Scenic Texas Awards the 2011 Texas Certified Scenic Cities

Scenic Texas awarded the 2011 Texas Certified Scenic Cities on October 13, 2o11.  The awards ceremony was held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Houston, Texas.  Houston Mayor Annise Parker was on hand to help Executive Director of the Scenic Cities Program, Anne Culver present the awards.  The mission of the Scenic City Certification Program is to support and recognize Texas municipalities that implement high-quality scenic standards for public roadways and public spaces, with the long-term goal of improving the image of all cities.

Here are the 2011 honorees along with a few notable achievements:

Platinum Winners

Fairview

  • Received full points for on-premises sign regulations
  • Maintains historical sites throughout the town, along the railroad route that used to run through the town
  • Demonstrates model lighting regulations
  • All own construction projects must include public art
Frisco
  • Received full points for utility and cable line program
  • Has over 10 separate districts with clear and distinct unity-of-design standards
  • Has an ordinance that maintains a percentage of capital project funds be used for public art
Gold Winners
Benbrook
  • Received full points for streetscape development & landscaping criteria
  • Has very strict on and off-premises signage regulation
  • One of 11 cities in the state to receive a certificate of planning excellence from the American Plannig Association
Buda
  • Received full points for landscaping in parking lots
  • Has 5 special districts- including a historic district
  • Has strict “dark skies” regulations
  • Meets national standards 0f 10 acres of park per 1,000 citizens
Cedar Hill
  • Is a “Tree City USA” and has been for several years
  • Received full points for on-premises sign regulations
  • Has a walking tour that highlights the historic district of the city
  • Organizes two community cleanup projects every year
Pearland
  • Has a historic district with specially made signage to enhance the historic feel
  • Is a tree city USA- through strict ordinances and hard work  by the Urban Forester
  • Electronic signage is specifically prohibited in all districts
  • Meets national standards of 10 acre of park per 1,000 citizens
Roanoke
  • Received full points for landscaping in parking lots and utility and cable line program
  • Has a very strict “dark skies” ordinance
  • Has a very active, pedestrian friendly, historic downtown
Silver Winners
Heath
  • Received full points for off-premises signage regulations
  • Has a very clear process of disposal for hazardous household waste
  • Has a storm water management program
Mansfield
  • Received full points for parks, trails and public spaces regulations
  • Has a historic preservation ordinance
  • Requires landscaping on private residential property
  • Requires that all utility lines be installed underground
North Richland Hills
  • Received full points for landscaping in parking lots
  • Has a historic district
  • Has a vast public art program- including art on utility infrastructure to reduce blight
Trophy Club
  • Has stringent off-premises signage control
  • Has park set-aside ordinance
  • Has distinctive median landscaping program
Bronze Winners
Horseshoe Bay
  • Reapplied this year and improved its standing
  • No existing billboards
  • Requires that all utilities be placed underground
  • Received full points for on and off-premises signage regulations
Hutto
  • On January 1, the city adopted a largely new Unified Development Code that will “remake” Hutto’s streetscapes- in fact, it is basically based on these new codes and ordinances that Hutto was qualified to apply and be certified under this program
  • New code or not, nothing changes the fact that Hutto is replete with little “Hutto Hippos” all over town that are allowed as on-premise signage
Sealy
  • Strong focus on infrastructure
  • All utility lines must be underground
  • Has strict ordinances to create drainage for storm runoff
  • Has a program to financially support local businesses to improve unity of design in the downtown sector
Recognized Cities
Grapevine
  • Very strict off-premises signage control
  • Has park set-aside ordinance for development
  • Has stringent landscaping and tree preservation ordinances
McAllen
  • Has 13 different zoning districts
  • Has 3 detention facilities to prevent flooding
  • Has a citywide graffiti removal program that removes graffiti on private land free of charge
  • Has a historic preservation program
2012 applications can be submitted beginning January 1, 2012.  For more information or to apply, visit us online atwww.sceniccitycertification.org

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