Paul is heading a group of five ESRI ArcGIS desktop users in Harris County (Houston, TX) Community Services Department
Office of Housing and Community Development. He is applying GIS maps and data toward streamlining Environmental Review
Record creation and process maintenance in support of around $80 million in federal grants budget for the county's unincorporated
areas and fifteen cooperating cities. That's a lot more than usual because of reconstruction resulting from Hurricane Ike (2008) disaster recovery and economic stimulus projects finally flowing through.
Paul is helping to coordinate HUD, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and property sellers/buyers to clear some high environmental review hurdles in the case of some contaminated land parcels owned by Sysco Houston, Inc. That company wishes to sell its operating cold food storage facilities to the Houston Food Bank, the local non-profit that feeds our area's multiplying hungry. The sale has been stopped for almost two years because of seven unresolved environmental issues at the site. Five of those are now at rest, and the last two should be resolved this week (1/11/2010). This project is one of hundreds that are currently being assisted with federal funding by our office either directly or as passed through the State of Texas.
Paul is looking forward to some day restarting public planning exercises in low to moderate income target areas. These will be discovered all around Houston by the 2010 Census and finalized in negotiations with HUD around 2012-2013. Census day is April 1: every person counts!
In support of the 2010 Census, Paul has been assigned the task of verifying Census geography in Harris County by March 1, 2010. He has organized a subcommittee made up of Geographic Data Committee and Harris County Geographic Information System Task Force members to accomplish this. The Census county boundaries in particular have never been adjusted to match, more or less, their actual location. Two other interesting issues arise. Treatment of limited municipal annexations in denoting city boundaries offers potential for expanding city lands but not population, resulting in decreased citywide density measures. What amount of land should be shown as water we will probably leave to the Flood Control District experts (Texas Submerged Lands Act designates the end of private property at the Higher High Water Mean, such that water areas tend to be overemphasized and densities on land heightened).