter runoff requirements. In fact, she said the city already is studying the idea of extending runoff regulations to the ETJ.

"I'm waiting for a better understanding from (the city Legal Department) as to what our legal restraints are and what we can and cannot do," Edwards told the Chronicle. "I'm hoping to have something out of Legal regarding the ETJ this week."

Source: Houston Chronicle

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