Developing and selling property for residential or commercial building projects often requires the relocation of City facilities, including street right-of-way and underground utilities, or approval of encroachments into streets or alleys. In the City of Houston, such requests are processed by the Joint Referral Committee (JRC), which consists of representatives of the following departments:
- Houston Public Works: City Engineer (Utilities, ROW/Traffic), Utility Analysis, Real Estate Services (coordinates as Chair for Houston Public Works Director), Transportation and Drainage Operations
- Planning and Development
The JRC reviews all abandonment and encroachment requests to ensure continued mobility and adequate access to our water, wastewater, and storm sewer utilities. The work of the JRC is part of the important balance between facilitating growth and development, while safeguarding the City's ability to efficiently provide services to ratepayers and taxpayers.
The various transaction types available for processing through the JRC, and their respective descriptions, are referenced below. Please read the descriptions carefully to determine the type of transaction required to accomplish your goal, as selecting the wrong transaction will delay the process. If you need assistance, please contact us at (832) 395-3122 to discuss your situation. Each transaction also includes a “Best Practices Tips” sheet with recommendations that may help you reduce the processing time of your transaction, a flow chart of the typical steps in the transaction, and a fillable application with instructions. To ensure prompt processing of your application, please follow all instructions attached to each application. Applications are accepted every Thursday, from 9am to 12 pm, on the 19th floor of the Bob Lanier Public Works Building, 611 Walker. Accepted applications will normally be placed on the JRC’s Agenda for discussion on the second Tuesday following the application submittal and acceptance date.
Applications are considered in light of State laws (generally Local Government Code Section 272.001) and City Ordinances (Chapter 2-237, etc.). In considering requests, emphasis is placed on what is in the best interest of the citizens of Houston and whether there is a current or future public need for the City facility and property which are the subject of the request.
The JRC does not process all requests for city-owned property.
- If you are looking for information about property currently for sale by the City, such as lots and acreage, please visit the General Services Department website.
- If you are looking for information about foreclosed properties please contact Linebarger, Goggan, Blair and Sampson, LLP Attorneys at Law (http://www.publicans.com/), at (713) 844-3400.
If you do not see information about the type of transaction you wish to pursue among the transactions listed below, please email us at [email protected] or call us at (832) 395-3122.