Cy-Fair Edition | May 2021

CYFAIR EDITION

VOLUME 12, ISSUE 9  MAY 1JUNE 2, 2021

ONLINE AT

Oce outlook Experts said the COVID-19 pandemic has lessened commutes and led to more remote work options among oce employees.

KEY CONNECTIONS

290

DUNHAM POINTE PROPERTY

MasonRoad Extension as four- lane roadway from Hwy. 290 to edge of Dunham Pointe property

Westgreen Boulevard

Greenhouse at Skinner Roads

38.7% 4.6% 32 min.

Greenhouse road ex- tension and connec- tion to Skinner Road via six-lane underpass

Extension as four- lane roadway from Hwy. 290 to edge of Dunham Pointe property

of Houston’s workforce has returned to the oce as of mid-April

of Cy-Fair residents worked from home pre- pandemic

is the average Cy-Fair

BRIDGELAND PROPERTY

resident’s commute length

Timeline: fall 2020-late 2021

Timeline: 2024 start

Timeline: TBD

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SOURCES: KASTLE SYSTEMS, U.S. CENSUS BUREAU COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Oce vacancies rise as morework remotely

Population growth drivesmobility needs Cy-Fair projects connect new developments to major arteries A project to extend Mason Road south of Hwy. 290 is progressing under the leadership of Dunham Pointe Development, which is building a newmaster-planned community in the area. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)

BY DANICA LLOYD

Less than 5% of Cy-Fair residents worked from home before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, but the global pub- lic health crisis forced many oce employees into a full-time telecommuting arrangement. By the end of March 2020, only about 24% of Hous- tonians were scanning into their workplaces, accord- ing to Kastle Systems, which oers managed security services to more than 40,000 businesses nationwide. A year later, that number is up to about 39%, meaning more than 6 in 10 oce workers in the Greater Hous- ton area continue to work remotely. CONTINUED ON 30

BY SHAWN ARRAJJ

However, with roughly 37,000 additional homes expected to be occupied in Cypress by 2030, focus has shifted to lling in connections around the master-planned communities where growth is hap- pening, including Bridgeland, Towne Lake and the upcoming Dunham Pointe, where ground broke in February. Several road projects planned near Dun- ham Pointe have been part of the county’s master thoroughfare plan for years, said Archie Dunham, the developer behind Dunham Pointe. CONTINUED ON 28

Trac congestion levels are on the decline in Cy-Fair, but mobility experts say those gains could easily be lost without other ongoing projects needed to keep up with population growth. Widening Hwy. 290 throughout northwest Houston—a $2.5 billion project that wrapped up in 2020—reduced travel times and congestion on roads throughout the region, according to research by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, which ranks the most congested roads in the state each year.

JerseyVillage adopts Parks Master Plan

IMPACTS

PARKS & RECREATION

DAY TRIP GUIDE

BUSINESS

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CY-FAIR EDITION • MAY 2021

Start ! A Great Place to

Summer Session I: June 7 Session II: July 15 Fall Starts Aug. 30

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

THIS ISSUE

ABOUT US

Owners John and Jennifer Garrett launched the rst edition of Community Impact Newspaper in 2005 with three full-time employees covering Round Rock and Pugerville, Texas. We have expanded our operations to include hundreds of employees, our own printing operation and over 30 hyperlocal editions across three states. Our circulation is over 2 million residential mailboxes, and it grows each month with new residents and developments.

HIGHLIGHTS FROMTHISMONTH

FROMEMILY: When we are visiting with readers and business owners, we are frequently asked about the numerous road construction projects taking place across Cy-Fair. On Page 28, our editorial team takes a close look at several of our more congested roadways and provides updates on mobility projects. Be sure to check out our To-Do List page on Page 9 to nd events and fun ways to enjoy our community throughout the month. Emily Heineman, GENERALMANAGER

Community Impact Newspaper teams include general managers, editors, reporters, graphic designers, sales account executives and sales support, all immersed and invested in the communities they serve. Our mission is to build communities of informed citizens and thriving businesses through the collaboration of a passionate team. Our core values are Faith, Passion, Quality, Innovation and Integrity.

FROMSHAWN: After serving as the editor of the Cy-Fair edition of Community Impact Newspaper for more than 5 years, the May edition will be my last. However, I am staying with the company and will lead editions in the Heights and Bellaire areas. Thank you to all the expert sources, passionate business owners and avid readers I have met over the years. Senior reporter Danica Lloyd will take over next month and continue to deliver the hyperlocal news that aects your life. Shawn Arrajj, SENIOR EDITOR

Our purpose is to be a light for our readers, customers, partners and each other.

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BUSINESS &DINING Local business development news that aects you

TRANSPORTATION &DEVELOPMENT Regular updates on area projects to keep you in the know

SCHOOL, CITY & COUNTY We attend area meetings to keep you informed

STAFF DESIGNERS Michelle Degard, Anya Gallant, Justin Howell, Lindsay Scott, Caitlin Whittington ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Karen Nickerson METRO LEADERSHIP PUBLISHER Jason Culpepper MANAGING EDITOR Marie Leonard ART PRODUCTIONMANAGER Kaitlin Schmidt CORPORATE LEADERSHIP GROUP PUBLISHER Traci Rodriguez EXECUTIVE EDITOR Joe Warner CREATIVE DIRECTOR Derek Sullivan SALES &MARKETING DIRECTOR Tess Coverman CONTACT US 8400 N. Sam Houston Parkway W., Ste. 220 Houston, TX 77064 • 2814696181 PRESS RELEASES cyfnews@communityimpact.com SUBSCRIPTIONS communityimpact.com/subscriptions © 2021 Community Impact Newspaper Co. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any portion of this issue is allowed without written permission from the publisher.

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CYFAIR EDITION • MAY 2021

IMPACTS

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon, relocating or expanding

G R A N T

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VINTAGE PARK BLVD.

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The One Crawfish & Seafood

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COURTESY THE ONE CRAWFISH & SEAFOOD

HOUSE & HAHL RD.

ing store filed for bankruptcy in mid-2019 and closed all of its locations—including a store at 6915 FM 1960, Houston—the company announced comeback plans later that year to open 15 new stores, including a location inside Willowbrook Mall. The store is known for its color-coordinated in- store setup of clothes, shoes, jewelry and other accessories. 281-890-8001. www.charmingcharlie.com 6 A new, upscale hair salon, Lonesome Blonde , opened Feb. 9 at 15626 Cypress Rosehill Road, Ste. 100, Cypress, near the Huffmeister Road intersection. Profession- al stylist and salon owner Maegan Willman said the business takes a holistic approach to professional hair services and seeks to provide a welcoming environment. Services include haircuts, coloring, styling and customizable treatments. 832-356-3394. www.lonesomeblonde.com 7 Pediatric Smiles of Cypress opened in late March at 17823 Longenbaugh Road, Ste. A, Cypress, near the Barker Cypress Road intersection. Run by Dr. Jessica Mar- shall, the practice offers a variety of treat- ments for children, including cleanings, fillings and white crowns. Marshall said she offers an interactive and gentle expe- rience, and children can also watch movies during treatments. 832-684-0024. www.pediatricsmilesofcypress.com 8 The Chef’s Bag opened in early 2021 at 7510 Cherry Park Drive, Ste. G, Hous- ton, offering products from local chefs. Vendors sell specialty foods, baked goods and other items. 832-427-6189. www.chefsunitedhtx.com 9 Katie Benson opened True Form Gym on March 22 at 8737 Hwy. 6, Hous- ton. The fitness center offers personal

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TM; © 2021 COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER CO. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

NOWOPEN 1 Officials with Mex Taco House held a grand opening for the eatery’s second location March 28 at 25410 Hwy. 290, Ste. B-1, Cypress. Menu items include ta- cos, tortas, gorditas, tostadas and que- sadillas, and dishes feature handmade flour and corn tortillas. The new location has extended hours, more seating capac- ity and a drive-thru. 281-373-3737. www.mextacohouse.com 2 After facing delays prompted by Winter Storm Uri, Mudslinger’s , a local drive-thru coffee spot, held a grand open- ing April 30 at 14123 Grant Road, Cypress,

near the Spring Cypress Road intersection. The shop serves specialty coffee, tea, infused energy drinks and breakfast/pas- try items. Customers can also purchase specialty coffee blends to take home with them. www.mudslingershtown.com 3 The One Crawfish & Seafood held a grand opening March 20 at 10511 Jones Road, Ste. G, Houston. Crawfish, crab, shrimp, fried seafood, chicken wings, fried rice, and sides of corn, potatoes and sausage are on the menu. Diners can customize their meals with different flavors and spice levels. 832-756-2104. www.facebook.com/ theonecrawfishseafood

4 A drive-thru daiquiri shop called Daiquiritas opened in March at A 9717 Jones Road, Ste. 400, Hous- ton, near the Steeple Way Boulevard intersection, and a second location is set to open soon at B 7025 Fry Road, Ste. 600, Cypress, near the FM 529 inter- section. Frozen cocktails on the menu include pina coladas, hurricanes and margaritas featuring mango, watermel- on, peach, strawberry and other flavors. www.daiquiritas.net 5 Charming Charlie opened inside Wil- lowbrook Mall near Dillard’s at 2000 Willowbrook Drive, Ste. 1112, Hous- ton, in late March. While the retail cloth-

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMPILED BY SHAWN ARRAJJ & DANICA LLOYD

FEATURED IMPACT NOWOPEN After running an online oral design and delivery company for six years, local orist Amanda Bowman opened her own storefront March 22 at 7626 Fry Road, Ste. 400, Cypress. The shop, Amanda Bee’s Floral Designs , specializes in one-of-a-kind posey arrangements and delivery. Bowman said she and her team visit a local ower wholesaler every week to handpick the owers used in arrangements, which she said is meant to ensure the quality, variety and uniqueness of each piece. “Each and every posey is made up of fresh, seasonal owers and artfully wrapped in pretty paper,” Bowman said. “Though we have my favorite orals, the posies are never the same twice.” All arrangements are made in house and designed by Bowman, who said she does not replicate designs from other designers. Customers can order one-time deliveries or sign up for a subscription service. The shop also oers design arrangements for weddings, special events, and sympathy and bereavement, and it can customize arrangements for other occasions. In addition, the shop features artisanal pieces made by Houston artists, including candles, jewelry and home decor, among other items. 832-427-1372. www.amandabeeoral.com store. A Cy-Fair store located at 10900 FM 1960, Houston, received the rollout in April. The GenNext mod- el features larger and more colorful showrooms that consist of new items, and preleased items occupy a separate, smaller showroom. Same-day delivery services are available for much of the merchandise, and the former process of filling out paperwork for lease approval has been replaced by in-store computer kiosks and a mobile platform. www.aarons.com

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Lonesome Blonde

The Chef’s Table

COURTESY LONESOME BLONDE

COURTESY THE CHEF’S TABLE

training and group classes including cycling, high-intensity interval training, strength training and TRX suspension training. Benson said all fitness levels are welcome at the new boutique studio. 832-472-4105. www.trueformgym.com 10 Janet Chambers launched The Sun- ny Day Ballroom in late April with weekly daytime dancing for seniors at the Victory Fellowship Chapel & Banquet Room, 12311 Jones Road, Houston, near the Cy- press North Houston Road intersection. Admission is $25 per person, which in- cludes music, dancing, games and lunch. Events take place every Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., and Cham- bers said she plans to add events for children starting in June. 713-715-8844. www.thesunnydayballroom.com COMING SOON 11 Chef Paul Friedman, the founder and a former owner of Peli Peli, will be re- turning to Vintage Park this summer with a new concept, The Chef’s Table . The eatery will open in June at 110 Vintage Park Blvd., Ste. P, Houston—the former location of Peli Peli. The Chef’s Table will serve lunch and dinner daily as well as brunch on weekends. Friedman said the restaurant will feature both indoor and outdoor seating, a full bar, and a retail store with spices, sauces, wine and beer. www.chefstablehouston.com 12 The Offices at Vintage Market- place are under construction by Read King Commercial Real Estate near the intersection of Louetta and Cutten roads. Four buildings totaling 9,000 square feet are split into four 2,250-square-foot

units, and owners will have the option to customize flooring, cabinetry and other finishes. The standard 2,250-square-foot unit is $595,000 and features a reception area, a conference room, a break room, three offices, storage space and a re- stroom on the first floor. 713-782-9000. www.read-king.com/theoffices 13 Nurse practitioners Schwanna Fortenberry and Regine Patillo are bring- ing a new business to Reserve Salon & Spa. Ultimate Drip Therapy and Well- ness is slated to hold a grand opening May 5 at 9945 Barker Cypress Road, Ste. 200, No. 26, Cypress. The IV hydration therapy and vitamin injection wellness spa offers services designed to increase energy, boost immune systems, improve endurance and performance for athletes, enhance weight loss and improve chronic disease symptoms. 346-299-1512. www.ultimatedriptherapy.com RELOCATIONS 14 Masones Pub & Grill relocated from Louetta Road in Spring to Northpointe Boulevard in Tomball on April 1, accord- ing to bartender Lauren Schwaeble. Located at 24441 Hwy. 249, Tomball, the eatery offers a selection of tacos, wings and flatbreads as well as a drink menu. 281-374-0163. www.facebook.com/ masonespub RENOVATIONS 15 Dozens of Aaron’s locations are getting a GenNext adaptation, provid- ing technology upgrades and expanded showrooms at the national rent-to-own furniture, electronics and appliance

Florist Amanda Bowman opened a storefront on Fry Road after running an online business for six years.

COURTESY AMANDA BEE’S FLORAL DESIGNS

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IN THE NEWS 16 Former energy executive Archie Dunham and his development team broke ground in April on the master-planned community Dunham Pointe , located on 1,327 acres south of Hwy. 290 near Mason Road. Home presales are expected to start in August with six model homes opening this fall. New residents could move in by the end of the year. Homes will start in the $300,000s, and builders include Coventry Homes, David Weekley Homes, Tri Point Homes and Toll Brothers.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TODO LIST

May events

COMPILED BY SHAWN ARRAJJ & DANICA LLOYD

THE RANCH BAR + KITCHEN 13245 Jones Road, Houston 832-869-4941 www.facebook.com/ theranchbarandkitchen MAY 08 Sol Flair, 9 p.m. 29 Artie V. and the Texxas Heat Band, 8 p.m. THE BARNAT FRIO 16416 Mueschke Road, Cypress 281-968-4220 www.friogrill.com MAY 08 Ty Laramore with Full Band, 9 p.m. 14 Jon Wolfe with Matt Castillo, 6 p.m. LIVE MUSIC Jon Wolfe will play in Cypress this May. COURTESY JON WOLFE

MAY 08

WOMEN’SQUARTERMARATHONAND5K HOUSTON RUNNING CO.

MAY 15

WORTH THE TRIP: FAMILY GAME DAY BURROUGHS PARK

iRun Productions hosts a live and virtual running event. Finishers medals will be awarded, and food will be available. The event also includes a 1.25-mile minimarathon. 7:30 a.m. (quarter marathon and 5K), 10 a.m. (minimarathon). $20 (minimarathon), $30 (5K), $40 (quarter marathon). 21215 FM 529, Ste. 110, Cypress. www.womensquartermarathon.com

Harris County Precinct 4 hosts family-friendly games, food trucks and a live DJ. Families can play games such as Jenga, Kerplunk and Connect 4 for up to 30 minutes. Games such as Yardzee, croquet and bocce ball can be reserved for up to one hour online. Noon-6 p.m. Free. 9738 Husmith Road, Tomball. 713-755-6444. www.hcp4.net/events

MAY 01 ENJOY CRAWFISH AND LIVEMUSIC

entrepreneurs ages 4-18 selling products or services. The event helps youth develop a brand, build a marketing strategy and open for customers at the marketplace event. Noon-3 p.m. Free (admission). Jersey Village City Hall, 16327 Lakeview Drive, Jersey Village. 713-882-7699. www.childrensbusinessfair.org 10 DONATE BLOODAT THEWORK WELL BLOOD DRIVE Local coworking space The Work Well partners with the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center to host a blood drive in Cy-Fair. Donors will receive a free Bahama Bucks coupon. 1-5 p.m. Free. The Work Well, 13100 Wortham Center Drive, third oor, Houston. 281-955-9355. OF LOCAL ROTARY CLUB The Rotary Club of Cypress Fairbanks hosts a milestone anniversary event, featuring a rotary partner showcase, community awards and club achievements. Dinner and live music from the band Horizon kicks o at 5 p.m. Paid admission includes dinner www.theworkwell.com 15 CELEBRATE THE 50THANNIVERSARY

for two adults, two drink tickets and the chance to win $5,000 in gold coins. 3-8 p.m. $100 (per couple). Juergen’s Hall, 26026 Hempstead Road, Cypress. www.rotarycypressfairbanks.org 22 SUPPORT THE KOHRVILLE COMMUNITY AT A FESTIVAL The Kohrville Community Association hosts a festival with funds supporting historical preservation and scholarships. Attendees can enter a rae for prizes and enjoy food trucks, desserts, a waterslide, a car show, face painting and snow cones. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Free (admission). Windwood Presbyterian Church, 10555 Spring Cypress Road, Houston. 713-416-0094. www.kohrvillecommunityassociation.com 27 THROUGH 30 SEE A PLAY AT BRIDGELANDHIGH SCHOOL Ursa Major Theatrics at Bridgeland High School present “Little Shop of Horrors,” a black comedy rock musical about a man who works at a ower shop and raises a

World of Beer at the Boardwalk at Towne Lake hosts a crawsh boil featuring live music from Sol Flair. Proceeds from the event benet AIM Adoptions, a nonprot Texas adoption agency. 2-6 p.m. Free (admission). World of Beer, 9945 Barker Cypress Road, Ste. 120, Cypress. 281-806-5353. www.worldoeer.com 02 CELEBRATE CINCODEMAYO AT TRADERS VILLAGE The event celebrating the Mexican army’s victory over France in the Battle of Puebla features music, dancing and traditional food. Local artists will perform regional Mexican, Tejano, cumbia, mariachi, salsa and merengue genres. Noon-5 p.m. Free ($5 parking). Traders Village, 7979 N. Eldridge Parkway, Houston. 281-890-5500. www.tradersvillage.com 02 SUPPORT YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS Acton Academy hosts a children’s business fair featuring Houston-area

VIRTUAL EVENTS 09 TUNE INTO THE

HOUSTON CHAMBER

CHOIR’S SEASON FINALE The Houston Chamber Choir’s 2020-21 seasons comes to a close with a nal virtual performance called A Time to Draw Closer. Choir ocials describe the show as a combination of the exhilaration of a festival and the down-home welcome of a family reunion. Those who purchase the concert at any time. $9.99 (three day rental), $24.99 (unlimited access). Virtual event. 713-224-5566. www.houstonchamberchoir.org

plant that feeds on blood. 7 p.m. (May 27-30), 2 p.m. (May 29-30).

$15 (online), $20 (at the door). Bridgeland High School, 10707 Mason Road, Cypress. 832-349-7600. http://bridgeland.csd.net

Find more or submit Cy-Fair events at communityimpact.com/event-calendar. Event organizers can submit local events online to be considered for the print edition. Submitting details for consideration does not guarantee publication.

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CYFAIR EDITION • MAY 2021

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES Construction onWillowbrook-area FM1960 improvement project delayed for third time

BY HANNAH ZEDAKER

FM 1960 IMPROVEMENTS Cost: $18.8 million Timeline: December 2021-April 2024

An $18.8 million project to alleviate trac in the Willowbrook area has been delayed for the third time, according to Danny Perez, public information ocer for the Texas Department of Transportation. The project will add dual left turn lanes at Cutten Road, Breton Ridge Street and the Willowbrook Mall entrances as well as length- ening all turning lanes on FM 1960 between Centereld Drive and Cutten to provide additional space for vehicles, Perez said. The project will also add a dedicated right turn lane at Willow Center Drive and at Cutten and add a thru lane east- and westbound from the Willowbrook Mall Center entrance to Cutten. Additionally, the project will incorporate pedestrian and bicycle accommodations, replace existing pavement and upgrade trac signals. Originally scheduled to go out for bid in January 2018, the project had previously been delayed twice due to challenges associated with the right of way. As of early

The temporary waiver covering initial vehicle registration, vehicle registration renewal and vehicle titling ended April 14. Waiver for car title, registration endswith no grace period HANNAH ZEDAKERCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

CENTERFIELD DR.

1960

249

BY HANNAH ZEDAKER

WILLOWBROOK MALL

The temporary waiver covering initial vehicle registra- tion, vehicle registration renewal, vehicle titling, renewal of permanent disabled parking placards and 30-day temporary permits ended April 14 with no grace period, ocials with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles announced. The temporary waiver was rst implemented by Gov. Greg Abbott last March and had since been extended several times throughout the coronavirus pandemic. “After April 14, 2021, law enforcement may begin issuing citations to motorists operating a vehicle without a current registration sticker or current registration receipt,” accord- ing to an April news release.

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January, Perez said all parcels needed for the project had been acquired; however, several utility relocations and adjustments still needed to be made ahead of the previously anticipated June start date. As of April 19, Perez said the project had been pushed back a third time due to utility conicts. Construction on the project is now expected to begin in December and will take roughly 28 months to complete.

MAKE YOUR VOICEHEARD

REGIONAL UPDATE

99

TOMBALL

TxDOT holds virtual public meeting on FM 2920 safety

MAY 12 Date comments must be received or postmarked by CSJ 294102062, ETC. should be referenced in comments EMAIL sharmeen.rahman@ txdot.gov MAIL TxDOT Houston District Oce, Advanced Project Development Director, P.O. Box 1386, Houston, TX 77251

2920

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improvements BY ANNA LOTZ

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The Texas Department of Transportation hosted a virtual meeting April 27 regarding safety improve- ments slated for the FM 2920 corridor between I-45 and Tomball.

The proposed project spans 11 miles from I-45 to North Willow Street and includes adding continuous raised medians from west of the Grand Parkway to I-45 as well as right turn lanes

throughout the project area. Currently, FM 2920 is a four- lane, undivided roadway, accord- ing to TxDOT information, and has a crash rate in the project area that is “signicantly higher”

than the state’s average. As of press time, the virtual meeting was slated to involve a presentation and the hearing of public comments.

ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF APRIL 21. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT CYFNEWSCOMMUNITYIMPACT.COM.

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CYFAIR EDITION • MAY 2021

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

PARKS&RECREATION JerseyVillage adopts parks plan, setting vision for next 10years

PARK PRIORITIES A parks and recreation master plan adopted by the city of Jersey Village in March included 10 proposals considered high priorities across four amenities.

1

Carol Fox Park

1

BY SHAWN ARRAJJ

listed as medium priority, totaling $361,000, and 42 projects were listed as low priority, totaling roughly $8.5 million. Some projects that were panned in resident feedback and were under consideration to be removed from the plan entirely— including the development of a new $2.4 million park on Pleasant Colony Drive—were placed under the low-pri- ority category instead, Basford said. The plan was first presented to the Jersey Village City Council at a Feb. 22 meeting, at which the council ordered a city Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee to make some changes and more clearly prioritize projects. One project pitched in the February draft—the construction of a new gymnasium—was removed from the final draft after council members said it was not economically feasible. Language referring to the potential use of general obligation bonds to fund projects was also removed from the final draft at council’s request. The committee also provided its own list of 11 projects to be included in the plan that came from internal discussions, Basford said. Nine of those projects are also considered high priority, including the place- ment of bike repair stations at several city parks and the development of a skate park. However, where the skate park would be located is still to be determined. Council Member Greg Holden said at the March 15 meeting that he disagreed with some of the projects

$100,000

$9,000

A new plan adopted by the city of Jersey Village in March lays out priorities for how the city can improve its parks and trails system over the next 10 years. The 113-page plan was produced by Burditt Consultants, a firm that spe- cializes in community planning and landscape architecture, and includes roughly $9.4 million in projects that range from adding restrooms at existing parks to the development of a new skate park. However, the plan does not imme- diately commit funding to any specific projects, said Robert Basford, the city’s parks and recreation director. “This plan is to be a guide, not necessarily an adopted budget,” he said at a March 15 Jersey Village City Council meeting. Projects were determined using a mix of resident feedback, consultant advice, and standards laid out by the National Recreation and Parks Association, Basford said. The plan divides projects up into three tiers: high priority, medium priority and low priority. Ten projects were classified as high priority in the plan with a combined cost of $595,000. High-priority projects include a $100,000 project to build family restrooms at Carol Fox Park, a $120,000 project to add a 120- foot baseball field at Clark Henry Park and $80,000 to add amenities to the Jersey Meadow Nature Trail, such as benches, bike racks and picnic tables. Another eight projects were

New family restrooms

Exterior lighting

N

Clark Henry Park

2

New open fields $150,000

New 120-foot baseball field $120,000

2

Jersey Meadow Nature Trail

3

N

$80,000

$75,000

$28,000

Water fountains

Site furnishing

Exterior lighting

WYNDHAM PKWY.

3

Jersey Village Dog Park

4

4

$20,000

$6,000

Water fountains $7,000

RIO GRANDE ST.

JERSEY MEADOW GOLF COURSE

Site furnishing

Exterior lighting

N

SOURCE: CITY OF JERSEY VILLAGE/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

included in the plan, including a proposal for the city to build and operate its own fitness center, an endeavor Holden said should be left to the private sector. However, Holden said he supported adopting the plan as a reflection of what community members said they wanted. “If it is representative of the input provided, then I think as a council we accept it and then we make those decisions down the road,” he said. “Whether it’s done or not, it rep- resents someone’s desire to do that.” Timelines for individual projects

are not set, and projects would be taken on as future councils choose to advance them, Council Member Bobby Warren said. He said he thought the projects listed as high priorities were a realistic goal for the next 10 years, and projects from elsewhere in the plan could rise up over time. “Council is going to parse this out and take the things everyone can agree on and most of the community wants to do ... and we’re going to pick up and try to run with [them] as soon as we can,” Warren said.

13

CY-FAIR EDITION • MAY 2021

GOVERNMENT Greater Houston-area homeless population cites COVID19 as root cause

BY HANNAH ZEDAKER

Ana Rausch, vice president of programs for Coalition for the Homeless, said the pandemic played a signicant role in this year’s count. In addition to some homeless individuals being reluctant to stay in a shelter for fear of contracting COVID-19, Rausch said bed availability has also been cut signicantly to allow for social distancing in shelters. “So the lower sheltered numbers aren’t necessarily a positive development; if people are in need of services, we want them to have access to them,” said Mike Nichols, president and CEO for the coalition. Additionally, the recent launch of the Community COVID Housing Program also aected this year’s homeless count. The $65 million initiative by Harris County, the city of Houston and Coalition for the Homeless will provide permanent housing to 5,000 otherwise-homeless individuals over the next two years.

The 2021 Homeless Count & Survey results showed 3,055 individuals across Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties were experiencing homelessness on Jan. 19, the night of record for this year’s count. MAKING THE COUNT

One in seven unsheltered individuals in the Greater Houston area attribute their homelessness to job loss or eviction as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to the results of the 2021 Homeless Count & Survey, which were released March 24. Of those who identied COVID-19 as a root cause of their homelessness, 45% said this was their rst time experiencing homelessness. Coalition for the Homeless and The Way Home conducted its annual point-in-time homeless count Jan. 19-29 to identify sheltered and unsheltered people experiencing homelessness across Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties. Results showed 3,055 individuals were homeless in the tricounty area the night of Jan. 19—the night of record for this year’s count. Though not directly comparable, this is a 23% decrease from the 3,974 homeless individuals counted in 2020.

HOMELESS INDIVIDUALS

SELFREPORTED FACTORS

Sheltered: 1,545 Unsheltered: 1,510

15% Experienced domestic violence 28% Have a substance use disorder 38% Have serious mental illness Experiencing chronic homelessness 18%

Total: 3,055

COUNT BY COUNTY

Harris County: 2,893 Montgomery County: 102 Fort Bend County: 60

6% Veterans

COURTESY THE CKP GROUP

SOURCES: COALITION FOR THE HOMELESS, THE WAY HOMECOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

The plan was announced last summer and launched in October. According to Rausch, as of Jan. 19 nearly 800 individuals had been permanently housed through the CCHP; as of March 24, that number had doubled to 1,600. Overall, Rausch the two nonprot

organizations have housed more than 21,000 people across the tricounty area since 2012. These eorts combined with the ongoing eviction moratorium have likely contributed to the Greater Houston area’s overall decrease in homelessness year over year, she said.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

DEVELOPMENT Group launches public feedback campaign onAstrodome plans

HOWTO PARTICIPATE

Residents can sign up to share ideas on the future of the Astrodome at www.astrodomeconservancy.org

BY SHAWN ARRAJJ

the group does have an agreement with the Harris County Sports and Convention Corp. to work on the future development of the Astrodome, Wiedower Jackson said. A $105 million plan to renovate the Astrodome championed by former Harris County Judge Ed Emmett fell by the wayside after Lina Hidalgo took over as county judge in 2019. Hidalgo has since raised questions about the use of taxpayer dollars on a plan that did not involve public input. Wiedower Jackson said the con- servancy has worked with Hidalgo and county commissioners on how to proceed. “What we learned during that process was that, to date, the plans for the Astrodome put forth have been created kind of around the kitchen table,” she said. “There has yet to be an opportunity for the general public in Harris County—the taxpayers who

After a 2016 attempt to revive the Houston Astrodome for $105 million failed to launch, ocials are moving forward with a new eort to once again turn the vacant structure into something useful for Houston resi- dents. This time, ocials are seeking input from the public rst. The Astrodome Conservancy—a private nonprot formed in 2016 with the goal of redeveloping the dome— embarked on a public engagement campaign in April to solicit feedback on what the dome should become, Executive Director BethWiedower Jackson said. “This is in an opportunity to think holistically—how can we be smarter, greener [and] more creative around the reuse and redevelopment of the Astrodome,” she said. The conservancy is not a branch of Harris County government, but

Members of the public gather for a tour of the Houston Astrodome in 2018. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)

own that structure—to have a say or have their opinions voiced through a process.” The conservancy raised about $90,000 in private donations in 2020, which helped it bring the consulting and engineering rmHuitt-Zollars on board to craft the public engagement process, Wiedower Jackson said. Throughout the campaign, which will run for a six- to eight-week period, people can submit feedback through online surveys at www.astrodomecon- servancy.org. A virtual opinion session is also to be announced.

Some constraints have been identied that are intended to keep the cost of the project in check and to take contractual obligations into account, Wiedower Jackson said. “There are some wonderful pie-in- the-sky ideas, but they are not possible because of the limitations on the Astrodome,” Wiedower Jackson said. Following the campaign, Wiedower Jackson said the conservancy will spend two to three months turning the feedback into a vision for the Astro- dome that can eventually be presented to commissioners.

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15

CYFAIR EDITION • MAY 2021

XXDescriptionXX COVID19 BRIEFS

County ‘close’ to lowering threat level

BY HANNAH ZEDAKER

of new cases reported daily, its COVID- 19 positivity rate and hospitalizations. While Hidalgo said she was “cau- tiously optimistic” to see COVID-19 numbers trending downward, she said she is concerned about the eect the state’s latest attempt to reopen would have on the county’s progress. “Every time there’s been a reopen- ing, within about a month and a half the numbers have begun climbing back up,” she said. Threat levels explained A COVID-19 threat level system is meant to inform residents on the dangers presented by the coronavirus. Level 1 Severe (rank as of April 26) Viral spread is uncontrolled, and residents are advised to stay home. Level 2 Signicant Transmissions are ongoing, and residents should limit contacts. Level 3 Moderate COVID-19 is largely controlled, but residents should remain vigilant. Level 4 Minimal COVID-19 is controlled, and residents can resume normal contact.

After nearly a year of being under a Level 1, or “severe,” COVID-19 threat level, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said the county is getting closer to lowering that threat to Level 2, or “signicant,” as vaccinations become more widely administered. However, now that the statewide mask mandate has been lifted and businesses can operate at full capacity, Hidalgo said success hinges greatly on personal responsibility. Harris County’s COVID-19 threat level was rst set at severe—the highest threat level possible in the system—on June 26, where it has since remained unchanged. “I knowwe’re all tired,” Hidalgo said during an April 7 press conference. “We’re well over a year into this [pan- demic], and we want this virus to go away. The good news is there’s hope in these vaccines; there’s a light at the end of the tunnel; but it’s not the time to give up now.” The threat-level system, which Hidalgo said was developed with the help of researchers and epidemiol- ogists, is based on several factors, including the county’s average number

PATIENT REUNION Marissa Miller and her family gather to thank Cy-Fair FD crews for their compassionate care at a patient reunion at Cy-Fair FD Station 4 Tuesday, April 13, 2021, in Cypress. On January 29, 2021, Cy-Fair FD crews responded to a 911 call for a reported fall at the Miller home. Medics quickly realized Marissa had suffered a stroke. Paramedics Katrina Arnold and Alexandra Rosales worked together to quickly assess, treat, and transport Marissa to Memorial Hermann – Cypress hospital where she works as a NICU nurse. Marissa was later transported to Memorial Herman - TMC via Memorial Hermann Life Flight where she received life-saving surgery to remove a blood clot from her brain. “Thank you, you all were the first to respond to our home and I will never forget you all,” Marissa said. WE ARE YOUR CY-FAIR FIRE DEPARTMENT

SOURCE: HARRIS COUNTY COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Walk-ins nowbeing accepted for COVID19 vaccine at NRGPark

BY SHAWN ARRAJJ

Public health ocials at NRG Park have begun administering COVID-19 vaccines on a walk-in and drive-in basis, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced April 19. The move means people seeking vaccines no longer need to sign up for appointments if they go to NRG Park during the hours the site is in opera- tion. However, people still have the option to make an appointment if they want to and will still be required to make appointments at other vaccine sites run by the county. The hours for the NRG site also changed to noon-9 p.m. in April instead of 8 a.m.-5 p.m. “Each day this site is running, lives are being saved,” Hidalgo said.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo speaks at an April 19 press conference at a mass vaccination site at NRG Park.

“We want to do everything possible to make sure that when it comes to beating COVID-19, we’re not leaving anything on the table.” After opening in February as part of a partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the NRG Park site had been vaccinating about 6,000 people per day, Hidalgo said. However, vaccinations fell to about 2,000-3,000 per day in April as the demand for vaccines declined. The site will stay open through May 18, but ocials said it could close sooner if demand remains low.

@CYFAIRFD • #CYFAIRFD

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16

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

CITY& COUNTY

News from Harris County and Jersey Village

QUOTEOFNOTE “WHENMY DAUGHTERS ... GROW UPAND THEYARE LOOKING FORA HOME, THEYARE GOING TO LOOK IN OUR CITY, AND THEY ARE NOT GOING TO BE AFRAID TOBUYA HOME HERE BECAUSE OF FLOODING.” ANDREWMITCHAM, JERSEY VILLAGE MAYOR OTHER HIGHLIGHTS HARRIS COUNTY After months of arguments and withheld payments, Harris County Emergency Services District No. 11 and Cypress Creek Emergency Medical Services agreed to a $10.8 million budget for the remainder of their contract. The two entities met during an April 1 special meeting after tempers ared during budget discussions. According to ESD 11, CCEMS asked for regular payments of $1.36 million per month or its nal day of service would be April 17. The commissioners eventually agreed to this amount. HARRIS COUNTY Black and Hispanic populations are still being vaccinated by the Harris County Public Health Department at a disproportionately low rate when compared to the county’s population, prompting new initiatives to increase vaccine access for marginalized populations. Initiatives include bringing vaccines to the ZIP codes hit hardest by COVID-19, oering transportation to appointments for those who need it, visiting homeless shelters and nursing homes to register residents, and setting up a vaccine hotline at 832-927-8787 for individuals without the capabilities to register online. New equity eorts focus on providing the option to register over the phone instead of exclusively online, ensuring residents know the vaccine is free, and removing ID requirements that might discourage uninsured residents or residents living in the country illegally from registering. Jersey Village City Council Will meet virtually at 7 p.m. May 10 713-466-2100 www.jerseyvillagetx.com Harris County Commissioners Court Will meet virtually at 10 a.m. May 11 713-698-1102 www.harriscountytx.gov MEETINGSWE COVER

make a dierence for many years to come,” Jersey Village Mayor Andrew Mitcham said at an April 1 ground- breaking event. The project was conceptualized in a ood recovery study the city embarked on after the Tax Day ood. In an eort led by City Manager Austin Bleess, the city managed to secure roughly $6 million in grant funding for the projects. As a result, Mitcham said the city’s 180-day reserve fund was not aected by the project. The bermwill travel around part of the perimeter of the golf course, roughly along the golf cart path with some deviations, ocials said. Golf will continue during construction with minimal interruptions. Both contracts have a length of 300 days, but ocials said they hope to nish work by year’s end.

JerseyVillage breaks ground on golf course ood-control project Jersey Village ocials hosted a groundbreaking April 1 on a ood-control project at the Jersey Meadow Golf Course. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)

BY SHAWN ARRAJJ

time, a joint $5.7 million project will be underway to complete drainage improvements on some of the city’s most ood-prone streets, including Wall, Crawford, Carlsbad and Tahoe streets as well as Capri Drive. The city was authorized by the Jersey Village City Council to approve both contracts at a Feb. 22 meeting. “This isn’t something that is just a ash in the pan to make everyone feel good; this is something that will OVERTIME NEEDS A nearly $3 million boost for the Harris County Sheri’s Oce will help fund overtime pay for ocers in the following departments. Adults special crimes units: Violent crimes unit: Child abuse unit: $655,000

JERSEYVILLAGE In just under ve years since the Tax Day oods of 2016 ooded 238 homes in Jersey Village, city ocials broke ground on a project that is expected to prevent roughly $757,000 in damages during a 100-year storm. The project entails building a 4-foot earthen barrier, or berm, around the Jersey Meadow Golf Course at a cost of $1.3 million. At the same

JERSEY MEADOW GOLF COURSE

290

JERSEY DR. RIO GRANDE ST.

JONES RD.

N

Harris County puts $3M toward law enforcement overtime pay

Commissioners vote to support creation of new criminal district court

$500,000 $500,000 $500,000 $500,000

BY SHAWN ARRAJJ

BY HANNAH ZEDAKER

HARRIS COUNTY With violent crime on the rise, Harris County commissioners unanimously voted to invest $3 million into overtime pay for law enforcement ocials March 30 that is meant to help investigators target several key areas. The approved funding was based on a proposal from the Harris County Sheri’s Oce that involves invest- ing the money across six units. The plan will involve using “crime analysis to identify hotspots and delayed investigations due to stang shortages and caseloads,” according to the proposal. “We want to make sure that the sheri’s oce crime reduction units have the resources to prioritize these violent crimes, to go after them and to show them the door to the county jail,” said Precinct 2 Commissioner

HARRIS COUNTY Harris County commissioners unanimously passed a resolution April 13 in support of eorts in the 87th Texas Legislature to create a new criminal district court. If passed, it would be the county’s rst new criminal district court since 1984. Spearheaded by state Rep. Gene Wu, DHouston, the new court would expand the capacity of the county’s criminal court system in hopes of reducing its backlog, which stood at 70,951 total cases pending as of April 8. According to Precinct 3 Commissioner TomRamsey, this is up from a backlog of 47,238 cases at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic inMarch 2020. According to county sta, the new court would cost the county around $800,000-$1 million per year.

Criminal warrants division: Patrol crime reduction unit: Domestic violence advocates: Unit lieutenants: $200,000 $144,828 SOURCE: HARRIS COUNTY COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Adrian Garcia, who authored the motion. The funding will not be used to create any new positions. Funds will be dispersed in tranches according to a schedule that will be worked out by the sheri’s oce and budget management oce. Harris County Sheri Ed Gonzalez said his oce will collaborate with constables to get feedback on what they are seeing in their coverage areas.

17

CYFAIR EDITION • MAY 2021

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