Road to revitalization: Commissioner Lesley Briones engages community to bring connectivity, mobility to unincorporated Katy

19 Jan, 24

From road and drainage improvements to new sidewalks and trails, Harris County Precinct 4 Commissioner Lesley Briones is completing work in the Greater Katy area while also looking toward the future.  

In addition to the more than 25 Precinct 4 projects currently underway in unincorporated Katy, the Katy East Community Plan and Mobility Study launched last month when a group of Katy East area-residents who serve as the plan’s steering committee met for the first time. The committee will collaborate with Precinct 4 engineers and planners to develop a study that will inform future infrastructure improvements.  

The steering committee and Precinct 4 are inviting more Katy East residents to help shape the future of Katy East during a community meeting Jan. 20. The meeting, which will mark the beginning of the months-long engagement effort to transform the Katy East area, will allow residents to give feedback on transportation, greenspace, housing, and more. 

“We’re excited to be a part of this,” Ted Vierling, chief operating officer of Katy ISD, said at the steering committee meeting in December. “As a representative of Katy ISD, our goal is always student safety. This gives us an opportunity to speak up for our kids and our communities and make sure they have safe ways to get to and from school, work, parks, and places they want to go.” 

By looking at existing land use, mobility, infrastructure, and economic development challenges and opportunities in the community, Precinct 4 will create a prioritized list of recommendations to improve the quality of life, livability, and economic opportunity in the area. 

The Katy East Community Plan and Mobility Study will also refine and combine recommendations and ideas from previous studies done within and around the area. These insights — along with new ideas from steering committee meetings, several focus group sessions, and three public workshops — will help create the final plan, which will be released in June 2024.  

"As a mother, I know how important it is to raise your children in a safe, nurturing neighborhood,” Commissioner Briones said. “In Katy East, this means we will be partnering with the community to go beyond adding new traffic lights and drainage — we want to build connections, provide opportunities, and ensure a safe and vibrant environment where everyone can thrive.” 

Steering committee members praised Commissioner Briones for prioritizing community engagement with this study. 

“When we first moved here, I didn’t even know who our county commissioner was,” said Dave Romero, a steering committee member and the board president of the One Creek West and Mayde Creek Community Association. “Since Commissioner Briones has taken over, there has been great communication. She’s been extremely transparent, and she’s welcoming any kind of ideas — anything that helps motivate, move, and make this Katy East area a great and wonderful place to live.” 

Recommendations from studies like these increase the chances that unincorporated areas like Katy East to secure funding from investments like the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), or local voter bond referendums related to infrastructure or parks, which is why Precinct 4 wants to hear from residents and partners. 

“We have partnered and gotten representation from METRO, HCTRA, Economic Development Council, and the City of Katy to name a few,” said Nandini Seth, a senior planner on the Precinct 4 infrastructure team and a Katy East resident. “We are reaching out to the coalition and the Katy East residents to get their feedback and input on the projects. We are hoping for a great, successful planning effort here in this community.” 

The community meeting will be noon-2 p.m. Jan. 20 at the Houston Community College – Katy Community Room (22910 Colonial Parkway). Residents can also provide feedback via a 10-minute online survey. 

While Precinct 4 seeks ways to improve the Katy East area, many projects are already complete or underway to make Katy East safer and more resilient. Explore Precinct 4’s live interactive map to see details on these projects, as well as projects across the Precinct.