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Mayor Turner Calls For New Flooding Regulations And Summit On Losing Amazon's HQ2

Mayor Turner
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner speaking at Bisnow's 2016 Houston State of the Market event

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner Wednesday proposed tightening city development rules to make Houston more resilient to flooding. Turner will propose changes to City Council that would require all new buildings outside the flood plain be elevated two feet above the ground, and all new construction within the flood plain to be lifted two feet above the projected flood level during a 500-year storm. The previous guidelines were one foot of clearance above the 100-year flood level. Turner also spoke about requiring developers to provide stricter stormwater detention requirements. 

In the sweeping address, Turner called for changes to the city's ban on mobile homes on private property that is preventing the Federal Emergency Management Agency from placing trailers on the property of Hurricane Harvey's flood victims. 

Turner hopes to have City Council vote on the new proposals in mid-February, saying Houston's old ways are unacceptable in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. 

The mayor also reiterated his disappointment with Houston's snub on Amazon's HQ2 shortlist. He plans to convene a summit of local leaders to addrress how Houston can capitalize on corporate relocations in the future. Part of that discussion will be working with Houston's suburbs like Sugar Land and Katy to prepare regional proposals.