FAQ: District Operations – General
1. What is the purpose of the Montrose Management District?
The mission of the Montrose Management District is to attract public and private investment, provide professional management to the area and enhance the economic well-being of the community. To assist with this mission, the District is empowered to finance projects and plans related to public safety, business and economic development, mobility and transportation, and beautification. The District also leverages local resources, public and private, to enhance the business environment and quality of life in the area. Graffiti abatement, police patrol services and business safety checks, mobile security cameras, street and bridge lighting and more, all fall within the mission of the District.
2. What laws govern the District’s formation and operation?
The Montrose Management District was created by the Texas Legislature, with consent granted by the Houston City Council. The District complies with a specific set of laws and governance requirements determined and enforced by the State of Texas.
3. Who pays the District’s tax assessments?
The Montrose Management District is funded through assessments on commercial property (not residential) existing within the District. A commercial property owner is required to pay on their assessed value as determined by the District’s Service & Assessment Plan. In 2016, the assessment rate is set at $0.125 per every $100 of assessed valuation.
4. What’s the truth behind reports that the District was formed illegally and is operating illegally?
The District operates under the laws and authority of the State of Texas. A lawsuit filed by a single taxpayer in 2012, challenging the legal authority of the district to form and assess taxes, has reached the next step in the legal process. The issue causing the most confusion with regards to the Nov. 28 ruling is that the document is titled “Final Judgment” when it fact it is subject to further action and appeal. On December 30, 2016, that Judgment was set aside by the trial court, while not dismissing the case. These decisions do not affect the validity or legality of the Montrose Management District. The District remains in operation.
5. What does the lawsuit filed on 1/4/17 mean?
The District views the lawsuit filed by 1620 Hawthorne Ltd. as simply another tactic undertaken by the plaintiff’s attorney to further a legal action going back more than five years. In all previous instances, rulings in these related legal actions have either been set aside by the trial judge, as it was in December 2016, or reversed on appeals. The District will be aggressively defending this lawsuit and is confident that it will prevail in the end.
6. Will current public projects be frozen until the case is finalized?
There are no plans to stop or otherwise change any of the District’s projects currently underway. The District will continue its mission while this case remains in the appeals process.
7. What is the leadership structure of the District?
The District’s Service, Improvement and Assessment Plan is set by an all-volunteer board of directors comprised of commercial property owners, or their representatives who own property subject to the assessment within the boundaries of the District. Board members serve 4-year, staggered terms and are appointed by the City of Houston, City Council.
10. What are some of the current initiatives of the District?
Security – The District has developed strategies and actions to enhance the level of public safety and security and regularly monitors and evaluates the results of programs and projects, while recommending steps for continuous improvement.
- The District has a dedicated Public Safety and Security program comprised of HPD officers called the Montrose District Patrol. They are proactive and responsive to suspicious situation and make arrests as appropriate. There are 16 Houston Police Offices that work part-time for the District and commonly referred to as the Montrose District Patrol.
The officers have relationships with and work closely with the large commercial property owners/managers in the area including multi-family communities and retail stores and banks. Additionally, they inspect parked vehicles using Burglary of a Motor Vehicle (BMV) report cards and provide other crime prevention material to local retail and commercial businesses. They also provide crime prevention presentations and conduct Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) surveys whenever needed.
- The mobile security camera program is used to assist property owners and police in historically high crime locations. They are primarily used for crime deterrence purposes; and, secondary to allow after-the-fact investigation of crimes that may have been committed within range of the systems. The cameras are internet accessible and document suspicious/criminal activity plus serve as a visual deterrent with police rated strobe lighting.
- The District’s Street Light Program is a crime deterrent used to ensure broken or inoperable street lights are replaced or repaired. Bi-monthly surveys of street lights are provided throughout the District and follow-up contacts are made to CenterPoint Energy.
- The District performs bandit sign removal on public rights-of-way as well as street sweeping.
- On behalf of property owners, the District advocates for regional security needs with county, city, educational, state and federal law enforcement agencies.
Mobility Initiatives and Visual Improvements – The District has several mobility and visual improvement projects underway. These improvements include:
- Bridge lighting improvements to be completed on the seven bridges in the Montrose area that cross US 59. This project will add a series of new and exciting elements to the Montrose landscape and reinforces recognition of Montrose as one of the most unique and desirable destinations in the Houston region.
- Installation of the stylized bike racks as part of a larger bicycle-realm improvement program.
- Implementation of the various facets of the Special Parking Area, including efforts to facilitate the best use of existing parking in the community while supporting strategic addition to the community’s parking inventory.
- Installation and maintenance a full complement of District identity markers at critical intersections and locations throughout Montrose.
- Complete and maintain enhancements to select District esplanades.
11. How can I learn more about the District?
The Board of Directors meets on the second Monday of each month. Board meetings are public meetings, and visitors are welcome to register and speak on matters of interest or concern pertaining to the District.
The meetings are held at 12:00 pm at:
The University of St. Thomas
Malloy Hall – Carol Tatkon boardroom
3800 Montrose Blvd.
Houston TX 77006
Parking garage address: 3807 Graustark, Houston, TX 77006
Additionally, committee meetings are also held as follows:
- Public Safety & Security Committee – 4th Wednesday at 9:00 at District offices.
- Business & Economic Development Committee – 4th Wednesday in the 2nd floor lobby conference room of Prosperity Bank at District office location.
- Marketing & Business Relations Committee – meets as needed.
- Finance Committee – 2nd Monday of the month at 11:00 just prior to the board meeting (location of board meeting noted above).
- Mobility Initiatives & Visual Improvements Committee – 1st Monday at 11:00 at the District offices.
The Districts offices are located at 5020 Montrose, Suite 311, Houston, TX 77006.