The City of Houston earns Scenic America’s Clear Vision award

The City of Houston will be presented with Scenic America’s Clear Vision award at a reception being held at WorldFest-Houston International Independent Film Festival on Friday, April 20th.  Houston Mayor Annise Parker will accept the inaugural award in conjunction with the Texas premiere of This Space Available, a ground-breaking documentary about the problems caused by visual pollution, which features Houston’s ban on new billboards.

“The Clear Vision award is being given to Houston in recognition of the city’s persistent enforcement of its no new billboard policy in its 30 year fight against visual pollution ,” said Ronald Lee Fleming, Scenic America Board Chair.  “It’s clear that maintaining and enforcing one simple policy will dramatically reduce visual pollution over time.”

Scenic America logoThe number of billboards on the streets of Houston has dropped from more than 10,000 in 1980 to fewer than 2000 today. “Houston is the best U.S. example of what a city can achieve with a strong policy that stands the test of time,” Fleming added.

The reception and presentation of the Clear Vision award to Mayor Parker will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the AMC Studio 30 Theater on Dunvale, and the premiere of the documentary This Space Available will begin at 7:00 p.m.

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Where:  AMC Studio 30 Theater
2949 Dunvale (between Richmond and Westheimer) 

When:  Friday, April 20th
Reception and presentation of Scenic America’s Clear Vision award:  5:30 p.m.
Texas premiere of This Space Available:  7:00 p.m.

For information on WorldFest-Houston go to their website:  http://www.worldfest.org/

“Chickens, Signs, and Other Hot Topics” a paper on emerging trends in land use

In a new paper from Alan Bojorquez and Joseph Deeb, the authors outline a list of non-traditional land use and development topics that have been confronting Texas municipalities over the last few years.  The paper share insights garnered through their roles as municipal lawyers representing Texas cities. The decision of what to include in this paper was influenced by an increasing tension between the efforts of some property owners to Go Green, and classic municipal regulations involving such routine standards as height, setbacks, and impervious cover. Some cities have been forced to rethink their standards when faced with a resident’s desire to crack open that backyard-fresh-egg, or operate their hot tub with a personal rainwater collection system, wind turbine, and solar panel.

Chickens, Signs, and Other Hot Topics