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Posted on: October 29, 2021

The Woodlands Township Board meets, highlights annexation and Incorporation matters

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THE WOODLANDS, TEXAS (October 29, 2021) – The Woodlands Township Board of Directors held its regular meeting on Wednesday, October 27, 2021, at The Woodlands Township Townhall and discussed Incorporation election information, annexation and other topics. 

One key topic discussed was annexation regarding the Incorporation vote. Several board members have heard that Incorporation means The Woodlands would be annexed into the City of Houston if voters choose to incorporate. This information is incorrect. On the ballot in front of The Woodlands Township voters is whether to remain as a special purpose district or to incorporate as a City of The Woodlands. 

The Board also had discussion regarding annexation and if The Woodlands could be annexed by either Houston or Conroe. "We have received many questions from residents asking about annexation,” Chairman Gordy Bunch said. “This is information they are seeing on social media or in mailboxes. There’s a belief that we’re 100% protected from forced annexation based on a 2017 state law.” 

Chairman Bunch illustrated at the board meeting that a community in North Texas (Castle Hills) shows an example that the state law did not come into play and that the community is being annexed next month. “There is a lot of debate over annexation in the public, but now we have a living example of the City of Lewisville executing against an older contract and annexing Castle Hills without voter approval,” he said. 

As a background, The Woodlands Township entered into Regional Participation Agreements (RPAs) with the Cities of Houston and Conroe in 2007 that provide, among other things, that neither city will annex any part of the Township for 50 years, provided the RPAs remain in effect. In the 2017 regular Session, the Texas Legislature amended the state’s annexation laws in Ch. 43, Tex. Local Gov’t Code, to eliminate most of the authority of a home rule city to unilaterally annex adjoining territory. The new law requires that in order to annex territory that cities such as Houston and Conroe must obtain consent of the owners of the area proposed for annexation, typically by an election but by petition under some circumstances. 

The Board sought a legal opinion regarding annexation in 2018 regarding the 2017 state law and its impact on The Woodlands Township’s agreements with the cities of Houston and Conroe. That opinion states, “The risk of forced annexation of all or part of The Woodlands by Houston or Conroe has been reduced but not eliminated. Arguments exist that execution of the RPAs in 2007 bound the parties to terms for annexation based on the law then in effect or that the RPAs constitute The Township’s consent to annexation after 2057.”   View the full legal opinion. 

In other business, the Board read two proclamations. The first honored Veterans Day coming up on November 11, 2021, and the second was read in support of The Woodlands Recycles Day on November 13, 2021. The Township will sponsor events on both days. 

 On the Consent Agenda, the Board: 

  • Approved the minutes of the September 16, 2021 Regular Meeting, the September 22, 2021 Regular Meeting, the September 23, 2021 Special Incorporation Informational Meeting, and the September 30, 2021 Special Meeting for the  Board of Directors of The Woodlands Township; 
  • Approved a Veteran's Memorial Tile Program Agreement with Greater Woodlands Public Art Foundation for The Way Home Monument (C-2021-0195);  
  • Accepted a proposal to replace the aquatic recreation amenities at the swimming pools at Windvale Park (C-2021-0292), Cranebrook Park (C-2021-0293), and Forestgate Park (C-2021-0294);  

On the Regular Agenda, the Board: 

  • Discussed emergency authorities related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  
  • Discussed Incorporation Planning Study matters. 
  • Received a quarterly update on Law Enforcement;  
  • Received a quarterly update from Visit The Woodlands (Convention & Visitors Bureau);  
  • Received a report on the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award and the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting received by The Woodlands Township from the Government Finance Officers Association; 
  • Received and accepted the financial report;  

For more information on The Woodlands Township, or to view the meeting in its entirety, please visit www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov, or call 281-210-3800.  

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