Why incorporate now? | Woodlands Online
THE WOODLANDS, TX – Michelle and I moved to The Woodlands in 1995 and raised our three sons here. We’ve seen our hometown go from 30,000 to 118,000, go from HOA to The Woodlands Township, and now we all have the opportunity to vote to create our City of The Woodlands.
I believe our hometown has the talented residents to be self-reliant, I believe my elected neighbors care more about our community than those we don’t elect and live here, and I believe our residents will write the constitution of our hometown (Home Rule Charter) which will only grant the authority necessary to provide the services we desire. It would put limits on our city, requiring voter approvals that allow our residents to remain in control of our future.
Currently, the West Magnolia Improvement District funds Woodtrace Parkway (Woodlands Parkway Extension). This expansion’s traffic projections will fail on our already busy roads in the western part of The Woodlands. A town in The Woodlands would have the power to issue a “No Thru Trucks” order preventing 18-wheeled vehicles from using Woodlands Parkway, Research Forest, Kuykendahl Road or Gosling Road as alternative trucking routes. Montgomery County wants to widen Woodlands Parkway, which would require the removal of the tree-lined medians. As the town of The Woodlands, residents would have a say in all future developments and could prevent the creation of lines of communication that destroy our quality of life and thwart future attempts to clear our trees.
The overpass plans at Lake Woodlands and Grogan’s Mill, and Research Forest and Grogan’s Mill are other logging projects being pushed by Montgomery County. Landowners, business owners and adjacent home owners don’t want these projects to move forward, but plans are still underway to build them without local consent. As a city, these viaducts can be stopped once and for all by residents, and future road development decisions would be made locally, not by Harris or Montgomery County.
Eight additional high-density apartment complexes are offered in The Woodlands, and even more just outside our borders. This would result in a heavy traffic load on our roads, and even more unwanted clear cuts. The Town of The Woodlands, representing its residents, would get the local planning and zoning authority to deal with future developments at the local level and issue tree preservation and no clearcut orders.
Up to $ 30 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding is still on the table. The Woodlands not being incorporated is the only written reason the US Treasury provided for not funding our hometown. We are currently in an active appeal process, and our residents can vote to Incorporate on November 2, eliminating the only reason our community is excluded from this funding.
The Town of The Woodlands will get new economic development tools to help revitalize aging areas like Grogan’s Mill Shopping Center. Cities also have access to use the share of state sales and hotel taxes to revitalize or expand their convention center areas. The Township of Woodlands has been working on a performing arts theater, and the state tax portion of Texas could provide up to $ 26 million in public funding for this and other projects.
The question we should be asking ourselves is “Why not now?” Why don’t those who oppose incorporation not want the residents of The Woodlands to control their community? Why would they oppose residents having a say in the development of their community and having the ability to protect their quality of life? Why wouldn’t they want the City of the Woods to have a seat at the table of national and state affairs and have access to additional funding? Why are developers and non-residents spending between $ 500,000 and $ 1,000,000 spreading disinformation in our hometown? Regarding, to say the least.
I ask our residents to vote for incorporation and for themselves as they ultimately take control of our hometown and I believe our residents care more about our future than Harris or Montgomery, Houston, Conroe counties or for-profit developers.
Vote for yourself in control!
26 year old resident of The Woodlands