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A letter to District E residents from Councilman Dave Martin

February 5th, 2018

In January, the City of Houston began to send out Substantial Damage Letters to City of Houston residents living in the 100-year flood plain or floodway. Residents that do not live in the 100-year flood plain or floodway should not receive Substantial Damage Letters.

What is Substantial Damage? Substantial Damage means that the cost of restoring property to its pre- damage condition equals or exceeds 50% of the market value of the structure. For example, if the total cost to repair a home is $60,000 and the home is worth $100,000, the home is 60% damaged, making it substantially damaged.

I am more than sensitive to the devastation that this letter can bring to homeowners, but rest assured homeowner’s do have options. There is no reason to stop your renovations or feel that you are trapped.

If the city determines a home to be substantially damaged, the homeowner has the following options to obtain a flood damage repair permit:

1. Appeal the Substantial Damage Determination

Complete and submit the city’s Appeal of Substantial Damage Determination Appeal Form at https://www.publicworks.houstontx.gov/notices/flood-damage- repair.html along with the required documentation demonstrating that your home or building is not substantially damaged (insurance proof of loss or personal proof of loss). This form and the required documentation can be submitted via email atfmo@houstontx.gov, US Mail or in person at the city’s Floodplain Management Office (FMO). FMO will respond in writing. If a homeowner disagrees with FMO’s response to their appeal they can take their appeal to the City’s General Appeal Board.

2. Show the flood damaged home is already in compliance by submitting an Elevation Certificate

To be compliant a home must meet the elevation requirements (lowest living floor must be 12 inches above Base Flood Elevation (BFE) in the 100-year floodplain, lowest horizontal member must be 18 inches above BFE in the floodway) and performance standards described in Chapter 19. For most structures, this will require submittal of an Elevation Certificate, based on the current surveying standards.

3. Bring the flood damaged home into compliance

This is the option that people fixate on but after speaking with representatives at the Flood Plain Management office our office has found this to be very rare.

Should a homeowner choose to elevate their home it must be elevated to meet elevation requirements (lowest living floor must be 12 inches above Base Flood Elevation (BFE) in the 100-year floodplain, lowest horizontal member must be 18 inches above BFE in the floodway) and performance standards described in Chapter 19. Performance standards include, but are not limited to, flood resistant materials, flood-protected utilities and adequate flood openings.

The District E Staff has assisted several residents, answering questions they have regarding their substantial damage letters as well as helping those obtain verification of substantial damage in the case they have not yet received a letter, but suspect they might. If you think your home is substantially damaged but have not received a letter, please email districte@houstontx.gov and the office can assist you with requesting verification. You can also email the District E office if you would like assistance with the appeals process.

We understand that these letters are extremely discouraging but want to make sure residents are aware of the resources needed to appeal and carry-on with rebuilding. If you have any questions or would like more information, my office would be happy to provide you with a Substantial Damage Info Sheet and assist you with answering any questions you may have regarding the process. You may contact the District E office by calling 832-393- 3008 or by emailing districte@houstontx.gov.

“The District E office is always a resource to residents and we will all get through this together, stay Houston strong!” Councilman Martin said.

 

Sincerely,

Dave Martin

Clear Lake Chatter: More Help for Harvey Flood Victims

February 1st, 2018

There were smiles aplenty when League City Mayor Pat Hallisey and his wife, Janice, center, arrived at the Johnnie Aroflo Civic Center for the League City Chamber luncheon. Among those  greeting them were, from left, realtor Kimberly Harding, Kevin Murphy and Congressman Randy Weber and his wife, Brenda.

League City Chamber members got an update by Galveston County Judge Mark Henry at their State of the County Luncheon – learning about the status of several county projects in addition to offering advice for Hurricane Harvey flood victims.

Knowing that Harvey was foremost on everyone’s minds, he agreed with their thinking: “I’m aggravated (over the lack of action). Things are going way too slow,” he said of the delays many of the county’s 20,000 flood victims have been facing.

But he had some good news about a state program run by the General Land Office that has been a big help to some victims. It’s called Partial Repair and Essential Power for Sheltering Program or PREPS. It provides basic repairs up to $20,000 and allows homemakers to remain in their homes while the work is done – usually in about two days. Already PREPS has finished repairs to 20 homes in Galveston County with another 6,820 eligible for the program the GLO is attempting to reach.

The GLO has made more than 60,000 phone calls and 30,000 phone calls to victims registered with FEMA about the program. Judge Henry said he had learned that many recipients think it’s a hoax and don’t respond. He also suggested that victims visit www.TexasRebuilds.com and www.galvestoncountyrecovers.com for information.

Boeing’s Brian Freedman, from left, and his dad, Glenn Freedman, stop to talk with florist Teresa Vencil at the League City Chamber State of the County Luncheon.

Among the projects discussed were the Pelican Island Bridge, which, he said, “is 50 years old and not in good shape.” Of the options received is one from the Houston Engineering firm HDR Inc., which could range in price from $63 million to $121 million to replace. “We need to replace that bridge and doing so will result in lots of good paying jobs.”
Another was the 64-acre Bayside Regional Park in Bacliff and community center for seniors.

But while many were glad to get some good Harvey tips, they all were happy to see Mayor Pat Hallisey arrive after nearly losing his life to a heart attack several weeks back and having to have his lower leg amputated. He and his wife, Janice, were all smiles as Chamber President Steve Paterson, Congressman Randy Weber and his wife, Brenda, Galveston County District Attorney Jack Roady, former County Commissioner Ryan Dennard and a number of city officials welcomed him to the Civic Center.

Bay Area Houston Ballet & Theatre dancers Meaghan Abel, Jenna Westall, Rachel Stonestreet, and Hannah Young entertain the crowd at the Bay Area Go Texan Rodeo Style Show.

Rodeo Style Show the ‘best one yet’

“BEST ONE YET!” That was the reply of a Clear Lake cowboy when asked his opinion of the Bay Area Go Texan Rodeo Style Show, which seems to get better and better as the years roll by.

And, and it also was a comment Capt. Dianna Jones and Asst. Capt. Anita White heard over and over Friday, Jan. 19 after they welcomed the lively crowd of cowboys and cowgirls to NASA’s Gilruth Center and invited them to come right in and join the fun.

Walking in, you probably would have bumped into Rocky Mauldin, Gene Hollier, Emmeline Dodd, Nancy Buffaloe, Anita Fogtman, Irene Pavig, Annette Snow Falks, David Robertson or Don Billings before you went very far. They never miss it.
Emcee Phil Pampolina got the crowd rocking after introducing the dignitaries and donors and giving everyone a chance to bid in the live auction. Then came the style show, which had a “Fire and Ice” theme highlighted by a great performance by the Bay Area Houston Ballet & Theatre dancers and directed by fashion guru Lenny Matuszewski.

Models included Miss Texas USA Nancy Gonzalez, Webster Fire Chief Patrick Shipp, Nassau Bay City Manager Jason Reynolds and former Mrs. Galveston County, Kelly Williams of Kemah.

Model, Lily Heintz, shows off an evening gown during the Bay Area Go Texan Rodeo Style Show.

Joining them in showing off a variety of fashions from Adelaide’s Boutique, Casanova’s Downfall, Cavender’s Boot City, Dillard’s Baybrook, Jill’s Fashion and Bridal, Kendra Scott-Baybrook Mall and The Clotheshorse were Bobby Osoria, Shari Sweeney, Karen Jordan, Lily Hentz, Jimmy Molina, Anna Babineaux, Moni Trevathan, Molly Culbreth and John Bartee.

Others coming down the runway included Kellie Gross, Bo Rogers, Amy Bowlin, Dafne Sanchez, Ashley Reed, Jeremiah Corbin, Leah Galindo, Kelly Gurgos, Sarah Elliott, Jamie Sausser, TL Sellers, Karen Beaty, Karla Boddie, Jamie Sausser, Misty Hajecate, Ashley Reed, Nancy Buffaloe and Liz Cantu.

And, after a delish luncheon provided by Grazia Italian Kitchen, many stopped to thank the hard-working committee, who had put together another winner for all to enjoy.

Committee members include Deane Beck, Darla Billings, Amber Blake, Sunnie Byerly, who was named Committee Person of the Year, Ronda Cook, Renee Daigle, Robert Engler, Lesa Martin Gaffey, David Gambino, William Greer, Angela Guidry, Lisa Gurgos, Deborah Gutierrez, Tory Jenkins, Sandra Kay Kelly, Heather Kirk, Becki Leal and Alice Lyons.

Plus, Ange Mertens, Marish Morgan, Sabana Nathoo, Alan Rice, Elena Richards, Shelley Rogers, Donna Rone, Keith Satterwhite, Melis Sausser, Debra Stokes, Elizabeth Taylor West, Chiquita Taylor, Irene Taylor, Robert Mike Taylor, Marisa Vannoort, Michelle Walker, Sharon Werner, Darice Whatley and Janice Williams.