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Learn more about the Cultural Arts Program.
Learn more about the Cultural Arts Program.
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To prevent injury to yourself, others and the animals please call Animal Services to relocate or impound Animals caught in traps. Some animals are illegal to transport per the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, including the transportation of raccoons which is a class C misdemeanor.
Though you may think the animal is a nuisance, it is a living creature and failure to provide shade, removal of trap in inclement weather, not contacting Animal Services in a reasonable time, or death to an animal in a trap can be construed as cruelty which is a felony offense.
Trapping should be a last resort for wildlife! Nature loves a vacuum. Removing the animal will just provide the opportunity for another to take its place. To solve the problem the food source, shelter and water need to be removed or you will just get a replacement.
In the near future, additional water supplies will be pumped through Oyster Creek from the Brazos River to serve as the primary potable water source for the City of Sugar Land. Drinking water is treated to remove harmful contaminants and make it safe for human consumption. Higher concentrations of contaminants in our stormwater require more treatment to make the water safe for us to drink.
For residential customers, wastewater volume charges for April through the following March are based on the lesser of (1) average monthly water usage as billed in the most recent February and March months; -or- (2) Twelve thousand gallons.
For new residential customers that have not yet established a water usage history (February/March), wastewater volume charges for April through the following March are based on the citywide average monthly usage, currently 6,480 gallons.
If you have any questions, please contact Fort Bend County Health and Human Services at 281-238-3514.
Since its establishment, the council-manager form has become the most popular form of government in the United States in communities with populations of 5,000 or greater. The form also is popular in Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and West Germany. For more than 80 years, council-manager government has responded to the changing needs of citizens and their communities.
In addition to successful completion of Sugar Land’s Public Safety Dispatch training program, recruits will attend a 40-hour Basic Telecommunications Course and a Crisis Communications course, following the curriculum developed by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education. At the completion of this training and one year of service as a Public Safety Dispatcher, they will be certified as a Basic Telecommunicator by the State of Texas.
The current schedule for the Imperial Market zoning case calls for a public hearing with the Planning & Zoning Commission on September 24, 2015. This hearing will allow members of the public to gain additional information about the development and provide input. Please feel free to provide your email address to the Planning Department at email@example.com
Imposing a narrow statewide cap on city budgets will not provide homeowners and businesses with meaningful tax relief because it doesn’t address the real cause of high property taxes – the state’s failure to address school financing in a meaningful way. Property owners know that the highest portion of their property taxes goes to funding schools and only a small percentage actually goes to the City. In Sugar Land in 2016, school district taxes accounted for up to 65 percent of your tax bill while city taxes represented only about 15 percent. Restricting city property taxes may sound good, but it won’t lower your tax bill in a significant way.
In fact, had the City relied on the legislature to provide “tax relief” in 2016 through a 4 percent revenue cap rather than the City Council approved 2 percent increase to the Homestead Exemption, Sugar Land residents would have ended up paying $12 MORE on their tax bill in 2016.
Additionally, the City would have lost its flexibility to respond to economic conditions, and with that, its ability to keep taxes low. Sugar Land is different from every other city in Texas. State restrictions on cities have to be broad and flexible enough to take into account the vast differences between cities across the state.
While that statement might sound concerning, comparing the growth in median household income to total tax levies is very misleading. You cannot compare an average to a total. Median household income mainly increases due to inflation while total property tax collections mainly increase due to growth such as annexation or new construction.
For example, when Sugar Land annexes the New Territory and Greatwood communities later this year, the City will grow its tax base and revenues; however, looking at the demographics, these communities have a similar median household income. Therefore, the tax collections will increase while the median household income essentially shows no growth at all. For anyone to say that those two growth rates should be the same is just inaccurate and misleading. Commercial property development does not impact median household incomes or population, but still places significant demands for services on the City.
State officials have no responsibility to provide local services or to meet unfunded state and federal mandates on cities. Applying a one-size-fits-all solution does not work as cities have unique characteristics due to differing mixes of tax base, age and demographics of the community, and economic activity. Elected city officials have constituents to represent. If an elected city councilmember acts contrary to the will of the citizens, that councilmember is not reelected. City officials are in the best position to make decisions on local property taxes because they interact with city residents every day, spend hours reviewing city budgets, and are personally familiar with the priorities of their communities. Each Sugar Land voter elects four of seven city council members – one mayor, one district council member and two at-large council members. Contrast that with one senator and one representative of the 181 members of the Texas Legislature, and you can see how local government is the government closest to the people.
Putting narrow statewide restrictions on city budgets will limit the City’s ability to do the things citizens want and expect. About half of the City’s General Fund budget, which is supported primarily by sales & property taxes, goes to funding for police, fire fighting, and emergency medical services. Comparing public safety funding to the total City budget is misleading, as the other funds such as water utilities and capital improvements are specific to those funds and are not available to support these departments. Narrowing restrictions will impact the City’s ability to hire quality personnel, offer competitive salaries and benefits, upgrade technology and replace outdated equipment.
It hasn’t, it’s actually gone down a lot! Sugar Land has the second lowest tax rate in Texas for a city of similar size. For an average tax bill of $1,100, or only $3 a day (less than a tall latte), you get one of the safest and best places to live in Texas. Sugar Land voters approved a half-cent local sales tax for property tax reduction which has helped to lower the tax rate from 50 cents in 1993 to 31.595 cents in 2016. The City has found that the most effective way to provide relief from rising valuations has been to increase the homestead exemption which targets tax relief directly to homeowners and results in a higher savings to residents compared to additional decreases to the city’s tax rate. Since 2007, the homestead exemption has been raised from 1 to 10 percent – the equivalent of 3 cents on the tax rate. Additionally, the City offers a $70,000 exemption for over-65 or disabled homeowners, and these taxpayers are also eligible to defer taxes owed on their property.
Over the past two decades, the state has demanded ever increasing financial contributions from local governments for state highway construction projects. Revenue caps will force cities to focus their restricted funding on local street improvements and curtail discretionary spending on state projects.
Commercial property development provides increases to property tax collections that do not affect household incomes or tax bills; in fact, commercial property helps to buy-down residential tax bills. Revenue caps will reduce the ability of cities to offer the services, amenities and infrastructure improvements that have been crucial to closing the deal in many corporate relocation decisions that create jobs for our citizens.
The legislature has the power to provide meaningful property tax relief by changing the way education is financed in Texas but has chosen not to do so. The largest burden of school funding has been pushed down to the local level by Texas lawmakers over many years in an effort to cut the state’s budget. The more you pay to the school district in property taxes, the less the state must spend on education. The proposed revenue caps do not apply to school districts, the largest part of your tax bill, so homeowners will find no meaningful tax relief. Despite this, language in the 2018-2019 state budget requires a 13 percent increase in school property taxes. The language in the 2018-2019 state budget bill (SB 1) reads, “Property values, and the estimates of local tax collections on which they are based, shall be increased by 7.04 percent for tax year 2017 and by 6.77 percent for tax year 2018.”
Actual: Departments provide data to the Office of Strategic Initiatives (OSI) using sources utilized by the department. For example, the Finance Department sends OSI data from the Fort Bend County Central Appraisal District for the Residential Revaluation Goal Measure.
Target: Individual Goal Measure targets are provided by the department that owns the Goal Measure. Targets are either based on historical data, or, current levels of service. All targets have been approved by the city’s Executive Team and are reviewed annually with the City Council during the City Council Fall Retreat.
Results: The “results” field will refer to the following terms:
In 2014, the City Council began developing measures of success for each Mid-Term Priority. This process began the development of the City Council Goal Measures. By 2015 the City Council formally adopted 30 Goal Measures by Resolution. Our representative body has been heavily engaged throughout this process, but staff took citizen involvement to the next level in 2016 with the formation of citizen focus groups. The focus groups were included in the dashboard review process and were comprised of various civic organizations including: Homeowners Association Members, Citizen’s Police Academy Alumni, and Sugar Land 101 Alumni.
Citizen involvement does not stop at the focus groups. The Goal Measures Dashboard has a feedback feature where visitors to the website are free to comment and ask questions about the dashboard directly to staff.
The City of Sugar Land’s long-term vision for our community states that by 2032 Sugar Land will:
In order to achieve our long-term vision, the City Council has established mid-term priorities. Through the establishment of mid-term priorities, the City Council provides direction for the City. These priorities and strategies have a five-year planning horizon and complement the goals detailed in our Vision. The five Mid-Term Priorities are: Safest City in America, Strong Local Economy, Responsible City Government, and Great Place to Live. Therefore, the City Council selected 30 Goal Measures that they believe best measure our success at achieving the Mid-Term Priorities. Each Goal Measure links the performance of key operations to the City Council Mid-Term Priorities.
Using an average response time has the potential to imply that residents should expect our first responders to arrive by the reported average response time. However, reporting an average response time is actually committing to respond to slightly more than 50% of emergency calls within the average response time. Therefore, our measure is more accurate because it provides residents with the percentage of emergency calls responded to within a target time based on current levels of service.
The targets for our Goal Measures are based off of both the City’s current levels of service and historical data. As such, it was important to the City to set targets that are achievable. Because the City of Sugar Land holds the value of continuous improvement in high esteem, individual Goal Measures, results, and targets are reviewed annually with the City Council. For example, if the City has been consistently meeting a target, staff and City Council would discuss making the target more stringent during this annual review process.
The City is held accountable for our results in three major ways:
The current Mid-Term Priorities were selected because they provide the proper direction for our City Council to achieve our long-term vision. The long-term vision, as well as the Mid-Term Priorities, are reviewed annually by the City Council. This is to ensure the selected Mid-Term Priorities will continue to provide the ideal path for achieving our long-term vision.
Goal Measures data is collected and reported each quarter – with the exception of measures that are reported annually. However, it is important to note that our “Citizen Survey” measures are collected once every few years.
As a City government, it is important to remain accountable and transparent to our residents. Therefore, the Goal Measures Dashboard empowers our residents and visitors to review the City’s progress on achieving its goals. The dashboard also assists City Management and City Council in making data-driven decisions on key priority areas.
Hours are Monday-Thursday 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
For more information about activities and programs, visit the T.E. Harman Center's website.
The deposit is due when you make your reservation and the rental fees are due 10 days before you event.
The terms and conditions of the annexation were determined by a vote of the City of Sugar Land City Council, as well as both Municipal Utility District’s Board Members for their representative districts.
Sugar Land functions under a council-manager form of government. The City Council performs a legislative role, setting broad goals and policies that match the vision of our residents. The City Manager is the Chief Administrative Officer, and manages the day to day business of the City in order to reach the goals set forth by City Council. The City of Sugar Land has a total of seven City Council Members, with four Districts. At the time of annexation, residents will be temporarily assigned to Single Member Council Districts. Residents within New Territory will temporarily be placed in City Council District 2, while residents residing in Greatwood will temporarily be placed within City Council District 4. Current Sugar Land City Council Members and positions are identified below.
1. Joe Zimmerman, Mayor
2. Himesh Gandhi, At-Large Position One
3. Mary Joyce, At-Large Position Two
4. Steve Porter, Single Member District One
5. Bridget Yeung, Single Member District Two
6. Amy Mitchell, Single Member District Three
7. Carol K. McCutcheon, Single Member District Four
The social media outreach from the City of Sugar Land aims to engage and inform the community through distribution of City news releases, media alerts, emergency and urgent City service notifications, City events, and general Sugar Land information. Current social media channels include the following:
1. Facebook - Official City Page2. Facebook - Parks & Recreation3. Facebook - Police Department4. Visit Sugar Land5. Twitter6. YouTube7. Instagram8. Pinterest
Dependent upon the District, residents will see an increase or decrease in taxes once the City levies its tax in 2018. The LIDs will not be impacted by the annexation, and residents are still obligated to pay their LID taxes.
No. Residents do not need to file new exemptions to get the City's homestead and over-65 exemptions. Any exemptions on file with the appraisal district will automatically be applied to the City's tax bill in 2018.
No. All development must meet the standards set by city development regulations. A drainage analysis is required for any development to demonstrate that no negative impact will occur to other areas as a result of new development. If needed, the new development may be required to construct onsite detention, or some other form of mitigation, so additional runoff produced by the development is mitigated so it has no impact downstream or upstream of the discharge point. The City continuously reviews these standards and updates them as done in the past.
The recent rain/hurricane events have been extreme. The rain storms received by the Southeast Texas region during 2015, 2016 and 2017 exceeded the 1% chance event (100-yr) that is the standard for the design of the levees and drainage systems in the City of Sugar Land and Fort Bend County.
There are also limited areas of our city left to develop. Many of the areas designated in the Plan as activity centers already exist today. Any development of activity centers will likely occur through the redevelopment of existing commercial centers. Drainage studies would be required for each site during the process that would also verify drainage impacts and mitigation measures if needed.
Development on Tract 5 will have no impact to Ditch H or Telfair. The Tract 5 property is within Fort Bend County Levee Improvement District (LID) 17. This LID has provided all of the required detention for existing and future development within its boundaries. The Tract 5 location actually outfalls directly to the Brazos River south west of the UH campus through a control structure that is operated by the LID.
Additionally, there are specific site drainage requirements and standards for development within the City of Sugar Land. All development (commercial, single-family residential, office, etc.) must be built in accordance with city engineering standards and will follow national and local standards. As per City regulations, all development within the City of Sugar Land must have no-impact on other areas to be permitted, when designed for the 1% chance event.
The Land Use Plan is a high level document that outlines policy direction and guidance for development, redevelopment and land use decisions. The Plan is published as Chapter 6 of the City’s Comprehensive Plan. The Plan furthers the Comprehensive Plan’s overall vision and sets out a specific land use vision and goals for the city and outlines actions that will achieve those goals to ensure Sugar Land continues to thrive. The Land Use Plan is not zoning or a regulatory document; however, the city’s zoning regulations are guided by and must be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan. In fact, the city is required to have a Comprehensive Plan if it has zoning.
The Land Use Plan is a component of the city’s Comprehensive Plan and should be updated regularly to ensure it is aligned with community values.
The Land Use Plan update guides proactive responses to long-term market shifts and demographic trends -- with the goal of protecting single-family residential neighborhoods and ensuring Sugar Land continues to be a premier place to live, work, shop and play in the region. The update also establishes policy to provide desirable single-family neighborhoods and other housing options, attractive amenities, and outstanding city services that add to the overall quality of life for the residents of Sugar Land and support the city’s economic growth.
The update establishes a specific vision and set of goals for land use that are based on four years of community input and the broader vision and goals established in the Comprehensive Plan. The update also recommends specific actions and future efforts to implement the land use vision.
The Land Use Plan is a component of the city’s Comprehensive Plan and should be updated regularly to ensure it is aligned with community values.
As Sugar Land’s infrastructure and buildings age, the city faces new challenges in ensuring that it develops and redevelops to remain a desirable place to live and conduct business. With minimal vacant land left to develop, the city must be stringent in the type of development it attracts in order to continue to be a premier place to live, work, shop, and play. As the last remaining vacant properties within the City develop, the focus is shifting to guiding infill and redevelopment in order to preserve the value of existing neighborhoods and commercial districts – recognizing that continued commercial development and a vibrant economy are essential in maintaining the city’s low tax rate.
The city will change—whether planned or unplanned—in response to long-term shifts in market demands and demographic trends. The Land Use Plan will guide that change in order to respond to evolving needs of current and future residents. The Land Use Advisory Committee has thoughtfully planned for the next generations, such that they may enjoy the Sugar Land that meets their needs and expectations, just as others before planned for the Sugar Land of today. With continued citizen involvement and the Land Use Advisory Committee’s recommendations, the Land Use Plan will guide the city into the next 20-25 years.
The Land Use Advisory Committee (LUAC) is a City Council appointed committee made up of residents from across the city and extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ). Members of the Committee included citizens from a variety of viewpoints, including residents living in neighborhoods across the City, ages ranging from young single adults to empty nesters, and a diversity of ethnicities.
City Council charged the Committee with the following five items:
Over the last four years, the committee has been diligently working to develop policies that will guide future land use decisions.
The city has encouraged any interested parties in the Sugar Land community to participate in the Land Use Plan Update process to ensure the plan’s recommendations reflect the community’s preferences. Residents, area businesses, employers and school representatives are a few examples of the wide range of people who contributed to the project. City Council also created a citizen advisory committee to investigate and consider a variety of issues that influence land use outcomes, participate in community dialogue and education, develop policy recommendations, and advocate for the Land Use Plan. The Land Use Advisory Committee, made of residents from across the city, guided the recommendations established in the Plan.
This Plan is based on listening to community input over the last 4 years, including a Council appointed citizen Land Use Advisory Committee, stakeholder interviews, public meetings, and online town halls. Public input has been important and has helped guide past and current decisions. Balancing the interests of citizens to protect single-family neighborhoods, expand tourism initiatives, attract new businesses and maintain Sugar Land's very low tax rate to ensure Sugar Land continues to be a premier place to live, work, shop and play in the region will continue to be the City's focus.
A comprehensive plan documents a City’s broad vision and is commonly referred to as a City’s roadmap. A comprehensive plan is comprised of base information, vision and goal statements, and a set of master plans that outline objectives and strategies for land use, transportation, infrastructure and public facilities, including possible future capital improvements, development regulations, or major policies. The city is required to have a Comprehensive Plan if it has zoning, and the city’s zoning regulations are guided by and must be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.
It is important to note that when a development proposal is submitted, moving an application forward through the zoning process is no guarantee of staff support or ultimate Planning and Zoning Commission or City Council approval. Public Hearings at Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council are scheduled for zoning applications to provide the opportunity for the public to give input and feedback on the proposal. Public feedback informs the staff recommendation as well as the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council through the decision-making process.
While the City of Sugar Land cannot control the decisions of independent school districts, this Plan prioritizes the preservation and protection of single-family neighborhoods in Sugar Land and encourages increased coordination with the school districts. The Plan requires a school impact analysis be completed when new residential is proposed as part of an activity center.
The plan is a long term plan looking out 25-30 years. There is no expectation that all or any of the areas identified for redevelopment will occur. The Plan provides a series of guiding principles that can be utilized by staff, Planning & Zoning Commission and City Council to make the best decisions when future proposals are introduced by the private development community.
An activity center is an area with a mix of uses, such as office, retail, residential and civic institutions, integrated together in a compact walkable area. The Plan identifies two types of activity centers: Regional Activity Centers (RAC) and Neighborhood Activity Centers (NAC).
The Plan identifies five areas as RAC strategically located along regional highways to ensure intense commercial, retail and other high-traffic destinations are contained within designated areas and separated from single-family residential neighborhoods. Each RAC is intended to have its own unique identity providing different amenities for both residents and employees for entertainment, dining, and shopping.
The Plan identifies eight areas as NAC located on Arterial streets, which are envisioned to be small mixed-use centers that act as a “Main Street” for nearby neighborhoods. These will largely be created through the redevelopment of older commercial areas.
For Your Information: The department is extremely proud of its patch. It contains the city seal. Inside the seal is the star of Texas. Inside the star is the crown of the Imperial Sugar Factory. Sugar Land obtained its name because the jurisdiction was built around the Imperial Sugar Factory which unfortunately ceased its operations in 2003.
In Texas, certain criminal history information is available to individuals from the State of Texas Department of Public Safety. For further information contact the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Click here to renew your drivers license without leaving home and standing for hours in a long line. The Department of Public Safety Visit the Texas Department of Public Safety's website established this site for your convenience. It is available to all Texas residents who need to renew their driver's license and I.D. cards.
Know your location when calling 911 from a cell phone. Although technology is advancing, cell phones can not currently provide the dispatch center with your exact address or location. Have the address ready, or use landmarks, mile markers, and road signs to describe where you are. Cell phones do not always direct you to the proper agency either. If this happens, remain patient and wait for the call taker to transfer you to the agency that will be able to assist you.
In addition to TCEQ-required daily process control samples taken at the water plants and system entry points, the City of Sugar Land has certified operators that perform over 85 bacteriological tests monthly in its distribution system and collects quality assurance / quality control samples at least once a week.
There are two solutions to this problem:
The other thing to do is to check under your house and make sure that there are no leaking drain pipes there. Leaking pipes underneath your house are not the responsibility of the city. You should contact a plumber to repair those problems. If these checks do not tell you the problem, please call our 24-hour line at 281-275-2450.
City ordinance requires Sugar Land restaurants to have grease traps to intercept, separate and contain their FOG discharges.
For the homeowner, there are relatively easy ways to avoid this potential problem. Below are simple steps, that would eliminate many time-consuming and costly sewer line repairs or blockages in your private lines:
Please ensure the manhole covers on your property are clearly visible and easily accessible at all times. Please do not bury them or disguise them. Your assistance in keeping these areas clear will save valuable time when crews are repairing or maintaining the lines.