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U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service is available at the Sugar Land Regional Airport. Learn more about clearing U.S. customs and associated fees.
The FAA identified a significant number of obstructions to the safe operation of landing aircraft at Sugar Land Regional Airport and notified us that the obstructions required removal.
The height of the trees has created dangerous conditions for aircraft approaching and/or departing north of the runway.
The 6.7 acres were mostly empty when the city purchased the Airport in 1990. Since then, fast-growing invasive species such as Hackberry and Chinese Tallows have overgrown the area.
The FAA recently renewed its focus on General Aviation airports and notified us of the safety requirement.
The Sugar Land Regional Airport commissioned an engineering firm to complete a ground and aerial survey to quantify tree height and penetration distance into the approach airspace.
The majority of the trees would die if they were pruned to a safe obstruction height due to the removal of significantly more than 25% of the green foliage. Any that remained would quickly grow back.
No. The project will be funded by Sugar Land Regional Airport. The Airport is a self-supporting business that does not utilize general fund tax dollars.
The Sugar Land Regional Airport consulted with arborists and wildlife experts and determined that the least impactful timeframe for migratory and nesting species would allow for the removal this January and February.
Additionally, Cullinan Park includes 754 acres of dense tree canopy. The remaining 747.3 acres will continue to be home to numerous wildlife species.
The existing canopy at Cullinan Park is too dense to relocate these trees. Most of the trees are non-native invasive species. Lower growing native grasses and screening shrubs will be planted in place of the removals, which also offer habitat for birds and other wildlife.
The Airport is working with the City of Sugar Land Parks Department and the Cullinan Park Conservancy Board to design something that is compatible with the safe operation of aircraft and that is sustainable, maintainable and meets the intent of both the park and airport.
No. The tree removals are unrelated to the more than $1.2 million in ongoing improvements at Cullinan Park that will provide the community with additional parking, walking, and jogging opportunities in nature while preserving existing native hardwood trees. However, the cleared property will be replaced with vegetation that complements ongoing park improvements.
In addition to the FAA and an aviation consultant, we have worked closely with the Cullinan Park Conservancy and the certified arborists in our Parks and Recreation Department.
Monitoring the obstructions will be a continuous project. However, the hope is that anything in the future will be more pruning instead of removal.
Sugar Land Regional Airport is an important part of the regional economy, with more than $96 million in economic output each year and more than $69.9 million to the property tax rolls, funding services provided by both Fort Bend County and Fort Bend Independent School District. The Airport has 211 on-site airport-related jobs and is used by more than 100 Fortune 500 companies on a regular basis, and serves the needs of the local general aviation community.
Sugar Land Regional Airport is the primary reliever airport for Houston Hobby Airport (HOU). If aircraft couldn’t land on our Runway, the vast majority of our jet traffic would be routed to Hobby Airport, causing significant congestion and delays to commercial flights.
In January 2022, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) notified Airport staff of the obstructions on the phone and in writing.
The FAA originally identified 150 trees and provided an exhibit of their approximate locations; however, they were using data from a limited ground survey. The Airport conducted a thorough aerial and ground survey to verify and locate each tree and obtain tree information to create a scope of work for a project and set a budget. The survey results revealed far more trees in the same area the FAA identified. After exploring further, it was determined that for each “tree” the FAA identified, there were actually 3-4 trees. This was due to the limited survey and dense Park. We now call the 150 trees “Points of Obstruction.” If you compare the exhibit the FAA provided to the project scope of work, the identical areas the FAA identified as obstructions are the same areas we are removing. The Airport is not unnecessarily removing 434 trees.
Yes, in order to be able to start any new application, you will have to register in the new CSS portal.
No. Any open applications not submitted through the CSS portal will not be available on the portal. To check the status of an open application, please call the Permits office at 281-275-2270 or email email@example.com.
Not on June 14, however, some previous records will be available on the CSS portal at a later date. Notifications will be made once the process of moving this information to CSS has started.
On June 14, all submittals (except for liquor licensing) will only be accepted online through the CSS portal. No documentation or USB flash drives will be accepted at City Hall or any other location.
Yes. You will be able to pay with a credit or debit card for any applications submitted entirely on the new CSS portal.
Computers with access to the CSS portal will be available for use in the Permits office at City Hall. Permit Technicians will also be available at the computers to assist with any questions.
When applying for a permit and entering the address, follow these guidelines:
This address: 17500 S. Grand Parkway should be entered as 17500 Grand.
If you still cannot locate the property address, please fill out this form.
See the Sub-permit user guide for step by step instructions on how to apply for a sub-permit after the Building Permit is issued.
It is important to note that you CANNOT apply for a sub-permit until the Building Permit (parent permit) has been APPROVED.
The status can be found on the summary dashboard of the permit. The Workflow shows the current step in the process of your permit application.
Submitted-Online: The application case has been created but has no yet been processed by city staff.
In Review: The application case has been routed for review by City Staff. The application will remain in this status until all reviews and administrative processing have been completed. Refer to the “Reviews” tab within the permit for the anticipated review completion date. If any of the reviews indicate “Requires Resubmit”, comments will be released and the email address(es) on the case will be notified, once all reviews are completed.
Fees Due: The case has an invoiced fee that must be paid in order to move the process forward
Fees Paid: The case has a paid invoice and this status notifies city staff that an action needs to be taken on the record
Required for Resubmittal: The application review has been completed and corrections are required. Whenever a permit is changed to this status, an email is sent to the email address on file, and the marked up document is added to the case under the “Attachments” tab within the case in the CSS portal
Approved, Pending Payment of Permit Fees: The application has been approved and waiting on final permit fees for issuance. After you’ve made the payment, you will be able to apply for trade permits and schedule inspections.
Issued: The permit has been issued and electronic files and final approved plans are available under the “attachments” tab within the permit case in the CSS Portal.
On Hold: City staff has placed a hold on the permit process
All reviews must be complete before comments are available to download. Once reviews have been completed:
Any permits or cases that were submitted or issued prior to June 14, 2022 and are still active may need to be manually connected to your new CSS account by city staff before you are able to view or interact with them on CSS. This may happen if you used a different email address when creating your CSS account from the one that was previously on file with the City. If you are unable to view records through CSS, please contact 311 or 281-275-2900 for assistance.
To view your permit, you must be a contact listed on the permit and have an active CSS account.
Follow these steps:
This is typically caused by attempting to schedule an inspection when other inspections are required and must be approved before this inspection.
Please contact 311 or 281-275-2900 for assistance.
There a few reasons this can happen:
Using the Fee Estimator tool located in the bar at the top of the screen, you can input the information for your project and it will calculate the fees for that type of application.
Resubmittal Process User Guide
Once you are registered and have been linked to your existing active permit, you have the ability to add additional contacts to your permits in CSS. As long as your additional contacts have already created a CSS account, you have the ability to connect them to the permit yourself. Some examples of additional contacts could be a homeowner, subcontractors, general contractors, project managers, etc.
The company should have a single (primary) contact and email address for their business. The contact may or may not have a person’s name on the contact. This primary company contact record will be the general contractor license holder for the company (if applicable).
Individual accounts will have to be created for sub-contractors, because professional licenses are associated with the account that applied for them. Sub-contractors can be linked to the company account as sub-contact through contact manager on CSS.
For more information on how to add employees to the primary account, see the user guide “How can I link my account to my company’s account”.
This error occurs when you are not registered as a contractor in the new system. First, apply for a contractor registration license pertaining to the permit you’re applying for. For example, a mechanical contractor license if you’re applying for a mechanical permit or a plumbing contractor license if you’re applying for a plumbing permit.
Request the reset password email but use a different device to go through the process. Once you have reset the password on a different device, you should be able to access CSS with the new password from any device.
If unable to use a different device, contact 311 or 281-275-2900.
It’s free! Yes, you get leadership training, a crash-course in local government, a seat at the table on city priorities, networking and an all-around good time for free.
The eight sessions will be held Thursdays from 6-8pm, following the schedule below:
Great question! Sugar Land 101 evolved into this program which took the education component one step further to incorporate a leadership track that will give Fellows practical tools to use and apply the knowledge they’ll gain.
We’d love that! We will check in with you a couple times a year to see if/how you applied the information and skills you acquired during the program in the community. We’ll also have networking opportunities for the cohort!
To apply, click here: Sugar Land Leaders Application . Once on the Serve Sugar Land Volunteer portal:
Applications open November 11 and close 11:59 p.m. Dec. 4
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
Yes, if you are interested in completing your court mandated service hours at the animal shelter, you must apply and receive approval. You will then have access to available shelter volunteer hours.
No. All volunteers must apply online in advance, once approved they may sign up for volunteer opportunities. You must be registered in advance to volunteer for a specific event; you may not just show up at that event/training. We ask for a specific number of volunteers to ensure a positive experience for all.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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:
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.
Learn more about the Cultural Arts Program.
Learn more about the Cultural Arts Program.
CRS is the abbreviation for Community Rating System. The National Flood Insurance Program's (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS) is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum NFIP requirements. As a result, flood insurance premium rates are discounted to reflect the reduced flood risk resulting from the community actions meeting the three goals of the CRS:
The city’s design standards set requirements for bike lanes built within the city’s right of way. These standards meet those set by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).
TxDOT’s standards are based on the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Roadway Design Manual and guidelines. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) is a standards setting body which publishes specifications, test protocols and guidelines which are used in highway design and construction throughout the United States.
The city’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan contains recommended minimum requirements for pedestrian and bicycle facilities (bike lanes, sidewalks, and crosswalks, etc…). Recommendations as outlined on the master plan adhere to applicable TMUTCD, ADA and American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) standards.
Below is a table comparing Sugar Land to TxDOT's bicycle facilities standards.
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:
The National Weather Service has completed a historical rainfall study, called Atlas 14. This study incorporated approximately 100 years of rainfall data in Texas, which shows that Fort Bend County and the City of Sugar Land are likely to experience an increase in the frequency of intense rainfall events.
The existing rainfall frequency values were developed in the 1960s and 1970s. Atlas 14 incorporated an additional 4 decades of rainfall data collected by the increased number of rain gages in Texas. In addition, Atlas 14 used improved statistical methods to conduct rainfall frequency analysis. These rainfall frequency values are used for infrastructure design and planning activities under federal, state and local regulations. The values are also used to evaluate flood risks, manage development in floodplains, and delineate floodplain boundaries for FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program.
Areas of new development and re-development located next to Oyster Creek in the floodplain area could see an increment in the minimum required finish floor elevations. Redevelopment of properties located in levee-protected areas may need to build at a higher elevation if the original finish floor elevation did not comply with the minimum elevation requirements of the Levee District engineer.
As per the Fort Bend Drainage Criteria Manual (18.104.22.168 –Design Criteria Assuming Coincidental Events), the maximum ponding level within the leveed area should not exceed the maximum water surface elevation associated with the 100-yr coincidental flood event computed in designing the internal drainage system of the levee area, including the required minimum freeboard of one foot and the pumping and storage capacity of the leveed system.
The coincidental ponding is determined from the coincidental probability of interior and exterior flooding and the capacity of pumps, drainage channels, and detention using the precipitation requirements of Atlas 14.
No. The Development Code and the city's design standards require that any new or existing construction collects the stormwater on the property properly and delivers it to the proper city collection point, (i.e. stormwater inlet, stormwater channel or detention pond) without affecting any neighboring properties. This is clearly specified in the flood prevention ordinances adopted by City Council.
We are proposing to change the city code. Currently, many of our floodplain regulations are based on the 100-year flood. We are proposing an interim Atlas 14 100-year floodplain regulations until floodplain maps can be redrawn by FEMA in a few years. This interim floodplain is based on the current 500-year floodplain. This change means that property owners and businesses in the interim Atlas 14 100-year floodplain would have new restrictions if they want to develop, expand, remodel or improve their properties.
Sugar Land areas that will be affected by Atlas 14 implementation can be reviewed using the following maps:
The majority of the city will not be impacted by higher insurance rates, however, homeowners that are not in the current 100-year flood zone may be remapped to the flood hazard zone when FEMA updates floodplain maps in a few years. If remapped, affected homeowners might be required to purchase flood insurance.
Atlas 14 shows that the frequency of major storms that can take place in our city is expected to increase. This could mean more street ponding in our area. We do not anticipate homes flooding in our area as a result of Atlas 14 estimates, however, it is recommended that all homeowners and residents purchase flood insurance.
Pre-Qualification Presentations are offered bi-monthly.
Each presentation is allocated 45 minutes. Thirty minutes for the presentation and 15 minutes for questions and answers (Q/A).
Presentations should provide an overview of all disciplines (ie: water, wastewater, traffic, roads, drainage, etc.) the company offers or can focus on one specific area of expertise the company wants to make the city aware of.
The “Pre-Qualifications Presentation” schedule link is on the City of Sugar Land website with detailed instructions on the process.
No, Pre-Qualification Presentations are not required to do business with the City of Sugar Land. However, they are highly recommended because the process allows staff to become familiar with new companies, relevant changes within an existing company structure as well as new disciplines companies have to offer. Providing a presentation also allows the companies Statement of Qualifications (SOQ) to go into the City’s 2-year library for selection process for projects under $250,000 budget.
SOQs can be submitted before or immediately following the Pre-Qualification Presentations. An electronic version ONLY is provided to the Engineering Administrative Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org
Each Request for Qualifications (RFQ) is based on particular projects (drainage, streets, traffic, etc.) With the SOQ (for pre-qualification submittals only) use the following criteria:
Please submit SOQs in PDF format with a maximum of 15 pages, including: introduction letter, structure of organization, disciplines of expertise and examples of projects. *Please note the City cannot accept SOQs on flash drives due to our IT security policy.
SOQs stay active in the City’s Engineering library for 2 years.
If the company desires to keep their SOQ in the library an additional 2 years, they can submit an updated SOQ to email@example.com. No additional presentation is necessary unless the following takes place: 1). The company has restructured the organization, 2) The company has added additional services they want to introduce to the City.
The company representative should contact the Engineering Department Administrative Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information or instructions.
Staff members from all divisions of city staff are invited to the meetings (Airport, Public Works, Parks, Engineering, Planning, etc.).
Presentations will now be conducted through an online virtual meeting process. The platform will be Zoom. Additional information is provided through the scheduling process on the City’s website, prequalification’s link.
If you are considering pet adoption, please stop by the animal shelter during regular business hours or see available pets online and find your forever friend!.
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.
If the animal is on your property, you may remove the animal using gloves or a shovel to avoid direct contact and place the animal in a garbage bag. It is okay to place it in your garbage bin for pickup on your scheduled trash day. If you are unable to do so, you may call a private dead animal removal company. If the animal is in the road, median, or on public property, please contact Animal Services for assistance.
No, Sugar Land Animal Services does not service private traps for wildlife.
If you do trap any wildlife, we ask that you please release the animal back into the same area where you trapped it. If you are unable to do so, you may contact a pest control or wildlife control service. Some animals are illegal to transport per the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, including the transportation of raccoons, which is a class C misdemeanor.
Our traps are live humane traps used for cats running at large only. 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 can be picked up at our facility. If you do trap a cat, you must bring the trap with the cat inside to our facility in order for us to impound the cat. If you inadvertently trap wildlife, you would need to release the animal back into the same area where you trapped it, unless it is a raccoon or skunk. If you trap either a raccoon or skunk, please contact Animal Services for removal and release. Please note that the animal will be release animal into the same general vicinity where it was trapped.
Nature loves a vacuum. Removing the animal will just provide the opportunity for another to take its place. Many studies have proved that the majority of relocated animals do not survive. The best thing you can do for wildlife is to leave them alone. To solve the problem, the food source, shelter and water need to be removed or you will just get a replacement.
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.
The City does not have a Trap Neuter and Release Program (TNR), and it is currently prohibited by City Ordinance. The City’s Animal Advisory Board recently approved the implementation of a pilot TNR program in a targeted area. The purpose of the pilot program is to determine the feasibility of an expanded program. Upon completion of the program, results will be reviewed with the Animal Advisory Board.
Until such time as the ordinances are modified, residents and animal advocates are advised to remain compliant with City ordinances. Anyone with hands-on experience working with feral cat colonies that is interested in assisting with the pilot program is encouraged to reach out via email at email@example.com.
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:
Snakes are nomadic and will usually move on very quickly. Most of the snakes in our area are Texas rat snakes which are non-venomous. If the snake is in your yard, wait a while. They are generally passing through. If the snake is in your garage, you can leave the garage door open for a while and wait for the snake to find its own way out. If you have a snake in your home, you will need to contact a pest control or wildlife removal company for assistance.
Violations can be reported in the following ways:
Once a suspected code violation has been submitted, code enforcement staff is assigned and an investigation takes place. Due to the different nature of submissions, investigation and resolution times may vary. For example, zoning violations typically require monitoring and collecting of information on the property and usually will take longer to reach a resolution.
Once it is determined that a violation has occurred, city staff will issue a notice of violation to the property owner outlining the necessary corrective action as well as a compliance timeframe. Re-inspections are then conducted to verify compliance.
Once a violation has been confirmed, an inspector will issue a notice of violation to the appropriate parties, which outlines compliance timeframes. If the property owner does not correct the violation within the required timeframe, staff will begin progressive enforcement processes, which include issuing a final notice and ultimately filing citations with Municipal Court.
Limited information regarding a case can be given unless the requestor submits an Open Records Request via the City Secretary’s Office. Please visit the city's open records request portal to learn more.
Code violation information is available to anyone through an open records request as part of the Freedom of Information Act.
The City does maintain close working relationships with HOAs and other community groups and regularly discusses high-level issues occurring within the subdivision.
There are times when a code inspector may determine that nuisance conditions do not meet the threshold for enforcement. Any complainant may file a citizen complaint to the City Prosecutor at Municipal Court. Part of this process includes the submission of evidence to prove the existence of a violation.
Rental length defines what would be considered a short-term rental. Any property that is leased or rented out in whole or in part (a room, for example) longer than 30 days is not considered a short-term rental and would be allowed.
There is a misconception that Sugar Land prohibits short-term rentals because the City would not be able to collect occupancy tax from these rentals. In fact, any owner that is operating a lodging business – including a short term rental – anywhere in the state of Texas is required to collect state hotel occupancy taxes that must be submitted to the State Comptroller.
Additionally, if STRs were allowed in Sugar Land (they are not), they would also be subject to the city’s hotel occupancy tax.
Please contact Republic Services at 713-726-7307. If there are repeated issues, notify the City at 3-1-1 or notify the city at 3-1-1 or 281-275-2900.
Effective January 1, 2021 the City’s Household Hazardous Waste program will no longer be provided as a service.
Residents are encouraged to utilize the Fort Bend County Recycling Center, which is a regional drop-off center for household hazardous waste and electronics recycling for Fort Bend County residents. Their website provides information regarding accepted materials and applicable fees. Please note that the Fort Bend County Recycling Center does not schedule curbside collection of material.
Please remember to not place these materials in your garbage or recycling carts, as they should be properly disposed of. It is also important to note that household hazardous waste material and electronics placed at the curb with bulky waste will not be collected.
Effective January 16, 2023, 35-gallon carts will no longer be offered as an option for every resident. Residents have the option of a 65 or 95-gallon cart for both garbage and recycling. 35-gallon carts will be reserved for those residents on the cart assistance program and/or have an existing 35-gallon cart.
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.
Carts should be placed at the base of the curb (where curbs exist) with the cart wheels against the curb. The cart must be at the curb with the handle facing away from the street and the lid opening to the street. Carts must be placed at least 3 feet from obstacles such as utility poles, mailboxes, trees, fire hydrants, and parked cars.
The collection arm on the automated truck requires space so that it will not tip over other containers or damage property. Please keep the containers away from obstacles that may interfere with the collection.
Please contact Republic Services at 713-726-7307 and notify them of the damaged or missing cart. The 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.
Are you recycling? Recycling materials will give you more room in your garbage cart.
Additional garbage carts are available for an additional monthly fee and can be requested by contacting Republic Services at 713-726-7307 or firstname.lastname@example.org . There is no additional monthly fee for extra recycling carts.
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 or electronic wastes. Bulky waste service days are different from garbage and recycling service days.
Bulky waste service is provided on a flexible on-call basis. Contact Republic Services Customer Service at 713-726-7307 or email@example.com to schedule.
Stormwater is surface water that flows across the land into creeks, rivers, and lakes. The storm water in Sugar Land flows to water supply sources like Oyster Creek and the Brazos River. The purpose of the stormwater program is to reduce the pollutants to the maximum extent practicable.
Drainage is stormwater that does not soak into the ground. It refers to water that falls as rain and runs off the land, and especially off of pavement or structures placed on the land. The city’s drainage system handles this water, and it consists of pipes, inlets, culverts, street gutters, ditches, channels, creeks, lakes, ponds, dams, tunnels and floodwalls. Drainage can be a problem because of flooding, erosion and impacts on water quality. The Stormwater Compliance Fee pays for programs that prevent, mitigate and/or correct these problems.
The drainage system should not be confused with the sanitary sewage system, which takes away water used in homes, businesses and industries for toilets, sinks, showers, washing machines and various types of business processes. The sanitary sewer system is a different system of pipes and infrastructure that lead to a wastewater treatment plant.
It is the monthly fee to pay for the cost for compliance with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit. This requires communities to reduce stormwater pollution to the maximum extent practicable. The Stormwater Compliance Fee covers the costs of staff, equipment, maintenance of existing infrastructure, regulatory fees, and public education efforts as part of the City of Sugar Land’s Stormwater Management Program.
The purpose of the fee is to pay for stormwater related activities, which are part of State and Federal environmental protection requirements. Municipalities are required to implement best management practices to reduce stormwater pollution to the maximum extent practicable.
Yes. The Stormwater Compliance Fees are billed to all residential and commercial properties located within the city limits with a few specific exemptions.
The following groups are exempt from the stormwater fee:
The project will identify priorities (public safety, drainage, mobility, infrastructure) identified by our residents through years of feedback, including our Citizen Satisfaction Surveys.
The current storm water program includes:
The Stormwater Compliance Fee considers a property’s impervious area which is the total area covered by materials such as asphalt, concrete, brick, stone and compacted surfaces which reduce infiltration of precipitation. The amount of impervious area on a property directly impacts how much stormwater runs off the property and enters the City’s stormwater and drainage system.
Impervious cover is any type of human-made surface that doesn’t absorb rainfall, including:
If you rent a single-family home, you will be charged a Stormwater Compliance Fee. The Stormwater Compliance Fee will show up every month on your Utility Bill.
City code provides a process for requesting a review of your fee and for adjusting your fee, if warranted. The process includes an administrative review by city staff. Please call 311 to initiate your request for administrative review.
If you make changes to impervious cover on your property, your Stormwater Compliance Fee may change. However, there may be a lag time before changes are reflected in your charge. Changes that may affect your charge include increasing your parking space, building a property addition or adding a deck or shed. Removing impervious cover will reduce your charge.
If you have removed impervious cover, please call 311 to let us know, so we can adjust your charge for you sooner.
Unfunded mandates pass down standards and regulations from the State and Federal governments but do not come with the necessary appropriations or funding.
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.
Yes, both paper and electronic submittals are acceptable.
No, once a paper or electronic application is submitted, it must be completed using the same submittal type.
Yes, either method is acceptable for each separate event.
Complete application including supporting documents must be submitted at least 5 days before the date of the event.
The email provided during the application process will receive a notification providing a status update.
The email provided during the application process will receive a request for documents if not submitted during the initial application process, or documents that need correction. Customer must login to profile and upload required attachments.
Yes, during the application process, it will ask you if expedited services are needed. Please select “yes” in the drop down menu, and the additional fee will be applied to your total amount due.
The email provided during the application process will receive a notification with instructions for remitting payment once application is approved.
Credit or debit card.
The email provided during the application process will receive a notification with permit attached.
Print and post in public view on the day(s) of your event. Note: It is against the law to duplicate or revise permit.
Yes, your customer profile will be saved for future events. You do not need to create a new customer profile for each application; please use your same login information
Not at this time; however, reoccurring customers can pay online for these permit types. The permit application process remains unaffected for Mobile Food Units and Fixed Food Establishments until further notice.
You can schedule a pick-up by
You can use any bag, box, or container to place the items out for collection.
Items should be placed on your front porch on the scheduled date of service.
A winter average is established in January and February of each year. Water usage is averaged between the February and March billing periods. That number is used as your average household water usage for wastewater volume charges from the April bill until the following March bill, regardless of the amount of water used. Residential customers have a set charge for wastewater each month. That way, if you use water for your yard, to fill a pool, if you have a leak, or for whatever reason during the year, you’ll have to pay for the water, but won’t pay extra for the wastewater.
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.
The City has a Utility Assistance Program that is distributed through Fort Bend Social Services. To learn more about possible assistance, email firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call 281-403-8050 or 281-238-3502.
Yes, there is a payment history option when you are logged in to your online account. It will show the history of payments that have been made through the online portal. We are working to see if we can add the payments made through other payment options to the history in the future.
No, our current process is to submit bank draft on a weekly basis which is the Friday before the due date.
Yes, we do offer bank draft from a checking account. Download the Automatic Payment Plan (APP) Application and follow instructions to submit.
Yes, this is the new format of your Utility Bill from the City of Sugar Land.
No, you will not have to make any changes on your end – everything will be transferred to the new system.
Your log-in information remains the same.
You will be able to see consumption, billing, and payment history. We are working on providing a downloadable bill coming soon.
The change in bill format will not add any additional costs on your monthly bill.
The City of Sugar Land has implemented a new software system and postcard size bills are no longer an option. The full-size bills allow us to present more information on your account including consumption history and more detailed breakdown of your bill.
Each payment option will provide you with how to enter your account information in order to make your payment.
Yes, you will receive a past due notice in the mail and it will also be a full size sheet of paper.
We are currently still working on this and should be implementing this option in the near future.
No, you will still receive your bill around the same time as you currently do.
The option to change your current due date is not available.
Yes, your e-bill will now contain a PDF attachment of your bill.
Prior to January 2020 and January 2021, the City has not increased water or wastewater rates since 2011, and surface water rates have not increased since 2014. These rates are the main source of funding for the utility system. If the operating and capital needs of the system exceed the capacity generated by revenues (payments), then rates have to be increased to maintain a financially sound, self-supporting utility system.
The rate increases are necessary to support the City in meeting the 60% groundwater reduction mandate as recommended by the Integrated Water Resources Plan.
Each year, a long-range financial forecast for the utility system is prepared using an updated model from the last rate study. This update provides guidance on revenues necessary to support the operating and capital needs of the system moving forward. The model builds in the capital projects identified through the Integrated Water Resources Plan and Capital Improvement Program.
The utility system is operated like a business and supported through charges to users of the system. Revenues are generated by the rates set by City Council.
When rate increases are necessary, they are recommended through the annual budget, discussed with City Council during budget workshops, and then adopted by City Ordinance.
Please visit our water-saving tips page to help control the cost of your water bill.
In a 2018 survey conducted by the Texas Municipal League (TML), Sugar Land’s residential water and wastewater bills ranked 15% to 20% less than the average bill for 45 cities over 50,000 in population (including costs for mandatory groundwater reduction).
Beginning in 2014, the City had to meet FBSD regulations requiring the City to supply 30-percent of its water demand from alternative (non-groundwater) sources. In 2025, this water supply requirement will increase to 60-percent alternative sources.
The Integrated Water Resources Plan (IWRP) is a comprehensive water supply plan, approved by City Council in 2019. The IWRP examined the City’s available water supplies and infrastructure and developed a clear, strategic, and cost-effective road map that allows the City to meet future water demands and regulations. The recommendations include partial expansion of the City’s Surface Water Treatment Plant, expanding reclaimed water facilities, water conservation programs, implementing advanced metering infrastructure and controlling water loss.
Learn more about the IWRP.
The City has not increased water or wastewater rates since 2011, and surface water rates have not increased since 2014. The Integrated Water Resources Plan identifies substantial capital investment ahead of the mandated 60% reduction in groundwater. Continued capital and operating investment into the system is necessary to ensure the safest and most reliable utility system for our customers.
The utility rate study will help the City design a rate structure to achieve the revenues needed based on industry best practices, and only recommend the rate increases that are necessary to maintain a self-supporting utility system. While necessary, future increases will be structured to ensure the financial sustainability of the system around smaller annual increases instead of larger less frequent increases.
City Council approved utility rate increases in September of 2020 to be effective January 1, 2021. Residents can expect to see the rate changes on bills issued after that date.
The Integrated Water Resources Plan identifies substantial capital investment ahead of the mandated 60% reduction in groundwater. Continued capital and operating investment into the system is necessary to ensure the safest and most reliable utility system for our customers.
Phases II and III of the utility rate study will be conducted in FY21, and are focused on building policy direction for implementation of the IWRP based on City Council discussion during the FY21 budget process. This will help the City design a rate structure to achieve the revenues needed based on industry best practices, and only recommend the rate increases that are necessary to maintain a self-supporting utility system. While necessary, future increases will be structured to ensure the financial sustainability of the system around smaller annual increases instead of larger less frequent increases.
The City is being required to convert 60% of its total water demand to alternative or non-groundwater supplies by 2025. This conversion is an unfunded mandate by the Fort Bend Subsidence District (FBSD) Regulatory Plan. The City is committed to meeting the mandate in a way that best fits our communities’ vision for the future.
The costs of these projects will be phased over the next several years. In order to fund these projects and meet the regulatory requirements, the City will be increasing rates incrementally over the next few years. Please visit the IWRP page.
These rates are the main source of funding for the utility system. If the operating and capital needs of the system exceed the capacity generated by revenues (payments), then rates have to be increased to maintain a financially sound, self-supporting utility system.
The utility rate study establishes a rate structure to achieve the revenues needed based on industry best practices, and only recommending rate increases that are necessary to maintain a self-supporting utility system. While necessary, future increases will be structured to ensure the financial sustainability of the system around smaller annual increases instead of larger less frequent increases.
City Council approved utility rate increases in September of 2021 to be effective January 1, 2022. Residents can expect to see the rate changes on bills issued after that date.
Please log in to Citizen Self Service and request an inspection. For additional information visit our Fire Marshal Forms page.
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.
The Vision of the city of Sugar Land Animal Services Division is to foster and support a community where all animals are treated humanely and with compassion, and in which there is a forever home for every adoptable animal. When the city’s current animal shelter was originally built in 2008, it was designed to provide approximately 150 adoptions per year. As you can see from the table below, the Sugar Land Animal Shelter has worked diligently to achieve this vision and has well exceeded the originally planned number of adoptions each year.
The Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 828, requires all public or private animal control agencies, shelters or humane organizations to have their animals sterilized. However, this law does not apply to rescues, breeders or individuals. Irresponsible pet ownership is a contributing factor as to why we continue to see intakes at our shelter. We also receive numerous owned animals that are lost and injured and need shelter and protection until their owners can be contacted, and they can be returned. In addition, our Animal Services Officers respond to animal cruelty cases that often require animals to be removed from properties around Sugar Land. The shelter also holds animals under domestic violence restraining orders; for citizens who pass away in their homes; and when there are arrests and vehicle accidents where animals are involved.
The city’s current animal shelter was built in 2008 with funds from surplus sales tax. As the City’s first indoor shelter, it was designed house a total of 24 dogs and 35 cats to provide approximately 150 adoptions per year. A 2015 Facilities Master Plan Update determined that the design capacity of the existing facility had been exceeded, and there was not sufficient space to accommodate expected growth. The city hired consultants to work with the Animal Advisory Board (AAB) to confirm the size, scope, site layout and approximate budget for the new animal shelter. In addition, the citizen-led AAB has focused on the review of Animal Services programs and operations and the identification of facility needs they believe that are necessary to provide these services.
The 2015 Facilities Master Plan identified the existing animal shelter has exceeded its design capacity. A new shelter will accommodate the projected animal capacity due to the City’s growth. The new shelter not only provides expanded space to house animals and adoption services, but it incorporates functions to expand the city’s role in managing urban wildlife. Development of land is pushing our wild neighbors closer to our neighborhoods. Wildlife is finding the means to adapt and thrive closer and closer to cities. Animal Services plays a role in increasing people’s understanding and education of our wild neighbors and promoting a safe coexistence of both our citizens and urban wildlife.
The City’s current animal shelter was built in 2008 with funds from surplus sales tax. As the City’s first indoor shelter, it was designed to meet the needs of a growing city by housing a total of 24 dogs and 35 cats and to provide approximately 150 adoptions per year. A 2015 Facilities Master Plan Update determined that the capacity of the existing facility had been exceeded, and there was not sufficient space to accommodate expected growth. For example, Sugar Land Animal Services completed a total of 829 adoptions in Fiscal Year 2018. A 2016 expansion study developed facility expansion options and recommended interim improvements for the existing shelter. The proposed program addresses the work recently completed by the expanded animal advisory board for ultimate growth.
With the annexation of Greatwood and New Territory on December 2017, an interim expansion of the current animal shelter was completed through the addition of an existing building which was renovated and relocated to the shelter, increasing the floor space by 56 percent (increasing interim capacity to 62 dogs and 112 cats). While this improvement provided a temporary expansion, the construction of a new Animal Shelter will address projected growth beyond 2030 with a capacity of 70 dogs and 132 cats at any given time.
As a result of more than 10 years of planning and funds set aside by residents of the annexed areas specifically for the annexation of Greatwood and New Territory, the city completed one of the largest and most successful annexations in state history. The City evaluated this annexation on a stand-alone basis; and concluded that the cost to the City of providing services to the annexed areas was supported by revenues generated from the annexed areas, and there was no reduction in services to residents already living within Sugar Land’s corporate city limits.
In early 2017, the City partnered with the architectural firms of PGAL and Animal Arts to confirm the size, scope, site layout and approximate budget for the new animal shelter. In order to ensure the project encompasses community objectives, the City’s Animal Advisory Board was expanded from 5 to 11 members. The Animal Advisory Board has focused on the review of Animal Services programs and operations, animal shelter expansion space planning and the development of funding options. Read more at http://www.sugarlandtx.gov/1800/History.
$6.6 million was identified for the construction of an approximately 17,000 square-foot facility which will allow the City to continue to provide our current level of service but with the appropriate spaces. Through the work of the Animal Advisory Board, additional services were identified for inclusion within the facility; as such, a separate capital campaign will be undertaken to fund these additional services. The facility includes animal housing, intake/veterinary space, staffing area, public spaces and space for animal outdoor fitness. This effort will be guided by the Sugar Land Legacy Foundation, a group that works on behalf of the city of Sugar Land to promote community investment in large-scale quality of life projects. Read more at http://www.sugarlandlegacy.org/.
Drainage problems have different tiers. The top priority for the city is to fix home flooding problems and the proposed drainage improvement projects will reduce the home flooding potential. We have also included drainage improvement projects that will reduce street ponding on major streets and in several neighborhoods.
The city continues to pursue Federal and state funds to supplement drainage projects. In order to construct the improvements as soon as possible, the City is seeking approval of bond authority which will allow the City to drive the schedule on these projects and not be dependent on other agencies to provide funding.
These projects will comply with ongoing Atlas 14 efforts. Sugar Land has adopted the Atlas 14 rainfall frequency estimates for Texas. This resulted in modifications to the city’s Development Code and Design Standards, and the city-adopted guidelines that provide guidance for the review of requests to alter or develop new property within the city. Changes resulting from the Atlas 14 adoption will apply to new development and redevelopment areas within the city and its extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ). The city is in the process of updating city-wide ponding maps using the new Atlas 14 rainfall information. The updated maps will show areas where potential street ponding might occur due to an increase in the frequency of intense rain events.
Read more at www.sugarlandtx.gov/Atlas14.
Drainage projects were identified by the criticality in nature per Drainage Master Plan criteria, from structural flooding to major thoroughfare ponding and to neighborhood street ponding as well as project readiness. City staff continues to coordinate emergency efforts during major storm events to improve pass-ability of roadways. The City has also purchased high-water vehicles that can provide rescues during major storm events. This effort is continually coordinated with the County, Levee Districts, Fire, Police, Public Works and Engineering. As we continue to go to the voters for approval of projects, other identified drainage improvements in various areas will be addressed in the next bond election.
The LID 2 new pump station is projected to be in service in early 2021. The engineering design of the Acacia trunk line project would start in October 2020 if the GO Bond Drainage Proposition is approved by the voters and the construction would start in the Fall of 2021.
General obligation bonds are debt instruments issued by states and city governments to finance large capital improvements. Bonds are sold to investors and the proceeds from the sales of these bonds are used to pay for major capital investments that have a public purpose—such as the flood protection, mobility and public safety projects contained in the Sugar Land Bond Program. Bond elections provide voters the opportunity to have a say in which projects they are most willing to support through the approval of bond propositions to authorize funding for each type of project on the ballot.
Many of the projects build on past and future efforts.
Because of low voter turnout, local elections are typically decided by a small number of people. Voting on this bond election gives you the opportunity to have a say in the future of the city.
Sugar Land City Council unanimously voted to call a Nov. 5 bond election during its Aug. 14 meeting to provide voters an opportunity to decide whether to fund projects identified by residents to address drainage, public safety, mobility and an animal shelter.
Based on citizen satisfaction surveys, extensive planning through various master plans and City Council input, drainage, public safety, and traffic and mobility are the top three priorities for our residents. Projects identified for the GO Bond were based on these driving factors. Drainage projects were identified by previous drainage studies, from structural flooding to major thoroughfare ponding to neighborhood street ponding; as well as project readiness. Public safety and public facilities were identified based on Facility Master Plan recommendations. Streets and mobility projects were selected based on pavement assessments and traffic studies. The majority of the projects have been presented to City Council in the past through studies, preliminary engineering and/or design phases. These projects have been reviewed by City Council to move forward in the G.O. Bond election in November.
Each request is received by the City Engineer through the email@example.com. Projects requested are weighed by importance and priority needs. If a project is not placed on the project list, it will be reviewed again the following budget process.
All quoted costs are based on engineer estimates with pricing from current market indices. By state law, and city ordinance, all work will be publicly bid. The projects identified have had previous work performed, including drainage studies and designs, pavement assessments and facilities studies.
The bonds will be issued over three years with projects expected to be completed within three to four years.
Approving the bonds authorizes the city to incur debt to build the projects. The requested bond amount is based on the projects’ current estimated costs. If those costs change as a project moves forward, then the amount allocated to that project may not be enough to build it. The city may postpone construction of that particular project or seek additional money from the City Council. Staff will provide financial reporting to City Council to keep the public informed of anticipated project costs versus project budgets.
The City issues bonds to finance projects that will benefit the City for decades, allowing the cost to be spread across the useful life of the project. It would take many years to accumulate enough funding to pay for these projects as we go- during that time the projects don’t get built.
History has shown that construction inflation far outpaces interest costs and are not fixed as the interest will be on bonds. The City’s AAA-rated GO bonds carry the lowest possible interest rates which allow the projects to be financed economically over an appropriate period- usually about 20 years.
The parks bond projects were estimated to be completed within five to seven years. City Council recently committed to include the final parks bond projects in the 2020 proposed budget. In addition, City Council made the decision to increase the homestead exemption to 12 percent to offset the residential impact of the resulting 1 cent tax rate increase.
There will be 4 propositions on the November 2019 ballot.
The interest rate is set by the bond market at the time the bonds are issued. Since the City carries the highest possible rating for GO bonds, the interest rate is among the lowest available for municipal bonds. Sugar Land issues bonds based on a 20-year maturity schedule, with at least half of the principal paying off in the first 10 years. This aggressive repayment schedule also minimizes the interest cost that must be repaid.
The current credit rating or bond rating of the City is AAA- the highest rating available. Issuing additional bonds does not affect the bond rating as long as there is a sound financial plan to support the bonds, for example- recognizing that they cannot be funded within the existing tax rate and that the tax rate must be increased to fund the bonds.
Over the last few years there has been continuous pressure on appraisal districts to reduce growth in appraised values. The three-cent tax increase assumes no growth in taxable values and is the maximum anticipated impact to support the projects based on current taxable value in the City.
Sales taxes are not pledged toward repayment of GO bonds; that statement is incorrect and was never made by the City.
Yes. School districts often freeze taxes for people over 65 because they no longer access educational services; however, the city of Sugar Land continues to provide services to people of all ages.
The City does not set the value of your home. The Fort Bend County Appraisal District is the entity that sets your property’s valuation amount based on market values. The City is not counting on any increases to taxable values to implement the bond program- with that, passage of all four bond propositions will increase the City portion of your tax bill by 3 cents or about $10 per month for the average Sugar Land home, to fund items such as drainage improvements, a public safety training facility, a public safety dispatch and emergency operations facility, new animal shelter and roadway improvement projects.
Should voters approve all propositions, City Council will raise the city's tax rate 3 cents for fiscal year 2021. The $90 million in projects was identified by residents to address drainage, public safety/facilities, mobility and an animal shelter. The one-time tax rate increase of 3 cents represents an extra $10 per month for the average Sugar Land homeowner. With voter approval, the projects will be funded in future capital programs to begin in fiscal years 2021 to 2023.
The bonds represent a FY21 investment of approximately 3 cents on the tax rate or about $10 per month for the average Sugar Land homeowner, to fund items such as drainage improvements, a public safety training facility, a public safety dispatch and emergency operations facility, new animal shelter and roadway improvement projects.
The tax rate is set each year by City Council and no City Council can bind future City Councils as to that rate as a matter of state law. By that same law, future City Councils could roll back the rate at any time or raise it at any time. If City Council votes to lower it while money is still owed on the debt, they would need to make cuts elsewhere in services to pay for it.
If the city’s voters reject the bond program, bonds will not be issued for the projects included in the program, and the projects may remain unfunded. The tax rate will not be raised if the bonds are not approved by voters to build the projects.
If a bond proposition does not pass, it means that the funding associated with that proposition is not approved.
Cities across the nation compete to attract new businesses that add jobs and new revenue streams to local communities. Incentives are important tools to achieve economic development goals. The City does not lose money through such value-added tax abatements, as the development would not have occurred without the tax abatement. The projects result in significant property tax value and revenue to the City after the abatement expires (maximum 10 year terms). In addition, economic growth generated by these agreements fully benefits the local school districts, as they do not participate in abatements.
All financial projections for budgeting and financial forecasting purposes are conducted in-house by the City’s Finance and Budget Office staff.
Property taxes are the main source of funds used to repay bonds issued through a General Obligation bond. General Obligation bonds are backed by the full faith and credit of the issuing jurisdiction, in this case the City of Sugar Land. This means the City is obligated to pay back the bonds plus interest by pledging revenue from ad valorem taxes. The City levies a property tax annually with a portion of the tax rate dedicated to the interest & sinking fund to repay general obligation bonds in the form of annual principal and interest payments.
Including all debt backed by property taxes, the City has $288 million in outstanding principal and interest on bonds issued by the City and assumed by the City through annexation and dissolution of Municipal Utility Districts over time. This figure does not include debt supported by Sugar Land Regional Airport, the water utility system or economic development sales taxes.
Property taxes are the only repayment source for General Obligation bonds. The City currently has tax-backed bonds that were inherited from Municipal Utility Districts upon annexation- the water/wastewater component of those bonds are supported by utility revenues. Other bonds (Certificates of Obligation) are backed by property taxes but are supported with repayment from restricted revenue sources such as hotel occupancy taxes, lease revenues and public improvement district assessments.
In the last 11 trading days, the DOW has been up more than 300 points three times, and down approximately 2,500 points the other eight days. This wild volatility in stocks is affecting bond yields which have been jumping up and down (mostly down) for much of the last month. The financial forecast for the City is based on an average interest cost for the City to issue bonds and is not tied to the stock market performance. This is actually a very good time for the City to issue bonds as when bond yields are down that means that it costs less as they carry a lower interest rate.
The city’s issuance of bonds don’t affect interest rates as they are driven by the supply and demand of the national municipal bond market. Bond yields are falling, which means that it is less costly for the city to borrow money through the issuance of bonds. Issuing bonds help cities to ensure intergenerational equity by spreading payments for assets and infrastructure over their useful lives. Intergenerational equity relates to equity between present and future generations and considers distribution of resources or burdens between generations. This helps to ensure that residents today are not responsible for paying for the full cost of a project that will continue to benefit residents for decades in the future.
The city carries a AAA bond rating from Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings, which is the highest rating available. The ratings demonstrate confidence of the rating agencies in the city’s ability to manage its finances. This allows the city to ensure our tax dollars go farther by borrowing funds at the lowest possible interest rates. Each time the city prepares a new debt issue, rating agencies evaluate the city’s credit rating to assign a bond rating to the proposed bond issue as well as all outstanding bonds of the city. The bonds that are proposed will also carry this rating, which means that the bonds will carry the lowest interest costs available based on municipal bond market conditions at the time they are issued.
If one or more of the bond propositions fails, the city is prohibited from issuing certificates of obligation to fund any of the failed projects for three years. Because the bond election requires a tax increase to fund, if one or more propositions fails, the actual tax increase will be re-evaluated and adjusted to support the approved propositions, which will also utilize current debt capacity. This decision will be made by City Council during the fiscal year 2021 budget process.
There are several layers of checks and balances to ensure proper monitoring and handling of the bond program. These checks and balances begin at a staff level as part of the reporting delivered to City Council. Additionally, before any project begins, each must be presented to and approved by the City Council, which usually occurs through the annual Capital Improvement Program Budget Process. In addition, the City Council (at public meetings) must vote to issue the debt and approve design and construction contracts associated with each project. The City also goes through extensive auditing process by outside auditing agencies.
No. Texas law requires that the proceeds of bonds authorized at the November 2019 special bond election be used only for projects described in the ballot questions.
No. Any funding approved in the November 2019 special election can only be used to complete projects which are set forth in the official Election Information Pamphlet and on the city’s website. The complete bond project list is also included in these FAQs.
Bonds are one source of funding for city capital projects. Projects that lack funding are not included in the Capital Improvement Program.
In 2013 the residents approved five Parks Bond projects; 2 of them have been completed including Brazos River Park Phase I and Crown Festival Site, and Imperial Connector Trail. The remaining three projects are Mid-Lake, First Colony Trail, and Ditch H Trail. Some design and permitting has begun on these projects; construction has not started.
None. There are no outstanding bonds in the proposed bond election. Once bonds are issued, they do not need voter approval.
Bonds to be considered in the election will be utilized only to construct the projects identified. When the City refinances outstanding bonds (similar to refinancing a mortgage), it is accomplished through the issuance of refunding bonds, which do not require approval by voters. Refunding bonds are issued to achieve savings to the City over the remaining life of the bonds. The City has minimum savings thresholds that must be met before it will consider issuing refunding bonds.
GO bonds were last on the ballot in November 2013 with propositions relating to Parks projects. Prior to that, the last City GO bond election was January 1999.
The city of Sugar Land works closely with flood-control partners -- including Levee Improvement Districts and Fort Bend County -- tasked with protecting residents from river flooding. Routine maintenance and targeted drainage projects are important to protect Sugar Land during extreme weather events. The city’s regional approach to flood-control projects recognizes that each agency has an important role to play in keeping residents safe. Joint studies and agreements combined with ongoing communications ensure a coordinated effort. Projects included in the bond referendum build on efforts being implemented by area LIDs that are investing in increased pumping capacity and levee improvements. Project timing will be well coordinated with the LIDs’ projects to ensure the drainage system functions as an integrated system. Sugar Land takes the same approach with Fort Bend County on projects impacting city residents.
Traffic impact studies and analysis have confirmed that this project addresses the current and future needs of the University Boulevard corridor, including the future development of Tract 5. The total project cost is approximately $3.4M with Fort Bend County contributing approximately 50% of the total construction cost approved in the 2017 Fort Bend County Mobility Bond Project.
The project includes the extension of the existing Soldiers Field Rd. to SH6, which is approximately 1,100 ft. and a roundabout at the intersection of Soldiers Field and First Colony. The project also includes associated drainage improvements for the roadways and necessary water and wastewater line extensions. The detailed cost breakdown will be available once the design is completed. All project estimates are generated using the City’s cost database which is developed by past construction projects in the City and the region.
Studies on the identified area have not identified or justified further improvements but it can be evaluated for inclusion in future bond elections.
Since 2007, the dispatch center staff has nearly doubled in size from 19 employees in 2007, to 35 in 2019 (not including the addition of 21 Police officers after the annexation of Greatwood and New Territory housed in the same building). The expanded dispatch center is consistent with a recent assessment by industry experts who recommended the expansion to address the expanded city population.
The most recent department assessment recommends hiring an additional eight dispatchers to meet the public safety demands of our growing city. The proposed dispatch center is designed to accommodate the additional needed employee space as well as to expand the city’s emergency operations center (EOC). The EOC is used to manage city operations during significant emergency events such as hurricane Harvey and our most recent flooding event in May of 2019.
The public safety training facility is intended for police and firefighters who provide the public safety services to the residents of the city. Having training facilities within the City limits allows Fire-EMS responders to train on duty while maintaining their ability to respond to emergency calls eliminating the need to go out of the City to train.
No. City ordinance requires any development and construction to result in no adverse impact to surrounding or nearby properties. The drainage impact of the proposed new municipal facilities (Animal Shelter and EOC/Dispatch Building) has been taken into account with the existing drainage system. The proposed new Public Safety Training Facility will include required drainage improvements to avoid any negative impact to surrounding areas.
Public facilities rehabilitation refers to repairs and renovations to the City’s buildings. As buildings age, key building systems must be repaired or replaced. This project focuses on building envelope repairs and/or roof replacements at locations such as City Hall, the Fire Administration/City Hall Annex building, the Police Department, Fire Stations and the Public Works Service Center. Interior renovations will also be conducted at various Fire Stations, the Fire Administration/City Hall Annex building and the Public Works Service Center. In addition, the City’s fuel system will be expanded to accommodate the City’s fleet of vehicles. The City of Sugar Land manages over 70 buildings across the City. We utilize our Facility Condition Assessment and facility maintenance records to identify projects that need to be completed, the timing associated with the projects and the estimated cost.
The City has a Facilities Master Plan that we utilize to guide decision-making processes when considering the utilization of resources and the construction of new buildings. The most recent Facilities Master Plan update was completed in 2014 and focuses on facility requirements that are based on department growth that is generated by population growth or other City Council approved programs.
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.
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 2020 Census 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 2020 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.
Information on districts, redistricting, and more.
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.
Public meetings will be held during the redistricting process to receive public comments on proposed redistricting plans. The public will be able to submit other redistricting plans for council consideration on August 15, 2023.
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.
Most tickets can be handled without a court appearance. You have options!
If you have not taken a defensive driving course in the last 12 months and if you were not speeding more than 25 miles over the speed limit, you may have your ticket dismissed by taking a defensive driving class. You must request permission from the court before you sign up for the course. Please refer to the Driving Safety Course section of this website under General Court Information.
If you received a ticket for driving without a license, you may request a deferred disposition or probation to keep your ticket off your driving record. The instructions for requesting a Deferred Disposition can be found in the Fines, Forms, and Payments section of this website.
If you received a ticket for Failure to present a driver’s license on demand, but your license was valid at the time, you can have your ticket dismissed by presenting your license and paying a court administrative fee of $10 at the lobby windows. No courtroom appearance is necessary.
If you received a defective equipment violation ticket and you have repaired the defect, you can have your ticket dismissed by paying a court administrative fee of $20 at the lobby windows. No courtroom appearance is necessary.
If you received a ticket for an expired registration sticker, but the registration has been renewed at the county tax office and the sticker was not expired for longer than 60 days, you can have your ticket dismissed. You will need to present proof that you have paid your late fees to the county tax office. You can take care of this transaction at the court lobby windows by paying a $20 court administrative fee and presenting your receipt from the tax office. No courtroom appearance is necessary.
If you received a ticket for Failure to Maintain Financial Responsibility, you may request a deferred disposition or probation to keep your ticket off your driving record. The instructions to request a Deferred Disposition can be found in the Fines, Forms, and Payments section of this website. If you received a ticket for Failure to Maintain Financial Responsibility, but you were insured at the time, there is no fee to have your ticket dismissed. You will need to present a copy of your insurance card with your name listed as an insured driver at the lobby windows. You will be required to complete a motion to dismiss which will be provided for you. No courtroom appearance is necessary.
You need to complete a payment plan form. A complete explanation of payment plans offered by the court and all the required forms can be found on our website in the Payment Plans & Extension-to-Pay tab under Fines, Forms, and Payments.
NOTE: Other transactions can be made at the court lobby windows. You may be able to keep your ticket from becoming a conviction on your driving record even if your particular violation is not mentioned here.
If you have more than one citation or if the time is past the appearance date on your ticket, you may have to make an appearance in court. When you receive a citation from the City of Sugar Land Police, you are given a date to appear. The court date in listed under the issue date. On handwritten tickets it is near the bottom of the ticket.
Most tickets can be handled without a court appearance. You have options! You may be eligible to have your ticket dismissed or qualify for a program to keep your ticket off your driving record. Refer to the Dismissals page for more information.
On June 1, 2019, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a law banning red-light traffic cameras in the State of Texas. You no longer have to pay for red light camera tickets in Sugar Land, Texas.
Refer to the Warrant Information page for more information.
Refer to the Deferred Disposition page for more information.
Facility reservations must be made in-person at the Imperial Park Recreation Center:
234 Matlage WaySugar Land, TX 7778
Reservation hours are: Monday to Friday 8am to 7pm and Saturday 8am to 4pm. The deposit is due when you make your reservation and rental fees are due 10 days before your event.
Online reservation requests are now available for pavilions at the following parks: City Park, Eldridge Park, First Colony Park, Lost Creek Park, Sugar Land Memorial Park.
For online reservation requests or to check availability, visit https://www.sugarlandtx.gov/ParksRegister
Send our team an email to firstname.lastname@example.org that includes:
A wide variety of classes and activities take place at the Imperial Park Recreation Center and the T.E. Harman Center for senior programs. Contact us at 281-275-2885 for more information, or to check current program offerings, visit www.SugarLandTX.gov/ParksRegister.
The T.E. Harman Center is located at 226 Matlage Way, 77478. Operating hours are Monday-Thursday from 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 webpage.
The City of Sugar Land annexed Cullinan Park, which spans 754 acres in January 2016. Since then, Cullinan Park has become a regional destination for birding, wildlife viewing and more.
The City of Sugar Land oversees and maintains Cullinan Park, while the Cullinan Park Conservancy is responsible for the promotion, enhancement, and protection of Cullinan Park.
Park reservations are made in-person at the Imperial Park Recreation Center. Deposits are due at the time of facility reservation, and rental fees are due 10 days before your event. For any questions, please call us at 281-275-2885.
Currently membership at the IPRC is offered on an individual basis only. For current membership rates, visit www.SugarLandTX.gov/IPRC
Program registration can be made in-person at the Imperial Park Recreation Center or online at www.SugarLandTX.gov/ParksRegister. You can also call with any questions: 281-275-2885
You may visit the T.E. Harman Center in person to register for classes, or you may call or email your requested activities before 8:45 a.m. on registration days. Members may also register for classes online at www.SugarLandTX.gov/ParksRegister.
Programs at the T.E. Harman Center are reserved for seniors 50 years of age and older.
T.E. Harman Center membership allows members to bring a guest three times per year.
At this time, we do not offer weekly or monthly memberships. All T.E. Harman Center memberships are offered on an annual basis.
Members must register for all classes and activities that they would like to participate in.
Every city has a lifecycle and we have reached the peak of ours now. With only 4% of developable land left until we are completely built out, we know we are at the decision point where we can either be aspirational or go into decline. Doing nothing is not an option -- we can change or time will make changes for us.
Reinvestment means putting money into an existing asset (home, retail center, etc.) to bring the property up to new standards or trends in commercial and residential development. The City is exploring pilot programs that incentivize homeowners and landlords to invest in their properties and updating our development rules and services to encourage reinvestment across the city.
Simply, redevelopment is when an existing building and/or parking areas are demolished and a new development is built on the same site. It usually involves building more on the site than was previously there, creating density. Redevelopment can also occur when a current building is repurposed into a new use or to align with new market trends.
The City has limited land in its extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ), which is the area immediately outside of Sugar Land's corporate limits. All land surrounding the City is either already incorporated or in another jurisdiction's ETJ.
As described in the 2018 Land Use Plan, any new apartments built in Sugar Land will be required to be multi-story, urban-style apartments that activate the streets. Standalone, garden-style apartments are not supported by the Land Use Plan. Additional housing options that will be considered include townhomes, condos, duplexes, accessory dwelling units, and live-work units that support local entrepreneurship and employment. These new types of housing are an essential first step to providing pathways to homeownership and drive demand for existing and new dining, retail, amenities, and attractions.
The City cannot guarantee specific occupancy rates as retail is market driven by consumer demand. One of the key ingredients in a mixed-use development is housing which supports retail tenants. To support local retail, we encourage you to shop local instead of online purchases.
There is not a specific number of people needed. However, more people and housing are necessary for new commercial development and amenities to be supported. This will be driven by the market on a development-by-development basis. Accounting for annexation, the City’s population has only grown 1.4% from 2015-2019 (City’s Workforce and Targeted Industry Study).
The most important thing is to continue to grow and attract new residents by providing options for downsizing and pathways to homeownership for the younger generations.
Sugar Land is committed to ensuring our infrastructure can adequately support additional development. Periodic updates to our master plans through long range planning helps the City anticipate population growth in key areas. When additional utility extensions or transportation improvements are needed, the City proactively allocates funding through the annual capital improvement program (CIP). Additionally, certain site improvements are paid for by the property owner/developer, which helps alleviate the financial burden to Sugar Land’s operating budget.
The Land Use Plan is a guiding document that outlines policy direction and guidance for development, redevelopment and land use decisions. The plan is not a regulating document. The Land Use 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.
Mixed-use zoning brings together residential and nonresidential uses in walkable, pedestrian districts. Examples of mixed-use places include office, residential, retail, and restaurants.
The Land Use Plan states that mixed-use development is a critical factor in maintaining the City's ability to continue to provide first-rate city services at one of the lowest property tax rates in the state. Continued commercial development is vitally important to Sugar Land from both an economic perspective as well as the civic services and amenities it provides to residents and visitors. The success of Sugar Land Town Square is a model for future walkable, mixed-use Regional and Neighborhood Activity Centers.
Yes. When we updated the Land Use Plan (a component of the City’s Comprehensive Plan, which serves as a guide to how the City should develop and redevelop and evolve over time to reflect changing conditions) in 2018, we heard through that process that residents wanted mixed-use type areas in our community. They wanted not just a mix of uses, but they want us to create places where people can gather outside of work, school and their homes.
The City of Sugar Land is actively working on enhancing our community's quality of life through the implementation of new mixed-use zoning regulations. Amending the development code to allow for mixed-use areas within the City is an action step included in the Land Use Plan to accomplish this goal. These regulations are a direct response to the long-term shifts in market demands and demographic trends, as well as the desires expressed by our residents during the Land Use Plan update in 2018. These regulations aim to create vibrant Activity Centers that integrate offices, housing, retail, entertainment, and civic uses, providing spaces where people can gather outside of work, school, and their homes. With the introduction of two new mixed-use zoning districts, we strive to bridge the gap between residential and commercial land uses.
No. These proposed changes are only meant to create mixed-use Activity Centers as identified in the 2018 Land Use Plan approved by City Council.
The Land Use Plan identifies:
The goal of the mixed-use zoning code and the proposed mixed-use districts is threefold. The mixed-use zoning code aims to:
We have been hard at work since November 2020, with our zoning experts at Clarion Associates to research the best way to implement activity centers as discussed in the 2018 Land Use Plan. Writing the mixed-use zoning code, including researching comparison cities, has taken a little over a year. We anticipate presenting a final mixed-use zoning code to City Council in Fall 2023.
Much like a vehicle that needs an oil change, our zoning codes need regular maintenance to make good things happen. City Council’s #1 priority is redevelopment because we are a community at a crossroads where we can either proactively blaze new trails into the future or lose our competitive advantage. While our zoning regulations control certain aspects of development and generally perform well, we also recognize they can also be too controlling in other ways. Without updating our zoning standards to keep up with the market and real estate trends and with surrounding communities, our community loses the competitive advantage we’ve historically enjoyed.
In terms of acreage, activity centers only comprise less than 7% of the City’s land.
To start, the developer is proposing redevelopment of the Imperial Char House into an office building with associated food, beverage and retail. It is proposed that a portion of the Char House will house The Cannon, an innovation space that provides numerous workspace options, programming, content, and events, with access to sponsors, mentors, accelerators, incubators, and venture capital. The remainder of the 40-acre proposed project, which includes all currently existing historical structures, is a mixed-use walkable area including retail, food and beverage, office, event space, residential (including multi-family), with extensive outdoor green space. The top priority of the project is preservation of historic buildings as well as an emphasis on creating a vibrant, energetic destination for the community.
For more information on the inspiration for this project, please watch the video from the Town Halls here: https://sugar-scoop.com/2022/12/19/couldnt-make-it-to-the-imperial-char-house-town-hall-watch-both-sessions-here/
PUMA has purchase agreements for approximately 40 acres of land in and around the former Imperial Sugar site, including the Char House. PUMA does not yet own the property. To date, the City Council has approved the following:
This project is a joint effort between the City and PUMA Development for two main reasons: 1) Redevelopment of the former Imperial Sugar site is one of City Council’s top priorities and 2) due to the complexities of this site any development that meets this vision will require financial support to be successful.
Redevelopment of the former Imperial Sugar site is one of City Council's top priorities as it is extremely important to our residents and at the center of preserving the city’s heritage. Projects like this are expensive and complex. The City and developer will be maximizing the use of a variety of financial tools, including the City’s Economic Development Corporations, funded by a quarter-cent sales tax restricted for economic development purposes, state historical tax credits, General Fund, and private financing to meet the vision for the site.
To date, the following has been approved:
The City has tried for many years to secure a private partner and financially viable project for this site. PUMA’s proposed project is centered on redeveloping the Char House first, which is critically important to the City.
In December 2022, the City announced its partnership with PUMA Development to propose the redevelopment of the Imperial Char House. The City made a conscious effort to engage with the community. Two town halls were hosted on December 8 and 15, 2022 to hear clear information straight from the developer regarding the project and to gain public input on the proposal. You can watch both town halls here: https://sugar-scoop.com/2022/12/19/couldnt-make-it-to-the-imperial-char-house-town-hall-watch-both-sessions-here/
PUMA proposes to make the Char House improvements as part of its Phase 1 process, but the actual timing and sequencing of the project phases will be controlled by City Council through future zoning approvals. We recommend signing up for our email listserv to stay up-to-date on all the latest updates: www.sugarlandtx.gov/ImperialHistoricDistrict
Currently pre-development work, such as engineering, architectural, traffic analysis and other technical studies are currently underway. PUMA is also working on securing other financing sources, including historic tax credits. The next step in the zoning process is for PUMA to submit a Final Development Plan application for the first phase of its project, which will include the redevelopment and reuse of the Char House and its surrounding area. The Final Development Plan will require public hearings at Planning & Zoning and City Council.
PUMA has contacted Urbano Architects to begin focusing on the preservation of the Char House. This will include work that needs to be done to ensure structural integrity of the building and upgrades to bring the structure into compliance with the current International Building Codes (IBC). Urbano will be obtaining building permits to complete this scope of work limited to the Char House preservation efforts.
The Land Use Plan designated 526 multi-family units for the Imperial Regional Activity Center (RAC). To make this project financially feasible an additional 660 units are needed in the Imperial RAC, therefore triggering a Land Use Plan amendment. Previous plans, which included fewer multi-family units, were not financially feasible and therefore did not come to fruition.
The Land Use Plan is a guiding document that should be read and understood holistically, not as a mandate. The Plan is not a regulating document. The Land Use Plan states that periodic changes may be necessary to respond to demographic shifts and market trend and those changes should include public input and reviewed by the Planning & Zoning Commission and City Council.
Both the Land Use Plan Amendment and approval of the General Development Plan were the first step of a 2-step zoning process to provide a framework of development regulations and land uses, including multi-family, that can be requested in future zoning applications. These approvals did not grant development rights for new construction of the project to begin. Future zoning applications are required and will include traffic studies, school impact studies, infrastructure analysis etc. and provide opportunities for the public to provide feedback, including public hearings at Planning & Zoning Commission and City Council.
The developer has been clear on the number of multifamily units needed to ensure financial viability and sustainability of the project. If the developer does not receive approval for the land uses, including multifamily, and density needed then the project will not move forward. Redevelopment is complex and this site is especially challenging for development and will require tradeoffs.
PUMA is the first developer who is willing to prioritize the preservation and enhancement of the Char House first before moving on to other aspects of the project. Therefore, the developer proposes to make the Char House improvements as Phase 1. City Council will control the actual timing and sequencing of the remaining project phases through future zoning approvals and a development agreement.
Over the years, the community has expressed a desire for more housing options to accommodate a variety of lifestyles and people at different life stages. This denser type of development also has other benefits, such as creating desirable workplaces for new, expanded and existing businesses, pathways to homeownership, public infrastructure improvements and quality of place amenities. This also helps maintain Sugar Land’s high-level of services and amenities while sustaining one of the state’s lowest tax rates.
To create a vibrant and successful mixed-use project, multi-family units – like apartments – are necessary. Ultimately, we want this to be a financially successful and sustainable development that will benefit our community for years to come.
The units will be luxury and anticipated to attract single and/or dual-income empty-nesters and young professionals. Price range will vary based on square footage of the unit, plus amenities offered by the complex. The developer estimates a price of $2.25 to $3.35 per square foot per month depending on the size/quality of the unit and the type of complex. For example: a standard 1-bedroom unit of 800 square feet may be $1,800 to $2,600/month.
Additional housing options that will be considered include, but not limited to, townhomes, urban homes, and duplexes. These new types of housing are an essential first step to providing new pathways to homeownership and drive demand for existing and new dining, retail, amenities, and attractions. These other housing options will be considered in addition to mixed-use, multi-family units – like apartments – that are necessary for the financial success of this program. Ultimately, we want this to be a financially successful and sustainable development that will benefit our community for years to come.
No. These are market rate apartments. The developer has stated the target market of the proposed apartments are single and/or dual income empty-nesters and young professionals, likely without children.
No. The Sugar Land Police Department analyzed police reports from 2019 to 2021 comparing multi-family and single-family housing in Sugar Land. When broken down by crime per housing unit, as well as multi-family housing vs single-family housing, there is no significant difference in crime. Additionally, Sugar Land has celebrated some of the lowest crime rates in our city’s history (both pre and post-COVID 19) after existing apartments were built in Sugar Land.
According to Fort Bend ISD, single-family houses generate more students for the school district than multi-family at a rate of 0.51 vs. 0.35 students per household. Data from Population and Survey Analysts (PASA), who is the demographer for Fort Bend ISD, states that newly built, market-rate multi-family properties typically have fewer students since rental rates are generally higher. Student to housing unit ratios is typically affected by several factors, including number of bedrooms per unit, age and class rating of the property, building style, campus attendance boundary, and rental price. A recent School Impact Analysis performed for a previous multi-family project showed that for a development largely consisting of studio and one-bedroom units, the ratio of students per occupied unit was far below the district average. A school impact study will be conducted as part of the second step zoning process for this project.
A Traffic Impact Analysis study will be required as part of this development as is typical with new developments of this size in the city. That updated traffic study is currently underway and will be considered as part of future approvals for the project.
TIA's help staff identify the effect of the proposed development on the City's transportation services including capacity, level of services, and safety and determines what, if any, necessary traffic improvements are warranted and the developer’s share of the improvement costs.
The Imperial Char House site has existing impervious areas (impervious area is any type of human-made surface that doesn’t absorb rainfall, like driveways, parking lots, sidewalks, etc.), which has been used as base conditions in drainage studies during the redevelopment of Imperial to allow for future development of the Char House site. Any impervious area that exceeds the existing base condition impervious coverage will require additional stormwater infrastructure to ensure water does not create an adverse impact up or downstream on Oyster Creek. Therefore, we do not have concerns area residents will experience flooding because of this development.
The Sugar Land Heritage Museum and the Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center are aware of the details of this project and are being updated as it progresses. Both the Heritage Museum and the Children’s Discovery Center were originally placed in that location as part of the previously proposed project, Imperial Market. Both projects need people within proximity to thrive and be successful long-term so both would benefit from being in a mixed-use, walkable development.
PUMA Development and the City have contracted with Urbano Architects to advise on the historic tax credit process. Historic tax preservation works in three phases that are reviewed and approved by the Texas Historical Commission and the National Park Service. The City is currently in Phase 1 where its application is being reviewed and approved, with expected approval in the spring. The proposed work will aim to preserve and retain the historic character of the Char House and will follow the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. The team’s ultimate goal is to give the Char House a new use with minimal changes to its distinctive materials, features, spaces and spatial relationships. Additionally, the Imperial Sugar Company Refinery Historic District has been acknowledged on the National Registry of Historic Places since 2017. This is an incredibly important funding source for the preservation of the Imperial Char House.
Cities use zoning as a tool to administrate land uses (e.g. residential, commercial, office, or industrial) and the physical development of land such as the size of buildings, and how buildings relate to their surroundings, including other buildings, open spaces, and the street.
Yes, all properties within Sugar Land city limits must be placed in a zoning district, which ensures compatibility between uses (residential, commercial, industrial, etc.), prevents nuisances, and protects value of property. The City of Sugar Land is divided, or zoned, into thirteen (13) standard zoning districts and multiple planned development (PD) districts. Each standard zoning district has development regulations that are located in Chapter 2, Zoning Regulations of the City’s Development Code. Access the official zoning map online under “Zoning Districts” at http://www.sugarlandtx.gov/273/City-Maps.
The HR-1 district is a residential zoning district for the neighborhood known as The Hill, and was created in 1997. This zoning district has unique development regulations that ensures new development and redevelopment will be in character with the neighborhood, some of which were modified and/or added with the adoption of Ordinance No. 2237 by City Council on July 20th 2021.
The HR-1 Zoning District:
The R-1 zoning district is a residential zoning district that is applied to many of the traditional suburban neighborhoods within the City.
At a glance, both zoning districts address many of the same things such as requiring minimum setbacks, maximum lot coverage, maximum floor-to-area ratio, maximum height, etc. R-1 is less restrictive by allowing taller homes (maximum height of 35 feet or 2.5 stories), wider homes (5-foot setback on each side) and overall larger homes than what commonly exists in The Hill. While still allowing larger homes than what exist today, the HR-1 regulations ensure that the size of new construction is smaller in scale to be compatible with the surrounding area. For example, homes in the HR-1 are allowed to be 2-stories, but are limited to 27 feet in overall height. Homes are also limited in width by larger side setbacks (10 feet on each side) and maximum building width, based on lot width in order to keep the open feel to the neighborhood.
If rezoned from HR-1 to R-1, your property will still have zoning and will follow development regulations for the R-1 zoning district when new construction such as additions or new houses are proposed on the property. This includes standard regulations such as minimum setbacks, maximum lot coverage, maximum floor-to-area ratio, maximum height, etc. Visit www.sugarlandtx.gov/LakeviewRezoning for a table comparison of R-1 vs HR-1 regulations.
No. This is a private development project. The property owner has brought forward this application for rezoning to allow this mixed use project.
The application has been taken forward to the Planning & Zoning Commission. The Commission held a workshop and a public hearing on the item. The Commission then held their Consideration and Action meeting where they recommended approval of the item to the Mayor and City Council. The City Council held a workshop on March 22nd to review the Land Use Plan policy direction and guidance for Regional Activity Centers and Neighborhood Activity Centers, as well as discuss The District at Sugar Creek Final Development Plan project proposal and how it aligns with the Land Use Plan guidance for mixed use development in a Regional Activity Center. The next meeting to be held with the City Council is the public hearing and first reading of the ordinance for The District at Sugar Creek Final Development Plan proposal. Once a date is finalized for that meeting, the information will be added to the website and sent out to the email distribution group. The City Council meetings will again provide an opportunity for the public to give input and feedback on the proposal.
387 multi-family units as a mix of studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom; and 15 live/work units with non-residential uses permitted on the ground floor.
The City Council approved 2018 Land Use Plan identified five areas of the city as Regional Activity Centers. They are intended to become walkable areas that have a mix of several land uses, such as office, entertainment, retail, residential, civic, and hotels, all in varying ratios to allow each Center to have a unique character. This overall mix of uses is important in these Centers because they complement each other to ensure higher property values and tax revenues for the city. While land use mix is an important component of these Centers, so are their design considerations such as accessibility on foot, bicycle, or car, the building heights and location, having street level store fronts, and outdoor spaces shaded during the day and lit in the evening.
This proposal aligns with the guidance in the Land Use Plan for multi-family units in a Regional Activity Center. The Plan specifically states that the City should not approve new stand-alone single-use multi-family residential complexes, and that any new multi-family units should be located in a mixed use area (Regional or Neighborhood Activity Center) designed to be integrated in a vertically mixed-use building or integrated horizontally within a pedestrian friendly mixed use development. This proposal aligns with the guidance in the Land Use Plan for a mixed use development. The multi-family units are being constructed in a vertically mixed use building with non-residential uses on the ground floor. The 8-acre development is horizontally integrated with various non-residential uses located within the 8-acres as well as in the overall Regional Activity Center.
The current proposal for District A would allow for non-residential uses, such as small-scale professional office, to be located on the ground floor of the live/work units. It also provides for approximately 2,400 square feet of additional non-residential space as well as 8,000 square feet of support areas including the leasing office, fitness center, and amenity center, all located on the ground floor and open to residents and the public. District B consists of three buildings proposed to be developed as restaurants and retail.
The Land Use Plan identified the need to complete a school impact study for any new proposed residential development as part of an activity center. The developer completed a school impact analysis as part of their rezoning application. For this project, the property owner utilized the same demographer used by the Fort Bend Independent School District; Population and Survey Analysts (PASA). The study concluded that this development, due to the large share of studio and one-bedroom units, will limit the number of households with children and therefore keep the ratio of students per occupied unit low and would not negatively impact schools. The study further indicated that this proposed development is only likely to yield 29 FBISD students once fully occupied. This site is in the attendance boundaries of Highlands Elementary, Dulles Middle and Dulles High School.
The proposal includes a structured parking garage which will provide 692 parking spaces onsite.
Any proposed development within the city undergoes a thorough drainage and traffic study. Drainage was analyzed as part of the staff review for this proposed development. Based on the current design, there will be full detention required for this site. There will be no impact to the existing system, nor the existing detention pond at the northeast corner of US Highway 59 and US 90A. All additional runoff will be contained within the site and released slowly back into the storm system.
New development proposals require a full Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA) be completed. The purpose of the Traffic Impact Analysis is to assist staff in identifying the effect of the proposed development on the City's transportation system including capacity, level of services, and safety.
A full TIA was submitted for this proposed development and the scope of the TIA study concentrated on the critical areas immediately impacted by traffic that is being anticipated from the proposed development. The applicant’s traffic consultant evaluated the study area as developed during the TIA scoping meeting with city traffic and engineering staff. City traffic and engineering staff completed their review of the TIA and have concurred with the findings, specifically noting that the Sugar Creek neighborhood south of US 59 is not expected to be significantly impacted by this proposed development.
The Land Use Plan’s designation of this area as a Regional Activity Center provides guidance for development and restrictions on any new multi-family units. It states that no new stand-alone multi-family should be developed, and that any new multi-family should be part of a mixed use setting that includes additional uses, activates the pedestrian realm, and incorporates structured and shared parking.
The proposed “District at Sugar Creek” development consists of two Districts; District A and District B, to be developed as a mixed-use project including multi-family, live/work, restaurants, and retail. The proposal includes 387 multi-family units, including a mix of studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom; and 15 live/work units, with a structured parking garage. District A also includes approximately 2,376 square feet of additional non-residential space located along the ground floor of the building. District B consists of three buildings proposed to be developed as restaurants and retail. It also includes an outdoor event lawn between the buildings and outdoor dining space to serve the restaurant development.
The Land Use Plan envisions an 88% single-family housing/12% multi-family housing ratio in order to preserve the nature of Sugar Land’s single-family neighborhoods while also ensuring that an appropriate mix of housing options are available.
The current ratio of single family housing to multi-family housing is 92.1% single family housing/7.9% multi-family housing. If approved by City Council and developed as is proposed, The District at Sugar Creek project proposal would modify this ratio to be 91.2% single family housing/8.8% multi-family housing city-wide.
In 2006, there was a zoning application received and processed for a proposed condominium development on a 7.4 acre site located at the intersection of US Highway 59 and Sugar Creek Center Blvd located directly along the US Highway 59 frontage road. The Planning & Zoning Commission did not recommend approval of that proposed application because at the time it did not comply with the Land Use Plan that was in existence in 2006. The Land Use Plan that was approved by City Council in 2018 created five Regional Activity Centers that support mixed use development in these areas that includes residential options, such as multi-family, with specific parameters. This 8-acre site at the northwest corner of Century Square Blvd and Sugar Creek Center Blvd is part of the Sugar Creek Triangle Regional Activity Center and thus the Land Use Plan supports the ability for a property owner to request a rezoning for a mixed use development.
The Planned Development (PD) district is designed to permit flexibility and encourage a more creative, efficient, and aesthetically desirable design and placement of buildings, open spaces and circulation patterns by allowing a mixture or combination of uses. A PD district may be used to permit new or innovative concepts in land utilization not permitted by other standard zoning districts in this Code to enhance existing or create new areas within the City that will promote the City's historical, cultural and architectural character. It is intended for application in all land use designations on the Future Land Use Plan, provided that the uses and development standards proposed are consistent with the stated goals of the City's Land Use Plan, including those found regarding Regional Activity Centers. The layout plan should provide an overall design, or other features or amenities that result in a high quality development. A PD may not be used for the primary purpose of avoiding the zoning regulations applicable to the primary zoning districts.
The 8-acre property located at the northwest corner of Century Square Blvd and Sugar Creek Center Blvd, being proposed as The District at Sugar Creek, is currently zoned B-O (Business Office) and has never been rezoned for residential use under the City’s zoning regulations since being annexed into the City.
Yes, this project proposal is in alignment with several of the goals and policy statements provided in the Land Use Plan. This development proposal provides the residential component that is missing from the Sugar Creek Triangle RAC, thereby contributing to the ultimate overall intended mix of uses. It is walkable, engages pedestrians, and activates the street by utilizing wider sidewalks and pedestrian amenities and pulling buildings closer to the street. The development includes a public plaza and outdoor gathering areas, and includes support services for the daytime office population as well as the evening resident population; all of which are in alignment with Plan guidance. The live/work units also support specific guidance from the Land Use Plan policy statement which states that some professionals prefer to conduct business within their home but have a separate dedicated space and entrance for that, thus supporting the live/work configuration as a way to accommodate this lifestyle preference.
No. This is a private development project. The property owner has brought forward this application for rezoning to allow this project.
The Planning & Zoning Commission held a public hearing on March 23, 2023 where several members of the public spoke in favor of the development proposal. The Commission then held their Consideration & Action meeting on April 11, 2023 where the Commissioners unanimously voted to recommend approval of the proposal to the members of City Council. The next step is for City Council to hold their public hearing and first reading of the ordinance. This is another opportunity where any members of the public are invited to speak regarding the proposal. That meeting is scheduled for May 2, 2023.
370 multi-family units as a mix of one-bedroom and two-bedroom; and 5 live/work units with office focused uses permitted on the ground floor.
This proposal aligns with the City Council approved 2018 Land Use Plan which identifies this area as part of a Regional Activity Center. A Regional Activity Center is an area located along regional highways to ensure that more intense uses are separated from single-family residential areas. The Regional Activity Center calls for a variety of land uses such as office, retail/entertainment, hotels, and residential including multi-family residential.
The proposal includes a structured parking garage as well as some on-street parking.
The developer has completed a school impact analysis as part of their rezoning application which concluded that this development, due to the higher number of one-bedroom units, would yield approximately 23 students at full occupancy. This site is in the attendance boundaries of Highlands Elementary, Dulles Middle and Dulles High School.
Now you can do it from your home. 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.
The Sugar Land Police Department receives many requests on a daily basis for its patches. Because of the expense of patches and some Texas laws, the department does not currently sell, trade or give away its patches. 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 Refinery. Sugar Land obtained its name because the jurisdiction was built around the Imperial Sugar Factory which unfortunately ceased its operations in 2003.
Because of rules and regulations of the National Crime Information Center and the Texas Crime Information Center, it is not possible for our law enforcement agency to release criminal history information to individuals. 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.
Yes. The Sugar Land Police Department will send recruits to a local Police Academy.
Yes. You will have to contact TCOLE and receive approval to challenge the state test. Once the challenge process is complete, you are eligible to be hired as a Certified Police Officer with SLPD.
Yes. While in the police academy, the salary for noncertified recruits starts at the Police recruit level.
We do not have a lateral entry program for Police Officers.
No. SLPD is not a civil service agency.
Patrol Officers typically work 10-hour shifts with 3 consecutive days off. Days off and shift assignment are based on seniority.
Yes, SLPD has multiple different divisions to include: Criminal Investigations, Traffic Unit (Motors), Crime Prevention, Training & Recruiting, Narcotics and Parks. In addition to daily assignments, SLPD offers SWAT, CNT, SRT, Field Training Officers, K-9, Drones, Bicycle Patrol, UTV’s.
Yes, incentive pay is offered for the educational degrees: Associate’s, Bachelor’s and Master’s and Certification Levels: Intermediate, Advanced and Master’s.
Facial hair is permitted as long as it fits the guidelines listed in the policy.
Yes, they must not be offensive and a long sleeve uniform should be able to cover them.
The hiring process typically last 3-4 months.
Yes, as long as you have 2 years’ active military, have an ETS date prior to being hired and an honorable discharge you are eligible to apply.
Yes - see specific physical requirements.
Red light cameras in Sugar Land were turned off on June 2, 2019.
All outstanding notice of violations, regardless of the date of violation, are exempt from payment responsibility and no further administrative hearings will be scheduled or heard. No refunds will be issued for violation payments already processed.
If your payment has not been processed, checks will be returned to you. If you do not receive your returned payment within 60 days of being mailed, contact Peggy Heinemeyer at 281-275-2055.
Fines assessed from red light camera violations were civil fines, not criminal. Because the violation was a civil matter, it did not count as a moving violation and was not reported on your driving record.
The city’s red light camera vendor will remove the equipment per the city’s contract. The removal process could take four to six months. Sugar Land’s RLC contract includes an adverse legislation termination clause. The city’s RLC vendor will remove their equipment at their cost.
The Sugar Land Police Department will continue to monitor traffic concerns and accidents. Traffic officers will be deployed to locations where there’s an identified need.
Per state law, the revenue from red light penalties was first used to cover expenses from the program. The remaining funds were split 50/50 between the state and City. These funds were placed in the City’s general fund to be used only for traffic safety programs, intersection improvements, public safety programs and traffic enforcement, including the Safe Light Sugar Land initiative.
Revenue from red light cameras represented approximately one percent of the City's general fund operating budget prior to termination of the program and could only be used for traffic safety programs.
Approximately 70 percent of violators did not live in Sugar Land.
The City's Drought Contingency Plan Stages are triggered when there is a drought proclamation, total daily water demand exceeds specified thresholds, or when water supplies or treatment capacity become reduced. On August 22, Governor Abbott issued a declaration of drought disaster for Fort Bend County. With the proclamation of drought and increased water demand primarily attributed to outdoor water irrigation, the City has initiated Stage 1 Drought.
No, watering restrictions are not mandatory in Stage 1 Drought. However, all residents and customers are highly encouraged to reduce landscape irrigation with an irrigation system or hose-end sprinkler to two days a week and reduce water used for non-essential and aesthetic water needs.
Irrigation of landscaped areas and structure foundations is permitted at any time by means of a hand-held hose with a positive shut-off nozzle, a faucet filled bucket or water can of five gallons or less, or drip irrigation system.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) requires public water suppliers and wholesale water suppliers to adopt Drought Contingency Plans that lay out responses should a water shortage or water production and delivery emergency impact the ability to deliver drinking water.
There is currently no timeframe for how long the City will remain in Stage 1 Drought. The City will remain in Stage 1 until all triggering conditions have ceased to exist.
Watering restrictions become mandatory in Stage 2, which calls for mandatory twice a week watering.
Lead is a naturally occurring metal that is harmful if inhaled or swallowed. Lead can be found in air, soil, dust, pottery, food and water.
Lead can cause a variety of adverse health effects if too much enters your body from drinking water or other sources. These effects may include increases in the blood pressure of some adults; delays in normal physical and mental development in babies and young children; and, deficits in the attention span, hearing, and learning abilities of children. The greatest risk of lead exposure is to infants and pregnant women.
Structures built before the lead ban will be at a higher risk. The lead ban went into effect in Texas in 1988. Plumbing installed before 1988 can have lead in the solder, pipes, faucets, or fixtures, which can leach into the water supply over time.
Developments built in the past 35 years would have neither lead service lines nor private plumbing lines that are lead, but plumbing fixtures in the home or business could contain lead. From 1986 to 2014, plumbing fixtures could contain up to 8% lead to be categorized as, “Lead free.” However, current standards for “lead-free” fixtures allow no more than 0.25% of lead content.
The City of Sugar Land has no information on the type of material used in private plumbing lines inside homes and business. Customers who think their home or business could be at risk can hire a licensed plumber to perform an inspection.
Customers may also be able to identify their plumbing material themselves using a key or coin and a refrigerator magnet:
Use a Key or coin to scrape a small area on the pipe. Check to see if a magnet will stick to the pipe.
Currently, in Sugar Land, we have no known lead service lines. Water system records do not indicate any lead service lines in the portion of the distribution system owned by the city. However, to achieve compliance with new EPA regulations, we must verify whether lead materials are in any of the city-owned and customer-owned portions of each service line connected to the water systems. This inventory will be completed by October 2024, and it will be made available to the public on the city’s website.
To complete this inventory, city staff are conducting an extensive review of all historical records pertaining to the water systems. Staff are also collecting data on service line materials during normal operations, such as repair and replacement of service lines and meters. Staff may also need to perform visual inspections of the meter box or perform minor excavation near the meter box to identify the materials on both side of the meter.
If the service lines at your address are suspected to contain lead, you will receive a letter with additional information.
Corrosive water can dissolve lead from plumbing materials in service lines and home plumbing. By using chemicals to control the corrosivity of the water, lead exposure can be reduced. The City of Sugar Land has a corrosion control plan, as part of the Lead and Copper Rule. The system’s corrosion control technique is to adjust pH so the treated water is non-corrosive to metal. Over time, this process has resulted in Sugar Land’s treated water forming a protective scale on the inside of pipes that prevents the leaching out of materials such as lead.
In 2021, TCEQ approved optimal pH ranges for the system to operate within at all times. Monitoring is performed every two weeks at the point where the treated water leaves each treatment plant and quarterly at locations throughout the distribution system. Results of this monitoring are reported to Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
The City of Sugar Land conducts lead and copper testing, as required by the TCEQ. Samples are collected and analyzed every three years from each of the city’s water systems. The City of Sugar Land was awarded a reduced sampling schedule of every three years because we have repeatedly demonstrated that the water systems meet the federal government's requirements. To date, the 90th percentile results for all of the city’s sampling events have been well below the Action Level of 0.015 mg/l for lead.
The City of Sugar Land is responsible for providing drinking water that meets all federal and state standards but cannot control the variety of materials used in plumbing components found in homes and other buildings. If you are worried about lead exposure, here are some steps you can take:
If you’re concerned your home plumbing may contain lead, you may want to have your water tested by a state-certified laboratory.
A list of certified laboratories is available on the TCEQ website (TX Drinking Water Public Labs - Lead and Copper Testing - Google My Maps). Contact labs directly for information on cost and sampling bottles.
Information on lead in drinking water, testing methods, and steps you can take to minimize exposure is available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline 800-426-4791 or EPA’s website (https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water/basic-information-about-lead-drinking-water).
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.
Although a multi-lane roundabout has two or more lanes, drivers should not change lanes while travelling in the roundabout. The traffic signs are designed to guide drivers to the correct lane before entering the roundabout and while circling the roundabout. If a driver does not choose the correct lane, then he or she should exit the roundabout, make a u-turn at the next median break and choose the correct lane based on the traffic signs. Changing lanes within a roundabout not only causes confusion for other drivers, but can also cause accidents.
Learn more about roundabouts >>
Many roundabouts are designed to allow buses and large trucks to drive through the roundabout. They typically have a 5-15 foot wide mountable curb around the central island called a truck apron. Buses and semi-trucks can use this apron in order to make a turn within the roundabout, and for multi-lane roundabouts, they can use both circulating lanes in order to make a turn. However, drivers of large vehicles need to wait until the circulating roundabout is clear of vehicles before they can enter and use both lanes. In addition, drivers on multi-lane approaches to roundabouts need to give way to oversized vehicles and allow them to enter the roundabout first.
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.
Historically, the majority of the city’s drinking water supply has been from groundwater aquifers. There are twelve city groundwater plants ranging in size from approximately 3 to 12 million gallons per day (MGD) of production capacity. The water in these aquifers is from the Gulf Coast Aquifer system with an average depth of greater than 1,200 feet.
In response to Fort Bend Subsidence District’s (FBSD) 30 percent alternative water supply conversion deadline, the city constructed a 10.85-MGD surface water treatment plant (SWTP) that went into operation in 2013. The city has three sources of water available to supply the SWTP with surface water. The city holds a contract with the Gulf Coast Water Authority (GCWA), who delivers raw water from the Brazos River to Oyster Creek. The contract with GCWA provides 10 MGD (11,201 AFY) of raw water, and an agreement to purchase an additional 10 MGD for future needs. The city also has a contract with the Brazos River Authority (BRA) for 6,388 AFY of raw water. Finally, the city holds a water right on Oyster Creek which allows the City to withdraw 18,000 acre-feet per year (AFY).
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.
Water conservation fortifies our community’s quality of life by ensuring availability of ample water resources and mitigating cost to reduce groundwater use to 40% by 2025 as mandated by the Fort Bend Subsidence District regulations. A comprehensive effort to use our water resources efficiently and reduce wasted water use is an essential component to providing safe and plentiful water to our customers today and in the years to come. As the population grows and water resource regulations change, the city’s Integrated Water Resources Plan (IWRP) calls on water customers to contribute to our water resource management through conservation.
When water conserving habits are established during times of normal rainfall, the impact of drought and water use restrictions are lessened. For example, when lawns are deeply irrigated only when soil becomes dry (rather than a regular schedule), grass roots grow deeper resulting in a more drought tolerant lawn.
Water use awareness and changing habits are the most impactful conservation strategies. Water saving appliances are beneficial to achieving water conservation goals. When planning appliance replacement or choosing irrigation system components, choose WaterSense™ labeled products that are proven to save water when compared to traditional appliances.
Refer to the Saving Water Indoors page for tips to conserve water. Contact apartment maintenance team when repairs are needed for leaking toilets and dripping faucets or leaking waterlines.
Watering early in the morning, after 2:00 am and before 10:00 am is best for landscapes. This hydrates plants and sustains them through the high mid-day and afternoon temperatures. Avoid watering during the heat of the day when evaporation is greatest. Watering in the evening and at night contributes to mold and fungus growth and standing water that attracts mosquitos when they are active.
Reduce wasteful irrigation run-off by implementing the Cycle and Soak Irrigation Method. Cycle and Soak is a two-cycle process that allows water to slowly penetrate deeply into our compacted, clay soils. When the soil is moistened after the first watering cycle, water from the second cycle will flow even deeper into the soil. When soil is moist to a depth of 6 to 8 inches, roots are encouraged to grow deeper. Deeper roots support a healthier lawn.
Links for articles and information on lawn irrigation from AgriLIFE Extension:
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.
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.