Last year, the District completed and approved a comprehensive plan that will lead the way for many accomplishments and improvements in the next 15 years. We also advanced a petition, and held a public hearing, for the successful campaign to re-authorize the continuation of our work on your behalf. To be sure, the first 10 years of the District’s accomplishments paved the way for this re-affirmation.
So much of what has been accomplished is easily visible, like new landscaping, wayfinding signage, and other beautification efforts to make our community cleaner and more inviting. Meanwhile, our public safety committee has ensured that our neighborhoods not only feel safer, but according to reports from law enforcement, actually are safer.
All of these improvements have led to a welcome influx of new families looking for the ideal place to live and work, and new residential developments to meet their needs. At the same time, the median home price has increased by $100,000 because Spring Branch has become a very desirable place to live.
Your board of directors is committed to keeping this positive momentum going by following the blueprint laid out in the comprehensive plan. This two-year study, completed in 2016, enabled us to identify priorities on which to focus in this new year.
We’ll certainly continue to work with neighborhoods and their respective associations to help them craft and maintain standards to ensure that property values remain high. We’ll work on identifying parts of the District that are prone to flooding problems (particularly the northern half of the District), and partner with city and county agencies to control and mitigate those problems.
And, because we understand that preserving green space adds to quality of life and the ability of families to get outside and enjoy the fresh air, we will work on a system of hike-and-bike trails along the Centerpoint Energy easement that bisects the District from east to west.
Finally, as we make the community friendlier, safer, and more enjoyable for our residents, we will also continue our economic development efforts to bring new businesses, new shopping and dining options, and new jobs to the area. One of the key issues on the radar of our economic development committee is changing the perception of the Long Point commercial corridor in order to attract these new businesses. I’m happy that former managers and chefs of Hay Merchant and Underbelly have chosen the 7700 block for their new craft beer bar, and other high-end businesses are likely to follow their lead.
Good things are happening in the Spring Branch area, and as the chairwoman of the District’s board, I am delighted to have the opportunity to observe its progress from Point A to completion. As always, the board welcomes your input and suggestions on how we can work together to continue building a great community, and we wish you a happy new year.