This Week's Headlines

Yard-parking city ordinance causes confusion

City to host 3-day crime workshop

National Night Out slated for Oct. 4

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Cruz meets with Mitchell

Intoxicated mother accused of abandoning child on roadside

Memorial names king, queen

City now offers updated booster shots

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It’s Deer Park versus Dobie as 22-6A varsity football race kicks off

24-6A ranks poised to go to wire


 

Yard-parking city ordinance causes confusion
City rule not enforced, despite civic club opting in for protection

Confusion surrounds a city ordinance regarding yard parking that local community leaders say is nearly impossible to get enforced.

According to Sagemont Civic Club President Kay Barbour, the City of Houston has an ordinance that prohibits parking in yards in residential neighborhoods, but local homeowners groups must opt in to have it enforced.

Sagemont Civic Club completed all the necessary paperwork and in 2015, opted into the ordinance with the city. Multiple other local civic groups, including Sagemont Park and Kirkwood, followed suit.

The ordinance – City of Houston Ordinance Sec 28-301 – states the following:
“It shall be an offense for any person to park or to cause, suffer or permit the parking of a vehicle or equipment on any surface that is not an improved surface as defined in this article, within any front or side yard of a single-family residence in a residential area subject to this section. It is presumed that the registered owner of the vehicle or equipment is the person who parked, caused, suffered or permitted the vehicle or equipment to be parked in violation of this article.”

Violators of the ordinance will be punished by the following:
“Any person who violates any provision of this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $150.00. Each day a violation of this article shall continue shall constitute a separate offense.”

To read the complete ordinance, go to www.Municode.com on the internet and search for City of Houston, Chapter 28, Article X, or enter Parking of Vehicles on Residential Property in the search block.

(Residents may also read the ordinance by visiting library.municode.com/tx/houston/codes/code_of_ordinances/
178617?nodeId=COOR_CH28MIOFPR_ARTXPAVEREPR_S28-303PAVEPRCEREARAPPR&showChanges
.)

Barbour said the ordinance was to be enforced by any law enforcement officer, neighborhood protection official or parking official.

More than seven years after opting into the program, however, Barbour said getting the ordinance enforced has proved exceedingly difficult, with some city officials even saying no such regulation even exists.

According to Barbour, Sagemont Civic Club has received the following responses from each of the city’s respective departments:

– The Department of Neighborhoods chooses to not enforce this ordinance.

– ParkHouston has said they do not enforce this ordinance.

– HPD said there are only three specific officers that can enforce this ordinance.
Barbour said that while these officers have helped in the past, they are stretched very thin with other priorities.

Adding to the confusion, Barbour said she was told by an official in the city’s Traffic Operations Division that no such ordinance exists. Barbour was reportedly told by the city staffer to provide proof that Sagemont was enrolled in such a “so-called ordinance.”

“My neighborhood, Sagemont, along with Sagemont Park and Kirkwood, jumped through hoops to opt into an ordinance for the betterment of our communities, only to find that it is almost impossible to get it enforced,” said Barbour in a recent letter to the Houston District E City Council member and Mayor Pro-Tem Dave Martin. “We are very disappointed in the responses we have received from the city in the last seven years since our applications were approved. The enforcement departments named in the ordinance to enforce it refuse to do so. I certainly was not aware that departments within the city could pick and choose which laws to enforce.”

Houston District D City Council Member Carolyn Evans-Shabazz’s office was also contacted by Barbour for assistance in the matter.


City to host 3-day crime workshop

City of Houston officials are inviting the public to a three-day crime prevention workshop, set to take place Sept. 27-29 at FountainLife Center, located at 14083 S. Main.

Sponsored by Houston Police Department, Department of Neighborhoods, National Crime Prevention Council and Fountain Praise, the One Safe Houston workshop will focus on Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, or CPTED.

CPTED is an approach to crime prevention that uses architectural design and the intentional management of our environments to reduce crime and victimization.

CPTED strategies aim to build a sense of community so residents and property managers can gain territorial control and send the clear message to criminals that they should go somewhere else.

The National Crime Prevention Council will facilitate this three-day workshop that will cover core CPTED strategies. Using the unique NCPC Community Blueprint and second generation CPTED concepts, workshop residents will discuss and prioritize their communities’ specific challenges and work together to develop a basic CPTED-based action plan for their area.

Houston communities are invited to register a team of up to eight individuals. Teams consisting of a mix of people is suggested, such as residents, apartment managers, business owners or managers and faith leaders. The right mix for specific neighborhoods is up to the participants.

Residents can also register to participate in the training solo to share what they learn with their communities.

To register for the workshop, go to www.houstontx.gov/onesafehouston/cpt
ed-workshop.html
.

For additional information, call 713-308-3200.

One Safe Houston
One Safe Houston is a $53 million investment aimed at crime reduction.

The comprehensive violence reduction initiatives link research-based strategies to improve public safety and reduce the harms caused by violent crime.

The initiative focuses on four (4) key areas:
– Violence Reduction and Crime Prevention.
– Crisis Intervention, Response and Recovery.
– Youth Outreach Opportunities.
– Key Community Partnerships.

National Night Out slated for Oct. 4

The 38th annual National Night Out is set to take place Tuesday, Oct. 4.
Begun in 1984, NNO is a nationwide program to foster better relationships between local police departments and the communities they serve.

“NNO is a chance to bring neighborhoods together with the men and women who protect them,” said Houston Police Officer Emilio Reyes. “The safety of our communities depends on both law enforcement and the citizens they serve, and NNO events can enhance that cooperation. Preventing and solving crime is a community effort. NNO is an excellent program that helps the department build relationships with citizens and create safer neighborhoods.”

More than 16,000 communities, representing all 50 states, took part in last year’s campaign, attracting roughly 38 million participants.

The event formerly took place in August, but organizers have since changed the NNO’s Texas date to give residents an opportunity to enjoy cooler weather.

Along with the traditional display of porch lights and front porch vigils, NNO will be celebrated by neighborhoods and communities with a variety of events and activities such as block parties, cookouts, parades, flashlight walks, contests, youth programs and visits from local police.

County officials and local homeowner groups and civic clubs traditionally hold NNO events in the South Belt community, but no specific events were known at press time.

The Houston Police Department, Harris County Sheriff’s Office and the Harris County Precinct 2 and Precinct 8 constable offices will all be participating in various functions.

South Belt residents within the city limits who are planning a block party and wanting to have a police visit, should contact HPD Officer Richard Buitron at 281-642-3484 or Buitron@Houstonpolice.org.

Most residents outside of the city limits having parties should contact Precinct 2 Constable Jerry Garcia’s office at 713-477-2766.

The sooner law enforcement agencies are aware of an NNO event, the better chance an officer can attend.

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