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LETTER: Smart growth means sensible regulation

September 16, 2017

I am thrilled to see the opinions expressed about balancing the need for sensible growth with sensible regulations [Editorial: Zoning rules have their place, Sept. 4]. Building in areas that are prone to flooding and hurricane damage require excellent green infrastructure to mitigate known risks. Houston was built on swamps and bayous and when these areas were paved over, the water had no place to go but over roads and through buildings. This has led to much suffering for all.

As I look at new development locally, we need to plan for periods of flooding and drought. Many businesses have large amounts of impervious surfaces on their rooftops and parking lots with no areas to allow for natural drainage to wetlands or corridors planted with native species that filter harmful substances and clean the water before it enters the storm sewer system.

Removing mature native trees increases our urban heat islands, as well as pollution of our air and water.

There is a lot of excellent science that is available to city and state planners that will be a win-win for citizens and industry alike. 

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Mary Blackburn

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