Incorporation Facts

PUBLIC EDUCATION SUMMARY

The following Public Education Summary is provided for your information. The Public Education Summary compares key topics arranged in categories and how they would be affected if the community remains as The Woodlands Township, OR if it becomes the City of The Woodlands. Topics include law enforcement, drainage and flood mitigation, path to local control, government authority, utilities, transportation/roads, building standards, community planning and financial implications. Please take time to read this information on how incorporating into the City of The Woodlands could affect you.

What is The Woodlands Township?

The Woodlands Township is a “Special Purpose” government district, authorized by state statute. The Township is unincorporated and its boundaries are within both Montgomery County and Harris County, the Extraterritorial Jurisdictions of the City of Houston and the City of Conroe, and primarily within the municipal utility boundaries of 11 Woodlands Municipal Utility Districts (MUDs).

Though the Township governance and administrative model has allowed it to offer municipal types of services, core service areas such as law enforcement and transportation infrastructure maintenance are delivered by county agencies. Water, wastewater, and stormwater management services are provided by multiple Municipal Utility Districts throughout

The Woodlands. While the Township has entered into contracted arrangements with the county agencies to provide enhanced law enforcement services, the Township’s authority to direct those services is limited.

In 2018, The Township Board of Directors initiated a study to consider the benefits and impacts of municipal incorporation. This draft study has been completed and the Township Board of Directors is considering placing incorporation on a future general election ballot for consideration by the voters of The Woodlands.

The following summary has been developed to show changes in governmental responsibility and services that would occur with municipal incorporation of The Woodlands.

PUBLIC EDUCATION SUMMARY

The following Public Education Summary is provided for your information. The Public Education Summary compares key topics arranged in categories and how they would be affected if the community remains as The Woodlands Township, OR if it becomes the City of The Woodlands. Topics include law enforcement, drainage and flood mitigation, path to local control, government authority, utilities, transportation/roads, building standards, community planning and financial implications. Please take time to read this information on how incorporating into the City of The Woodlands could affect you.

What is The Woodlands Township?

The Woodlands Township is a “Special Purpose” government district, authorized by state statute. The Township is unincorporated and its boundaries are within both Montgomery County and Harris County, the Extraterritorial Jurisdictions of the City of Houston and the City of Conroe, and primarily within the municipal utility boundaries of 11 Woodlands Municipal Utility Districts (MUDs).

Though the Township governance and administrative model has allowed it to offer municipal types of services, core service areas such as law enforcement and transportation infrastructure maintenance are delivered by county agencies. Water, wastewater, and stormwater management services are provided by multiple Municipal Utility Districts throughout

The Woodlands. While the Township has entered into contracted arrangements with the county agencies to provide enhanced law enforcement services, the Township’s authority to direct those services is limited.

In 2018, The Township Board of Directors initiated a study to consider the benefits and impacts of municipal incorporation. This draft study has been completed and the Township Board of Directors is considering placing incorporation on a future general election ballot for consideration by the voters of The Woodlands.

The following summary has been developed to show changes in governmental responsibility and services that would occur with municipal incorporation of The Woodlands.

  • County Services Provided in The Woodlands

    The Woodlands Township

    The County governments determine the level of service to be provided in The Woodlands. The County Sheriff has the responsibility to provide law enforcement services in unincorporated areas. The Township pays for enhancements to these two basic county services (see page 14). In addition, the County provides animal control, environmental health, fire marshal and permitting.

    City of The Woodlands

    The city would determine and have local control over the level of service to be provided in The Woodlands.

  • Emergency Authority during Declared Disasters

    The Woodlands Township

    The Township does not have community-wide emergency authority during declared disasters. Emergency authorities are vested in Federal, State, county and incorporated cities. The Township may participate in Mutual Aid.

    City of The Woodlands

    The city would have the authority to declare and respond to a local disaster with limited exceptions.

  • Utility/Rights of Way Management

    The Woodlands Township

    State and county governments have specific but limited authorities for management of the public road rights of way in The Woodlands including utilities in the right of way.

    City of The Woodlands

    The city would assume authority for the management of the public road rights of way within The Woodlands boundaries and could collect fees from certain types of utilities. The city could pass a right of way management ordinance, which would provide more authority in managing construction and utility installation within the right of way.

  • Municipal Utilities

    The Woodlands Township

    Municipal utility services are currently provided to The Woodlands residents primarily through 11 Municipal Utility Districts. The MUDs are independent government entities and The Township has no authority over water, wastewater and drainage services in The Woodlands.

    City of The Woodlands

    Following incorporation, a City Council can opt to enact an ordinance that abolishes the MUDs and assumes all assets, liabilities and operations of the MUDs and operate as a city municipal utility.

  • Access Fees/Franchise Fees

    The Woodlands Township

    The Woodlands Township does not collect any access fees or franchise fees from utility providers.

    City of The Woodlands

    A city would have a new revenue stream from utilities.

  • Transportation Planning

    The Woodlands Township

    With the exception of the Township’s public transit services, the Township does not have authority for roadway transportation planning within the Township boundaries. This authority rests with the cities that have ETJ authority within The Woodlands (Houston and Conroe) and with the overlapping county governments.

    City of The Woodlands

    The city would have authority for transportation planning within The Woodlands boundaries. The City would automatically become a voting member of Houston-Galveston (H-GAC), who is responsible for long-range mobility planning and redistribution of state and federal funding.

  • Roadways within The Woodlands

    The Woodlands Township

    State and County governments have authority for management of the roadways and road right of way in The Woodlands, including roadway expansions and extensions.

    City of The Woodlands

    The city would assume authority over and responsibility for roadways and rights of way within The Woodlands boundaries, except for SH 242/ College Park Drive, which is a State Highway. The city would adopt its own thoroughfare plan.

  • Traffic Control and Management

    The Woodlands Township

    County governments have authority for management of traffic lights and speed limits on roadways within The Woodlands, except for SH 242/ College Park Drive, which is a State Highway managed by TxDOT.

    City of The Woodlands

    The city would assume authority for traffic management and would have the ability to establish speed limits within The Woodlands boundaries and could choose to continue to work with the County or change to local control of traffic light systems. SH 242 is under the authority of TxDOT, and could become subject to a “Municipal Maintenance Agreement” with the city.

  • Woodlands Covenant Management

    The Woodlands Township

    The Development Standards Committee (DSC) currently provides covenant administration in The Woodlands and the Township provides staff services to support covenant enforcement.

    City of The Woodlands

    Provided that The Woodlands does not adopt municipal zoning, the Township’s covenant administration process can continue.

  • Plan Review and Building Inspection

    The Woodlands Township

    The Township performs plan review and limited building inspections per the Covenants and Standards of The Woodlands. Montgomery County and Harris County, along with the City of Houston and City of Conroe through their ETJs, have authority for plan review and building inspections in their respective jurisdictions that overlap The Woodlands Township boundaries.

    City of The Woodlands

    If the city adopts planning and zoning, the city will have direct authority for a building code including plan review, permitting and building inspections, but cannot directly enforce deed restrictions or covenants.

Page last updated: 07 September 2021, 11:57