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CenterPoint Energy says that their focus is on delivering safe and reliable electric service. To do this, they maintain and enhance existing infrastructure as well as build new infrastructure and facilities to accommodate a growing service territory. With the Sugar Land area continuing to grow, this project is intended to increase capacity at the Imperial Substation located near Lowe’s Home Improvement on US-69. The project aims to improve reliability and prepare the electric system to meet load growth.
Please contact CenterPoint Energy Transmission Projects at 713-207-6307 for questions or concerns.
The following map displays the limits of the project and new pole locations:
CenterPoint has confirmed that work related to pulling wire and transmission work around neighborhoods is complete as of mid-January, 2019. Some work still remains in the First Colony Mall area which is expected to be completed in January 2019. CenterPoint is working with TxDOT on approvals for some lane closures so that crews can install a conductor that will be crossing US-69. Construction crews are working on cleanup and restoration along the corridor near residential areas through the month of January.
If you would like to know more about timing and scheduling of CenterPoint construction in your area, contact CenterPoint Energy Transmission Projects at 713-207-6307.
CenterPoint contacts businesses directly and provides notifications by door hangers as well as registered letters to homeowners.
The company does not expect any major outages related to this work. However, when the company switches the circuits from the original cables to the new cables, there will be some minor planned outages; customers will be notified in advance. Notifications have been sent to residents who will be affected by construction crews who will need access to build the line. For more information, contact CenterPoint Energy Transmission Projects at 713-207-6307.
Sugar Land is working with CenterPoint to ensure that any mud or debris associated with this work is removed each day per the City’s Stormwater Quality Management and Discharge Control Program. CenterPoint has ensured the City that damages to streets and/or trails will be returned to previous conditions when their work is complete.
Generally, the City does not have regulatory authority over projects within CenterPoint’s right-of-way. However, pursuant to the City’s Stormwater Quality Management and Discharge Control Program, the City regulates discharges into the City’s storm water drainage system. Additionally, any damages to City-owned property (i.e. pedestrian trails) or private property (i.e. backyard fences) should be restored to pre-construction conditions.
All volunteers must be 14 years of age or older. All volunteers under the age of 18 must also submit a signed parent/guardian permission form in addition to their on line application. More information is available on the volunteer sign up website
The City recognizes the historical significance of the discovery and the importance of honoring and preserving these individuals with the utmost dignity, and memorializing the area’s history for future generations.
The cemetery is located in Fort Bend County near Highway 6 and US 90-A.
In 1867, Texas began leasing out its convicts to labor for private companies, and former plantations across the state were transformed into prison farms. The vast majority of the men and women who toiled on them were African-Americans, either the children of slaves or former slaves themselves, who came from states like Arkansas and Louisiana as well as from across Texas. The graves in the Old Imperial Farm Cemetery are those of the African-Americans who worked in the convict leasing program and the guards. The cemetery has at least 31 graves, with the earliest dated from 1912. Three graves are post-dated the 1930s. The Imperial State Prison Farm was a Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) men's prison. It was one of the first penal institutions owned by the State of Texas and opened in 1909 on the Imperial Sugar plantation. In 1930 the facility was renamed the Central State Prison Farm.
The buffer zone currently surrounding existing graves in the cemetery has ample space for their reinternment.
Specific plans have not been made at this time, but the individuals will be placed in appropriate vessels and markers will be placed at each grave site.
FBISD will pay for the new burial vessels and reinternment. The City will pay for the permanent grave markers and maintenance of the cemetery.
FBISD will determine if and how DNA testing will be performed prior to interment in the Old Imperial Farm Cemetery. Under the terms of the MOU with FBISD, the City does not assume responsibility for the individuals until they have been reburied in the Old Imperial Farm Cemetery. Any DNA testing would need to be conducted prior to reinternment. The City does not support, nor do we feel it would be appropriate, to exhume the individuals for DNA testing after reinterment.
A date for the reinternment depends on many yet-to-be-determined processes and decisions.
es, there will be a formal ceremony to honor the reinternment of these individuals. Specific plans have yet to be determined but we anticipate that the ceremony will include the participating of all interested parties including the Texas Historical Commission, Fort Bend Heritage Foundation, the Fort Bend Historical Commission, the Texas Department of Corrections, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, FBISD, the City of Sugar Land, Texas Slave Descendants Society, the Convict Leasing and Labor Project, the National Black United Front, local clergy, and others.
Permanent monuments will be placed at each grave site. Preliminary plans call for a community park space to be developed as well as a new entry gate to the cemetery. We will be working with all interested parties to assist, as appropriate, in all activities to memorialize this history.
While the convict leasing program was reprehensible, The City of Sugar Land was not incorporated until December 1959, long after the program ended. No inmate labor has ever been used in building the City’s infrastructure, including any of our city halls. Convict labor leasing had been over for several decades when the City of Sugar Land was incorporated and was gradually phased out of the area during the 1910s, when Isaac Kempner and William Eldridge established Sugar Land as a company-owned town.
Contractors working for FBISD discovered the individuals during construction of a new school on the site.
95 unmarked graves were discovered on the site.
The individuals are of African-American males ranging in age from 14 to over 70. The convict leasing system started in 1857 and operated until the early 1900s.
Yes, construction at the site has ceased.
Numerous entities are involved including the Texas Historical Commission, Fort Bend County, FBISD and the City of Sugar Land.
It is our understanding the FBISD plans to initiate educational initiatives regarding the historic discovery. The City will work with all entities to participate, as appropriate, in efforts to honor those interred in the Old Imperial Farm Cemetery.
In 1867, Texas began leasing out its convicts to labor for private companies, and former plantations across the state were transformed into prison farms. The vast majority of the men and women who toiled on them were African-Americans, either the children of slaves or former slaves themselves, who came from states like Arkansas and Louisiana as well as from across Texas. The graves in the Old Imperial Farm Cemetery are those of the African-Americans who worked in the convict leasing program and the guards on the Ellis Plantation’s sugar mill and surrounding sugar cane fields.
The cemetery was dedicated to the City by LID 17 in October 2006. Sugar Land City Council approved Resolution No. 12-02 on Feb. 7, 2012. The resolution authorized the purchase of 63.331 acres of land for park purposes and the purchase of 11.426 acres of land for airport purposes from NNP-TELFAIR, LP per the 2003 Development Agreement. Read more at http://agendas.sugarlandtx.gov/agendas/FY2012/020712cc/8b.pdf.
The City of Sugar Land negotiated with Newland Real Estate Group, developer of the Telfair residential community in Fort Bend County, to accept responsibility for the ownership of the cemetery, ensuring this historical property does not disappear through neglect like many others throughout the country. The Imperial Farm Cemetery was declared a Historic Texas Cemetery in 2007 in an application that was made in collaboration with the Fort Bend Historical Commission and approved by the Texas Historical Commission. The City has protected and maintained the prison cemetery property since taking ownership.
The city zoned the cemetery and surrounding property as parkland, a designation that protects and preserves the property. The city went further and purchased all of the land around the cemetery. We planned enhancements that were intended to make the cemetery more accessible and highlight its historical importance.
The city routinely provides cemetery access to the Texas Slave Descendants Society to host events there.
An archeological survey of the property was previously completed by Newland Communities as required by federal law.
The Fort Bend County Historical Commission is charged with carrying out a continuing survey of the county’s historical buildings, sites, cemeteries, archeological sites, both public and private, and other historical features within the county, and reports to the Fort Bend County Commissioners Court and the Texas Historical Commission. Any new development that could have an impact on a historic site such as this must be vetted through the Fort Bend Historical Commission. The Texas Historical Commission performed ground-penetration studies of the property in May 2016.
The city will comply with all required laws prior to any future parkland development surrounding the cemetery.
The city’s plans for a community park in Telfair were halted by the failed passage of an $18.5 million bond proposition. Even though the regional park was defeated in the bond election by residents of Sugar Land, that property is still designated for future parkland in our Parks, Recreation Master Plan.
The city is committed to honoring the history of the Old Imperial Farm Cemetery and the surrounding prison operation:
The City of Sugar Land created the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation and contributes funding to ensure the preservation of the city’s history. The Sugar Land Heritage Foundation has been collecting local historical documents for a museum opened in 2018 at the Imperial Refinery site. This museum will eventually include a diversity of exhibits documenting the experiences and contributions of African-Americans and all others. Community groups are encouraged to support the development of the museum.
The City will provide burial plots in the Old Imperial Farm Cemetery for the reinterment of the individuals, permanent monuments for each grave site, and will maintain the cemetery. The City will play an integral role in the reinterment ceremony honoring the individuals. Additionally, a community park and new cemetery entrance are planned at a future date.
FBISD will be responsible for initiating all procedure required by law, including, but not limited to:
The stated mission of the Convict Leasing and Labor Project is to document the abuses of forced labor in the United States past and present. That includes slavery, convict leasing, and current forced labor arrangements in US prisons. The published goal of CLLP is to “abolish the last vestiges of involuntary servitude in the nation to bring the US into compliance with Article 4 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”
The stated vision of the CLLP is to provide a public forum on the impact of slavery, convict leasing, and current forced labor arrangements inside US prisons. According to their literature the group envisions:
The Sugar Land Heritage Foundation will work with all interested parties to facilitate efforts to memorialize the historically significant discovery as well as provide space in the museum for educational exhibits and programs to document the area’s African-American history.
Like the Foundation, the Fort Bend Historical Commission will work with interested parties and the Texas Historical Commission to pay tribute to the area’s African-American history.
The Texas Historical Commission has been collaborating with FBISD on archeological studies of the area and will play a critical role in determining plans for the reinterment of the individuals and efforts to honor and memorialize the area’s African-American history.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice ran the Old Imperial Prison Farm and will be involved in honoring the individuals.
The Texas Slave Descendant’s Society was founded as a Texas General Business in 2006 by Reginald Moore. Much of the Society’s activity has been to document the abuses of Texas’ prison labor system. The Society has worked with the Woodson Research Center at Rice University to research the convict labor system in Fort Bend County. The organization hosts an annual Labor Day event at the Old Imperial Farm Cemetery and the City routinely hosts TSDS at events at the cemetery.
Representatives from the National Black United Front met with FBISD Superintendent Dr. Charles Dupre to discuss a list of 15 concerns they have regarding the individuals found on FBISD property. Foremost among their concerns is a request that DNA testing be conducted before the individuals are reinterred. Other concerns involve:
he convict leasing program was under the supervision of the Texas Department of Corrections, now TDCJ. At present, they will be consulted and included in plans to memorialize this historic finding in Fort Bend County.
After extensive discussion and consideration, the task force formally recommended two options. The task force’s first option was to re-bury the remains at the original site where they were found. The task force believes this option is the most respectful to the remains because a burial site is considered sacred ground. However, the task force understands that there may be certain legal restrictions that will not allow reburial on school district property and would in that case recommend reburial at the city of Sugar Land’s cemetery.
Sugar Land City Council approved an interlocal agreement with Fort Bend ISD that allows the school district to re-inter remains at the city’s cemetery if they so choose. City Council’s decision was consistent with the task force’s recommendation, which included two options.
No. The interlocal agreement allows Fort Bend ISD to consider the city’s cemetery as an option for reburial.
As the property owner where the human remains were found, Fort Bend ISD has the responsibility of evaluating suitable burial locations to re-inter the bodies to present to the court for final approval.
Leadership of the group has been transferred to Fort Bend ISD. With the conclusion of the work to recommend re-interment options, Fort Bend ISD expressed a strong interest in leading efforts related to educational awareness and memorialization. The city agrees that Fort Bend ISD is uniquely qualified to lead this effort. While the City of Sugar Land is providing a final resting place for the human remains, Fort Bend ISD is assuming a significant leadership role in the re-interment and future memorialization efforts. As the land owner where the bodies were found, FBISD has expressed a commitment and duty to preserve the history of this event and bury the remains with the dignity and reverence required. As an educational institution, they are ideally suited to lead the public education efforts to ensure future generation know our history and the significance of those who were victims of the Texas’s Convict Leasing Program.
Fort Bend ISD has established significant relationships with convict leasing stakeholders and community activists that would be beneficial in supporting future memorialization and funding efforts.
Learn more about the Cultural Arts Program.
Learn more about the Cultural Arts Program.
The Hotel and Convention (Conference) Center will be built on a portion of City-owned property located adjacent to the Smart Financial Centre (SFC) and plaza.
In 2007, the City of Sugar Land’s citizen-led Visioning Task Force identified a Hotel and Convention (Conference) Center as one of the five specific destination venues for the City to pursue. Overall, these efforts are part of a larger, successful strategy that has been in place for more than a decade to grow and solidify Sugar Land’s reputation as an economic powerhouse and destination location – as well as increase the City’s financial resilience through the development of unique destination venues. With the completion of a minor league baseball stadium (completed 2012), an indoor live entertainment venue (completed 2017), a festival site (completed 2017), the next step is to begin the selection of a private-sector development partner for the Hotel and Convention (Conference) Center project.
The design of the project will be determined in partnership with the selected partner. Overall, the Hotel and Convention (Conference) Center is envisioned as a 350-room upper upscale or luxury full-service hotel with an adjoining convention/conference center of up to 50,000 sq. foot and supported by structured parking.
Similar to Constellation Field and Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land, any City financial support of this project will be limited to capital investment from project-generated revenues and funds restricted by state law for tourism and economic development purposes – further offsetting the demand on property taxes for residents through the resulting economic growth. No general property tax dollars will go to support the development or operation of the project. Additionally, and unique to this project, the City was also successful in 2017 in qualifying for a state rebate program that will allow for project-generated state hotel and sales taxes to be rebated for a period of time in support of the project.
No. Not only will general property tax dollars NOT be used to support this project, the resulting economic growth will benefit residents as it further offsets the demand on residential property taxes by expand Sugar Land’s economy, adding jobs and tourism revenue that ensures Sugar Land is able to fund the high level of services expected of its residents while maintaining one of the state’s lowest tax rates.
No. While the City is excited to take the next step in fulfilling the citizen-led Visioning Task Force, we remain committed to continuing to do absolutely everything we can to support the private sector development team in the preservation and revitalization of the Imperial refinery site. Additionally, with a diverse set of funding mechanisms restricted for economic development, we are also able to simultaneously continue pursuing the redevelopment of the Central Prison into a world-class light industrial business park.
Yes. Consistent with the established practice of protecting the City’s business and financial interests, the City envisions the selection of a private development partner who will bring financial resources and construction expertise to build and operate a 350-room nationally branded hotel and a convention (conference) center with up to 50,000 square feet as recommended by a previously completed feasibility study. Additionally, the project must be commercially feasible, as the City will not provide any ongoing operational support.
Designed as an upper upscale or luxury destination amenity venue with a nationally recognized brand, the Hotel and Convention (Conference) Center is intended to attract large conferences that generate overnight guests who shop and dine in Sugar Land. Not only will this project bring new dollars into the community, it is also anticipated that many of Sugar Land and even Fort Bend County based businesses will now have additional space at which to host many of their large-scale meetings and conferences – recognizing this project is larger than any existing hotel/conference centers in Sugar Land. Additionally, since close to 75% of Smart Financial Centre attendees come from outside of Fort Bend County, we envision many people will further their Sugar Land entertainment experience by staying in the adjacent hotel as well.
Development on the City’s property and within Telfair Tract 5 will have no impact to Ditch H or Telfair. The Tract 5 property is within Fort Bend County Levee Improvement District (LID) 17. This LID has provided all of the required detention for existing and future development within its boundaries. The project location actually does not drain into Ditch H. This location drains through LID facilities to the Brazos River south west of the UH campus through a control structure that is operated by the LID. Additionally, there are specific site drainage requirements and standards for development within the City of Sugar Land. All development (commercial, single-family residential, office, etc.) must be built in accordance with City engineering standards and will follow national and local standards. As per City regulations, all development within the City of Sugar Land must have no drainage impact on other areas when designed for the 1% probability flood event.
From Sugar Land Town Square to the Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land to Constellation Field to the Smart Financial Centre, the City has worked with reputable developers to design and provide amenities that not only attract new businesses and a generate new dollars in the community, but that also benefit the residents of Sugar Land. These partnerships have proven to be extremely successful, attracting approximately 1,000,000 combined attendees per year and generating significant economic benefit to the community. In particular, the adjacent Smart Financial Centre has annually attracted more than 350,000 paid attendees during its first two years of operation, earning continued global recognition as one of the world’s top ten theatre venues and providing a projected annual benefit to the community of $26.1 million over 30 years.
Whether venues or major commercial developments, the City has had an intentional strategy of growing and solidifying the City’s economy and position within region as economic powerhouse through the development of major destinations. This decades-plus strategy has been guided by several principles, including: (a) selectively choosing the highest quality partners with a demonstrated track record of success; (b) protecting the City’s business and financial interest by limiting risk – e.g. assignment of ongoing operational responsibilities to the private-sector, limiting the City’s contributions to capital investment and requiring private-sector equity contributions; and (c) leveraging the use of restricted or project-generated revenues to offset the demand for residential property taxes through the resulting economic growth.
The Hotel and Convention (Conference) Center project will continue to build upon Sugar Land’s reputation as an economic powerhouse and destination location. A project of this scale will protect and grow Sugar Land’s market share within the Houston region.
To ensure fairness and full access to the same information for all firms that are interested in developing and eventually operating the venue, all communication is being routed thought he City’s Purchasing Office as part of their professional standard responsibilities.
At this time, there is no immediate concern with the Brazos River. However, the amount and rate of erosion will vary any given year as it depends on several factors. A few of these include:
Lack of planning and action could result in the potential of seeing property values impacted, increases in flood insurance rates, and the inclusion of some areas in the floodplain zone. One of the goals of the study is to develop plans to address the issue and reduce future risk to nearby areas.
Areas protected from the Brazos River by levees are not classified as being in the floodplain. As long as the river level is below the top of the levee or the levee is not breached, these areas would not experience flooding from the Brazos River. The ongoing erosion problem could change this.
The amount and rate of erosion will vary any given year as it depends on several factors. A few of these include:
Lack of planning and action could result in damage to the levee or a negative impact on the level of protection the levees provide. If this happens, there is the potential of seeing property values impacted, increases in flood insurance rates, and the inclusion of some areas in the floodplain zone. One of the goals of the study is to develop plans to address the issue and reduce future risk to nearby areas.
The City is using a the Observation Method for Meandering Prediction (OMM) developed by Dr. Jean-Louis Briuad at Texas A&M University. The methodology includes the following:
The stakeholders of the study are:
The city is partnering with:
If you are considering pet adoption, please stop by the animal shelter during regular business hours or visit Petfinder to see our animals. You can also find more information on our adoption page
At this time the City of Sugar Land does not have a license or registration program. State law does require that all dogs and cats over 4 months of age be current on their rabies vaccination. The city does require the rabies tag be displayed on your pet’s collar.
At this time, the City’s animal shelter does not offer any veterinary services to the public. Sugar Land is home to many wonderful veterinarians and practices. We suggest searching the internet, or asking a neighbor for a recommendation. If you are in need of low cost alternatives, you can contact one of the following.
Some No Kill facilities pre-screen what they will take into their shelter. Less desirable animals are not admitted or transferred to other facilities. Sugar Land's animal shelter is tasked with taking in all animals in our jurisdiction including strays, abandoned and injured animals, those with health issues from neglect, transmittable diseases, behavior issues, and aggression.
A No Kill shelter is a great concept, but in reality even a No Kill shelter can euthanize 5-10% of its intake and still be considered No Kill. Maddie's Fund, an organization dedicated to increased community lifesaving, shelter medicine education, and pet adoptions across the U.S., defines a No-Kill shelter as “an animal shelter that does not kill healthy or treatable animals even when the shelter is full, reserving euthanasia for unhealthy and untreatable animals.” Maddie’s Fund also has detailed definitions for healthy, treatable, rehabilitatable and manageable animals.
The City’s Animal Shelter does not promote itself as a "no kill" animal shelter but does actively utilize multiple "no kill" strategies to ensure adoptable animals find a forever home. Even though the animal shelter has exceeded its capacity since 2015, the animal shelter does not euthanize for space. In addition, the City utilizes the following "no kill" strategies to ensure animals are adopted:
The City does not have a Trap Neuter and Release Program (TNR) and it is currently prohibited by City Ordinance. The Animal Advisory Board reviewed TNR during the February 12 board meeting. In a TNR program, community cats are humanely trapped (with box traps), brought to the shelter to be spayed or neutered, vaccinated, dewormed, treated for fleas, eartipped (the universal sign that a community cat has been neutered and vaccinated), and then returned to the area where it was originally trapped. TNR claims various benefits which were detailed below with local facts.
Based on the above information and lengthy discussion among the board members, the board decided not to implement a TNR program at this time, but all agreed education and outreach is needed to reduce the feral cat population.
Yes, we do provide traps. Our traps are live humane traps used for cats running at large and nuisance wildlife. Traps are available for 10 business days on a first come, first serve basis. Traps may be set from Sunday evening through 3 p.m. Friday and must be shut down for the weekends and holidays. Traps will be delivered to your doorstep with instructions on the rules, what to bait it with, and how to set it. If you choose to use your own trap you are subject to the same rules. To prevent injury to yourself, others and the animals please call Animal Services to relocate or impound Animals caught in traps. Some animals are illegal to transport per the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, including the transportation of raccoons which is a class C misdemeanor.
Though you may think the animal is a nuisance, it is a living creature and failure to provide shade, removal of trap in inclement weather, not contacting Animal Services in a reasonable time, or death to an animal in a trap can be construed as cruelty which is a felony offense.
Trapping should be a last resort for wildlife! Nature loves a vacuum. Removing the animal will just provide the opportunity for another to take its place. To solve the problem, the food source, shelter and water need to be removed or you will just get a replacement.
Any item unable to fit inside the cart will be collected on your bulky waste day, which is once a month. Please view the neighborhood service schedule to determine when the next bulky waste collection day is for your area.
This information is only for residents of Greatwood. All other Sugar Land residents can contact Republic Services at 713-726-7307.
You will have the same collection day. There will be no change to your schedule or service day. Please view the neighborhood service schedule to determine the collection day is for your area.
Best Trash is the service provider for Greatwood. Missed service can be reported by contacting Best Trash at 281-313-2378 or the city by calling 311.
HHW and electronics collection is not available. Fort Bend County has a drop off for HHW and electronics. You will have to drop off the items to 1200 Blume Road, Rosenberg, TX 77471.
For questions please contact Fort Bend County at 281-633-7581or refer to the website http://www.fortbendcountytx.gov for additional information.
Carts should be stored in compliance with your HOA deed restrictions. Ideally, the carts should be stored in your garage or behind fencing or brush. The city ordinance does not require the container be stored out of sight, but does require the cart not block or interfere with a sidewalk.
Please note that Best Trash does not provide garbage carts. Residents should either place bagged garbage into a personal cart or place garbage in a bag at the curb for collection.
Contact Best Trash at 281-313-2378 and notify them of the damaged or missing recycling cart. The recycling cart will be repaired or replaced if it is stolen or damaged beyond repair by any reason other than the customer's own neglect or misuse.
Items in your personal garbage cart should be bagged to keep the cart clean. If you do not have a personal cart, you can place your garbage in a bag and place it on the curb for collection. Recyclables should be placed directly into the green recycling cart without a bag.
A separate collection will be provided for certain large items defined as bulky waste. These items include stoves, refrigerators (Freon removed), furniture, and other large household items that cannot be broken down. Bulky waste does not include construction refuse, demolition refuse, or hazardous wastes. Please limit your bulky waste to 2 large items per collection.
Best Trash does not provide additional recycling carts, however, residents who need an additional recycling cart can use a personal container as long as it is clearly labeled as recycling on all sides.
In the near future, additional water supplies will be pumped through Oyster Creek from the Brazos River to serve as the primary potable water source for the City of Sugar Land. Drinking water is treated to remove harmful contaminants and make it safe for human consumption. Higher concentrations of contaminants in our stormwater require more treatment to make the water safe for us to drink.
The changes in the General Fund budget should be compared against the base budget, rather than simply year-over-year. The base budget is the recurring portion of the budget from the prior year. Comparing against the base budget is important because the prior year’s total budget has one-time expenditures that use one-time funding sources, which would skew the overall analysis. The total recurring expenditures are increasing by 3%, with the majority of the $2.66 million increase from base adjustments and employee merit increases. The proposed budget also includes $1.43 million in one-time expenditures for FY19.
Have you ever wondered if the recent annexation of Greatwood and New Territory impacted the City’s budget? The answer is it makes it stronger!The annexation, which added approximately 30,000 new residents to the City along, is among the largest and most successful in state history. The City built its annexation planning around three guiding principles: (1) providing the same level of service to the newly annexed areas, (2) ensuring there was no decrease in existing services as a result of annexation, and (3) a commitment that the annexed areas would generate sufficient revenues to pay for their services so that existing taxpayers do not experience any increased costs because of the annexation.Primarily the result of nearly ten years’ worth of collecting various out-of-city surcharges for services from the annexed residents – which provided over $10M in funding for preparations, the annexation has been a tremendous success. The City has met all of its commitments to both the annexed areas and existing residents – including the commitment existing resident would not experience any increased costs, and the annexed districts have now been fully integrated into the City’s budget. Property owners in these areas will pay 2018 City taxes to fully fund services provided and pay debt service payments; the significant positive financial benefits are providing additional capacity for capital projects. In the FY19 budget there is no longer an "Annexation Budget" as any remaining balances in the annexation funds at the end of FY18 will be transferred to support repayment of debt that the City assumed upon dissolution of the districts.
With 97% of residents believing that Sugar Land is a great place to live in the latest citizen satisfaction survey, we know that it is important to you that we work hard each day to provide you with important, quality services. And with our City’s business-focused company town heritage still existing today, we also know it is important to you that we do that as efficiently as possible. That is why our outstanding workforce of 804.5 dedicated employees represents just 6.8 employees per 1,000 residents, which is significantly less than our peer cities’ average of over 8 per 1,000.
The budgetary reductions made in FY18 included the elimination of 3 full-time (vacant) positions, leaving 804.5 full time equivalent (FTE) positions to provide services. The City will recruit and hire the best employees for positions that become vacant during the year due to normal turnover & retirements, there are no increases proposed to the total FTE headcount for FY19.
While the FY19 budget proposes a combined Utility Fund for operations of the water, wastewater and surface water systems, the revenues that support the systems will remain the same. You will still see the same charges on your monthly bill, with no increases to rates- except for residential solid waste (2.5%).
Your City water bill will continue to show the following detail lines:
The City’s championship workforce understands that public service is still a noble calling, and our employees’ commitment to making life sweeter and more refined for businesses, residents and visitors, is simply known as “The Sugar Land Way.” Not only do we hire the best, we only reward the best!
City services are not comparable to the oil industry, and our employees chose public service for stability predictability. The City doesn't pay like the oil industry- we don't give huge increases or bonuses when times are good, and we try to avoid any reductions in force as it directly impacts the services provided. The oil industry is just not a fair comparison to local government.
For this reason, the City offers annual performance-based merit increases to employees; we do not offer any cost of living increases. The FY2019 budget includes a 3% merit pool – just slightly above the February 2018 CPI and even with the June CPI for the Houston- Woodlands- Sugar Land MSA. This merit pool is an important tool that allows the City to reward employees for excellent performance and to retain our championship workforce. Cost of benefits are increasing for employees in 2019- without an opportunity for a merit increase, some employees would potentially take home less money to support their families.
Based on an average home value of $375,201 with a homestead exemption, the 2018 tax bill is shown below for 3 options being considered by City Council:
The proposed budget did not include the park bond projects, however City Council has published a proposed tax rate of $0.32762 which includes a one-cent increase that would fund the voter-approved park bond projects if approved. On an average home valued at $375,201 with a 10% homestead exemption, the one-cent increase is equal to $33 on the tax bill compared to a flat tax rate.
For residential customers, wastewater volume charges for April through the following March are based on the lesser of (1) average monthly water usage as billed in the most recent February and March months; -or- (2) Twelve thousand gallons.
For new residential customers that have not yet established a water usage history (February/March), wastewater volume charges for April through the following March are based on the citywide average monthly usage, currently 6,480 gallons.
Since its establishment, the council-manager form has become the most popular form of government in the United States in communities with populations of 5,000 or greater. The form also is popular in Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and West Germany. For more than 80 years, council-manager government has responded to the changing needs of citizens and their communities.
Annette Williamson Wise was a Sugar Land artist known for leading the effort to paint murals on the sides of Main Street bridge in Sugar Land. The murals were originally painted on the bridge for Sugar Land’s celebrations of the Texas sesquicentennial in 1986, and helped document and preserve the city's history. Wise maintained the murals throughout her life. In addition to the murals, Wise was actively involved in the community through a number of philanthropic efforts and service projects.
Annette Williamson Wise passed away in 2011. In April 2018, city council voted to officially name the bridge after her. Now known as the Annette Williamson Wise Bridge, the memorial initiative was launched by area residents who organized a petition drive that resulted in more than 200 signatures.
A copy of Resolution 18-14, which officially named the bridge after Wise, is available online.
A list of available positions can be viewed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
All Fort Bend County Libraries offer free computer use. Evening and weekend hours are available:
You can also check online for additional locations.
Workforce Solutions can help you complete the online application free of charge. Visit one of the following locations:
Visit Work Solutions for additional locations.
If you do not already have an email address, free email is available through a number of providers.
In addition to successful completion of Sugar Land’s Public Safety Dispatch training program, recruits will attend a 40-hour Basic Telecommunications Course and a Crisis Communications course, following the curriculum developed by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education. At the completion of this training and one year of service as a Public Safety Dispatcher, they will be certified as a Basic Telecommunicator by the State of Texas.
The current schedule for the Imperial Market zoning case calls for a public hearing with the Planning & Zoning Commission on September 24, 2015. This hearing will allow members of the public to gain additional information about the development and provide input. Please feel free to provide your email address to the Planning Department at email@example.com
Imposing a narrow statewide cap on city budgets will not provide homeowners and businesses with meaningful tax relief because it doesn’t address the real cause of high property taxes – the state’s failure to address school financing in a meaningful way. Property owners know that the highest portion of their property taxes goes to funding schools and only a small percentage actually goes to the City. In Sugar Land in 2016, school district taxes accounted for up to 65 percent of your tax bill while city taxes represented only about 15 percent. Restricting city property taxes may sound good, but it won’t lower your tax bill in a significant way.
In fact, had the City relied on the legislature to provide “tax relief” in 2016 through a 4 percent revenue cap rather than the City Council approved 2 percent increase to the Homestead Exemption, Sugar Land residents would have ended up paying $12 MORE on their tax bill in 2016.
Additionally, the City would have lost its flexibility to respond to economic conditions, and with that, its ability to keep taxes low. Sugar Land is different from every other city in Texas. State restrictions on cities have to be broad and flexible enough to take into account the vast differences between cities across the state.
While that statement might sound concerning, comparing the growth in median household income to total tax levies is very misleading. You cannot compare an average to a total. Median household income mainly increases due to inflation while total property tax collections mainly increase due to growth such as annexation or new construction.
For example, when Sugar Land annexes the New Territory and Greatwood communities later this year, the City will grow its tax base and revenues; however, looking at the demographics, these communities have a similar median household income. Therefore, the tax collections will increase while the median household income essentially shows no growth at all. For anyone to say that those two growth rates should be the same is just inaccurate and misleading. Commercial property development does not impact median household incomes or population, but still places significant demands for services on the City.
State officials have no responsibility to provide local services or to meet unfunded state and federal mandates on cities. Applying a one-size-fits-all solution does not work as cities have unique characteristics due to differing mixes of tax base, age and demographics of the community, and economic activity. Elected city officials have constituents to represent. If an elected city councilmember acts contrary to the will of the citizens, that councilmember is not reelected. City officials are in the best position to make decisions on local property taxes because they interact with city residents every day, spend hours reviewing city budgets, and are personally familiar with the priorities of their communities. Each Sugar Land voter elects four of seven city council members – one mayor, one district council member and two at-large council members. Contrast that with one senator and one representative of the 181 members of the Texas Legislature, and you can see how local government is the government closest to the people.
Putting narrow statewide restrictions on city budgets will limit the city's ability to do the things citizens want and expect. About half of the city's General Fund budget, which is supported primarily by sales, property taxes, goes to funding for police, fire fighting, and emergency medical services. Comparing public safety funding to the total city budget is misleading, as the other funds such as water utilities and capital improvements are specific to those funds and are not available to support these departments. Narrowing restrictions will impact the city's ability to hire quality personnel, offer competitive salaries and benefits, upgrade technology and replace outdated equipment.
It hasn’t, it’s actually gone down a lot! Sugar Land has the second lowest tax rate in Texas for a city of similar size. For an average tax bill of $1,100, or only $3 a day (less than a tall latte), you get one of the safest and best places to live in Texas. Sugar Land voters approved a half-cent local sales tax for property tax reduction which has helped to lower the tax rate from 50 cents in 1993 to 31.595 cents in 2016. The City has found that the most effective way to provide relief from rising valuations has been to increase the homestead exemption which targets tax relief directly to homeowners and results in a higher savings to residents compared to additional decreases to the city’s tax rate. Since 2007, the homestead exemption has been raised from 1 to 10 percent – the equivalent of 3 cents on the tax rate. Additionally, the City offers a $70,000 exemption for over-65 or disabled homeowners, and these taxpayers are also eligible to defer taxes owed on their property.
Over the past two decades, the state has demanded ever increasing financial contributions from local governments for state highway construction projects. Revenue caps will force cities to focus their restricted funding on local street improvements and curtail discretionary spending on state projects.
Commercial property development provides increases to property tax collections that do not affect household incomes or tax bills; in fact, commercial property helps to buy-down residential tax bills. Revenue caps will reduce the ability of cities to offer the services, amenities and infrastructure improvements that have been crucial to closing the deal in many corporate relocation decisions that create jobs for our citizens.
The legislature has the power to provide meaningful property tax relief by changing the way education is financed in Texas but has chosen not to do so. The largest burden of school funding has been pushed down to the local level by Texas lawmakers over many years in an effort to cut the state’s budget. The more you pay to the school district in property taxes, the less the state must spend on education. The proposed revenue caps do not apply to school districts, the largest part of your tax bill, so homeowners will find no meaningful tax relief. Despite this, language in the 2018-2019 state budget requires a 13 percent increase in school property taxes. The language in the 2018-2019 state budget bill (SB 1) reads, “Property values, and the estimates of local tax collections on which they are based, shall be increased by 7.04 percent for tax year 2017 and by 6.77 percent for tax year 2018.”
Actual: Departments provide data to the Office of Performance & Accountability (OPA) using sources utilized by the department. For example, the Finance Department sends OPA data from the Fort Bend County Central Appraisal District for the Residential Revaluation Goal Measure.
Target: Individual Goal Measure targets are provided by the department that owns the Goal Measure. Targets are either based on historical data, or, current levels of service. All targets have been approved by the city’s Executive Team.
Results: The “results” field will refer to the following terms:
In 2014, the City Council began developing measures of success for each Mid-Term Priority. This process began the development of the City Council Goal Measures. By 2015 the City Council formally adopted 30 Goal Measures by Resolution. Our representative body has been heavily engaged throughout this process, but staff took citizen involvement to the next level in 2016 with the formation of citizen focus groups. The focus groups were included in the dashboard review process and were comprised of various civic organizations including: Homeowners Association Members, Citizen’s Police Academy Alumni, and Sugar Land 101 Alumni.
Citizen involvement does not stop at the focus groups. The Goal Measures Dashboard has a feedback feature where visitors to the website are free to comment and ask questions about the dashboard directly to staff.
The City of Sugar Land’s long-term vision for our community states that by 2032 Sugar Land will:
In order to achieve our long-term vision, the City Council has established mid-term priorities. Through the establishment of mid-term priorities, the City Council provides direction for the City. These priorities and strategies have a five-year planning horizon and complement the goals detailed in our Vision. The five Mid-Term Priorities are: Safest City in America, Strong Local Economy, Responsible City Government, and Great Place to Live. Therefore, the City Council selected 30 Goal Measures that they believe best measure our success at achieving the Mid-Term Priorities. Each Goal Measure links the performance of key operations to the City Council Mid-Term Priorities.
Using an average response time has the potential to imply that residents should expect our first responders to arrive by the reported average response time. However, reporting an average response time is actually committing to respond to slightly more than 50% of emergency calls within the average response time. Therefore, our measure is more accurate because it provides residents with the percentage of emergency calls responded to within a target time based on current levels of service.
The targets for our Goal Measures are based off of both the City’s current levels of service and historical data. As such, it was important to the City to set targets that are achievable. Because the City of Sugar Land holds the value of continuous improvement in high esteem, individual Goal Measures, results, and targets are reviewed annually with the City Council. For example, if the City has been consistently meeting a target, staff and City Council would discuss making the target more stringent during this annual review process.
The City is held accountable for our results in three major ways:
The current Mid-Term Priorities were selected because they provide the proper direction for our City Council to achieve our long-term vision. The long-term vision, as well as the Mid-Term Priorities, are reviewed annually by the City Council. This is to ensure the selected Mid-Term Priorities will continue to provide the ideal path for achieving our long-term vision.
Goal Measures data is collected and reported each quarter – with the exception of measures that are reported annually. However, it is important to note that our “Citizen Survey” measures are collected once every few years.
As a City government, it is important to remain accountable and transparent to our residents. Therefore, the Goal Measures Dashboard empowers our residents and visitors to review the City’s progress on achieving its goals. The dashboard also assists City Management and City Council in making data-driven decisions on key priority areas.
Hours are Monday-Thursday 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
For more information about activities and programs, visit the T.E. Harman Center's website.
A wide variety of classes and activities take place at the Imperial Park Recreation Center and the T.E. Harman Center for senior programs.
The deposit is due when you make your reservation and the rental fees are due 10 days before you event.
At this time the IPRC memberships are offered per person. For Sugar Land residents a membership is $10.25 per year, and for non-residents $155 per year for those over 10 years of age. Anyone under 10 must be accompanied by an adult with a membership.
The Parks, Recreation and Open Space Master Plan (PROSMP) is one of eight City master plans that implements goals from the Comprehensive Plan. A review of the 2005 parks plan in 2016 revealed that 95 percent of the priority projects have been completed or designed. An update is required to evaluate future needs.
A comprehensive plan documents a City’s broad vision and roadmap. A comprehensive plan is comprised of base information, vision and goal statements, and a set of master plans that outline objectives and strategies for land use, transportation, infrastructure and public facilities, including possible future capital improvements, development regulations, or major policies. The Parks, Recreation and Open Space Master Plan (The Plan) must help achieve the goals from the Comprehensive Plan so that the City’s resources and efforts are aligned to achieve the same vision and goals. The specific goals from the Comprehensive Plan PROSMP aims to achieve are:
The PARCS Board is a citizen advisory Board that has provided feedback and is a sounding board for ideas and recommendations for the update. The Board has also participated in stake holder meetings and other forms of public input. They provided the recommendation to the City Council to adopt the plan on November 14, 2017.
Opportunities for participation in the planning included stakeholder meetings, statistically valid resident survey, public open houses and input gathered from Online Town Hall. Residents were encouraged to provide their input through notices in the Sugar Land Today publication, E-news Blasts, social media, and print media. The option to further comment was available online in conjunction with the posted Draft Master Plan. The public also had the opportunity to speak at public hearings at the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council meetings when the Plan was on the Agenda for recommendation and approval.
Yes. The Online Town Hall summary report can be found in Appendix A of the Plan. The statistically valid resident survey results can be found in Appendix D of the Plan. The summaries of the all public engagement activities are captured in Chapter 2 of The Plan.
The plan identifies facilities and programs that residents would like to see added or improved. Based on community input the City will prioritize the needs. The highest priorities will receive the most consideration for future funding through the City’s Capital Improvement Program and Operating budgets.
Yes, Greatwood and New Territory are considered in the Master Plan. Since The Plan draft is completed before the annexation, the numbers for the current population and parkland area do not count these two subdivisions. However, the study area of The Plan includes the City’s extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ), which includes Greatwood and New Territory. The park service area, inventory, analysis, plan recommendations and implementation action plan all consider Greatwood and New Territory as part of the community. Residents of the 2 communities were encouraged to provide input through the on-line town hall.
This will depend on the cost associated with the program or development. The Plan’s forecast is 10 years, but the implementation will begin upon the adoption of The Plan in 2018 and be phased over this ten-year period. The City budgets for improvements annually based on the funding available. For larger construction projects, a future bond election would be anticipated.
First, a recommended list of projects was developed based on public engagement and a parks inventory and analysis. The identified projects were then categorized in accordance with the five goals from the Comprehensive Plan. As the steering committee, PARCS Board members were asked to rate each project to three priority levels: High Priorities, which are recommended to start in 1-3 years; Moderate Priorities, which are recommended to start in 4-6 years; and Longer-Term Priorities, which are recommended to start in 7-10+ years. The PARCS Board then performed a prioritization workshop as a group to conclude the priorities as a team. A prioritized Implementation Action Plan was then developed based on the PARCS Board’s consensus, how realistic the timelines are, the potential cost of the projects, and the community’s input. The Implementation Action Plan was then presented to PARCS Board again for feedback and approval.
Yes, the Master Plan recognizes the high-utilization of the T.E. Harman Center and identifies it as a high priority to perform a study of the T.E. Harman Center facility to determine if it can be enlarged or expanded to increase space and programming opportunities (Action ID 2.1.5, Page 190). It also recommends to evaluate the feasibility of discontinuing non-resident memberships (Action ID 2.1.1, Page 187). Once The Plan is adopted, staff will work on the related strategies accordingly to address this issue.
Yes. With the goal of establishing environmentally responsible community, beautiful community, and destination activity centers, the Plan recommends to evaluate opportunities for the naturalization of existing park areas (Action ID 5.2.2, Page 212), establish or expand park design guidelines to improve environmental compatibility (Action ID 4.1.1, Page 207), and preserve natural habitat and educate the resident on wildlife through Brazos River Park Master Plan Update (Action ID 1.1.1, Page 169), Gannoway Lake Park Implementation ( Action ID 1.2.2, Page 178), Brazos River Park improvements, (Action ID 1.1.8, Page 175), and Cullinan Park Improvements ( Action ID 1.1.5, Page 172).
The plan’s recommendations are long-term in nature and also include recommendations to pursue strategies for alternative funding, such as partnerships, sponsorships, and fee adjustments. Regardless of when implemented, however, the implementation of the recommendations in the plan will be fiscally constrained by the City’s annual budget and long range budget forecast but alternative funding methods may be pursued to help offset reduced funding. For example, for City hosted events, the City will pursue increased sponsorships.
The terms and conditions of the annexation were determined by a vote of the City of Sugar Land City Council, as well as both Municipal Utility District’s Board Members for their representative districts.
Sugar Land functions under a council-manager form of government. The City Council performs a legislative role, setting broad goals and policies that match the vision of our residents. The City Manager is the Chief Administrative Officer, and manages the day to day business of the City in order to reach the goals set forth by City Council. The City of Sugar Land has a total of seven City Council Members, with four Districts. At the time of annexation, residents will be temporarily assigned to Single Member Council Districts. Residents within New Territory will temporarily be placed in City Council District 2, while residents residing in Greatwood will temporarily be placed within City Council District 4. Current Sugar Land City Council Members and positions are identified below.
1. Joe Zimmerman, Mayor
2. Himesh Gandhi, At-Large Position One
3. Mary Joyce, At-Large Position Two
4. Steve Porter, Single Member District One
5. Bridget Yeung, Single Member District Two
6. Amy Mitchell, Single Member District Three
7. Carol K. McCutcheon, Single Member District Four
The social media outreach from the City of Sugar Land aims to engage and inform the community through distribution of City news releases, media alerts, emergency and urgent City service notifications, City events, and general Sugar Land information. Current social media channels include the following:
1. Facebook - Official City Page2. Facebook - Parks & Recreation3. Facebook - Police Department4. Visit Sugar Land5. Twitter6. YouTube7. Instagram8. Pinterest
Dependent upon the District, residents will see an increase or decrease in taxes once the City levies its tax in 2018. The LIDs will not be impacted by the annexation, and residents are still obligated to pay their LID taxes.
No. Residents do not need to file new exemptions to get the City's homestead and over-65 exemptions. Any exemptions on file with the appraisal district will automatically be applied to the City's tax bill in 2018.
Additional services to the annexed areas are being funded through surcharges that residents in the Greatwood and New Territory have paid for pre-annexation services for the last 10 years. These surcharges have accumulated to approximately 10 million dollars, and are being used to pay the costs associated with annexation. There will be no increase in costs or reduction in services to current city residents.
No. The city will meet all current and future service‐level obligations to current and newly annexed residents on day one of the annexation.
The city is providing a 53 percent increase in Animal Services floor space to accommodate an anticipated 30 percent increase in demand. In addition, additional space has been leased for the Sugar Land Police Department, and current Public Safety Dispatch space accommodated the addition of a 911 console for one dispatcher per shift to meet projected call volumes after annexation. Further, all public safety departments such as Police, Fire, Animal Services, and Public Safety Dispatch have increased their staffing numbers in preparation for the annexation.
Ramping up for annexation has allowed the City to enhance services in some areas.
Currently, for the Greatwood and New Territory areas, Fort Bend County provides Ambulance services while the city of Sugar Land provides Fire services. On December 12, 2017, the City of Sugar Land will be responsible for both, Fire and Ambulance services, for Greatwood and New Territory.
Yes. The City hired an additional seven firefighters/paramedics and added one ambulance to the city’s fleet. Additionally, a Fire Inspector was hired to ensure the Fire Marshal’s office continues to provide high quality investigative and inspection services City-Wide.
Starting December 12, all outstanding MUD-issued water bills will be paid to the City of Sugar Land. Below are the payment options:
Pay in person
Bring your check, cash, credit card, or money order to:
City Hall, 2700 Town Center Blvd. North, Sugar Land TX 77479M-F, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.Check, cash, credit card, money order
Pay by mail
Mail your check or money order to:
City of Sugar LandPO Box 5029Sugar Land TX 77487-5029
Drop in a Payment Depository
Drop your check or money order at:
No online payment options are available for MUD-issued water bills. During the transition, the MUD will not disconnect water service. For any other questions, call 311 or 281-275-2900.
Residents that received a different cart size from what was originally requested can call 311, or 281-275-2900 and request a replacement.
All Greatwood and New Territory water accounts have been placed into a new meter reading cycle with the City. Your bill may be received at a different time than you received your MUD bill, and you will have a new due date for payment. Please check your bill closely when you receive it for the first time. It will contain important information, such as your new account number and the due date.
Your MUD account number will no longer work. You will be issued a new City of Sugar Land account number, which is a 10-digit number that will be shown on your first City of Sugar Land issued bill.
If you use your bank's bill pay service, please note:
You can also pay with a credit card, online and over the phone, and pay no fee. All water bill payment options are available online.
There is no fee to pay your water bill by credit card. If you have your account number, you can pay using this link: http://www.sugarlandtx.gov/index.aspx?NID=319
There is a previous balance on your bill because we had not received or receipted your last payment for your MUD issued bill at the time we issued your first City of Sugar Land bill. If you have already paid the previous balance, you will only need to pay the current charges listed. We are processing payments as soon as we receive them. We will not charge a late fee on the December MUD balances.
No, payments are being processed daily. We will charge an NSF fee if your check is returned due to a stop payment. If you sent your payment to Si Environmental there may be a delay in receipt as we are picking them up weekly. Please call the Treasury department to verify if payment has been received at 281-275-2750.
Pay Online via Credit Card
We accept Mastercard, VISA, and American Express. You’ll need your new City of Sugar Land account number. Visit http://www.sugarlandtx.gov/index.aspx?NID=319 to pay online.
Pay by Phone via Credit Card
We accept Mastercard, VISA, and American Express. You’ll need your new City of Sugar Land account number. Call 281.275.2750 (option 1) to pay by phone.
Pay in Person
City Hall, 2700 Town Center Blvd. North, Sugar Land TX 77479, M-F, 8 to 5. We accept cash, check, or credit card (Mastercard, VISA, American Express), or money order.
Pay by Mail
Make check to City of Sugar Land, PO Box 5029, Sugar Land TX 77487-5029
Drop boxes are located in the parking lot of these six city facilities:
Automatic Bank Draft
A convenient way to pay your water bill each month is to sign up for Automatic Bank Drafting. There is no cost to you, and your payment will be automatically drafted on the Friday before the due date each month. You will still receive your monthly bill so you can monitor your water usage. Visit http://www.sugarlandtx.gov/319/Water-Payment-Options to print and complete the application form.
The Development Code is a living document that should be reviewed and revised on a regular basis to keep up with changes in society and the City. The purpose of the project is to modernize and clarify the application of the zoning use classifications and parking requirements in order to improve efficiency. Modernizing the Code means that City staff – development planners – will spend less time interpreting and explaining the zoning use classifications and parking requirements to potential business owners. This is achieved by:
Zoning regulations will continue to protect residents’ quality of life and these updates will not remove protections currently in place. Uses currently prohibited within residential zoning districts will continue to be prohibited. Bulk standards for development – such as height, setbacks, and lot coverage limitations – remain the same. Regulations related to multi-family residential uses are not changed by this update.
Regulations related to multi-family residential uses are not changed by this update.
Staff has spent three years examining the existing Code, established businesses in the community, and best management practices. Additionally, a consultant worked with staff to establish the revised zoning use classification tables. These have informed the recommendations being presented to P&Z during several workshop meetings.
Community feedback and input will be welcomed during Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council review. P&Z workshops are open to the public for observation, and all are encouraged to attend and learn about the project. Additionally, extensive information about the project will be posted on the project webpage.The public may also provide input during the Online Town Hall, and that input will be considered by P&Z during their review and in their final recommendation to City Council. The public may also provide feedback during the P&Z and City Council public hearings.
The draft changes do not implement specific recommendations in the newly updated Land Use Plan; however, they do not conflict with the Plan. Future phases of the Development Code update project will incorporate recommendations from the Land Use Plan.
No. The proposed changes do not change any districts designated for your home nor any other properties within the City. There is a separate redistricting process for City Council districts that is ongoing, but this project does not impact, nor is it impacted by, the redistricting work. You can find more information about the redistricting process here: www.sugarlandtx.gov/redistricting. This process also has no bearing on school districts nor school district zoning: these processes are conducted by your respective school district, whether Fort Bend Independent School District or Lamar Consolidated School District.
All commercial developments located adjacent to existing single-family residences must comply with the city's bulk plane regulations as outlined in the Development Code. These state that any portion of a non-residential building within 500 feet of a residential lot line shall not extend beyond the bulk plane that is formed by a property line setback of 2 linear feet per 1 foot in height over 24 feet. Typically, the measurement for the bulk plane would begin at the residential lot line.
However, the proposed Fluor Corporate Campus Final Development Plan complies with an enhanced bulk plane requirement that was established during the initial zoning process in 2013. The enhanced bulk plane requirement was put in place due to a sensitivity to the residential neighborhood located directly south of the open drainage channel (width varying from 96 feet to 267 feet). In an effort to further mitigate the impacts of any commercial development on the residential property, the measurement within the Fluor development must begin at the internal edge of the open drainage channel rather than the adjacent residential property line. This provides additional distance and protection between the single-family residential neighborhood and any structure that could be constructed to the maximum building height that is permitted within the Fluor Corporate Campus Final Development Plan.
No. All development must meet the standards set by city development regulations. A drainage analysis is required for any development to demonstrate that no negative impact will occur to other areas as a result of new development. If needed, the new development may be required to construct onsite detention, or some other form of mitigation, so additional runoff produced by the development is mitigated so it has no impact downstream or upstream of the discharge point. The City continuously reviews these standards and updates them as done in the past.
The recent rain/hurricane events have been extreme. The rain storms received by the Southeast Texas region during 2015, 2016 and 2017 exceeded the 1% chance event (100-yr) that is the standard for the design of the levees and drainage systems in the City of Sugar Land and Fort Bend County.
There are also limited areas of our city left to develop. Many of the areas designated in the Plan as activity centers already exist today. Any development of activity centers will likely occur through the redevelopment of existing commercial centers. Drainage studies would be required for each site during the process that would also verify drainage impacts and mitigation measures if needed.
Development on Tract 5 will have no impact to Ditch H or Telfair. The Tract 5 property is within Fort Bend County Levee Improvement District (LID) 17. This LID has provided all of the required detention for existing and future development within its boundaries. The Tract 5 location actually outfalls directly to the Brazos River south west of the UH campus through a control structure that is operated by the LID.
Additionally, there are specific site drainage requirements and standards for development within the City of Sugar Land. All development (commercial, single-family residential, office, etc.) must be built in accordance with city engineering standards and will follow national and local standards. As per City regulations, all development within the City of Sugar Land must have no-impact on other areas to be permitted, when designed for the 1% chance event.
The Land Use Plan is a high level document that outlines policy direction and guidance for development, redevelopment and land use decisions. The Plan is published as Chapter 6 of the City’s Comprehensive Plan. The Plan furthers the Comprehensive Plan’s overall vision and sets out a specific land use vision and goals for the city and outlines actions that will achieve those goals to ensure Sugar Land continues to thrive. The Land Use Plan is not zoning or a regulatory document; however, the city’s zoning regulations are guided by and must be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan. In fact, the city is required to have a Comprehensive Plan if it has zoning.
The Land Use Plan is a component of the city’s Comprehensive Plan and should be updated regularly to ensure it is aligned with community values.
The Land Use Plan update guides proactive responses to long-term market shifts and demographic trends -- with the goal of protecting single-family residential neighborhoods and ensuring Sugar Land continues to be a premier place to live, work, shop and play in the region. The update also establishes policy to provide desirable single-family neighborhoods and other housing options, attractive amenities, and outstanding city services that add to the overall quality of life for the residents of Sugar Land and support the city’s economic growth.
The update establishes a specific vision and set of goals for land use that are based on four years of community input and the broader vision and goals established in the Comprehensive Plan. The update also recommends specific actions and future efforts to implement the land use vision.
The Land Use Plan is a component of the city’s Comprehensive Plan and should be updated regularly to ensure it is aligned with community values.
As Sugar Land’s infrastructure and buildings age, the city faces new challenges in ensuring that it develops and redevelops to remain a desirable place to live and conduct business. With minimal vacant land left to develop, the city must be stringent in the type of development it attracts in order to continue to be a premier place to live, work, shop, and play. As the last remaining vacant properties within the City develop, the focus is shifting to guiding infill and redevelopment in order to preserve the value of existing neighborhoods and commercial districts – recognizing that continued commercial development and a vibrant economy are essential in maintaining the city’s low tax rate.
The city will change—whether planned or unplanned—in response to long-term shifts in market demands and demographic trends. The Land Use Plan will guide that change in order to respond to evolving needs of current and future residents. The Land Use Advisory Committee has thoughtfully planned for the next generations, such that they may enjoy the Sugar Land that meets their needs and expectations, just as others before planned for the Sugar Land of today. With continued citizen involvement and the Land Use Advisory Committee’s recommendations, the Land Use Plan will guide the city into the next 20-25 years.
The Land Use Advisory Committee (LUAC) is a City Council appointed committee made up of residents from across the city and extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ). Members of the Committee included citizens from a variety of viewpoints, including residents living in neighborhoods across the City, ages ranging from young single adults to empty nesters, and a diversity of ethnicities.
City Council charged the Committee with the following five items:
Over the last four years, the committee has been diligently working to develop policies that will guide future land use decisions.
The city has encouraged any interested parties in the Sugar Land community to participate in the Land Use Plan Update process to ensure the plan’s recommendations reflect the community’s preferences. Residents, area businesses, employers and school representatives are a few examples of the wide range of people who contributed to the project. City Council also created a citizen advisory committee to investigate and consider a variety of issues that influence land use outcomes, participate in community dialogue and education, develop policy recommendations, and advocate for the Land Use Plan. The Land Use Advisory Committee, made of residents from across the city, guided the recommendations established in the Plan.
This Plan is based on listening to community input over the last 4 years, including a Council appointed citizen Land Use Advisory Committee, stakeholder interviews, public meetings, and online town halls. Public input has been important and has helped guide past and current decisions. Balancing the interests of citizens to protect single-family neighborhoods, expand tourism initiatives, attract new businesses and maintain Sugar Land's very low tax rate to ensure Sugar Land continues to be a premier place to live, work, shop and play in the region will continue to be the City's focus.
A comprehensive plan documents a City’s broad vision and is commonly referred to as a City’s roadmap. A comprehensive plan is comprised of base information, vision and goal statements, and a set of master plans that outline objectives and strategies for land use, transportation, infrastructure and public facilities, including possible future capital improvements, development regulations, or major policies. The city is required to have a Comprehensive Plan if it has zoning, and the city’s zoning regulations are guided by and must be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.
It is important to note that when a development proposal is submitted, moving an application forward through the zoning process is no guarantee of staff support or ultimate Planning and Zoning Commission or City Council approval. Public Hearings at Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council are scheduled for zoning applications to provide the opportunity for the public to give input and feedback on the proposal. Public feedback informs the staff recommendation as well as the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council through the decision-making process.
While the City of Sugar Land cannot control the decisions of independent school districts, this Plan prioritizes the preservation and protection of single-family neighborhoods in Sugar Land and encourages increased coordination with the school districts. The Plan requires a school impact analysis be completed when new residential is proposed as part of an activity center.
The plan is a long term plan looking out 25-30 years. There is no expectation that all or any of the areas identified for redevelopment will occur. The Plan provides a series of guiding principles that can be utilized by staff, Planning & Zoning Commission and City Council to make the best decisions when future proposals are introduced by the private development community.
An activity center is an area with a mix of uses, such as office, retail, residential and civic institutions, integrated together in a compact walkable area. The Plan identifies two types of activity centers: Regional Activity Centers (RAC) and Neighborhood Activity Centers (NAC).
The Plan identifies five areas as RAC strategically located along regional highways to ensure intense commercial, retail and other high-traffic destinations are contained within designated areas and separated from single-family residential neighborhoods. Each RAC is intended to have its own unique identity providing different amenities for both residents and employees for entertainment, dining, and shopping.
The Plan identifies eight areas as NAC located on Arterial streets, which are envisioned to be small mixed-use centers that act as a “Main Street” for nearby neighborhoods. These will largely be created through the redevelopment of older commercial areas.
The draft Land Use Plan provides formal direction on multi-family housing that has not been included before in the Comprehensive Plan. The draft Land Use Plan provides guidance for stronger restrictions on multi-family development, including:
In comparison, the City’s current R-4 (multi-family) zoning district regulations reflect previous policy guidance regarding stand-alone multi-family housing from the existing Land Use Plan - including that there should be no more than 20 dwelling units per acre and a maximum of 200 units at any single location. No vacant R-4 zoned property exists in the city limits today and the draft Land Use Plan update recommends no new standalone, single-use, multi-family residential development within the city should be approved.
Additionally, multi-family developed in Planned Residential or Mixed Use areas through a Planned Development process has been determined on a case-by-case basis, as the R-4 zoning district requirements do not apply to the Planned Development zoning district. The Land Use Plan update now provides clear guidance for PDs, limits the specific locations within the city that such residential development should be allowed, and subjects any new multi-family residential to an overall citywide proportion as well as site-specific guidance.
As a note, the bulk of existing multi-family apartments and condos in the city today were not developed in accordance with Land Use Plan polices or R-4 zoning regulations as they were built prior to being annexed into the city or prior to the multi-family zoning regulations being adopted.
LUAC recommended the following modifications:
Additionally, while LUAC also recommended minor modifications to further clarify that the intent of the Plan is to provide guidance – versus regulations, they also recommended additions to provide guidance for and encouraging future public input and review by both the Planning & Zoning Commission and City Council if an exceptional development proposal is brought forward which is in accordance with the spirit of the Plan but may deviate from the specific guidance established in the Plan.
Click here to renew your drivers license without leaving home and standing for hours in a long line. The Department of Public Safety Visit the Texas Department of Public Safety's website established this site for your convenience. It is available to all Texas residents who need to renew their driver's license and I.D. cards.
For Your Information: The department is extremely proud of its patch. It contains the city seal. Inside the seal is the star of Texas. Inside the star is the crown of the Imperial Sugar Factory. Sugar Land obtained its name because the jurisdiction was built around the Imperial Sugar Factory which unfortunately ceased its operations in 2003.
In Texas, certain criminal history information is available to individuals from the State of Texas Department of Public Safety. For further information contact the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Know your location when calling 911 from a cell phone. Although technology is advancing, cell phones can not currently provide the dispatch center with your exact address or location. Have the address ready, or use landmarks, mile markers, and road signs to describe where you are. Cell phones do not always direct you to the proper agency either. If this happens, remain patient and wait for the call taker to transfer you to the agency that will be able to assist you.
911 should only be dialed in emergency situations, for more information consult our brief guide on when and when not to call.
Projected revenue from red light cameras for the current fiscal year represents approximately one percent of the City's general fund operating budget and can only be used for traffic safety programs.
A traffic circle can use stop signs and other controls. There are also no limits to the circle size or the entrance angles and widths of the approaches.
A modern roundabout only uses yield control on approaches. Roundabouts also have design limits on circle size and the approach entry designs.
No. The city is responsible for the trees along certain roadways, ditches, and highway frontage roads within the city as seen on this map. Trees along other major thoroughfares are owned and maintained by adjacent homeowner’s association (HOA) or property owner’s association (POA). Trees located adjacent to a private business or residential property, are the responsibility of the owner.
The owner of the tree is responsible for the maintenance of the tree. In some communities, the HOA will maintain the tree in front of a residential property. If you do not know, it would be best to contact your HOA prior to completing any maintenance on your tree.
The City prunes its trees on a 3-5 year rotation. Residents are encouraged to prune their trees on a similar rotation. All trees along roadways are inspected every three years for compliance with the City Ordinance. The City Ordinance requires that residential trees are pruned 12’ above the roadway and 8’ above the sidewalk; and all non-residential trees be pruned 14’ above the roadway and 8’ above the sidewalk.
Even if the city does not own the tree, city crews will come out 24/7 to respond to a concern. If it is a city-owned tree, even if it is a small branch, the city will remove the hazard. If it is a privately owned tree, the city will safely remove the tree from the roadway and place it in the yard or ROW of the owner of the tree. It is the responsibility of the owner of the tree to remove the debris.
Please contact Public Works by dialing 311 or 281-275-2450.
The City does not have an ordinance for the removal of trees on private property, but certain HOAs have deed restriction regarding trees. It would be best to contact your HOA prior to completing any work.
In certain areas of the community, trees were originally planted too close together. As these trees have grown over time, the canopies of the trees have grown together to create very dense shade in numerous areas. The shade has caused turf to die back and decline in many areas. This causes unsightly conditions and dirt to runoff into the storm sewers during rain events.
There are multiple benefits of tree removal. Removing trees will allow sunlight to penetrate to the turf below allowing turf to thrive and prevent soil runoff during rain events. This, in turn, improves the effectiveness of the storm sewers, creeks and stream, which can contribute to lower oxygen levels that are harmful to aquatic life. Tree removal will also allow streetlight to penetrate to the street to allow for safer roadways. Reducing the number of trees also allows for more growing space for remaining trees and allows them to increase their canopy. This will improve the appearance and value of the remaining trees. Since trees planted too close together can have root grafting, the spread of disease is also more prevalent.
The owner of the tree is responsible for making the decision of any tree removal.
Trees are often initially planted closer together in order to create an aesthetically pleasing look from the beginning. Unfortunately, the trees eventually mature and cause other issues.
Tree thinning is the process of selectively removing branches within the tree canopy to allow light to penetrate to the ground. Arborists recommend thinning of certain trees to protect the overall health of the canopy, which also protects the wildlife that uses the trees as habitats.
The Development Code requires trees to be replaced when removed IF they qualify as a Protected Tree under the definition in the Development Code. Protected Tree means a hardwood tree having a minimum caliper size of 8 inches or greater, as measured 4½ feet above ground level. Otherwise, if trees are removed from private property and the removal of those trees takes the property out of compliance with the Development Code landscaping regulations in Chapter 2, then the City would have recourse to require replanting to comply with the landscaping requirements in Chapter 2.
Regarding trees within the right-of-way, the City does not have a policy regarding the replacement of trees. In most cases, trees located in the right-of-way are owned and maintained by the adjacent property owner. They have the sole discretion on choosing to replace a tree that is removed from the right-of-way. Trees along State-owned ROW’s are maintained by the City and are replaced, budget dependent, if they are removed.
The Development Code requires trees to be replaced when removed IF they qualify as a Protected Tree under the definition in the Development Code. Protected Tree means a hardwood tree having a minimum caliper size of 8 inches or greater, as measured 4½ feet above ground level. This determination is made during the building permit process and review of a landscaping plan, if required. The landscaping requirements in Article XV (Landscaping and Screening Regulations) apply to any premise on which construction occurs for which a building permits is required. There are a few exceptions – restoration of a building with a historic designation, remodeling of the interior of a building or the façade of building that does not alter the location of exterior walls, or the expansion of a Single-family or Two-Family Dwelling.
In addition to TCEQ-required daily process control samples taken at the water plants and system entry points, the City of Sugar Land has certified operators that perform over 85 bacteriological tests monthly in its distribution system and collects quality assurance / quality control samples at least once a week.
The homeowner is responsible for the pipes within the house, as well as the water service line from the house to the water meter box. If you think you have a leak, please call us first to request a leak investigation. You may contact 311 or our 24-hour line at 281-275-2900.
If you notice a leak or discharge of water, whether it is in the street, from a meter, or a hydrant please call 311 or the city's 24-hour line at 281-275-2900 and a crew will be dispatched to investigate the situation and take appropriate actions.
There are two solutions to this problem:
The other thing to do is to check under your house and make sure that there are no leaking drain pipes there. Leaking pipes underneath your house are not the responsibility of the city. You should contact a plumber to repair those problems. If these checks do not tell you the problem, please call our 24-hour line at 281-275-2450.
City ordinance requires Sugar Land restaurants to have grease traps to intercept, separate and contain their FOG discharges.
For the homeowner, there are relatively easy ways to avoid this potential problem. Below are simple steps, that would eliminate many time-consuming and costly sewer line repairs or blockages in your private lines:
Please ensure the manhole covers on your property are clearly visible and easily accessible at all times. Please do not bury them or disguise them. Your assistance in keeping these areas clear will save valuable time when crews are repairing or maintaining the lines.
Redistricting is process used to ensure single-member Council districts are substantially equal in population with a maximum deviation no greater than 10 percent between the most populated and least populated council member district.
Redistricting is triggered by changes in population such as the release of new Census figures, annexation, etc. The annexation of Greatwood and New Territory triggered the need for a redistricting process.
Federal and state law requires single-member Council districts to be configured so that they are relatively equal in total population according to the 2010 federal census. This is a requirement of Amendments 14 and 15 of the U.S. Constitution, the Voting Rights Act and the Texas Government Code.
The redistricting process has absolutely no impact on school district boundaries. Only the city’s single-member Council district will be affected. Again, it’s a requirement of state and Federal law.
Online - Information on the process, related documents, meeting video, and more will be posted on the city website at www.sugarlandtx.gov/redistricting Public Meetings - Public meetings will be held during the redistricting process to receive public comments on the proposed redistricting plans; meeting dates and times will be published on the city website. Archived Meeting Video - Redistricting Advisory Committee meetings will be recorded and available to view online on the next business day after the meeting is held.
The city of Sugar Land is divided into four geographically defined voting districts, each represented by a single elected official.
The city of Sugar Land has four single-member districts. City Council is comprised of a mayor and two at-large positions elected by the entire city and four single-member positions elected by residents who live in each district. To determine your current district, use the following links.
No. Although it is recognized that existing districts will have to be altered to reflect new population distribution, any districting plan should, to the extent possible, will be based on existing district.
Sugar Land City Council appointed a citizen-led Redistricting Advisory Committee charged with making a recommendation on a redistricting plan to the City Council for their consideration. Ultimately, City Council will decide which redistricting plan is approved.
The citizen-led committee will make a recommendation to City Council for their approval.
As part of the ongoing redistricting process the Redistricting Advisory Committee has reviewed several options or “plans”. One of the first group of plans prepared by our consulting attorneys would have included parts of New Territory in three separate Single Member Council Districts. However, other options are also being considered. The Redistricting Advisory Committee’s is charged with making a recommendation on Redistricting that will ultimately be rendered to the City Council for consideration and action. The City of Sugar Land encourages you to learn more about this process and stay engaged through our redistricting page. All Redistricting Advisory Committee meetings are open to the public.
Public meetings were held during the redistricting process to receive public comments on proposed redistricting plans. The public was also able to submit other redistricting plans for council consideration.
The cemetery was dedicated to the City by LID 17 during October of 2006. Sugar Land City Council approved Resolution No. 12-02 on Feb. 7, 2012. The resolution authorized the purchase of 63.331 acres of land for park purposes and the purchase of 11.426 acres of land for airport purposes from NNP-TELFAIR, LP per the 2003 Development Agreement.
Read more at http://agendas.sugarlandtx.gov/agendas/FY2012/020712cc/8b.pdf.
The city of Sugar Land negotiated with Newland to accept responsibility for the ownership of the cemetery, ensuring this historical property does not disappear through neglect like many others throughout the country.
The city zoned the cemetery and surrounding property as parkland, a designation that protects and preserves the property. The city went further and purchased all of the land around the cemetery. We planned enhancements that were intended to make the cemetery more accessible and highlight its historical importance.
The Fort Bend County Historical Commission is charged with carrying out a continuing survey of the county’s historical buildings, sites, cemeteries, archeological sites, both public and private, and other historical features within the county and reports to the Fort Bend County Commissioners Court and the Texas Historical Commission. Any new development that could have an impact on a historic site such as this must be vetted through the FB Historical Commission. The Texas Historical Commission performed ground-penetration studies of the property in May 2016.
The city will comply with all required laws prior to any future parkland development surrounding the cemetery.
The city’s plans for a community park in Telfair were halted by the failed passage of an $18.5 million bond proposition. Even though the regional park was defeated in the bond election by residents of Sugar Land, that property is still designated for future parkland in our Parks, Recreation Master Plan.
The City of Sugar Land created the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation and contributes funding to ensure the preservation of the city’s history. The Sugar Land Heritage Foundation has been collecting local historical documents for a museum opened in 2018 at the Imperial Refinery site. This museum will eventually include a diversity of exhibits documenting the contributions of African-Americans and all others. Community groups are encouraged to support the development of the museum.