Livable Places

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What is Livable Places?

The Livable Places initiative is a continuation of the Planning Department’s effort to update portions of Houston’s development codes to enhance walkability, affordability and equity.

Following City Council's approval of the Walkable Places and Transit-Oriented Development ordinance amendments in August 2020, the Livable Places Action Committee will focus on updating the City’s development codes to encourage the development and preservation of affordable, quality housing for all.

The committee aims to create opportunities to:

  • build housing on existing vacant lots within neighborhoods that are largely developed
  • increase housing options with access to alternative transportation, such as bicycling and mass transit
  • improve safety
  • preserve great neighborhoods

This effort draws from community preferences identified through several previous planning initiatives including Plan Houston, Resilient Houston and others.

Use this page to provide input and feedback to the committee. Visit here often to find out about meetings, ask questions, participate in discussions and surveys, and to learn more. Your participation is important to help guide how Houston develops.


Livable Places Action Committee Meeting


Thinking about housing affordability in Houston? – Take this Survey

Could the key to increasing housing options and affordability be in your backyard or in your neighborhood? The Livable Places Action Committee is exploring ways to allow variety of housing types that fit all income levels. Updating certain requirements and allowing homeowners to add additional units on a lot (unless prohibited by deed restrictions) could be a solution. Share your thoughts with us by taking this survey.


Learn More

In the Articles Tab, you will find various reading material that can provide context and definitions to support and provide meaning to the work the Livable Places Action Committee will discuss during its monthly meetings.

In the Proposed Amendments Tab, you will find information on various amendments proposed through the Committee's work. You can send us your comments or questions if any or start a forum discussion.

Thank you for your participation!

What is Livable Places?

The Livable Places initiative is a continuation of the Planning Department’s effort to update portions of Houston’s development codes to enhance walkability, affordability and equity.

Following City Council's approval of the Walkable Places and Transit-Oriented Development ordinance amendments in August 2020, the Livable Places Action Committee will focus on updating the City’s development codes to encourage the development and preservation of affordable, quality housing for all.

The committee aims to create opportunities to:

  • build housing on existing vacant lots within neighborhoods that are largely developed
  • increase housing options with access to alternative transportation, such as bicycling and mass transit
  • improve safety
  • preserve great neighborhoods

This effort draws from community preferences identified through several previous planning initiatives including Plan Houston, Resilient Houston and others.

Use this page to provide input and feedback to the committee. Visit here often to find out about meetings, ask questions, participate in discussions and surveys, and to learn more. Your participation is important to help guide how Houston develops.


Livable Places Action Committee Meeting


Thinking about housing affordability in Houston? – Take this Survey

Could the key to increasing housing options and affordability be in your backyard or in your neighborhood? The Livable Places Action Committee is exploring ways to allow variety of housing types that fit all income levels. Updating certain requirements and allowing homeowners to add additional units on a lot (unless prohibited by deed restrictions) could be a solution. Share your thoughts with us by taking this survey.


Learn More

In the Articles Tab, you will find various reading material that can provide context and definitions to support and provide meaning to the work the Livable Places Action Committee will discuss during its monthly meetings.

In the Proposed Amendments Tab, you will find information on various amendments proposed through the Committee's work. You can send us your comments or questions if any or start a forum discussion.

Thank you for your participation!

  • Single-Family Residential Survey

    Could the key to increasing housing options and affordability be in your backyard or in your neighborhood? The Livable Places Action Committee is exploring ways to allow a variety of housing types that fit all income levels. Updating certain requirements and allowing homeowners to add additional units on a lot (unless prohibited by deed restrictions) could be a solution. 

    Among these housing types are accessory dwelling units (ADUs), also known as garage apartments or granny flats, which could provide another option for Houstonians who want smaller homes set in a neighborhood instead of an apartment complex or subdividing lots into multi-story townhomes. Best practices for ADUs and all Livable Places recommendations will be evaluated to work within the Houston context, including addressing flood mitigation and other potential developmental impacts. 

    Recommendations that result from the Livable Places Action Committee are not intended to produce a single ordinance, but rather a series of modifications to the current development code. These recommendations are still in the discussion phase and will be reviewed by a technical advisory group and include several opportunities for public comment. The recommendations will be presented to the Planning Commission, which will hold a public hearing and determine whether or not to forward the recommendations to City Council. All items will be presented to a City Council committee before going to the entire City Council for consideration in 2022. 

    This Single-Family Residential Survey is seeking your feedback about the potential benefits and challenges for this development concept. The survey will close on August 16.

    For more information, check out the Livable Places Project Charter and Frequently Asked Questions posted on the Livable Places website. Stay tuned to public engagement opportunities on Let’sTalkHouston.


    The list below identifies blocks that have lots with various housing type configurations and some include detached ADUs on them.  You may visit these blocks in order to see examples of the types of development that were mentioned in the June 15 Livable Places Action Committee meeting.  

    • 1800 block of Kipling St.
    • 3000 block of Dennis St.
    • 300 block of W Clay St.
    • 2100 block of Carter St.
    • 5000 block of Pease St.
    • 1600 block of Hawthorne St.
    • 3100 block of McGowen St.
    • 1600 block of Harold St.
    • 1600 block of Marshall St.
    • 2900 block of Cleburne St.
    • 1900 block of Rosewood St.
    • 1700 block of Avenue I

    Thank you for your participation!

    Take Survey
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  • CLOSED: This survey has concluded.

    The Houston Planning Commission is accepting comments on proposed amendments to Chapter 42 of the Code of Ordinances, the City’s standards for subdivision platting. The public hearing and comment period opens Thursday, March 18, 2021 and closes April 18, 2021. These proposed amendments will eliminate inconsistencies, clarify and/or codify some requirements and policies to make the subdivision platting process more efficient. The Livable Places Action Committee reviewed these amendments last fall and have referred them to the Planning Commission for consideration.

    The proposed amendments will address the following in Chapter 42. Click to view the draft ordinance language.

    1. Time period for submitting plat applications
    2. Street Width in Place ordinance boundaries
    3. Clarify the term “nonresidential”
    4. Special Minimum Lot Size and Special Minimum Building Line variance requirements
    5. Temporary access easement for utility facilities
    6. Identifying floodplains on General Plans

    Provide your comments on the proposed amendments on this form.

    Complete Survey
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  • The results of this survey will help the Livable Places Action Committee in its work. 

    Visit often to participate in new activities and provide feedback.

    - Thank You

    Participate
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