Design Standards/Plan Review Committee

Council of Engineering Companies
Design Standards/Plan Review Committee
Agency Meeting
Meeting Attendees
DATE: September 20, 2005
Alan McKee, P.E.
Minutes for DS/PR Monthly Agency Coordination Meeting
A. TSARP Update – Harris County expects letter from FEMA to Floodplain Administrator in
October. This will start a 6 month period (FEMA is trying to reduce to 3 months) until formal
adoption of the FIRM maps. Harris County/HCFCD will accept LOMR/CLOMR applications for
local review now. FEMA is evaluating when they will begin accepting LOMR/CLOMR’s.
B. Plan Review/Street Acceptance –
1. Proposed Harris County Regulations for the Approval and Acceptance of Infrastructure.
Time frame for implementation of new acceptance submittal package? New regulations
slated for September 27th Commissioner’s Court Agenda. Rules would take effect Nov. 1,
2005. Grandfathering provisions (along the same lines as County’s compensating
storage/fill permit grandfathering provisions) are incorporated. Upon adoption, Harris
County will begin to accept acceptance packages under the new regulations immediately, if
the engineer elects.
Harris County will include a box on the Express Review sheet to indicate whether sidewalks
will be included. If sidewalks are not proposed, no curb ramps will be required. If
sidewalks are subsequently proposed, additional constructions plans or plan modifications
are required for County Approval. Separate sidewalk permits will be issued by County.
2. County fire code requirements, as they pertain to water/wastewater plants. Committee
requested water plants/wastewater plants be exempted from County fire code as these
facilities do not constitute a public or commercial building. John Blount has indicated the
County Attorney’s office determined these facilities were not exempt, but specific design
features could be developed. HCEC will establish a subcommittee to work with County or
plant specific criteria.
C. Discussion of Additional Harris County Issues.
HCFCD inspection process. Discussion of changes in the HCFCD inspection group staffing and
process including the following: The County indicated Jim Bereck heads the Development
Coordination/Inspection group at HCFCD. Committee members discussed multiple new affidavit
requirements. County indicated new requirements for Bonds (applied when the contractor obtains
permit) for construction within HCFCD right-of-way, and requirements for a right-of-entry for
construction activities (but no facilities) within HCFCD right-of-way. County agreed to provide a
short presentation at next agency meeting.
Page 2 of 3
A. CoH Plan Review Issues –
1. Draft title block. Title block should be posted on City web site today or tomorrow. A
spot for IMLS number has been added. Committee noted that engineers are not currently
provided the IMLS number. City will allow for a period of transition for conversion to the
new title block.
2. Receiving review comments requesting combined storm sewer and water easements.
Comments are received where storm sewer is located in street right-of-way and water line
is located adjacent to the storm outside right-of-way in water line easement. Committee
noted comments received are in conflict with Design Criteria (5.07A.1.a.) requiring water
line easements to be exclusive. Committee offered no technical objection (members recall
this was a City driven criteria), but recommends City go through a formal process of rule
change with comment from HCEC so that pros/cons are thoroughly explored. Jack
Sakolosky will check into the review comment.
3. Receiving comments that storm sewers should be routed around knuckle cul-de-sacs.
Committee noted that this comment came up several months ago, and Kathlie Bulloch
resolved the issue. Comment has been coming up again. Jack Sakolosky will check into
the review comment.
4. Notification is requested when construction plans are not signed after Thursday
walkthrough, so that engineer is aware if construction plans have not been routed to
Jack agreed engineer would be notified. Committee agreed this is not a
frequent occurrence.
B. Other Plan Review Items.
1. County review of drainage improvements. City will formally drop drainage review in the
ETJ when new Harris County drainage regulations go into effect (Nov. 1). At that time,
only two review plan sets will be required for ETJ projects (5 plan sets for projects inside
2. City acceptance of trash-rack storm water quality BMP – Subcommittee setting meeting.
Harris County agreed to provide technical backup to subcommittee.
3. 4” curb consideration by City. City considering 4-inch curb, specifically the following
 Safety – City checking with HPD on reports associated with existing 4-inch curb inside
 Reduction in drainage capacity – committee noted TP-101 Method 2 and 3 don’t take into
account the flow area below top-of-curb.
 Yard drains cut through curbs – “Pop-up” yard drains behind curbs (with no cut of curb)
are used in the County by most builders.
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C. Discussion of Additional City of Houston Issues.
1. Committee asked how City is handling calling slopes on plans for large diameter water
lines, as it is not noted as a requirement in the Design Criteria Manual. Jack Sakolosky
indicated City requires slopes on large diameter water lines based on the City’s Surface
Water Transmission Manual.
2. Committee noted comment was received that plan submittals would be received on
Thursdays during walk through. Jack Sakolosky indicates this is not the case. City and
Committee will discuss feasibility of self-registering plan submittal to reduce load on City
3. Committee noted still receiving telephone notice of plan pickup. City will move toward
email notification.
A. Confirm Title Reports are acceptable. Jennifer Ostlind confirmed City Planning would prefer a
“City Planning Letter”, but will continue to accept Title Reports.
B. City’s planning with respect to street name process. Jennifer Ostlind will determine outcome of
Marlene Gaffick’s discussions with the Mayor regarding street name management.
C. Other
1. City Planning considering a monthly (1-2 hour) presentation on Chapter 42 for
interested parties.
2. City Planning is working on improvements to the Brava markup software system to
improve communication of staff comments.
3. City Planning updating the IMLS system, with long-term goal of creating a GIS system.
4. The electronic check fee payment component is not yet functional.
A. Short Letter of Availability Subcommittee meeting following this meeting.
B. Lift Station Subcommittee – Norm Scholes making final revisions for coordination
meeting with Roger Whitney.
A. Next DS/PR Committee Meeting - Thursday, October 6, 2005– 7:30am, at Pate Engineers.
B. Next DS/PR Agency Meeting Tuesday at HCFCD – October 18, 2005 – 7:30am
C. Friday, October 21, 2005 – 11:30 am, HCEC Monthly Meeting at HESS.