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U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service is available at the Sugar Land Regional Airport. Learn more about clearing U.S. customs and associated fees.
All volunteers must be 14 years of age or older. All volunteers under the age of 18 must also submit a signed parent/guardian permission form in addition to their on line application. More information is available on the volunteer sign up website
No. All volunteers must apply online in advance, once approved they may sign up for volunteer opportunities. You must be registered in advance to volunteer for a specific event; you may not just show up at that event/training. We ask for a specific number of volunteers to ensure a positive experience for all.
The City recognizes the historical significance of the discovery and the importance of honoring and preserving these individuals with the utmost dignity, and memorializing the area’s history for future generations.
The cemetery is located in Fort Bend County near Highway 6 and US 90-A.
In 1867, Texas began leasing out its convicts to labor for private companies, and former plantations across the state were transformed into prison farms. The vast majority of the men and women who toiled on them were African-Americans, either the children of slaves or former slaves themselves, who came from states like Arkansas and Louisiana as well as from across Texas. The graves in the Old Imperial Farm Cemetery are those of the African-Americans who worked in the convict leasing program and the guards. The cemetery has at least 31 graves, with the earliest dated from 1912. Three graves are post-dated the 1930s. The Imperial State Prison Farm was a Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) men's prison. It was one of the first penal institutions owned by the State of Texas and opened in 1909 on the Imperial Sugar plantation. In 1930 the facility was renamed the Central State Prison Farm.
FBISD will determine if and how DNA testing will be performed prior to interment in the Old Imperial Farm Cemetery. Under the terms of the MOU with FBISD, the City does not assume responsibility for the individuals until they have been reburied in the Old Imperial Farm Cemetery. Any DNA testing would need to be conducted prior to reinternment. The City does not support, nor do we feel it would be appropriate, to exhume the individuals for DNA testing after reinterment.
While the convict leasing program was reprehensible, The City of Sugar Land was not incorporated until December 1959, long after the program ended. No inmate labor has ever been used in building the City’s infrastructure, including any of our city halls. Convict labor leasing had been over for several decades when the City of Sugar Land was incorporated and was gradually phased out of the area during the 1910s, when Isaac Kempner and William Eldridge established Sugar Land as a company-owned town.
Contractors working for FBISD discovered the individuals during construction of a new school on the site.
95 unmarked graves were discovered on the site.
The individuals are of African-American males ranging in age from 14 to over 70. The convict leasing system started in 1857 and operated until the early 1900s.
Yes, construction at the site has ceased.
Numerous entities are involved including the Texas Historical Commission, Fort Bend County, FBISD and the City of Sugar Land.
It is our understanding the FBISD plans to initiate educational initiatives regarding the historic discovery. The City will work with all entities to participate, as appropriate, in efforts to honor those interred in the Old Imperial Farm Cemetery.
In 1867, Texas began leasing out its convicts to labor for private companies, and former plantations across the state were transformed into prison farms. The vast majority of the men and women who toiled on them were African-Americans, either the children of slaves or former slaves themselves, who came from states like Arkansas and Louisiana as well as from across Texas. The graves in the Old Imperial Farm Cemetery are those of the African-Americans who worked in the convict leasing program and the guards on the Ellis Plantation’s sugar mill and surrounding sugar cane fields.
The cemetery was dedicated to the City by LID 17 in October 2006. Sugar Land City Council approved Resolution No. 12-02 on Feb. 7, 2012. The resolution authorized the purchase of 63.331 acres of land for park purposes and the purchase of 11.426 acres of land for airport purposes from NNP-TELFAIR, LP per the 2003 Development Agreement.
The City of Sugar Land negotiated with Newland Real Estate Group, developer of the Telfair residential community in Fort Bend County, to accept responsibility for the ownership of the cemetery, ensuring this historical property does not disappear through neglect like many others throughout the country. The Imperial Farm Cemetery was declared a Historic Texas Cemetery in 2007 in an application that was made in collaboration with the Fort Bend Historical Commission and approved by the Texas Historical Commission. The City has protected and maintained the prison cemetery property since taking ownership.
The city zoned the cemetery and surrounding property as parkland, a designation that protects and preserves the property. The city went further and purchased all of the land around the cemetery. We planned enhancements that were intended to make the cemetery more accessible and highlight its historical importance.
The city routinely provides cemetery access to the Texas Slave Descendants Society to host events there.
An archeological survey of the property was previously completed by Newland Communities as required by federal law.
The Fort Bend County Historical Commission is charged with carrying out a continuing survey of the county’s historical buildings, sites, cemeteries, archeological sites, both public and private, and other historical features within the county, and reports to the Fort Bend County Commissioners Court and the Texas Historical Commission. Any new development that could have an impact on a historic site such as this must be vetted through the Fort Bend Historical Commission. The Texas Historical Commission performed ground-penetration studies of the property in May 2016.
The city will comply with all required laws prior to any future parkland development surrounding the cemetery.
The city’s plans for a community park in Telfair were halted by the failed passage of an $18.5 million bond proposition. Even though the regional park was defeated in the bond election by residents of Sugar Land, that property is still designated for future parkland in our Parks, Recreation Master Plan.
The city is committed to honoring the history of the Old Imperial Farm Cemetery and the surrounding prison operation:
The City of Sugar Land created the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation and contributes funding to ensure the preservation of the city’s history. The Sugar Land Heritage Foundation has been collecting local historical documents for a museum opened in 2018 at the Imperial Refinery site. This museum will eventually include a diversity of exhibits documenting the experiences and contributions of African-Americans and all others. Community groups are encouraged to support the development of the museum.
The stated mission of the Convict Leasing and Labor Project is to document the abuses of forced labor in the United States past and present. That includes slavery, convict leasing, and current forced labor arrangements in US prisons. The published goal of CLLP is to “abolish the last vestiges of involuntary servitude in the nation to bring the US into compliance with Article 4 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”
The stated vision of the CLLP is to provide a public forum on the impact of slavery, convict leasing, and current forced labor arrangements inside US prisons. According to their literature the group envisions:
The Texas Slave Descendant’s Society was founded as a Texas General Business in 2006 by Reginald Moore. Much of the Society’s activity has been to document the abuses of Texas’ prison labor system. The Society has worked with the Woodson Research Center at Rice University to research the convict labor system in Fort Bend County. The organization hosts an annual Labor Day event at the Old Imperial Farm Cemetery and the City routinely hosts TSDS at events at the cemetery.
Representatives from the National Black United Front met with FBISD Superintendent Dr. Charles Dupre to discuss a list of 15 concerns they have regarding the individuals found on FBISD property. Foremost among their concerns is a request that DNA testing be conducted before the individuals are reinterred. Other concerns involve:
After extensive discussion and consideration, the task force formally recommended two options. The task force’s first option was to re-bury the remains at the original site where they were found. The task force believes this option is the most respectful to the remains because a burial site is considered sacred ground. However, the task force understands that there may be certain legal restrictions that will not allow reburial on school district property and would in that case recommend reburial at the city of Sugar Land’s cemetery.
Sugar Land City Council approved an interlocal agreement with Fort Bend ISD that allows the school district to re-inter remains at the city’s cemetery if they so choose. City Council’s decision was consistent with the task force’s recommendation, which included two options.
No. The interlocal agreement allows Fort Bend ISD to consider the city’s cemetery as an option for reburial.
As the property owner where the human remains were found, Fort Bend ISD has the responsibility of evaluating suitable burial locations to re-inter the bodies to present to the court for final approval.
Learn more about the Cultural Arts Program.
Learn more about the Cultural Arts Program.
Accurate and reliable information can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.
No. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others that circulate among animals, including camels, cats and bats. The recently emerged 2019-nCoV is not the same as the coronavirus that causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) or the coronavirus that causes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). However, genetic analyses suggest this virus emerged from a virus related to SARS. There are ongoing investigations to learn more. This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available. Learn about 2019 Novel Coronavirus.
See information from Texas Health and Human Services
Yes. Review this online resource for vaccination options. The city does not receive vaccine shipments directly.
See information from Texas Health and Human Services.
For accurate and reliable information, please be sure to visit the following resources. They are the authoritative sources of information.
Dr. Anzaldua: While there is no “zero risk” for either spreading or contracting SARS–COV–2 (the virus that causes COVID-19 illness), traveling during the pandemic is still possible but you must take safety precautions to reduce the risk of viral transmission. If you have symptoms, please avoid traveling at all costs. If you recently tested positive for the virus or have been exposed to someone with confirmed COVID-19, travel should be avoided or delayed.
Dr. Anzaldua: This information is easily found on the CDC.gov website. You should also check to see if your final destination, domestic or a broad, has any travel advisory restrictions with respect to testing or self-quarantine requirements. This generally applies to all forms of travel including train, bus, ship, etc. Self-quarantine (usually a 14-day period) may be voluntary or mandatory.
Dr. Anzaldua: Please follow the current public health measures currently recommended by the CDC, such as wearing a mask properly fitted, covering both mouth and nose when in public settings such as airports, train or bus stations, etc. Practice recommended hand sanitation using soap and water or hand sanitizers that contain least 60% alcohol. Avoid touching frequently touched services.
Dr. Anzaldua: Currently studies indicate that viral infections do not spread easily during air travel due to current technology used for air circulation and filtration. If at all possible, however, social distancing with physical separation of 6 feet or greater is still recommended.
Dr. Anzaldua: Bring a mask to wear in public settings, especially in large crowds. In fact, I would recommend packing extra masks just in case. I would also pack travel size hand sanitizer bottles. Make sure both are close at hand.
Dr. Anzaldua: Although there are no current vaccinations or recommended outpatient treatments for COVID–19, if traveling abroad please check to see if any other vaccinations are recommended or even required prior to travel.
Dr. Anzaldua: If you made airline reservations a while ago, you may want to check with your airline carrier to make sure that your flight reservations are still confirmed as some airlines may have changed or even canceled some previously scheduled flights.
Dr. Anzaldua: If you are prone to or at risk for high altitude illness, try taking a day or two of rest prior to climbing to a higher altitude. Avoid strenuous physical activity, coffee and alcohol. Drink plenty of water any chance you get. If you have had high altitude illness in the past, consider taking prescription medication for prevention or treatment, such as Diamox. Consult with your healthcare provider.
Dr. Anzaldua: There are some studies that suggest that a disruption in our circadian rhythm (such as sleep deprivation and jet lag) can have a negative impact on our immune system. Such negative influence on our immunity system can make us vulnerable to certain illnesses, especially infections.
Dr. Anzaldua: Yes. Physical and emotional stress can have a negative impact on our immune system, the system in charge of fighting off certain illnesses and infections.
Dr. Anzaldua: While it is believed that temperature changes can impact our immune system and metabolic processes in our bodies, the mechanisms of how this happens is not well understood.
Dr. Anzaldua: Other than sleep deprivation and jet lag, a person’s general health is also a factor, especially those medical conditions that are associated with weakened immune systems. In addition, individuals not properly hydrated while flying are at risk of weakening the immune system. It is best to always stay well hydrated (even prior to air travel) and avoid caffeine and alcohol while flying. Remember that these beverages tend to dehydrate, not hydrate!
Dr. Anzaldua: Commercial jets are not always properly sanitized in between flights. Some of the areas at high risk for harboring infections include toilet areas, tray tables, armrests, and seat pockets. Believe it or not, tray tables (that may “look” clean) may actually harbor more germs than the restroom area! The best way to avoid contamination is to minimize hand contact with these areas just mentioned and to carry a bottle of hand sanitizer or a package of baby wipes to keep hands as germ-free as possible.
Dr. Anzaldua: Many hotels abroad realize that their traveling guests may get sick. For this reason, check with your hotel front desk to see if they can arrange for a physician to attend to you. In addition, you may wish to contact your own personal physician, but keep in mind that their assistance may be somewhat limited, but still may provide good medical advice such as recommending certain medications that may be available at a local pharmacy.
The city’s design standards set requirements for bike lanes built within the city’s right of way. These standards meet those set by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).
TxDOT’s standards are based on the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Roadway Design Manual and guidelines. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) is a standards setting body which publishes specifications, test protocols and guidelines which are used in highway design and construction throughout the United States.
The city’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan contains recommended minimum requirements for pedestrian and bicycle facilities (bike lanes, sidewalks, and crosswalks, etc…). Recommendations as outlined on the master plan adhere to applicable TMUTCD, ADA and American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) standards.
Below is a table comparing Sugar Land to TxDOT's bicycle facilities standards.
At this time, there is no immediate concern with the Brazos River. However, the amount and rate of erosion will vary any given year as it depends on several factors. A few of these include:
Lack of planning and action could result in the potential of seeing property values impacted, increases in flood insurance rates, and the inclusion of some areas in the floodplain zone. One of the goals of the study is to develop plans to address the issue and reduce future risk to nearby areas.
Areas protected from the Brazos River by levees are not classified as being in the floodplain. As long as the river level is below the top of the levee or the levee is not breached, these areas would not experience flooding from the Brazos River. The ongoing erosion problem could change this.
The amount and rate of erosion will vary any given year as it depends on several factors. A few of these include:
Lack of planning and action could result in damage to the levee or a negative impact on the level of protection the levees provide. If this happens, there is the potential of seeing property values impacted, increases in flood insurance rates, and the inclusion of some areas in the floodplain zone. One of the goals of the study is to develop plans to address the issue and reduce future risk to nearby areas.
The City is using a the Observation Method for Meandering Prediction (OMM) developed by Dr. Jean-Louis Briuad at Texas A&M University. The methodology includes the following:
The stakeholders of the study are:
The city is partnering with:
The National Weather Service has completed a historical rainfall study, called Atlas 14. This study incorporated approximately 100 years of rainfall data in Texas, which shows that Fort Bend County and the City of Sugar Land are likely to experience an increase in the frequency of intense rainfall events.
The existing rainfall frequency values were developed in the 1960s and 1970s. Atlas 14 incorporated an additional 4 decades of rainfall data collected by the increased number of rain gages in Texas. In addition, Atlas 14 used improved statistical methods to conduct rainfall frequency analysis. These rainfall frequency values are used for infrastructure design and planning activities under federal, state and local regulations. The values are also used to evaluate flood risks, manage development in floodplains, and delineate floodplain boundaries for FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program.
Areas of new development and re-development located next to Oyster Creek in the floodplain area could see an increment in the minimum required finish floor elevations. Redevelopment of properties located in levee-protected areas may need to build at a higher elevation if the original finish floor elevation did not comply with the minimum elevation requirements of the Levee District engineer.
As per the Fort Bend Drainage Criteria Manual (184.108.40.206 –Design Criteria Assuming Coincidental Events), the maximum ponding level within the leveed area should not exceed the maximum water surface elevation associated with the 100-yr coincidental flood event computed in designing the internal drainage system of the levee area, including the required minimum freeboard of one foot and the pumping and storage capacity of the leveed system.
The coincidental ponding is determined from the coincidental probability of interior and exterior flooding and the capacity of pumps, drainage channels, and detention using the precipitation requirements of Atlas 14.
No. The Development Code and the city's design standards require that any new or existing construction collects the stormwater on the property properly and delivers it to the proper city collection point, (i.e. stormwater inlet, stormwater channel or detention pond) without affecting any neighboring properties. This is clearly specified in the flood prevention ordinances adopted by City Council.
We are proposing to change the city code. Currently, many of our floodplain regulations are based on the 100-year flood. We are proposing an interim Atlas 14 100-year floodplain regulations until floodplain maps can be redrawn by FEMA in a few years. This interim floodplain is based on the current 500-year floodplain. This change means that property owners and businesses in the interim Atlas 14 100-year floodplain would have new restrictions if they want to develop, expand, remodel or improve their properties.
Sugar Land areas that will be affected by Atlas 14 implementation can be reviewed using the following maps:
The majority of the city will not be impacted by higher insurance rates, however, homeowners that are not in the current 100-year flood zone may be remapped to the flood hazard zone when FEMA updates floodplain maps in a few years. If remapped, affected homeowners might be required to purchase flood insurance.
Atlas 14 shows that the frequency of major storms that can take place in our city is expected to increase. This could mean more street ponding in our area. We do not anticipate homes flooding in our area as a result of Atlas 14 estimates, however, it is recommended that all homeowners and residents purchase flood insurance.
The project includes
Construction is expected to last 14 months with tentative completion in summer 2020. The project schedule may change due to weather conditions, the contractor’s production rate, and other factors.
The Mobility Master Plan is the City of Sugar Land’s first consolidated mobility plan – a plan that shifts the focus from moving vehicles to moving people. This renewed focus will aim to provide residents, workers, and tourists with multiple transportation options to choose from within Sugar Land. It will incorporate all elements of mobility – vehicles, pedestrians, bicycles, transit and freight rail – based on community values to define Superior Mobility for Sugar Land.
The Pedestrian & Bicycle Master Plan focuses on planning for projects and programs that are specific for pedestrians and bicycles, while the Master Thoroughfare Plan focuses on the City’s roadway network and moving vehicles. The Mobility Master Plan will focus on planning for all modes of transportation, including, but not limited to vehicles, pedestrians, bicycles, transit, and freight rail.
The mobility master plan will involve a variety of stakeholders, the most important of which is the residents of Sugar Land. The Mobility Task Force, made up of 22 residents of Sugar Land and its Extraterritorial Jurisdiction, will guide the Mobility Master Plan development and ensure all voices from the community are heard and represented in the Plan. Members represent diverse mobility interests, including drivers, cyclists, walkers, transit users, seniors, parents of school children, people with disabilities, major employers, and local businesses. In addition to the Task Force, the general public, representatives from local businesses, city officials, professional advisors from regional governmental agencies, city of Sugar Land staff and the project consultant will be involved in the Plan development.
Development of the City’s first integrated Mobility Master Plan is a significant undertaking which is expected to take two to three years to complete. Implementation of the Plan will begin after City Council adoption. In addition, upon completion of the Mobility Master Plan, staff will initiate development of multiple area plans (i.e. neighborhood, corridor plans). These area plans will recommend specific Capital Improvement Projects to ultimately implement the overall Mobility Master Plan.
Property tax increases are not being considered at this point because the plan will take two to three years to complete. Any construction and subsequent funding considerations as a result of this plan will not occur until after that time. However, the Sugar Land Mobility Survey does include a question regarding potential funding sources.
Pre-Qualification Presentations are offered bi-monthly.
Each presentation is allocated 45 minutes. Thirty minutes for the presentation and 15 minutes for questions and answers (Q/A).
Presentations should provide an overview of all disciplines (ie: water, wastewater, traffic, roads, drainage, etc.) the company offers or can focus on one specific area of expertise the company wants to make the city aware of.
The “Pre-Qualifications Presentation” schedule link is on the City of Sugar Land website with detailed instructions on the process.
No, Pre-Qualification Presentations are not required to do business with the City of Sugar Land. However, they are highly recommended because the process allows staff to become familiar with new companies, relevant changes within an existing company structure as well as new disciplines companies have to offer. Providing a presentation also allows the companies Statement of Qualifications (SOQ) to go into the City’s 2-year library for selection process for projects under $250,000 budget.
SOQs can be submitted before or immediately following the Pre-Qualification Presentations. An electronic version ONLY is provided to the Engineering Administrative Coordinator at email@example.com
Each Request for Qualifications (RFQ) is based on particular projects (drainage, streets, traffic, etc.) With the SOQ (for pre-qualification submittals only) use the following criteria:
Please submit SOQs in PDF format with a maximum of 15 pages, including: introduction letter, structure of organization, disciplines of expertise and examples of projects. *Please note the City cannot accept SOQs on flash drives due to our IT security policy.
SOQs stay active in the City’s Engineering library for 2 years.
If the company desires to keep their SOQ in the library an additional 2 years, they can submit an updated SOQ to firstname.lastname@example.org. No additional presentation is necessary unless the following takes place: 1). The company has restructured the organization, 2) The company has added additional services they want to introduce to the City.
The company representative should contact the Engineering Department Administrative Coordinator at email@example.com for further information or instructions.
Staff members from all divisions of city staff are invited to the meetings (Airport, Public Works, Parks, Engineering, Planning, etc.).
Presentations will now be conducted through an online virtual meeting process. The platform will be Zoom. Additional information is provided through the scheduling process on the City’s website, prequalification’s link.
If you are considering pet adoption, please stop by the animal shelter during regular business hours or visit Petfinder to see our animals. You can also find more information on our adoption page
At this time the City of Sugar Land does not have a license or registration program. State law does require that all dogs and cats over 4 months of age be current on their rabies vaccination. The city does require the rabies tag be displayed on your pet’s collar.
At this time, the City’s animal shelter does not offer any veterinary services to the public. Sugar Land is home to many wonderful veterinarians and practices. We suggest searching the internet, or asking a neighbor for a recommendation. If you are in need of low cost alternatives, you can contact one of the following.
Some No Kill facilities pre-screen what they will take into their shelter. Less desirable animals are not admitted or transferred to other facilities. Sugar Land's animal shelter is tasked with taking in all animals in our jurisdiction including strays, abandoned and injured animals, those with health issues from neglect, transmittable diseases, behavior issues, and aggression.
A No Kill shelter is a great concept, but in reality even a No Kill shelter can euthanize 5-10% of its intake and still be considered No Kill. Maddie's Fund, an organization dedicated to increased community lifesaving, shelter medicine education, and pet adoptions across the U.S., defines a No-Kill shelter as “an animal shelter that does not kill healthy or treatable animals even when the shelter is full, reserving euthanasia for unhealthy and untreatable animals.” Maddie’s Fund also has detailed definitions for healthy, treatable, rehabilitatable and manageable animals.
The City’s Animal Shelter does not promote itself as a "no kill" animal shelter but does actively utilize multiple "no kill" strategies to ensure adoptable animals find a forever home. Even though the animal shelter has exceeded its capacity since 2015, the animal shelter does not euthanize for space. In addition, the City utilizes the following "no kill" strategies to ensure animals are adopted:
The City does not have a Trap Neuter and Release Program (TNR) and it is currently prohibited by City Ordinance. The Animal Advisory Board reviewed TNR during the February 12 board meeting. In a TNR program, community cats are humanely trapped, spayed or neutered, vaccinated, treated for fleas (only in cases of extreme infestation), eartipped (the universal sign that a community cat has been neutered and vaccinated), and then returned to the area where it was originally trapped. TNR claims various benefits which are detailed below with local facts.
Based on the above information and lengthy discussion among the board members, the board decided not to implement a TNR program at this time, but all agreed education and outreach is needed to reduce the feral cat population.
Yes, we do provide traps. Our traps are live humane traps used for cats running at large and nuisance wildlife. Traps are available for 10 business days on a first come, first serve basis. Traps may be set from Sunday evening through 3 p.m. Friday and must be shut down for the weekends and holidays. Traps will be delivered to your doorstep with instructions on the rules, what to bait it with, and how to set it. If you choose to use your own trap you are subject to the same rules. 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.
Suspected code violations can be reported in any of the following ways:
Once a suspected code violation has been submitted, code enforcement staff is assigned and an investigation takes place. Due to the different nature of submissions, investigation and resolution times may vary. For example, zoning violations typically require monitoring and collecting of information on the property and usually will take longer to reach a resolution.
Once it is determined that a violation has occurred, city staff will issue a notice of violation to the property owner outlining the necessary corrective action as well as a compliance timeframe. Re-inspections are then conducted to verify compliance.
Code violation information is available to anyone through an open records request as part of the Freedom of Information Act.
The City does maintain close working relationships with HOAs and other community groups and regularly discusses high-level issues occurring within the subdivision.
Rental length defines what would be considered a short-term rental. Any property that is leased or rented out in whole or in part (a room, for example) longer than 30 days is not considered a short-term rental and would be allowed.
There is a misconception that Sugar Land prohibits short-term rentals because the City would not be able to collect occupancy tax from these rentals. In fact, any owner that is operating a lodging business – including a short term rental – anywhere in the state of Texas is required to collect state hotel occupancy taxes that must be submitted to the State Comptroller.
Additionally, if STRs were allowed in Sugar Land (they are not), they would also be subject to the city’s hotel occupancy tax.
Please contact Republic Services at 713-726-7307 or notify the city at 3-1-1 or 281-275-2900.
Effective January 1, 2021 the City’s Household Hazardous Waste program will no longer be provided as a service.
Residents are encouraged to utilize the Fort Bend County Recycling Center, which is a regional drop-off center for household hazardous waste and electronics recycling for Fort Bend County residents. Their website provides information regarding accepted materials and applicable fees. Please note that the Fort Bend County Recycling Center does not schedule curbside collection of material.
Please remember to not place these materials in your garbage or recycling carts, as they should be properly disposed of. It is also important to note that household hazardous waste material and electronics placed at the curb with bulky waste will not be collected.
Yes. Residents have the option of a 35, 65, or 95 gallon cart for garbage and recycling. To request a different size, please contact Republic Services Customer Service at 713-726-7307. A cart exchange fee will apply.
Carts should be stored in compliance with your HOA deed restrictions. Ideally, the carts should be stored in your garage or behind fencing or brush. The city ordinance does not require the container be stored out of sight, but does require the cart not block or interfere with a sidewalk.
Carts should be placed at the base of the curb (where curbs exist) with the cart wheels against the curb. The cart must be at the curb with the handle facing away from the street and the lid opening to the street. Carts must be placed at least 3 feet from obstacles such as utility poles, mailboxes, trees, fire hydrants, and parked cars.
The collection arm on the automated truck requires space so that it will not tip over other containers or damage property. Please keep the containers away from obstacles that may interfere with the collection.
Are you recycling? Recycling materials will give you more room in your garbage cart. Additional garbage carts are available for an additional monthly fee and can be requested by contacting 3-1-1 or 281-275-2900. There is no additional monthly fee for extra recycling carts.
A separate collection will be provided for certain large items defined as bulky waste. These items include stoves, refrigerators (Freon removed), furniture, and other large household items that cannot be broken down. Bulky waste does not include construction refuse, demolition refuse, or hazardous or electronic wastes. Bulky waste service days are different from garbage and recycling service days.
Please visit MyNeighborhood to determine when the next bulky waste collection day is for your area.
Upon annexation in December 2017, Greatwood residents began paying the same fees for solid waste collection services as the rest of the City.
The most recent rate adjustment on January 1, 2021, was based on a 1.95 percent CPI increase included in the city’s contract with Republic Services. This adjustment increased the 2021 solid waste rate from $19.38 to $19.76 per month; a 38 cent increase.
More information about this planned fee increase can be found in this news release of Dec. 30, 2020
The frequency of bulk waste collection for Greatwood residents was modified to align with the service level provided to the rest of the City. All remaining solid waste collection services were maintained, along with the addition of the green waste recycling program and on-call bulk cardboard program, which were previously not available for Greatwood residents.
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.
Yes, both paper and electronic submittals are acceptable.
No, once a paper or electronic application is submitted, it must be completed using the same submittal type.
Yes, either method is acceptable for each separate event.
Complete application including supporting documents must be submitted at least 5 days before the date of the event.
The email provided during the application process will receive a notification providing a status update.
The email provided during the application process will receive a request for documents if not submitted during the initial application process, or documents that need correction. Customer must login to profile and upload required attachments.
Yes, during the application process, it will ask you if expedited services are needed. Please select “yes” in the drop down menu, and the additional fee will be applied to your total amount due.
The email provided during the application process will receive a notification with instructions for remitting payment once application is approved.
Credit or debit card.
The email provided during the application process will receive a notification with permit attached.
Print and post in public view on the day(s) of your event. Note: It is against the law to duplicate or revise permit.
Yes, your customer profile will be saved for future events. You do not need to create a new customer profile for each application; please use your same login information
Not at this time; however, reoccurring customers can pay online for these permit types. The permit application process remains unaffected for Mobile Food Units and Fixed Food Establishments until further notice.
You can schedule a pick-up by
You can use any bag, box, or container to place the items out for collection.
Items should be placed on your front porch on the scheduled date of service.
The Integrated Water Resources Plan (IWRP) was recently adopted by City Council - the result of several years of work by the IWRP Task Force. The IWRP includes recommendations on how best to meet the long term water needs for our city, considering the cost, reliability and yield of new water supply options. For more information, please visit: http://www.sugarlandtx.gov/1747/Integrated-Water-Resource-Plan
Yes, you will still see the same detailed lines on your monthly bill, rates will increase for services billed after January 1, 2020. The rate increase is needed to support increased costs of providing water and capital investment necessary to meet the next mandated groundwater usage reduction of 60%. Your water bill will continue to show the following detail lines:
The proposed budget includes $226.9 million for operations – a more than 2 percent decline from the prior year – and $27.5 million for capital projects, including a first, but limited, phase of projects approved by voters in 2019.
Overall, the city is facing and has identified strategies to offset a revenue shortfall of approximately $3 million across all major funds as a result of COVID-19 in FY20 – including a significant impact in the city’s main operating fund that is projected to further continue into FY21.
Recognizing the economic impacts of COVID-19 on residents and businesses, the City immediately began taking budgetary actions at the start of the global health emergency to respond to anticipated declines in various city revenues – most notably sales tax revenue, which is a major funding source for the city’s operating budget. Actions and strategies, which are in accordance with the strong financial management practices that have earned Sugar Land recognition as a financial leader across the nation and by bond rating agencies, include:
A tax rate of 33.65 cents is needed to fund the budget. This is less than a half cent increase from the current rate of 33.2 cents. The approximate half cent is a portion of 3 cents approved by voters in 2019 to fund projects to address drainage, public safety, mobility and an animal shelter. Drainage projects have been identified for the approximate half cent in fiscal year 2021.
For the average home in Sugar Land, the proposed less-than half cent tax rate increase with the homestead exemption of 12 percent results in a tax bill that is about $27 higher than last year. The city’s portion only makes up about 15% of your total tax bill. The approximate half cent increase is less of a financial impact than a normal year of valuation increases.
The 3 cents tax increase was originally planned to be issued in FY21 with projects expected to be completed within three to four years. Due to economic conditions related to COVID 19, the schedule has been expanded to five years with approximately half of a cent of the voter-approved 3 cents targeted for drainage projects in fiscal year 2021, with an emphasis on those addressing structural flooding. The remainder of the projects and the three cent tax rate increase will be implemented in future years.
You do not have to do anything to receive the exemption, as long as you have a homestead exemption already on file with the Fort Bend Central Appraisal District.
Drainage project represent 95 percent of the proposed fiscal year 21 capital improvement program. Projects include:
The Integrated Water Resources Plan (IWRP) previously adopted by City Council was the result of several years of work by the IWRP Task Force. The IWRP includes recommendations on how best to meet the long term water needs for our city, considering the cost, reliability and yield of new water supply options. For more information, please visit: http://www.sugarlandtx.gov/1747/Integrated-Water-Resource-Plan
An approximate $10 monthly increase to utility bills for customers is included in the proposed budget as the city prepares to implement the IWRP and meet the unfunded mandate to reduce groundwater consumption by 60 percent in 2025.
The last scheduled increase was in 2020. Prior to that, the city had not increased water or wastewater rates since 2011, and surface water rates have not increased since 2014. These rates are the main source of funding for the utility system. If the operating and capital needs of the system exceed the capacity generated by revenues (payments), then rates have to be increased to maintain a financially sound, self-supporting utility system. The rate increases are necessary to support the City in meeting the 60% groundwater reduction mandate as recommended by the Integrated Water Resources Plan. Read more at http://www.sugarlandtx.gov/1879/2020-Utility-Rate-Changes.
Over the last several years the City has been making progress toward reducing dependence on sales tax to fund the operating budget. The resiliency initiatives that were formalized in the most recent adoption of the Financial Management Policy Statements (FMPS) were designed to further strengthen the financial position of the City by lessening the impact of economic swings associated with sales tax - a major revenue stream for the City, but one that is highly volatile and difficult to forecast. One key assumption is a conservative estimate of sales tax revenue based on current recurring collections, with no growth assumed in the budget. Using this methodology, actual sales tax should come in higher than budgeted, as the City regularly receives one time payments and audit adjustments which are not included in the budget. These revenues are then available for one-time use in the following year’s budget as they become part of the fund balance.
This action was taken before the proposed budget was filed with City Council. Recognizing the economic impacts of COVID-19 on residents and businesses, the City immediately began taking budgetary actions at the start of the global health emergency and intentionally delayed major decisions on the preparation of the Fiscal Year 2021 budget to better align with the availability of data. Such actions and strategies included moving forward with City Council consideration of a resolution directing staff to calculate the voter-approval tax rate with an 8 percent limit – consistent with past practice – in response to the disaster declaration made by the Governor in March. Ultimately, the proposed tax rate of $0.3365 was not only below the voter-approval tax rate as calculated at 8%, but is also below what the calculation would have been at 3.5%.
There will be a series of public workshops held by City Council prior to approving the budget in September. This will include opportunities for public input. Sugar Land has the second lowest tax rate in Texas for cities our size. City Council is considering less than a half cent of the 3 cents approved by voters. The approximate half cent will be used to fund voter-approved drainage projects, with an emphasis on those addressing structural flooding.
Sugar Land’s tax rate is the second lowest in the state for cities with a population over 60,000 and one of the lowest residential tax burdens per capita in a comparison with peer cities. Sugar Land’s tax rate represents a very small percentage of the total tax burden. Less than a half cent of the 3 cents approved by voters is necessary to fund voter-approved drainage projects.
Sugar Land City Council unanimously voted to call a bond election to provide voters an opportunity to decide whether to fund projects identified by residents to address drainage, public safety, mobility and an animal shelter.
The projects were expected to be completed within three to four years. Due to economic conditions related to COVID 19, the scheduled has been expanded to five years with less than a half cent of the voter-approved 3 cents targeted for drainage projects in fiscal year 2021.
The city issues bonds to finance projects that will benefit the city for decades, allowing the cost to be spread across the useful life of the project. It would take many years to accumulate enough funding to pay for these projects as we go- during that time the projects don’t get built. History has shown that construction inflation far outpaces interest costs and are not fixed as the interest will be on bonds. The city’s AAA-rated GO bonds carry the lowest possible interest rates which allow the projects to be financed economically over an appropriate period- usually about 20 years.
Voters approved 3 cents to fund the $90 million in projects that were identified by residents to address drainage, public safety/facilities, mobility and an animal shelter. 3 cents represents an extra $10 per month for the average Sugar Land homeowner. The projects will be funded in future capital programs to begin with drainage projects in fiscal year 2021, with an emphasis on those addressing structural flooding.
The bonds represent an investment of approximately 3 cents on the tax rate or about $10 per month for the average Sugar Land homeowner to fund items such as drainage improvements, a public safety training facility, a public safety dispatch and emergency operations facility, new animal shelter and roadway improvement projects. Less than a half cent of the voter-approved increase has been identified in fiscal year 2021 to begin drainage projects.
Including all debt backed by property taxes, the City has $288 million in outstanding principal and interest on bonds issued by the City and assumed by the City through annexation and dissolution of Municipal Utility Districts over time. This figure does not include debt supported by Sugar Land Regional Airport, the water utility system or economic development sales taxes.
Property taxes are the only repayment source for General Obligation bonds. The City currently has tax-backed bonds that were inherited from Municipal Utility Districts upon annexation- the water/wastewater component of those bonds are supported by utility revenues. Other bonds (Certificates of Obligation) are backed by property taxes but are supported with repayment from restricted revenue sources such as hotel occupancy taxes, lease revenues and public improvement district assessments.
There are several layers of checks and balances to ensure proper monitoring and handling of the bond program. These checks and balances begin at a staff level as part of the reporting delivered to City Council. Additionally, before any project begins, each must be presented to and approved by the City Council, which usually occurs through the annual Capital Improvement Program Budget Process. In addition, the City Council (at public meetings) must vote to issue the debt and approve design and construction contracts associated with each project. The City also goes through extensive auditing process by outside auditing agencies.
The city of Sugar Land works closely with flood-control partners -- including Levee Improvement Districts and Fort Bend County -- tasked with protecting residents from river flooding. Routine maintenance and targeted drainage projects are important to protect Sugar Land during extreme weather events. The city’s regional approach to flood-control projects recognizes that each agency has an important role to play in keeping residents safe. Joint studies and agreements combined with ongoing communications ensure a coordinated effort. Projects included in the bond referendum build on efforts being implemented by area LIDs that are investing in increased pumping capacity and levee improvements. Project timing will be well coordinated with the LIDs’ projects to ensure the drainage system functions as an integrated system. Sugar Land takes the same approach with Fort Bend County on projects impacting city residents.
For the 2021 tax rate, an approximate one cent increase to the tax rate is being considered to fund the continued implementation of the voter approved GO bonds from 2019. With the 12% homestead exemption, the impact of a one-cent increase in the City's tax rate on a $400,000 home is $35.20 per year.
A winter average is established in January and February of each year. Water usage is averaged between the February and March billing periods. That number is used as your average household water usage for wastewater volume charges from the April bill until the following March bill, regardless of the amount of water used. Residential customers have a set charge for wastewater each month. That way, if you use water for your yard, to fill a pool, if you have a leak, or for whatever reason during the year, you’ll have to pay for the water, but won’t pay extra for the wastewater.
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.
The City has a Utility Assistance Program that is distributed through Fort Bend Social Services. To learn more about possible assistance, email firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call 281-403-8050 or 281-238-3502.
Yes, this is the new format of your Utility Bill from the City of Sugar Land.
No, you will not have to make any changes on your end – everything will be transferred to the new system.
Your log-in information remains the same.
You will be able to see consumption, billing, and payment history. We are working on providing a downloadable bill coming soon.
The change in bill format will not add any additional costs on your monthly bill.
The City of Sugar Land has implemented a new software system and postcard size bills are no longer an option. The full-size bills allow us to present more information on your account including consumption history and more detailed breakdown of your bill.
Each payment option will provide you with how to enter your account information in order to make your payment.
Yes, you will receive a past due notice in the mail and it will also be a full size sheet of paper.
We are currently still working on this and should be implementing this option in the near future.
No, you will still receive your bill around the same time as you currently do.
The option to change your current due date is not available.
Yes, your e-bill will now contain a PDF attachment of your bill.
Prior to January 2020 and January 2021, the City has not increased water or wastewater rates since 2011, and surface water rates have not increased since 2014. These rates are the main source of funding for the utility system. If the operating and capital needs of the system exceed the capacity generated by revenues (payments), then rates have to be increased to maintain a financially sound, self-supporting utility system.
The rate increases are necessary to support the City in meeting the 60% groundwater reduction mandate as recommended by the Integrated Water Resources Plan.
Each year, a long-range financial forecast for the utility system is prepared using an updated model from the last rate study. This update provides guidance on revenues necessary to support the operating and capital needs of the system moving forward. The model builds in the capital projects identified through the Integrated Water Resources Plan and Capital Improvement Program.
The utility system is operated like a business and supported through charges to users of the system. Revenues are generated by the rates set by City Council.
When rate increases are necessary, they are recommended through the annual budget, discussed with City Council during budget workshops, and then adopted by City Ordinance.
Please visit our water-saving tips page to help control the cost of your water bill.
In a 2018 survey conducted by the Texas Municipal League (TML), Sugar Land’s residential water and wastewater bills ranked 15% to 20% less than the average bill for 45 cities over 50,000 in population (including costs for mandatory groundwater reduction).
Beginning in 2014, the City had to meet FBSD regulations requiring the City to supply 30-percent of its water demand from alternative (non-groundwater) sources. In 2025, this water supply requirement will increase to 60-percent alternative sources.
The Integrated Water Resources Plan (IWRP) is a comprehensive water supply plan, approved by City Council in 2019. The IWRP examined the City’s available water supplies and infrastructure and developed a clear, strategic, and cost-effective road map that allows the City to meet future water demands and regulations. The recommendations include partial expansion of the City’s Surface Water Treatment Plant, expanding reclaimed water facilities, water conservation programs, implementing advanced metering infrastructure and controlling water loss.
Learn more about the IWRP.
The City has not increased water or wastewater rates since 2011, and surface water rates have not increased since 2014. The Integrated Water Resources Plan identifies substantial capital investment ahead of the mandated 60% reduction in groundwater. Continued capital and operating investment into the system is necessary to ensure the safest and most reliable utility system for our customers.
The utility rate study will help the City design a rate structure to achieve the revenues needed based on industry best practices, and only recommend the rate increases that are necessary to maintain a self-supporting utility system. While necessary, future increases will be structured to ensure the financial sustainability of the system around smaller annual increases instead of larger less frequent increases.
City Council approved utility rate increases in September of 2020 to be effective January 1, 2021. Residents can expect to see the rate changes on bills issued after that date.
The Integrated Water Resources Plan identifies substantial capital investment ahead of the mandated 60% reduction in groundwater. Continued capital and operating investment into the system is necessary to ensure the safest and most reliable utility system for our customers.
Phases II and III of the utility rate study will be conducted in FY21, and are focused on building policy direction for implementation of the IWRP based on City Council discussion during the FY21 budget process. This will help the City design a rate structure to achieve the revenues needed based on industry best practices, and only recommend the rate increases that are necessary to maintain a self-supporting utility system. While necessary, future increases will be structured to ensure the financial sustainability of the system around smaller annual increases instead of larger less frequent increases.
The City is being required to convert 60% of its total water demand to alternative or non-groundwater supplies by 2025. This conversion is an unfunded mandate by the Fort Bend Subsidence District (FBSD) Regulatory Plan. The City is committed to meeting the mandate in a way that best fits our communities’ vision for the future.
The costs of these projects will be phased over the next several years. In order to fund these projects and meet the regulatory requirements, the City will be increasing rates incrementally over the next few years. Please visit the IWRP page.
These rates are the main source of funding for the utility system. If the operating and capital needs of the system exceed the capacity generated by revenues (payments), then rates have to be increased to maintain a financially sound, self-supporting utility system.
The utility rate study establishes a rate structure to achieve the revenues needed based on industry best practices, and only recommending rate increases that are necessary to maintain a self-supporting utility system. While necessary, future increases will be structured to ensure the financial sustainability of the system around smaller annual increases instead of larger less frequent increases.
City Council approved utility rate increases in September of 2021 to be effective January 1, 2022. Residents can expect to see the rate changes on bills issued after that date.
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.
The Vision of the city of Sugar Land Animal Services Division is to foster and support a community where all animals are treated humanely and with compassion, and in which there is a forever home for every adoptable animal. When the city’s current animal shelter was originally built in 2008, it was designed to provide approximately 150 adoptions per year. As you can see from the table below, the Sugar Land Animal Shelter has worked diligently to achieve this vision and has well exceeded the originally planned number of adoptions each year.
The Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 828, requires all public or private animal control agencies, shelters or humane organizations to have their animals sterilized. However, this law does not apply to rescues, breeders or individuals. Irresponsible pet ownership is a contributing factor as to why we continue to see intakes at our shelter. We also receive numerous owned animals that are lost and injured and need shelter and protection until their owners can be contacted, and they can be returned. In addition, our Animal Services Officers respond to animal cruelty cases that often require animals to be removed from properties around Sugar Land. The shelter also holds animals under domestic violence restraining orders; for citizens who pass away in their homes; and when there are arrests and vehicle accidents where animals are involved.
The city’s current animal shelter was built in 2008 with funds from surplus sales tax. As the City’s first indoor shelter, it was designed house a total of 24 dogs and 35 cats to provide approximately 150 adoptions per year. A 2015 Facilities Master Plan Update determined that the design capacity of the existing facility had been exceeded, and there was not sufficient space to accommodate expected growth. The city hired consultants to work with the Animal Advisory Board (AAB) to confirm the size, scope, site layout and approximate budget for the new animal shelter. In addition, the citizen-led AAB has focused on the review of Animal Services programs and operations and the identification of facility needs they believe that are necessary to provide these services.
The 2015 Facilities Master Plan identified the existing animal shelter has exceeded its design capacity. A new shelter will accommodate the projected animal capacity due to the City’s growth. The new shelter not only provides expanded space to house animals and adoption services, but it incorporates functions to expand the city’s role in managing urban wildlife. Development of land is pushing our wild neighbors closer to our neighborhoods. Wildlife is finding the means to adapt and thrive closer and closer to cities. Animal Services plays a role in increasing people’s understanding and education of our wild neighbors and promoting a safe coexistence of both our citizens and urban wildlife.
The City’s current animal shelter was built in 2008 with funds from surplus sales tax. As the City’s first indoor shelter, it was designed to meet the needs of a growing city by housing a total of 24 dogs and 35 cats and to provide approximately 150 adoptions per year. A 2015 Facilities Master Plan Update determined that the capacity of the existing facility had been exceeded, and there was not sufficient space to accommodate expected growth. For example, Sugar Land Animal Services completed a total of 829 adoptions in Fiscal Year 2018. A 2016 expansion study developed facility expansion options and recommended interim improvements for the existing shelter. The proposed program addresses the work recently completed by the expanded animal advisory board for ultimate growth.
With the annexation of Greatwood and New Territory on December 2017, an interim expansion of the current animal shelter was completed through the addition of an existing building which was renovated and relocated to the shelter, increasing the floor space by 56 percent (increasing interim capacity to 62 dogs and 112 cats). While this improvement provided a temporary expansion, the construction of a new Animal Shelter will address projected growth beyond 2030 with a capacity of 70 dogs and 132 cats at any given time.
As a result of more than 10 years of planning and funds set aside by residents of the annexed areas specifically for the annexation of Greatwood and New Territory, the city completed one of the largest and most successful annexations in state history. The City evaluated this annexation on a stand-alone basis; and concluded that the cost to the City of providing services to the annexed areas was supported by revenues generated from the annexed areas, and there was no reduction in services to residents already living within Sugar Land’s corporate city limits.
In early 2017, the City partnered with the architectural firms of PGAL and Animal Arts to confirm the size, scope, site layout and approximate budget for the new animal shelter. In order to ensure the project encompasses community objectives, the City’s Animal Advisory Board was expanded from 5 to 11 members. The Animal Advisory Board has focused on the review of Animal Services programs and operations, animal shelter expansion space planning and the development of funding options. Read more at http://www.sugarlandtx.gov/1800/History.
$6.6 million was identified for the construction of an approximately 17,000 square-foot facility which will allow the City to continue to provide our current level of service but with the appropriate spaces. Through the work of the Animal Advisory Board, additional services were identified for inclusion within the facility; as such, a separate capital campaign will be undertaken to fund these additional services. The facility includes animal housing, intake/veterinary space, staffing area, public spaces and space for animal outdoor fitness. This effort will be guided by the Sugar Land Legacy Foundation, a group that works on behalf of the city of Sugar Land to promote community investment in large-scale quality of life projects. Read more at http://www.sugarlandlegacy.org/.
Drainage problems have different tiers. The top priority for the city is to fix home flooding problems and the proposed drainage improvement projects will reduce the home flooding potential. We have also included drainage improvement projects that will reduce street ponding on major streets and in several neighborhoods.
The city continues to pursue Federal and state funds to supplement drainage projects. In order to construct the improvements as soon as possible, the City is seeking approval of bond authority which will allow the City to drive the schedule on these projects and not be dependent on other agencies to provide funding.
These projects will comply with ongoing Atlas 14 efforts. Sugar Land has adopted the Atlas 14 rainfall frequency estimates for Texas. This resulted in modifications to the city’s Development Code and Design Standards, and the city-adopted guidelines that provide guidance for the review of requests to alter or develop new property within the city. Changes resulting from the Atlas 14 adoption will apply to new development and redevelopment areas within the city and its extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ). The city is in the process of updating city-wide ponding maps using the new Atlas 14 rainfall information. The updated maps will show areas where potential street ponding might occur due to an increase in the frequency of intense rain events.
Read more at www.sugarlandtx.gov/Atlas14.
Drainage projects were identified by the criticality in nature per Drainage Master Plan criteria, from structural flooding to major thoroughfare ponding and to neighborhood street ponding as well as project readiness. City staff continues to coordinate emergency efforts during major storm events to improve pass-ability of roadways. The City has also purchased high-water vehicles that can provide rescues during major storm events. This effort is continually coordinated with the County, Levee Districts, Fire, Police, Public Works and Engineering. As we continue to go to the voters for approval of projects, other identified drainage improvements in various areas will be addressed in the next bond election.
The LID 2 new pump station is projected to be in service in early 2021. The engineering design of the Acacia trunk line project would start in October 2020 if the GO Bond Drainage Proposition is approved by the voters and the construction would start in the Fall of 2021.
General obligation bonds are debt instruments issued by states and city governments to finance large capital improvements. Bonds are sold to investors and the proceeds from the sales of these bonds are used to pay for major capital investments that have a public purpose—such as the flood protection, mobility and public safety projects contained in the Sugar Land Bond Program. Bond elections provide voters the opportunity to have a say in which projects they are most willing to support through the approval of bond propositions to authorize funding for each type of project on the ballot.
Many of the projects build on past and future efforts.
Because of low voter turnout, local elections are typically decided by a small number of people. Voting on this bond election gives you the opportunity to have a say in the future of the city.
Sugar Land City Council unanimously voted to call a Nov. 5 bond election during its Aug. 14 meeting to provide voters an opportunity to decide whether to fund projects identified by residents to address drainage, public safety, mobility and an animal shelter.
Based on citizen satisfaction surveys, extensive planning through various master plans and City Council input, drainage, public safety, and traffic and mobility are the top three priorities for our residents. Projects identified for the GO Bond were based on these driving factors. Drainage projects were identified by previous drainage studies, from structural flooding to major thoroughfare ponding to neighborhood street ponding; as well as project readiness. Public safety and public facilities were identified based on Facility Master Plan recommendations. Streets and mobility projects were selected based on pavement assessments and traffic studies. The majority of the projects have been presented to City Council in the past through studies, preliminary engineering and/or design phases. These projects have been reviewed by City Council to move forward in the G.O. Bond election in November.
Each request is received by the City Engineer through the email@example.com. Projects requested are weighed by importance and priority needs. If a project is not placed on the project list, it will be reviewed again the following budget process.
All quoted costs are based on engineer estimates with pricing from current market indices. By state law, and city ordinance, all work will be publicly bid. The projects identified have had previous work performed, including drainage studies and designs, pavement assessments and facilities studies.
The bonds will be issued over three years with projects expected to be completed within three to four years.
Approving the bonds authorizes the city to incur debt to build the projects. The requested bond amount is based on the projects’ current estimated costs. If those costs change as a project moves forward, then the amount allocated to that project may not be enough to build it. The city may postpone construction of that particular project or seek additional money from the City Council. Staff will provide financial reporting to City Council to keep the public informed of anticipated project costs versus project budgets.
The City issues bonds to finance projects that will benefit the City for decades, allowing the cost to be spread across the useful life of the project. It would take many years to accumulate enough funding to pay for these projects as we go- during that time the projects don’t get built.
History has shown that construction inflation far outpaces interest costs and are not fixed as the interest will be on bonds. The City’s AAA-rated GO bonds carry the lowest possible interest rates which allow the projects to be financed economically over an appropriate period- usually about 20 years.
The parks bond projects were estimated to be completed within five to seven years. City Council recently committed to include the final parks bond projects in the 2020 proposed budget. In addition, City Council made the decision to increase the homestead exemption to 12 percent to offset the residential impact of the resulting 1 cent tax rate increase.
There will be 4 propositions on the November 2019 ballot.
The interest rate is set by the bond market at the time the bonds are issued. Since the City carries the highest possible rating for GO bonds, the interest rate is among the lowest available for municipal bonds. Sugar Land issues bonds based on a 20-year maturity schedule, with at least half of the principal paying off in the first 10 years. This aggressive repayment schedule also minimizes the interest cost that must be repaid.
The current credit rating or bond rating of the City is AAA- the highest rating available. Issuing additional bonds does not affect the bond rating as long as there is a sound financial plan to support the bonds, for example- recognizing that they cannot be funded within the existing tax rate and that the tax rate must be increased to fund the bonds.
Over the last few years there has been continuous pressure on appraisal districts to reduce growth in appraised values. The three-cent tax increase assumes no growth in taxable values and is the maximum anticipated impact to support the projects based on current taxable value in the City.
Sales taxes are not pledged toward repayment of GO bonds; that statement is incorrect and was never made by the City.
Yes. School districts often freeze taxes for people over 65 because they no longer access educational services; however, the city of Sugar Land continues to provide services to people of all ages.
The City does not set the value of your home. The Fort Bend County Appraisal District is the entity that sets your property’s valuation amount based on market values. The City is not counting on any increases to taxable values to implement the bond program- with that, passage of all four bond propositions will increase the City portion of your tax bill by 3 cents or about $10 per month for the average Sugar Land home, to fund items such as drainage improvements, a public safety training facility, a public safety dispatch and emergency operations facility, new animal shelter and roadway improvement projects.
Should voters approve all propositions, City Council will raise the city's tax rate 3 cents for fiscal year 2021. The $90 million in projects was identified by residents to address drainage, public safety/facilities, mobility and an animal shelter. The one-time tax rate increase of 3 cents represents an extra $10 per month for the average Sugar Land homeowner. With voter approval, the projects will be funded in future capital programs to begin in fiscal years 2021 to 2023.
The bonds represent a FY21 investment of approximately 3 cents on the tax rate or about $10 per month for the average Sugar Land homeowner, to fund items such as drainage improvements, a public safety training facility, a public safety dispatch and emergency operations facility, new animal shelter and roadway improvement projects.
The tax rate is set each year by City Council and no City Council can bind future City Councils as to that rate as a matter of state law. By that same law, future City Councils could roll back the rate at any time or raise it at any time. If City Council votes to lower it while money is still owed on the debt, they would need to make cuts elsewhere in services to pay for it.
If the city’s voters reject the bond program, bonds will not be issued for the projects included in the program, and the projects may remain unfunded. The tax rate will not be raised if the bonds are not approved by voters to build the projects.
If a bond proposition does not pass, it means that the funding associated with that proposition is not approved.
Cities across the nation compete to attract new businesses that add jobs and new revenue streams to local communities. Incentives are important tools to achieve economic development goals. The City does not lose money through such value-added tax abatements, as the development would not have occurred without the tax abatement. The projects result in significant property tax value and revenue to the City after the abatement expires (maximum 10 year terms). In addition, economic growth generated by these agreements fully benefits the local school districts, as they do not participate in abatements.
All financial projections for budgeting and financial forecasting purposes are conducted in-house by the City’s Finance and Budget Office staff.
Property taxes are the main source of funds used to repay bonds issued through a General Obligation bond. General Obligation bonds are backed by the full faith and credit of the issuing jurisdiction, in this case the City of Sugar Land. This means the City is obligated to pay back the bonds plus interest by pledging revenue from ad valorem taxes. The City levies a property tax annually with a portion of the tax rate dedicated to the interest & sinking fund to repay general obligation bonds in the form of annual principal and interest payments.
Property taxes are the only repayment source for General Obligation bonds. The City currently has tax-backed bonds that were inherited from Municipal Utility Districts upon annexation- the water/wastewater component of those bonds are supported by utility revenues. Other bonds (Certificates of Obligation) are backed by property taxes but are supported with repayment from restricted revenue sources such as hotel occupancy taxes, lease revenues and public improvement district assessments.
In the last 11 trading days, the DOW has been up more than 300 points three times, and down approximately 2,500 points the other eight days. This wild volatility in stocks is affecting bond yields which have been jumping up and down (mostly down) for much of the last month. The financial forecast for the City is based on an average interest cost for the City to issue bonds and is not tied to the stock market performance. This is actually a very good time for the City to issue bonds as when bond yields are down that means that it costs less as they carry a lower interest rate.
The city’s issuance of bonds don’t affect interest rates as they are driven by the supply and demand of the national municipal bond market. Bond yields are falling, which means that it is less costly for the city to borrow money through the issuance of bonds. Issuing bonds help cities to ensure intergenerational equity by spreading payments for assets and infrastructure over their useful lives. Intergenerational equity relates to equity between present and future generations and considers distribution of resources or burdens between generations. This helps to ensure that residents today are not responsible for paying for the full cost of a project that will continue to benefit residents for decades in the future.
The city carries a AAA bond rating from Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings, which is the highest rating available. The ratings demonstrate confidence of the rating agencies in the city’s ability to manage its finances. This allows the city to ensure our tax dollars go farther by borrowing funds at the lowest possible interest rates. Each time the city prepares a new debt issue, rating agencies evaluate the city’s credit rating to assign a bond rating to the proposed bond issue as well as all outstanding bonds of the city. The bonds that are proposed will also carry this rating, which means that the bonds will carry the lowest interest costs available based on municipal bond market conditions at the time they are issued.
If one or more of the bond propositions fails, the city is prohibited from issuing certificates of obligation to fund any of the failed projects for three years. Because the bond election requires a tax increase to fund, if one or more propositions fails, the actual tax increase will be re-evaluated and adjusted to support the approved propositions, which will also utilize current debt capacity. This decision will be made by City Council during the fiscal year 2021 budget process.
No. Texas law requires that the proceeds of bonds authorized at the November 2019 special bond election be used only for projects described in the ballot questions.
No. Any funding approved in the November 2019 special election can only be used to complete projects which are set forth in the official Election Information Pamphlet and on the city’s website. The complete bond project list is also included in these FAQs.
Bonds are one source of funding for city capital projects. Projects that lack funding are not included in the Capital Improvement Program.
In 2013 the residents approved five Parks Bond projects; 2 of them have been completed including Brazos River Park Phase I and Crown Festival Site, and Imperial Connector Trail. The remaining three projects are Mid-Lake, First Colony Trail, and Ditch H Trail. Some design and permitting has begun on these projects; construction has not started.
None. There are no outstanding bonds in the proposed bond election. Once bonds are issued, they do not need voter approval.
Bonds to be considered in the election will be utilized only to construct the projects identified. When the City refinances outstanding bonds (similar to refinancing a mortgage), it is accomplished through the issuance of refunding bonds, which do not require approval by voters. Refunding bonds are issued to achieve savings to the City over the remaining life of the bonds. The City has minimum savings thresholds that must be met before it will consider issuing refunding bonds.
GO bonds were last on the ballot in November 2013 with propositions relating to Parks projects. Prior to that, the last City GO bond election was January 1999.
Traffic impact studies and analysis have confirmed that this project addresses the current and future needs of the University Boulevard corridor, including the future development of Tract 5. The total project cost is approximately $3.4M with Fort Bend County contributing approximately 50% of the total construction cost approved in the 2017 Fort Bend County Mobility Bond Project.
The project includes the extension of the existing Soldiers Field Rd. to SH6, which is approximately 1,100 ft. and a roundabout at the intersection of Soldiers Field and First Colony. The project also includes associated drainage improvements for the roadways and necessary water and wastewater line extensions. The detailed cost breakdown will be available once the design is completed. All project estimates are generated using the City’s cost database which is developed by past construction projects in the City and the region.
Studies on the identified area have not identified or justified further improvements but it can be evaluated for inclusion in future bond elections.
Since 2007, the dispatch center staff has nearly doubled in size from 19 employees in 2007, to 35 in 2019 (not including the addition of 21 Police officers after the annexation of Greatwood and New Territory housed in the same building). The expanded dispatch center is consistent with a recent assessment by industry experts who recommended the expansion to address the expanded city population.
The most recent department assessment recommends hiring an additional eight dispatchers to meet the public safety demands of our growing city. The proposed dispatch center is designed to accommodate the additional needed employee space as well as to expand the city’s emergency operations center (EOC). The EOC is used to manage city operations during significant emergency events such as hurricane Harvey and our most recent flooding event in May of 2019.
The public safety training facility is intended for police and firefighters who provide the public safety services to the residents of the city. Having training facilities within the City limits allows Fire-EMS responders to train on duty while maintaining their ability to respond to emergency calls eliminating the need to go out of the City to train.
No. City ordinance requires any development and construction to result in no adverse impact to surrounding or nearby properties. The drainage impact of the proposed new municipal facilities (Animal Shelter and EOC/Dispatch Building) has been taken into account with the existing drainage system. The proposed new Public Safety Training Facility will include required drainage improvements to avoid any negative impact to surrounding areas.
Public facilities rehabilitation refers to repairs and renovations to the City’s buildings. As buildings age, key building systems must be repaired or replaced. This project focuses on building envelope repairs and/or roof replacements at locations such as City Hall, the Fire Administration/City Hall Annex building, the Police Department, Fire Stations and the Public Works Service Center. Interior renovations will also be conducted at various Fire Stations, the Fire Administration/City Hall Annex building and the Public Works Service Center. In addition, the City’s fuel system will be expanded to accommodate the City’s fleet of vehicles. The City of Sugar Land manages over 70 buildings across the City. We utilize our Facility Condition Assessment and facility maintenance records to identify projects that need to be completed, the timing associated with the projects and the estimated cost.
The City has a Facilities Master Plan that we utilize to guide decision-making processes when considering the utilization of resources and the construction of new buildings. The most recent Facilities Master Plan update was completed in 2014 and focuses on facility requirements that are based on department growth that is generated by population growth or other City Council approved programs.
A list of available positions can be viewed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
All Fort Bend County Libraries offer free computer use. Evening and weekend hours are available:
You can also check online for additional locations.
Workforce Solutions can help you complete the online application free of charge. Visit one of the following locations:
Visit Work Solutions for additional locations.
If you do not already have an email address, free email is available through a number of providers.
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.
Most tickets can be handled without a court appearance. You have options!
If you have not taken a defensive driving course in the last 12 months and if you were not speeding more than 25 miles over the speed limit, you may have your ticket dismissed by taking a defensive driving class. You must request permission from the court before you sign up for the course. Please refer to the Driving Safety Course section of this website under General Court Information.
If you received a ticket for driving without a license, you may request a deferred disposition or probation to keep your ticket off your driving record. The instructions for requesting a Deferred Disposition can be found in the Fines, Forms, and Payments section of this website.
If you received a ticket for Failure to present a driver’s license on demand, but your license was valid at the time, you can have your ticket dismissed by presenting your license and paying a court administrative fee of $10 at the lobby windows. No courtroom appearance is necessary.
If you received a defective equipment violation ticket and you have repaired the defect, you can have your ticket dismissed by paying a court administrative fee of $20 at the lobby windows. No courtroom appearance is necessary.
If you received a ticket for an expired registration sticker, but the registration has been renewed at the county tax office and the sticker was not expired for longer than 60 days, you can have your ticket dismissed. You will need to present proof that you have paid your late fees to the county tax office. You can take care of this transaction at the court lobby windows by paying a $20 court administrative fee and presenting your receipt from the tax office. No courtroom appearance is necessary.
If you received a ticket for Failure to Maintain Financial Responsibility, you may request a deferred disposition or probation to keep your ticket off your driving record. The instructions to request a Deferred Disposition can be found in the Fines, Forms, and Payments section of this website. If you received a ticket for Failure to Maintain Financial Responsibility, but you were insured at the time, there is no fee to have your ticket dismissed. You will need to present a copy of your insurance card with your name listed as an insured driver at the lobby windows. You will be required to complete a motion to dismiss which will be provided for you. No courtroom appearance is necessary.
You need to complete a payment plan form. A complete explanation of payment plans offered by the court and all the required forms can be found on our website in the Payment Plans & Extension-to-Pay tab under Fines, Forms, and Payments.
NOTE: Other transactions can be made at the court lobby windows. You may be able to keep your ticket from becoming a conviction on your driving record even if your particular violation is not mentioned here.
If you have more than one citation or if the time is past the appearance date on your ticket, you may have to make an appearance in court. When you receive a citation from the City of Sugar Land Police, you are given a date to appear. The court date in listed under the issue date. On handwritten tickets it is near the bottom of the ticket.
Most tickets can be handled without a court appearance. You have options! You may be eligible to have your ticket dismissed or qualify for a program to keep your ticket off your driving record. Refer to the Dismissals page for more information.
On June 1, 2019, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a law banning red-light traffic cameras in the State of Texas. You no longer have to pay for red light camera tickets in Sugar Land, Texas.
Refer to the Warrant Information page for more information.
Refer to the Deferred Disposition page for more information.
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.
A wide variety of classes and activities take place at the Imperial Park Recreation Center and the T.E. Harman Center for senior programs.
The City of Sugar Land annexed the 754-acre Park in January 2016. The City of Sugar Land provides police patrol and park maintenance services. The Cullinan Park Conservancy is responsible for the promotion, enhancement, and protection of Cullinan Park.
The Imperial Park Recreation Center staff can be reached to get more athletic facility availability information: 281-275-2885
Park pavilions and facilities are made in-person at the Imperial Park Recreation Center:
234 Matlage Way
Sugar Land, TX 77478
We are open 6 days a week. The deposit is due when you make your reservation and rental fees are due 10 days before your event.
For your convenience, facility rental availability can be viewed online at http://parkreservations.sugarlandtx.gov.
The deposit is due when you make your reservation and the rental fees are due 10 days before you event.
IPRC memberships are offered on an individual basis only.
The Parks, Recreation and Open Space Master Plan (PROSMP) is one of eight City master plans that implements goals from the Comprehensive Plan. A review of the 2005 parks plan in 2016 revealed that 95 percent of the priority projects have been completed or designed. An update is required to evaluate future needs.
A comprehensive plan documents a City’s broad vision and 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 Parks, Recreation and Open Space Master Plan (The Plan) must help achieve the goals from the Comprehensive Plan so that the City’s resources and efforts are aligned to achieve the same vision and goals. The specific goals from the Comprehensive Plan PROSMP aims to achieve are:
The PARCS Board is a citizen advisory Board that has provided feedback and is a sounding board for ideas and recommendations for the update. The Board has also participated in stake holder meetings and other forms of public input. They provided the recommendation to the City Council to adopt the plan on November 14, 2017.
Opportunities for participation in the planning included stakeholder meetings, statistically valid resident survey, public open houses and input gathered from Online Town Hall. Residents were encouraged to provide their input through notices in the Sugar Land Today publication, E-news Blasts, social media, and print media. The option to further comment was available online in conjunction with the posted Draft Master Plan. The public also had the opportunity to speak at public hearings at the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council meetings when the Plan was on the Agenda for recommendation and approval.
Yes. The Online Town Hall summary report can be found in Appendix A of the Plan. The statistically valid resident survey results can be found in Appendix D of the Plan. The summaries of the all public engagement activities are captured in Chapter 2 of The Plan.
The plan identifies facilities and programs that residents would like to see added or improved. Based on community input the City will prioritize the needs. The highest priorities will receive the most consideration for future funding through the City’s Capital Improvement Program and Operating budgets.
Yes, Greatwood and New Territory are considered in the Master Plan. Since The Plan draft is completed before the annexation, the numbers for the current population and parkland area do not count these two subdivisions. However, the study area of The Plan includes the City’s extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ), which includes Greatwood and New Territory. The park service area, inventory, analysis, plan recommendations and implementation action plan all consider Greatwood and New Territory as part of the community. Residents of the 2 communities were encouraged to provide input through the on-line town hall.
This will depend on the cost associated with the program or development. The Plan’s forecast is 10 years, but the implementation will begin upon the adoption of The Plan in 2018 and be phased over this ten-year period. The City budgets for improvements annually based on the funding available. For larger construction projects, a future bond election would be anticipated.
First, a recommended list of projects was developed based on public engagement and a parks inventory and analysis. The identified projects were then categorized in accordance with the five goals from the Comprehensive Plan. As the steering committee, PARCS Board members were asked to rate each project to three priority levels: High Priorities, which are recommended to start in 1-3 years; Moderate Priorities, which are recommended to start in 4-6 years; and Longer-Term Priorities, which are recommended to start in 7-10+ years. The PARCS Board then performed a prioritization workshop as a group to conclude the priorities as a team. A prioritized Implementation Action Plan was then developed based on the PARCS Board’s consensus, how realistic the timelines are, the potential cost of the projects, and the community’s input. The Implementation Action Plan was then presented to PARCS Board again for feedback and approval.
Yes, the Master Plan recognizes the high-utilization of the T.E. Harman Center and identifies it as a high priority to perform a study of the T.E. Harman Center facility to determine if it can be enlarged or expanded to increase space and programming opportunities (Action ID 2.1.5, Page 190). It also recommends to evaluate the feasibility of discontinuing non-resident memberships (Action ID 2.1.1, Page 187). Once The Plan is adopted, staff will work on the related strategies accordingly to address this issue.
Yes. With the goal of establishing environmentally responsible community, beautiful community, and destination activity centers, the Plan recommends to evaluate opportunities for the naturalization of existing park areas (Action ID 5.2.2, Page 212), establish or expand park design guidelines to improve environmental compatibility (Action ID 4.1.1, Page 207), and preserve natural habitat and educate the resident on wildlife through Brazos River Park Master Plan Update (Action ID 1.1.1, Page 169), Gannoway Lake Park Implementation ( Action ID 1.2.2, Page 178), Brazos River Park improvements, (Action ID 1.1.8, Page 175), and Cullinan Park Improvements ( Action ID 1.1.5, Page 172).
The plan’s recommendations are long-term in nature and also include recommendations to pursue strategies for alternative funding, such as partnerships, sponsorships, and fee adjustments. Regardless of when implemented, however, the implementation of the recommendations in the plan will be fiscally constrained by the City’s annual budget and long range budget forecast but alternative funding methods may be pursued to help offset reduced funding. For example, for City hosted events, the City will pursue increased sponsorships.
Your property will not be affected by the change in zoning from interim to permanent and zoning does not affect any deed restrictions or platted setbacks.
You received this notice because the City is required to notify property owners within 200 feet of a zoning change in accordance with state law. Your property will not be affected and no action is required from you.
You are not required to attend the public hearings and no action is required from you. However, it is your right as a property owner to attend and/or speak at the public hearings.
No, you are not required to speak or provide comments during the public hearings.
Please note that if you do not wish to speak during the public hearing, you can still submit written comments ahead of the meeting. A staff member will read the comments into the record during the public hearing.
In order to limit the spread of COVID-19, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the meeting will be conducted online. Members of the public wishing to speak during the public hearings may do so in two ways:
Due to the changing of restrictions regarding COVID-19, the City is hosting meetings at City Hall. Members of the public wishing to speak during the public hearings may do so in two ways:
You can also watch the meeting from the comfort of your home using the following options:
Please note that the above options are to watch the meetings only and do not offer an opportunity to participate in the meeting.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Cities use zoning as a tool to administrate land uses (e.g. residential, commercial, office, or industrial) and the physical development of land such as the size of buildings, and how buildings relate to their surroundings, including other buildings, open spaces, and the street.
Yes, all properties within Sugar Land city limits must be placed in a zoning district, which ensures compatibility between uses (residential, commercial, industrial, etc.), prevents nuisances, and protects value of property. The City of Sugar Land is divided, or zoned, into thirteen (13) standard zoning districts and multiple planned development (PD) districts. Each standard zoning district has development regulations that are located in Chapter 2, Zoning Regulations of the City’s Development Code. Access the official zoning map online under “Zoning Districts” at http://www.sugarlandtx.gov/273/City-Maps.
The HR-1 district is a residential zoning district for the neighborhood known as The Hill, and was created in 1997. This zoning district has unique development regulations that ensures new development and redevelopment will be in character with the neighborhood, some of which were modified and/or added with the adoption of Ordinance No. 2237 by City Council on July 20th 2021.
The HR-1 Zoning District:
The R-1 zoning district is a residential zoning district that is applied to many of the traditional suburban neighborhoods within the City.
At a glance, both zoning districts address many of the same things such as requiring minimum setbacks, maximum lot coverage, maximum floor-to-area ratio, maximum height, etc. R-1 is less restrictive by allowing taller homes (maximum height of 35 feet or 2.5 stories), wider homes (5-foot setback on each side) and overall larger homes than what commonly exists in The Hill. While still allowing larger homes than what exist today, the HR-1 regulations ensure that the size of new construction is smaller in scale to be compatible with the surrounding area. For example, homes in the HR-1 are allowed to be 2-stories, but are limited to 27 feet in overall height. Homes are also limited in width by larger side setbacks (10 feet on each side) and maximum building width, based on lot width in order to keep the open feel to the neighborhood.
If rezoned from HR-1 to R-1, your property will still have zoning and will follow development regulations for the R-1 zoning district when new construction such as additions or new houses are proposed on the property. This includes standard regulations such as minimum setbacks, maximum lot coverage, maximum floor-to-area ratio, maximum height, etc. Visit www.sugarlandtx.gov/LakeviewRezoning for a table comparison of R-1 vs HR-1 regulations.
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.
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.
No, any development proposal that is required to go through a zoning process will still have an opportunity for public input. 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. The Land Use Plan and public feedback inform the staff recommendation as well as the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council through the decision-making process. 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.
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.
This 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 within that timeframe. The Plan provides a series of guiding principles that will 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.
The Land Use Plan includes formal direction on multi-family housing that has not been included before in the Comprehensive Plan. The Land Use Plan provides guidance for stronger restrictions on multi-family development, including:
In comparison, the City’s current R-4 (multi-family) zoning district regulations reflect previous policy guidance regarding stand-alone multi-family housing, from the 2004 Land Use Plan - including that there should be no more than 20 dwelling units per acre and a maximum of 200 units at any single location. No vacant R-4 zoned property exists in the city limits today and the updated Land Use Plan recommends no new standalone, single-use, multi-family residential development within the city should be approved.
Additionally, the updated Land Use Plan provides clear guidance for PDs, limits the specific locations within the city that such residential development should be allowed, and subjects any new multi-family residential to an overall citywide proportion as well as site-specific guidance.
As a note, the majority of existing multi-family apartments and condos in the city today were not developed in accordance with previous Land Use Plan policies or R-4 zoning regulations, as they were built prior to being annexed into the city or prior to the multi-family zoning regulations being adopted.
Development on Tract 5 will have no drainage impact on 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 outfalls directly to the Brazos River southwest 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.
No. This is a private development project. The property owner has brought forward this application for rezoning to allow this mixed use project.
The application has been taken forward to the Planning & Zoning Commission. The Commission held a workshop and a public hearing on the item. The Commission then held their Consideration and Action meeting where they recommended approval of the item to the Mayor and City Council. The City Council held a workshop on March 22nd to review the Land Use Plan policy direction and guidance for Regional Activity Centers and Neighborhood Activity Centers, as well as discuss The District at Sugar Creek Final Development Plan project proposal and how it aligns with the Land Use Plan guidance for mixed use development in a Regional Activity Center. The next meeting to be held with the City Council is the public hearing and first reading of the ordinance for The District at Sugar Creek Final Development Plan proposal. Once a date is finalized for that meeting, the information will be added to the website and sent out to the email distribution group. The City Council meetings will again provide an opportunity for the public to give input and feedback on the proposal.
387 multi-family units as a mix of studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom; and 15 live/work units with non-residential uses permitted on the ground floor.
The City Council approved 2018 Land Use Plan identified five areas of the city as Regional Activity Centers. They are intended to become walkable areas that have a mix of several land uses, such as office, entertainment, retail, residential, civic, and hotels, all in varying ratios to allow each Center to have a unique character. This overall mix of uses is important in these Centers because they complement each other to ensure higher property values and tax revenues for the city. While land use mix is an important component of these Centers, so are their design considerations such as accessibility on foot, bicycle, or car, the building heights and location, having street level store fronts, and outdoor spaces shaded during the day and lit in the evening.
This proposal aligns with the guidance in the Land Use Plan for multi-family units in a Regional Activity Center. The Plan specifically states that the City should not approve new stand-alone single-use multi-family residential complexes, and that any new multi-family units should be located in a mixed use area (Regional or Neighborhood Activity Center) designed to be integrated in a vertically mixed-use building or integrated horizontally within a pedestrian friendly mixed use development. This proposal aligns with the guidance in the Land Use Plan for a mixed use development. The multi-family units are being constructed in a vertically mixed use building with non-residential uses on the ground floor. The 8-acre development is horizontally integrated with various non-residential uses located within the 8-acres as well as in the overall Regional Activity Center.
The current proposal for District A would allow for non-residential uses, such as small-scale professional office, to be located on the ground floor of the live/work units. It also provides for approximately 2,400 square feet of additional non-residential space as well as 8,000 square feet of support areas including the leasing office, fitness center, and amenity center, all located on the ground floor and open to residents and the public. District B consists of three buildings proposed to be developed as restaurants and retail.
The Land Use Plan identified the need to complete a school impact study for any new proposed residential development as part of an activity center. The developer completed a school impact analysis as part of their rezoning application. For this project, the property owner utilized the same demographer used by the Fort Bend Independent School District; Population and Survey Analysts (PASA). The study concluded that this development, due to the large share of studio and one-bedroom units, will limit the number of households with children and therefore keep the ratio of students per occupied unit low and would not negatively impact schools. The study further indicated that this proposed development is only likely to yield 29 FBISD students once fully occupied. This site is in the attendance boundaries of Highlands Elementary, Dulles Middle and Dulles High School.
The proposal includes a structured parking garage which will provide 692 parking spaces onsite.
Any proposed development within the city undergoes a thorough drainage and traffic study. Drainage was analyzed as part of the staff review for this proposed development. Based on the current design, there will be full detention required for this site. There will be no impact to the existing system, nor the existing detention pond at the northeast corner of US Highway 59 and US 90A. All additional runoff will be contained within the site and released slowly back into the storm system.
New development proposals require a full Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA) be completed. The purpose of the Traffic Impact Analysis is to assist staff in identifying the effect of the proposed development on the City's transportation system including capacity, level of services, and safety.
A full TIA was submitted for this proposed development and the scope of the TIA study concentrated on the critical areas immediately impacted by traffic that is being anticipated from the proposed development. The applicant’s traffic consultant evaluated the study area as developed during the TIA scoping meeting with city traffic and engineering staff. City traffic and engineering staff completed their review of the TIA and have concurred with the findings, specifically noting that the Sugar Creek neighborhood south of US 59 is not expected to be significantly impacted by this proposed development.
The Land Use Plan’s designation of this area as a Regional Activity Center provides guidance for development and restrictions on any new multi-family units. It states that no new stand-alone multi-family should be developed, and that any new multi-family should be part of a mixed use setting that includes additional uses, activates the pedestrian realm, and incorporates structured and shared parking.
The proposed “District at Sugar Creek” development consists of two Districts; District A and District B, to be developed as a mixed-use project including multi-family, live/work, restaurants, and retail. The proposal includes 387 multi-family units, including a mix of studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom; and 15 live/work units, with a structured parking garage. District A also includes approximately 2,376 square feet of additional non-residential space located along the ground floor of the building. District B consists of three buildings proposed to be developed as restaurants and retail. It also includes an outdoor event lawn between the buildings and outdoor dining space to serve the restaurant development.
The Land Use Plan envisions an 88% single-family housing/12% multi-family housing ratio in order to preserve the nature of Sugar Land’s single-family neighborhoods while also ensuring that an appropriate mix of housing options are available.
The current ratio of single family housing to multi-family housing is 92.1% single family housing/7.9% multi-family housing. If approved by City Council and developed as is proposed, The District at Sugar Creek project proposal would modify this ratio to be 91.2% single family housing/8.8% multi-family housing city-wide.
In 2006, there was a zoning application received and processed for a proposed condominium development on a 7.4 acre site located at the intersection of US Highway 59 and Sugar Creek Center Blvd located directly along the US Highway 59 frontage road. The Planning & Zoning Commission did not recommend approval of that proposed application because at the time it did not comply with the Land Use Plan that was in existence in 2006. The Land Use Plan that was approved by City Council in 2018 created five Regional Activity Centers that support mixed use development in these areas that includes residential options, such as multi-family, with specific parameters. This 8-acre site at the northwest corner of Century Square Blvd and Sugar Creek Center Blvd is part of the Sugar Creek Triangle Regional Activity Center and thus the Land Use Plan supports the ability for a property owner to request a rezoning for a mixed use development.
The Planned Development (PD) district is designed to permit flexibility and encourage a more creative, efficient, and aesthetically desirable design and placement of buildings, open spaces and circulation patterns by allowing a mixture or combination of uses. A PD district may be used to permit new or innovative concepts in land utilization not permitted by other standard zoning districts in this Code to enhance existing or create new areas within the City that will promote the City's historical, cultural and architectural character. It is intended for application in all land use designations on the Future Land Use Plan, provided that the uses and development standards proposed are consistent with the stated goals of the City's Land Use Plan, including those found regarding Regional Activity Centers. The layout plan should provide an overall design, or other features or amenities that result in a high quality development. A PD may not be used for the primary purpose of avoiding the zoning regulations applicable to the primary zoning districts.
The 8-acre property located at the northwest corner of Century Square Blvd and Sugar Creek Center Blvd, being proposed as The District at Sugar Creek, is currently zoned B-O (Business Office) and has never been rezoned for residential use under the City’s zoning regulations since being annexed into the City.
Yes, this project proposal is in alignment with several of the goals and policy statements provided in the Land Use Plan. This development proposal provides the residential component that is missing from the Sugar Creek Triangle RAC, thereby contributing to the ultimate overall intended mix of uses. It is walkable, engages pedestrians, and activates the street by utilizing wider sidewalks and pedestrian amenities and pulling buildings closer to the street. The development includes a public plaza and outdoor gathering areas, and includes support services for the daytime office population as well as the evening resident population; all of which are in alignment with Plan guidance. The live/work units also support specific guidance from the Land Use Plan policy statement which states that some professionals prefer to conduct business within their home but have a separate dedicated space and entrance for that, thus supporting the live/work configuration as a way to accommodate this lifestyle preference.
Now you can do it from your home. 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.
The Sugar Land Police Department receives many requests on a daily basis for its patches. Because of the expense of patches and some Texas laws, the department does not currently sell, trade or give away its patches. 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 Refinery. Sugar Land obtained its name because the jurisdiction was built around the Imperial Sugar Factory which unfortunately ceased its operations in 2003.
Because of rules and regulations of the National Crime Information Center and the Texas Crime Information Center, it is not possible for our law enforcement agency to release criminal history information to individuals. 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.
Red light cameras in Sugar Land were turned off on June 2, 2019.
All outstanding notice of violations, regardless of the date of violation, are exempt from payment responsibility and no further administrative hearings will be scheduled or heard. No refunds will be issued for violation payments already processed.
If your payment has not been processed, checks will be returned to you. If you do not receive your returned payment within 60 days of being mailed, contact Peggy Heinemeyer at 281-275-2055.
Fines assessed from red light camera violations were civil fines, not criminal. Because the violation was a civil matter, it did not count as a moving violation and was not reported on your driving record.
The city’s red light camera vendor will remove the equipment per the city’s contract. The removal process could take four to six months. Sugar Land’s RLC contract includes an adverse legislation termination clause. The city’s RLC vendor will remove their equipment at their cost.
The Sugar Land Police Department will continue to monitor traffic concerns and accidents. Traffic officers will be deployed to locations where there’s an identified need.
Per state law, the revenue from red light penalties was first used to cover expenses from the program. The remaining funds were split 50/50 between the state and City. These funds were placed in the City’s general fund to be used only for traffic safety programs, intersection improvements, public safety programs and traffic enforcement, including the Safe Light Sugar Land initiative.
Revenue from red light cameras represented approximately one percent of the City's general fund operating budget prior to termination of the program and could only be used for traffic safety programs.
Approximately 70 percent of violators did not live in Sugar Land.
UAS is an Unmanned Aerial System and is commonly called a drone. A drone is an aerial device with an onboard computer that is operated remotely, generally by a pilot on the ground using a handheld controller. Small drones are battery operated, weigh less than 55 pounds, have several rotors like a helicopter, and are equipped with a video camera.
A UAV is an unmanned aerial vehicle and differs from an unmanned aerial/aircraft system (UAS) in one major way: a UAV is referring to the aircraft itself, not the ground control and communications units.
The word drone is the most popular synonym for an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or unmanned aerial/aircraft system (UAS). UAV and UAS are terms that originated with the military and now, because of all the public access to these types of aircraft platforms, the term “UAS” has emerged as a replacement for "UAV” and “drone”.
Listed below are examples of the types of missions for which UAS systems may be deployed. This list is not exhaustive, and other types of missions may be flown provided they follow County and agency policies and are approved by the incident commander or remote Pilot-in-Command.
The Sugar Land Police Department UAS program policy prohibits UA operators from intentionally recording or transmitting images of any location where a person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as private backyards or inside private buildings, except where authorized by a warrant issued by a judge or in emergency situations. Reasonable precautions can include, for example, deactivating or turning imaging devices away from such areas or persons during UAS operations.
All video activation and/or photo evidence collected during any UAS mission is stored in the same manner and location as Body Worn Camera (BWC) video and other investigative evidence. The Police Department utilizes a private “cloud” service, Evidence.com, to store all digital evidence. The service is authorized and certified under both state and federal regulations for the security and protection of confidential information, and is available only for official law enforcement purposes. Evidence is stored and saved for a limited time (one year or less) unless it is categorized as evidence in an actual crime or formal investigation. Then it is stored for a period of time consistent with all other evidence related to that incident/investigation.
Video and photos that are collected by UAS are stored for the purposes of conducting police investigation and subsequent prosecutions. Accordingly, videos and photos are generally accessible to police investigators for official use only. Like all police records, video and photos may also be subject to additional release under the same rules and restrictions as BWC Video and other items of evidence. Generally, UAS photos and video are considered part of the investigative record and are not available to the public under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). For more details, please refer to the Sugar Land Police Department policy on Body Cameras
In addition to the training and study required to maintain a FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot License, all Sugar Land Police UAS Team members train regularly in a variety of locations and settings to ensure operational efficiency. All training is documented, and the records are maintained by Sugar Land Police Department and are subject to review by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
All Sugar Land Police UAS pilots are subject to FAA regulations related to airspace use, and all must have a valid “Part 107” Remote Pilot License. UAS Pilots are also subject to the Sugar Land Police Department Policy on UAS Operations.
Helicopters and other manned aircraft (air support) are very expensive to operate. Currently, The Sugar Land Police Department relies on the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Department, Houston Police Department, and the Texas Highway Patrol for air support. UAS can be used in a variety of ways that supplement mutual aid air support requests in a cost-effective and efficient manner.
The UAS Program Manager (Lieutenant) or UAS Program Coordinator (Sergeant) authorizes the use and deployment of the UAS. In emergency or exigent situations, the on-duty Watch Commander can authorize the deployment of a UAS.
The Police Department has two (2) Drones,
* Drones flown by SLPD Police Officers must remain in Visual Light of Sight (VLOS). An exception to flights beyond visual light of site, is through an approved FAA Waiver for First Responders, Tactical Beyond Visual Light of Sight (TBVLOS). TBVLOS is only to be used in extreme emergency situations to safeguard human life. The drone must remain within 1500 feet of the Pilot in Charge (PIC).
Chloramine is a disinfectant used in drinking water to inactivate bacteria and viruses. It is typically used for water systems sourced from surface water. The city of Sugar Land uses chloramine as a disinfectant in its Main water system. Refer to the service area map.
Free chlorine is a disinfectant used in drinking water to inactivate bacteria and viruses. It is typically used for water systems sourced from groundwater. The City of Sugar Land uses free chlorine as a disinfectant in its RiverPark, Greatwood, and New Territory water systems. Refer to the service area map.
A free chlorine conversion is a process by which a water system temporarily switches its disinfection process from chloramines (a combination of chlorine and ammonia) to free chlorine (chlorine only) in order to improve the long-term quality of its drinking water.
The city of Sugar Land’s Main water system uses chloramines for disinfection. Chloramines are a better long-term choice for systems on surface water because they produce lower levels of disinfectant byproducts like trihalomethanes when chlorine mixes with natural organic substances in water. However, prolonged use of chloramine coupled with other factors that can affect water quality, such as high temperatures, may result in the growth and/or persistence of organic matter within the pipes of the distribution system. Though harmless when consumed by humans, this organic matter can introduce unwanted taste and odor, and hinder the ability to maintain an adequate disinfectant residual. A temporary conversion to free chlorine, partnered with flushing activities, clears distribution pipes of this organic matter and improves the quality of your water overall.
Yes. Free chlorine conversions are a common industry practice for preventative maintenance in drinking water distribution systems. Many utilities throughout the state and country that use chloramines for their primary distribution disinfectant periodically convert back to free chlorine to improve and maintain the highest water quality standards. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) endorse and support this procedure.
The duration of the free chlorine conversion will be just under 30 days. The conversion will begin on March 1, 2022, and the City will return to chloramine disinfection on March 29, 2022.
The process is entirely safe and poses no health risks to customers. The water is safe for people and animals to drink, for cooking and bathing, watering the garden, and for all other common uses.
A chlorine smell is very normal during the conversion period, as the disinfectant is transitioning from chloramines to free chlorine. Free chlorine may have a bit of a chemical odor or smell slightly like water in a swimming pool. Each individual customer has his or her own sensitivity level to the taste and/or odor of free chlorine, though many detect no change at all. Regardless of the form of chlorine in use, concentrations maintained during the conversion will be well within TCEQ and EPA standards and will be entirely safe to consume and use as normal.
Both free chlorine and chloramines may harm kidney dialysis patients during the dialysis process if it is not removed from water before passing into the bloodstream. The city will inform dialysis centers in the city of Sugar Land about the temporary switch from chloramine to free chlorine prior to the conversion. Dialysis patients may drink water treated with either free chlorine or chloramines because the digestive process neutralizes these chemicals before they can enter the bloodstream.
The city of Sugar Land will directional flush to help maintain clear water for our customers and to ensure the free chlorine has made it to the far reaches of our distribution system. We will repeat the process when we convert back to chloramine. Flushing should significantly subside after the conversion.
Most customers will not see a drop in water pressure. If a change in pressure does occur, it is usually momentary.
The flushing process can stir up sediments and minerals in water mains that may make it into customer service lines, resulting in some short-term cloudiness or discoloration. If you encounter this condition, flush faucets, tubs and toilets until the water clears. Clothing should not be washed during times of discoloration to reduce the possibility of staining. Prior to washing clothing, customers may want to run a little water in a bathtub to check for discoloration.
Pool owners must maintain the same chlorine level in water treated with either free chlorine or chloramines to prevent algae and bacterial growth. Pool supply stores can provide pool owners with more information.
While free chlorine and chloramine are safe for most pets, they must be removed from tap water used for aquatic life (including fish and amphibians) in aquariums and ponds. For businesses and customers who own fish aquariums or ponds, continue to treat the tap water with a water conditioner when making water changes. Read the product label on the water conditioner that you use. Most conditioners neutralize both chlorine and chloramines, and no change will be required.
Free chlorine can be removed by boiling water, filling a container with water and leaving it to vent, or adding a bit of lemon juice (ascorbic acid neutralizes the chlorine). Note that these methods will not remove chloramine. Water purification and filtration devices to reduce chlorine levels also exist.
No. the free chlorine conversion has no connection to the coronavirus pandemic.
No, the city implemented a free chlorine conversion in April 2021. Chlorine conversions are part of the city’s distribution system maintenance strategy and will be implemented periodically in accordance with the city’s maintenance plan.
Visit the TCEQ Website at tceq.texas.gov/drinkingwater/disinfection/temporary-free-chlorine-conversion
A traffic circle can use stop signs and other controls. There are also no limits to the circle size or the entrance angles and widths of the approaches.
A modern roundabout only uses yield control on approaches. Roundabouts also have design limits on circle size and the approach entry designs.
Although a multi-lane roundabout has two or more lanes, drivers should not change lanes while travelling in the roundabout. The traffic signs are designed to guide drivers to the correct lane before entering the roundabout and while circling the roundabout. If a driver does not choose the correct lane, then he or she should exit the roundabout, make a u-turn at the next median break and choose the correct lane based on the traffic signs. Changing lanes within a roundabout not only causes confusion for other drivers, but can also cause accidents.
Learn more about roundabouts >>
Many roundabouts are designed to allow buses and large trucks to drive through the roundabout. They typically have a 5-15 foot wide mountable curb around the central island called a truck apron. Buses and semi-trucks can use this apron in order to make a turn within the roundabout, and for multi-lane roundabouts, they can use both circulating lanes in order to make a turn. However, drivers of large vehicles need to wait until the circulating roundabout is clear of vehicles before they can enter and use both lanes. In addition, drivers on multi-lane approaches to roundabouts need to give way to oversized vehicles and allow them to enter the roundabout first.
No. The city is responsible for the trees along certain roadways, ditches, and highway frontage roads within the city as seen on this map. Trees along other major thoroughfares are owned and maintained by adjacent homeowner’s association (HOA) or property owner’s association (POA). Trees located adjacent to a private business or residential property, are the responsibility of the owner.
The owner of the tree is responsible for the maintenance of the tree. In some communities, the HOA will maintain the tree in front of a residential property. If you do not know, it would be best to contact your HOA prior to completing any maintenance on your tree.
The City prunes its trees on a 3-5 year rotation. Residents are encouraged to prune their trees on a similar rotation. All trees along roadways are inspected every three years for compliance with the City Ordinance. The City Ordinance requires that residential trees are pruned 12’ above the roadway and 8’ above the sidewalk; and all non-residential trees be pruned 14’ above the roadway and 8’ above the sidewalk.
Even if the city does not own the tree, city crews will come out 24/7 to respond to a concern. If it is a city-owned tree, even if it is a small branch, the city will remove the hazard. If it is a privately owned tree, the city will safely remove the tree from the roadway and place it in the yard or ROW of the owner of the tree. It is the responsibility of the owner of the tree to remove the debris.
Please contact Public Works by dialing 311 or 281-275-2450.
The City does not have an ordinance for the removal of trees on private property, but certain HOAs have deed restriction regarding trees. It would be best to contact your HOA prior to completing any work.
In certain areas of the community, trees were originally planted too close together. As these trees have grown over time, the canopies of the trees have grown together to create very dense shade in numerous areas. The shade has caused turf to die back and decline in many areas. This causes unsightly conditions and dirt to runoff into the storm sewers during rain events.
There are multiple benefits of tree removal. Removing trees will allow sunlight to penetrate to the turf below allowing turf to thrive and prevent soil runoff during rain events. This, in turn, improves the effectiveness of the storm sewers, creeks and stream, which can contribute to lower oxygen levels that are harmful to aquatic life. Tree removal will also allow streetlight to penetrate to the street to allow for safer roadways. Reducing the number of trees also allows for more growing space for remaining trees and allows them to increase their canopy. This will improve the appearance and value of the remaining trees. Since trees planted too close together can have root grafting, the spread of disease is also more prevalent.
The owner of the tree is responsible for making the decision of any tree removal.
Trees are often initially planted closer together in order to create an aesthetically pleasing look from the beginning. Unfortunately, the trees eventually mature and cause other issues.
Tree thinning is the process of selectively removing branches within the tree canopy to allow light to penetrate to the ground. Arborists recommend thinning of certain trees to protect the overall health of the canopy, which also protects the wildlife that uses the trees as habitats.
The Development Code requires trees to be replaced when removed IF they qualify as a Protected Tree under the definition in the Development Code. Protected Tree means a hardwood tree having a minimum caliper size of 8 inches or greater, as measured 4½ feet above ground level. Otherwise, if trees are removed from private property and the removal of those trees takes the property out of compliance with the Development Code landscaping regulations in Chapter 2, then the City would have recourse to require replanting to comply with the landscaping requirements in Chapter 2.
Regarding trees within the right-of-way, the City does not have a policy regarding the replacement of trees. In most cases, trees located in the right-of-way are owned and maintained by the adjacent property owner. They have the sole discretion on choosing to replace a tree that is removed from the right-of-way. Trees along State-owned ROW’s are maintained by the City and are replaced, budget dependent, if they are removed.
The Development Code requires trees to be replaced when removed IF they qualify as a Protected Tree under the definition in the Development Code. Protected Tree means a hardwood tree having a minimum caliper size of 8 inches or greater, as measured 4½ feet above ground level. This determination is made during the building permit process and review of a landscaping plan, if required. The landscaping requirements in Article XV (Landscaping and Screening Regulations) apply to any premise on which construction occurs for which a building permits is required. There are a few exceptions – restoration of a building with a historic designation, remodeling of the interior of a building or the façade of building that does not alter the location of exterior walls, or the expansion of a Single-family or Two-Family Dwelling.
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.
Historically, the majority of the city’s drinking water supply has been from groundwater aquifers. There are twelve city groundwater plants ranging in size from approximately 3 to 12 million gallons per day (MGD) of production capacity. The water in these aquifers is from the Gulf Coast Aquifer system with an average depth of greater than 1,200 feet.
In response to Fort Bend Subsidence District’s (FBSD) 30 percent alternative water supply conversion deadline, the city constructed a 10.85-MGD surface water treatment plant (SWTP) that went into operation in 2013. The city has three sources of water available to supply the SWTP with surface water. The city holds a contract with the Gulf Coast Water Authority (GCWA), who delivers raw water from the Brazos River to Oyster Creek. The contract with GCWA provides 10 MGD (11,201 AFY) of raw water, and an agreement to purchase an additional 10 MGD for future needs. The city also has a contract with the Brazos River Authority (BRA) for 6,388 AFY of raw water. Finally, the city holds a water right on Oyster Creek which allows the City to withdraw 18,000 acre-feet per year (AFY).
The homeowner is responsible for the pipes within the house, as well as the water service line from the house to the water meter box. If you think you have a leak, please call us first to request a leak investigation. You may contact 311 or our 24-hour line at 281-275-2900.
If you notice a leak or discharge of water, whether it is in the street, from a meter, or a hydrant please call 311 or the city's 24-hour line at 281-275-2900 and a crew will be dispatched to investigate the situation and take appropriate actions.
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.
Water conservation fortifies our community’s quality of life by ensuring availability of ample water resources and mitigating cost to reduce groundwater use to 40% by 2025 as mandated by the Fort Bend Subsidence District regulations. A comprehensive effort to use our water resources efficiently and reduce wasted water use is an essential component to providing safe and plentiful water to our customers today and in the years to come. As the population grows and water resource regulations change, the city’s Integrated Water Resources Plan (IWRP) calls on water customers to contribute to our water resource management through conservation.
When water conserving habits are established during times of normal rainfall, the impact of drought and water use restrictions are lessened. For example, when lawns are deeply irrigated only when soil becomes dry (rather than a regular schedule), grass roots grow deeper resulting in a more drought tolerant lawn.
Water use awareness and changing habits are the most impactful conservation strategies. Water saving appliances are beneficial to achieving water conservation goals. When planning appliance replacement or choosing irrigation system components, choose WaterSense™ labeled products that are proven to save water when compared to traditional appliances.
Refer to the Saving Water Indoors page for tips to conserve water. Contact apartment maintenance team when repairs are needed for leaking toilets and dripping faucets or leaking waterlines.
Watering early in the morning, after 2:00 am and before 10:00 am is best for landscapes. This hydrates plants and sustains them through the high mid-day and afternoon temperatures. Avoid watering during the heat of the day when evaporation is greatest. Watering in the evening and at night contributes to mold and fungus growth and standing water that attracts mosquitos when they are active.
Reduce wasteful irrigation run-off by implementing the Cycle and Soak Irrigation Method. Cycle and Soak is a two-cycle process that allows water to slowly penetrate deeply into our compacted, clay soils. When the soil is moistened after the first watering cycle, water from the second cycle will flow even deeper into the soil. When soil is moist to a depth of 6 to 8 inches, roots are encouraged to grow deeper. Deeper roots support a healthier lawn.
Links for articles and information on lawn irrigation from AgriLIFE Extension:
The cemetery was dedicated to the City by LID 17 during October of 2006. Sugar Land City Council approved Resolution No. 12-02 on Feb. 7, 2012. The resolution authorized the purchase of 63.331 acres of land for park purposes and the purchase of 11.426 acres of land for airport purposes from NNP-TELFAIR, LP per the 2003 Development Agreement.
The city of Sugar Land negotiated with Newland to accept responsibility for the ownership of the cemetery, ensuring this historical property does not disappear through neglect like many others throughout the country.
The city zoned the cemetery and surrounding property as parkland, a designation that protects and preserves the property. The city went further and purchased all of the land around the cemetery. We planned enhancements that were intended to make the cemetery more accessible and highlight its historical importance.
The Fort Bend County Historical Commission is charged with carrying out a continuing survey of the county’s historical buildings, sites, cemeteries, archeological sites, both public and private, and other historical features within the county and reports to the Fort Bend County Commissioners Court and the Texas Historical Commission. Any new development that could have an impact on a historic site such as this must be vetted through the FB Historical Commission. The Texas Historical Commission performed ground-penetration studies of the property in May 2016.
The city will comply with all required laws prior to any future parkland development surrounding the cemetery.
The city’s plans for a community park in Telfair were halted by the failed passage of an $18.5 million bond proposition. Even though the regional park was defeated in the bond election by residents of Sugar Land, that property is still designated for future parkland in our Parks, Recreation Master Plan.
The City of Sugar Land created the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation and contributes funding to ensure the preservation of the city’s history. The Sugar Land Heritage Foundation has been collecting local historical documents for a museum opened in 2018 at the Imperial Refinery site. This museum will eventually include a diversity of exhibits documenting the contributions of African-Americans and all others. Community groups are encouraged to support the development of the museum.