What type of local government is The Woodlands Township?
The Woodlands Township is a governmental unit called a special purpose district. The authority and responsibilities of The Woodlands Township are specifically authorized through its enabling legislation, as defined by the State of Texas.
How is the authority and responsibility of the Township (a special purpose district) different than a city government?
The Township (as a special purpose district) relies on county government to provide basic services within The Woodlands such as roads, law enforcement, traffic management, traffic regulation, traffic enforcement and court services. Per its enabling legislation, the Township can only enhance (not supplant) basic services provided by other governmental agencies. The Township is allowed to make and enforce rules on property that it owns such as parks and pathways but cannot pass ordinances on property not owned by the Township.
A city government does not rely on the county government to provide most basic local government services. A city government is directly responsible for providing law enforcement services, roads, traffic management, traffic regulation, traffic enforcement, municipal court, land use regulation, development approval, and develops community regulations (ordinances).
For a more through response to these and other commonly asked questions, please visit the Incorporation study website.