Blame Harvey’s Torrential Rain, Not Development, for Massive Flooding, Planning Experts Say

Washington Examiner discusses development in Houston in regards to Hurrican Harvey with Marc Scribner.

Houston’s relaxed approach to development should not be blamed for the destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey, an unprecedented storm that dumped as much as 50 inches of rain on the city, say planning experts and engineers.

Marc Scribner, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, says Houston is not completely devoid of development regulations even though it lacks a formal zoning code. He says Houston’s geography makes it prone to flooding.

“While Houston lacks the single-use zoning code common for generations in American cities, it does impose minimum lot size requirements on single-family homes, minimum off-street parking requirements, and other regulations that encourage outward urban growth and impermeable pavement coverage,” Scribner said in an email to the Washington Examiner. “In addition, Houston is low-lying, very flat, and sits on a layer of soil rich in clay, natural factors that limit drainage.”

Read the full article at Washington Examiner.