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Planning Foundations Course

February 22 - April 5, 2017

This Week

Wednesday, March 1. Legal Foundations of Community Planning, I

How far can planning go to regulate development and the environment? How far is too far? What is the balance between what cities want to achieve and private property rights? This week's session is a look at Texas law and the United States Constitution covering the legal basis and limits of planning power. The class will also cover definitive court cases and enabling statutes that outline local planning authority, including issues related to takings and due process.


Please keep an eye out in your email for some supplemental reading items. We plan to have them printed for your class binder on Wednesday evening.


Matt Festa is a professor at South Texas College of Law. Mr. Festa teaches and researches in the areas of property law and land use, state & local government, and energy & environmental law. His scholarship focuses on the relation between property rights and public control in land use planning and government regulation; on the role of property rights in constitutional law and history; and on property and the rule of law in contemporary international affairs.

Matt Festa is a fellow at the Rice University Kinder Institute for Urban Research, one of the nation’s leading think thanks on local government issues. Professor Festa joined the South Texas faculty in 2007, after serving as a visiting assistant professor at the University of Georgia School of Law.

Click here for professor Festa’s online profile.

cheese and cold cut assortment with crackers
vegetables and dip


Managing our Stormwater, from Gutter to Gator:
Saturday, March 4th from 9 am - 12 pm
Gulf Coast Bird Observatory's new LEED-certified building in Lake Jackson, TX.
See the schedule, speakers and register here.

March 4th Workshop Flyer

Winter 2013


QUOTE OF THE WEEK - What did winter 2013 students enjoy most about the program?

“I learned about planning and its impact on the development of an area both environmentally and economically.  The different viewpoints from the class participants about the interdependence of how community and government can create opportunity and growth while preserving the aesthetics of our environment as it impacted their communities.”


Houston-Galveston Area Council
3555 Timmons Ln #120
Houston, TX 77027
Google Map

     Building Parking Garage - FREE

     Parking Entrance off Timmons Lane


Finding the H-GAC Garage - when driving North on Timmons Lane, turn right into the driveway just before the H-GAC building. The garage will be on your left.

Park in the Visitor lot - when you enter the garage at H-GAC, take a right to access visitor parking, then enter the building through the lobby doors.

After 6:00 p.m. you cannot enter the main garage - the gate arm will be down, you will have to enter the visitor area.

Garage elevators are locked around 6 p.m. - At the end of the meeting, the upper levels of the garage can be accessed from the lobby elevators.



Wednesday, Mar. 1, 6-8:30pm:
Legal Foundations of Community Planning, I
Wednesday, Mar. 8, 6-8:30pm:
Legal Foundations of Community Planning, II
Wednesday, March 22, 6-8:30pm:
Building Communities: From Vision to Policy
Wednesday, March 29, 6-8:30pm:
Plan Implementation and Development Review
Wednesday, April 5, 6-8:30pm:
Hazard Mitigation and Planning for Resilient Communities



Number of Individuals:

Baytown, Bellaire, Brookside Village, Dickinson, La Marque, Lake Jackson, La Porte, Magnolia, Midtown, Pasadena, Tomball, West Columbia.

management district board member, city council member, community development technician,city manager, planning technician, city administration, economic development corporation (EDC) executive director, public relations, planning and zoning (P&Z) commissioner, P&Z vice chairman, P&Z chairman, emergency management, code compliance supervisor, public works director, public services director, development coordinator



The vision for Citizen Planner is simply to place the tools of community resilience into the hands of local officials, our citizen planners.


Every year across Texas hundreds of locally elected and appointed officials enter public life. They bring with them an ethic of service, but  few have the training in the art and science of community planning.

Texas and its 1,200 cities and towns are growing at an unprecedented rate, and our elected citizens must be properly trained to enhance the quality of life, economic opportunity, and sound environmental stewardship.

Planning and land use decisions made today will determine how resilient our critical facilities are for decades to come. The Citizen Planner program was created to address this need for knowledge and awareness by municipal leadership.



The Texas Citizen Planner program is supported in part by our project partners, including FEMA Region VI, NOAA’s Coastal Services Center’s Gulf of Mexico Research Competition administered through Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium, and the Houston-Galveston Area Council.

Educational programs of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service are open to all people without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, genetic information or veteran status.

Copyright © 2017 Texas Coastal Watershed Program, All rights reserved.

We appreciate your participation in the Texas Citizen Planner program and events.

Our mailing address is:
Texas Coastal Watershed Program
1335 Regents Park Drive, Suite 260
Houston, TX 77058

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Texas Coastal Watershed Program · 1335 Regents Park Drive · Suite 260 · Houston, TX 77058 · USA

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