Tomball – Magnolia Edition | July 2022

TOMBALL MAGNOLIA EDITION

2022

ONLINE AT

REAL ESTATE EDITION

VOLUME 12, ISSUE 10 JULY 23AUG. 26, 2022

Cities target overcrowding with lot sizes, impact fees

Rental reach

28%

38%

29%

BY KAYLI THOMPSON

of Harris County homes sold in 2021 were bought by institutional investors.

of Montgomery County homes sold in 2021 were bought by institutional investors.

of homes in Texas were bought by real estate investment trusts in 2021, with Texas leading the nation.

The cities of Tomball and Magnolia are working to maintain managed, controlled growth with larger lot sizes and increased impact fees, policies that could also aect housing aordability for future prospec- tive homeowners. Tomball City Council voted unanimously April 18 to oppose an ordinance change that would have allowed 4,950-square-foot single-family lots in a David Weekley Homes proposed development on 70 acres at FM 2920 and FM 2978. CONTINUED ON 27 LOTS OF LITTLE LOTS Homebuyers across the U.S. are increasingly purchasing homes on lots spanning less than 7,000 square feet.

The Williams Trace subdivision, located in Magnolia ISD, built and leased 66 homes in 2020. In 2022, 57 homes in the subdivision are owned and managed by companies connected with the investment rm The Amherst Group.

JISHNU NAIRCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

SOURCES: NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS, MONTGOMERY CENTRAL APPRAISAL DISTRICT, MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE, JANE HARDCASTLE REALTYCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Percentage of homes sold on less than 7,000 sq. ft.

Investors contributing to rise in rentals Large investment rms are converting sin- gle-family homes to rentals and building commu- nities to rent in the Tomball and Magnolia area to help meet the rising rental demand, while the housing shortage is driving more people to rent in the Houston area, real estate experts said. The Houston Association of Realtors reported June 15 the number of leased single-family home rentals in the Houston area increased 24.8% from May 2021 to May 2022. While rising mortgages and low inventory are contributing to the trend, experts said potential homebuyers are also facing competi- tion from real estate investment rms, or institu- tional buyers, buying properties to sell or lease. CONTINUED ON 24 BY RACHEL CARLTON & JISHNU NAIR

33% 36% 36% 34% 38% 38% 38% 38% 42% 43% 45%

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021

SOURCE: U.S. CENSUS BUREAU SURVEY OF CONSTRUCTIONCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

REAL ESTATE EDITION 2022

SPONSORED BY • ROC Homes

MULTIFAMILY RISING REAL ESTATE DATA

19 17

IMPACTS

6 STATION BREAKS GROUND

VAQUERO GRILL

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TOMBALL – MAGNOLIA EDITION • JULY 2022

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THIS ISSUE

ABOUT US

Owners John and Jennifer Garrett launched the rst edition of Community Impact Newspaper in 2005 with three full-time employees covering Round Rock and Pugerville, Texas. Now in 2022, CI is still locally owned. We have expanded to include hundreds of employees, our own software platform and printing facility, and over 30 hyperlocal editions across the state with a circulation to more than 2.4 million residential mailboxes.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THIS MONTH

FROM CHRISSY: The real estate market has been great for those wanting to sell, but for buyers, this market has posed many challenges. Inside you’ll nd our 2022 Real Estate Edition. We hear from local experts providing updates on the real estate market, home improvement tips, information on homestead exemptions and multifamily communities. Chrissy Leggett, GENERAL MANAGER

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FROM ANNA: Students and teachers will be returning to school in just a few weeks. As we look forward to the upcoming school year, the Lone Star College-Creekside Center in Tomball is preparing for a grand reopening and expanding its library services oered there. See Page 11 for more, and keep an eye out for our annual Education Edition in August as we dive into the top stories in education. Anna Lotz, SENIOR EDITOR

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TOMBALL MAGNOLIA EDITION • JULY 2022

IMPACTS

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon, relocating or expanding

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TAMINA RD.

249 TOLL

RESEARCH FOREST DR.

1488

2978

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Dutch Bros Coee

COURTESY DUTCH BROS COFFEE

COMMERCE ST.

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and more. 281-789-7199. Facebook: All American Burger.BBQ 5 Burkes Outlet in Tomball celebrated its grand opening July 14. The store is located at 27714 Business 249, Tomball, next to Hobby Lobby. Burkes Outlet oers customers brand-name apparel, ac- cessories and home goods at up to 70% o prices, the company’s website states. https://stores.burkesoutlet.com/tx/tom- ball/outlet-store-220.html 6 The Dripbar IV Vitamin Therapy opened at 5417 FM 1488, Ste. C, Magnolia, on June 13, owner Amanda Hernandez said. The Dripbar specializes in IV vitamin therapy oering 20 dierent specialty drips along with the ability to customize based on a client’s needs. Some of the drips include the power pack, which is the most popular; rm, which is a beauty drip; and immunity-building drips. The Magno- lia location is oering 50% o plus a free B12 quick shot for rst-time clients along with discounted memberships through July. 832-476-4246. www.thedripbar.com/ locations/magnolia-tx 7 GingerSnaps Boutique at Creekside opened at 24504 Kuykendahl Road, Tomball, on June 16, according to owner Betty Walker. The boutique oers eclec- tic clothing with artistic designs, she said. 832-843-3733. www.facebook.com/ GingerSnaps.Creekside 8 Sephora held its grand opening July 6 inside Kohl’s located at 22529 Hwy. 249, Houston. Sephora at Kohls oers an assortment of makeup, skin care, hair and fragrance brands. There are also beauty advisers oering personal consultations and assistance with nding products. 281-257-3908. www.kohls.com

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TM; © 2022 COMMUNITY IMPACT CO. LICENSING, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

NOW OPEN 1 Dutch Bros Coee celebrated its grand opening July 8 in Tomball. Located at 27657 Business 249, Tomball, the Oregon-based drive-thru coee compa- ny serves specialty coee, smoothies, freezes, teas, a private-label Dutch Bros Blue Rebel energy drink and nitrogen-in- fused cold brew coee. The company has a location poised to open in 2023 in Willis as well. www.dutchbros.com

2 Southern Pineapple Boutique opened at 722 W. Main St., Tomball, on July 9, according to owner Breann Wil- liams. The boutique oers women’s cloth- ing and accessories along with a full-ser- vice hair salon and airbrush tanning. www.southernpineappleboutique.com 3 Pichurro’s Mexican Grill opened at 24026 Kuykendahl Road, Ste. 100, Tom- ball, on June 25, according to owner Ivan Aguado. The restaurant serves traditional Tex-Mex dishes, including fajitas, enchila-

das, burritos, nachos and queso. The new restaurant was celebrated with a grand opening and specials. 346-236-6990. Facebook: Pichurro’s Mexican Grill 4 All American Burgers, BBQ, Beers — located at 18535 FM 1488, Magnolia— opened May 4, according to co-owner Joe Duong. Duong and his son Caleb are the former owners of The Shack, a burger restaurant in Cy-Fair. All American oers craft burgers, chicken sandwiches, bris- ket, pulled pork, tacos, wings, milkshakes

open 24/7 walk-in NO WAIT

32784 FM 2978 Magnolia, TX 77354

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMPILED BY ANNA LOTZ, JISHNU NAIR & KAYLI THOMPSON

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Heirloom Cafe and Market in Tomball opened July 8 and oers breakfast, brunch and lunch items along with coee, tea and smoothies.

Sephora

The Turquoise Door

COURTESY HEIRLOOM CAFE AND MARKET

FEATURED IMPACT COMING SOON Matthew Brantner and Billy Schiel will open Honor Society Coee Co. this fall in September or October, the business owners said. The coee shop will be located at 105 Houston St., Tomball, and oer a small food menu, indoor and outdoor space, bagged coee and merchandise in addition to a drink menu. The duo said they hope to oer events at the shop, such as markets and music, and eventually oer evening hours. They also plan to partner with other local small businesses to oer food products, such as baked goods and smoked meats, on the menu. Schiel said he began roasting coee in 2013 and set up at the Tomball Farmers Market. In 2021, Schiel said he began Honor Society Coee Co. online while stuck at home during the pandemic. FEATURED IMPACT NOW OPEN Heirloom Cafe and Market opened July 8 at 30522 Hwy. 249, Tomball, according to owner Carrie Roper. It is celebrating its opening with free sweet treats for the rest of July. The cafe serves breakfast, brunch and lunch along with coee, tea and smoothies. There are also ready-to-go meals; a bagged lunch station; local produce, baked goods and products;

COURTESY KOHL’S

COURTESY THE TURQUOISE DOOR

HARDIN STORE RD.

COMING SOON 9 Tomball will have a new cafe at 11960 Spring Cypress Road in early August, when Kolache Kafe is set to open, according to co-owner Stephen Ewald. He described the business oerings as “a range of gourmet breakfast pastries, treats and coee.” Ewald said the cafe’s coee will be sourced from Houston Coee Roasters. www.kolachekafe.com 10 The Seattle-based pizza chain MOD Pizza is conrmed to open a new location in Magnolia at the end of November, according to Marketing Director Charlotte Wayte. In an email to Community Impact Newspaper , Wayte conrmed the store will be 2,800 square feet and feature a drive-thru. MOD Pizza is known for its nine individually sized classic pizzas as well as its build-your-own option, which patrons can customize with more than 30 toppings and eight sauce options. Wayte said the company’s led address was 13646 FM 1488. www.modpizza.com 11 Graceview Christian School will open in August, beginning with kinder- garten students in the 2022-23 school year and adding one grade level each subsequent year. The school is located on the campus of Graceview Baptist Church at 21206 Telge Road, Tomball, and builds on Graceview Early Learning Center, which was founded in 1988 and is open to children as young as 6 weeks old. The church was previously located at the Grand Parkway and Hwy. 249 but relocated to Telge Road in November. The school year will begin Aug. 15, and families can apply for admission. 281-357-1121. www.graceviewcs.org

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12 The Kiddie Academy will open in the fall at 11767 FM 1488, Magnolia, owner Jody Garner said. The academy oers a learning environment and curriculum to allow children to explore and progress at their own pace. It nurtures imagination, fosters creativity, and prepares them for school and life. Programs are available for ages 6 weeks-kindergarten along with summer camps for ages 5-12. 936-286-3212. www.kiddieacademy.com/ academies/magnolia ANNIVERSARIES 13 403 Eats celebrated its ve-year anniversary June 1, according to owner Gretchen Fagan. The food truck park at 403 E. Main St., Tomball, is about to add an expansion with a stage and additional restrooms. It has ve food trucks, live music, karaoke and bingo. 281-330-4538. www.403eats.com 14 The Turquoise Door celebrated its 10th anniversary June 24, according to owner Jamie Carlton. The boutique opened in downtown Tomball at 314 Market St. on June 1, 2012, and oers clothing, accessories, gifts and home decor. 281-255-4255. www.turquoisedoorboutique.com NAME CHANGES 15 Tomball Bowl changed its name to Tomball Entertainment Center on March 30, according to owner Janet Holmes. The entertainment center located at 14435 FM 2920, Tomball, oers league bowling, open bowling and neon nights along with an arcade, pool tables, food and a bar. 281-351-1831. www.tomballbowl.com

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and specialty gift baskets and catering services. 713-582-5052. www.heirloom-tx.com

Honor Society Coee Co. is under construction on Houston Street in Old Town Tomball.

COURTESY BILLY SCHIEL

www.facebook.com/ honorsocietycoeeco

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TOMBALL MAGNOLIA EDITION • JULY 2022

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TODO LIST

July-August events

COMPILED BY PEYTON MACKENZIE

JULY 31 ATTEND A VENDOR MARKET Attendees can bring chairs and listen to live music, shop from small- business vendors and purchase adult beverages. A playground and games will be available for kids as well as face painting and balloons. The event is dog friendly. Noon-5 p.m. Free. 2130 S. Persimmon Lane, Tomball. www.facebook.com/paradigmbrew AUGUST 01 ENJOY A BACKTOSCHOOL BASH IN MAGNOLIA Society of Samaritans will be hosting a back-to-school bash. Children can receive free backpacks, food, clothing, health screenings and haircuts. Crafts and prizes will be available. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. (while supplies last). Free. 31355 Friendship Drive, Magnolia. www.facebook.com/ societyofsamaritans 03 WATCH A SUMMER MOVIE Harris County Precinct 4 hosts summer movie nights with subtitles for guests who are hard of hearing. “Monsters, Inc.” will be shown. Children’s crafts and popcorn will be available at no cost. Picnic blankets and chairs

learn strategy from other players. 1:30 p.m. Free (admission). 832-559-4200. www.hcpl.net/events/64357. 13 VISIT AN OPEN HOUSE Extreme Performing Arts Center will host an open house for recreational dancers and parents. The open house will include doughnuts, a bounce house and face painting. Attendees will get to tour the facility and meet instructors. 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. Free. 410 Honea Egypt Road, Magnolia. 936-321-1822 13 WATCH A MOVIE OUTDOORS Second Saturday at The Depot returns with an outdoor showing of “Stuart Little.” Guests are invited to bring snacks, lawn chairs and blankets. The movie begins at dusk. 8:15 p.m. Free. Tomball Depot Plaza, 201 S. Elm St., Tomball. 281-351-5484. www.tomballtx.gov 21 ATTEND A HOME SHOW The Montgomery County Home and Outdoor living show oers home goods, decor and artisan furniture. Teachers get in half o; rst responders, military personnel and veterans get in free. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. $7. Lone Star Convention and Expo Center, 9055 Airport Road, Conroe. www.texwoodshows.com

are recommended. 7 p.m. Free. Zube Park, Pavilion No. 2, 17813 Becker Road, Hockley. www.hcp4.net/events/ p4movies 05 CATCH FIREWORKS, A PARADE IN TOMBALL The Greater Tomball Area Chamber of Commerce will be hosting its 50th annual Tomball Night. The event will consist of shopping, live entertainment, giveaways and children’s activities. A parade of lights will begin at 9:15 p.m. A health expo will be from 5-8 p.m. Free. Downtown Tomball. www.tomballchamber.org 06 ATTEND A GALA The Texans United for Freedom Foundation will be presenting a Stars at Night gala to honor local rst responders. The event will feature live music as well as Sgt. Major Matt Williams, a Medal of Honor recipient, as the guest speaker. 7-11 p.m. $125. 6606 FM 1488, Magnolia. https://e.givesmart.com/events/r0k 06 & 20 PLAY POKEMON AT THE LSCTOMBALL LIBRARY The LSC-Tomball Community Library will be hosting an all-ages Pokemon league event sponsored by the Magnolia City Pokemon Gym. Attendees will get to participate in playing the card game and

AUG. 20

JOIN A KIDS TRIATHLON FOR AGES 515

Friendswood Development Co. hosts its annual Woodtrace Wilderness Kids Triathlon in two age categories—ages 5-10 and ages 11-15. The race will consist of swimming, bike riding and running. Proceeds benet Decker Prairie Elementary School. 7:30 a.m. (ages 5-10), 8:30 a.m. (ages 11-15). $50-$60 (race entry). 34010 Highland Terrace Lane, Pinehurst. www.woodtracewildernesskidstri.com (Courtesy Friendswood Development Co.)

Find more or submit Tomball or Magnolia events at communityimpact.com/event-calendar. Event organizers can submit local events online to be considered for the print edition. Submitting details for consideration does not guarantee publication.

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TOMBALL MAGNOLIA EDITION • JULY 2022

TRANSPORTATION UPDATES

PROJECT UPDATES

Two connectors at Hwy. 249, Grand Parkway open

The Harris County Toll Road Authority opened two of four direct connector ramps to drivers in mid-July.

NOW OPEN

99 TOLL

Completed In progress

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BY ANNA LOTZ

Two of the four direct connectors under construction between the Grand Parkway and Tomball Tollway in Tomball opened the weekend of July 16 following major road closures, according to Roxana Sibrian, media relations manager for the Harris County Toll Road Authority. The connector ramp from east- bound on the Grand Parkway to southbound on the Tomball Tollway and the connector between the west- bound Grand Parkway and south- bound Tomball Tollway are now open while construction continues on the remaining connectors. In March 2020, the HCTRA started

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Telge Road widening Harris County Precinct 3 is re-

evaluating plans for the widening of Telge Road from Louetta Road to north of the Grand Parkway. Plans previously included widening Telge to four lanes, improved drainage, and new or upgraded trac signals. Following redistricting, ocials are re-evaluating plans to maximize eciency. The design phase is slated to start in the third quarter of this year. The portion from north of the Grand Parkway to FM 2920 remains in Precinct 4. Timeline: TBD Cost: TBD Funding source: Harris County

ANNA LOTZCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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SOURCE: HARRIS COUNTY TOLL ROAD AUTHORITYCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

the project, which will provide northbound drivers on the tolled lanes of Hwy. 249 a direct route to east and west on the Grand Parkway and drivers traveling on the Grand

Parkway a direct connection to southbound Hwy. 249 when the $92 million project is complete. The HCTRA did not provide an opening date for the remaining connectors.

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TxDOT seeking public input on FM 1488 widening near Waller

New contract approved for Magnolia route

BY JISHNU NAIR

Montgomery County commissioners approved a $120,000 contract June 14 with WBA Engineers and Surveyors relating to the Magnolia Relief Route project. The planned four- lane divided roadway would loop north around the city from Hwy. 249 to west of Old Hempstead Road at FM 1488, Community Impact Newspa- per previously reported. The scope of services detailed in the contract allows for the preparation of cost estimates as well as

1488

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The Texas Department of Transportation will hold an in-person public meeting with a virtual option in August for a proposed widening project on FM 1488 between Busi- ness 290 in Waller and Joseph Road just west of Magnolia. The project proposes realigning curves and widening the road to a four-lane, divided roadway between Business 290 and Joseph Road, according to TxDOT.

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ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF JULY 15. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT TOMNEWSCOMMUNITYIMPACT.COM. was 41% complete as of June 1. Timeline: Nov. 23, 2020-rst quarter 2023 Cost: $30.24 million Funding source: TxDOT FM 1488 widening The Texas Department of Transporta- tion is widening FM 1488 to four lanes between Joseph Road and FM 1774. It

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coordination with the Texas Department of Transporta- tion on advanced funding agreements and right-of-way

DATES TO KNOW:

Aug. 2 at 5 p.m.: virtual presentation posted at www.txdot.gov Aug. 4 from 5-7 p.m. : public meeting at Fields Store Elementary, 31670 Giboney Road, Waller

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

HIGHER EDUCATION

LSCCreekside Center prepares for grand reopening, new programs

OPENED IN 2016 15 ACRES 85,000 SQUARE FEET

BY ANDREW CHRISTMAN

a sense of normalcy.” As of June 22, the event space for the library had begun renova- tions in preparation for the grand reopening date. Carter said the dental assistant program is being added due to the high demand from the surrounding community. The college’s technology systems are also being revamped to include education on virtual reality, and the center has seen an increased demand for the ESOL program, Carter said. “We just want to provide a service for anyone who needs assistance in getting over that hump with their career or if they want a program that gets them into the workforce upon graduation,” Carter said. When the coronavirus pandemic started, LSCS shifted to a hybrid model of in-person and virtual classes. Going virtual had been a detriment to the center, Carter said. “Our biggest thing is to create an extraordinary experience for stu- dents and community members,” he said. “Sometimes virtual things are good to meet needs, but it does not fulll the full [needs] of a student.” LSCCreekside Center’s grand reopening is anticipated to be the rst in a series of annual community- based events, he said. “We want to … kick o in the community to continue to service the community,” Carter said. “New things come every year, and as things come available, we want the community to stay abreast.”

Lone Star College-Creekside Center is planning a celebration Oct. 27 to remind The Woodlands and Tom- ball communities of the resources available at the center as well as highlighting new programs that are starting in the fall. “We kind of get lost in the shue, and there are a lot of people that do not know we are here,” said Emmitt Carter, assistant dean of student success at LSCCreekside Center. “We want the community to know we are here for them and we have resources for them.” The LSCCreekside Center opened in 2016 and is renovating as it pre- pares to launch several new programs to reintroduce the facility. Among the changes available on the campus is a grab-and-go station with free snacks and toiletries. Carter said the station was added in May, and it is there to help students and community members. Along with existing Associate of Arts and Science degrees as well as workforce, business administration and English Speakers of Other Lan- guages programs, the LSCCreekside Center is adding a dental assistant program this fall and expanding its library services as part of the Harris County Public Library network. “I just conrmed that on Dec. 7, we are bringing back Santa for our children’s resource library,” Carter said. “With COVID[-19], it has been a long time since they have been able to have that event. It helps bring back

Lone Star College-Creekside Center is holding a grand reopening event in October to highlight new programs and what is available to community members.

ANDREW CHRISTMANCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

PROGRAMS OFFERED

In addition to current services, LSC-Creekside Center will add a dental assistant program this year and expand some other services.

Workforce programs

Business administration program

Associate of Arts and Science degrees

English Speakers of Other Languages program

Dental assistant program

Library services expanding

8747 W. NEW HARMONY TRAIL, TOMBALL

DATES TO KNOW The LSC-Creekside Center is hosting various events with dates for students and community members to plan for in the coming months. July 26: iHigh School registration event Aug. TBD: iHigh School registration Oct. 27: Grand reopening event

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SOURCE: LONE STAR COLLEGE SYSTEMCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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TOMBALL MAGNOLIA EDITION • JULY 2022

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

EDUCATION Fourth group of students slated for Tomball ISD’s growing dual-language program

READING IN A SECOND LANGUAGE Data shows students who are enrolled in the dual-language program have seen improvements in their ability to read independently in a second language.

Start of 2021-22 school year

End of 2021-22 school year

BY KAYLI THOMPSON

English-speaking students and 152 Spanish-speaking students who learn in English and Spanish at the same time, Webb said. All interested Spanish-speaking students are accepted into the program as there are not as many interested as English-speaking students, who must apply and are chosen at random for a spot in the program, Arteaga said. Communications Director Allison Suarez said all elementary students in TISD are welcome to apply. However, those accepted must attend Rosehill Elementary School, where the program takes place. Students receive math and social studies education in English, while science is taught in Spanish and reading language arts is taught in both languages, according to Arteaga. “[The students] are amazing. If you go in their classrooms, I can talk to them in Spanish; they can

Percent of students reading independently in second language

Tomball ISD’s Two-Way Dual Language program is exceeding the district’s expectations with students on the waitlist who want to join, Mul- tilingual Programs Director Brenda Arteaga said. “Not only are our students growing in both languages, but we also have grown our waitlist for the program ensuring that the program will always have extensive interest and will continue to flourish. The results for our students will be far reaching and expand into their preparedness for college and careers, bolstering their employability and giving them lifelong skills,” she said in an email. The program has 304 students spanning across 17 classrooms, Chief Academic Officer Michael Webb said during a presentation to the TISD board of trustees at the June 13 workshop meeting. The dual-language program has 152

English-speaking group (Spanish reading)

Spanish-speaking group (English reading)

43% 89%

83% 99%

86%100%

68% 93%

73% 92%

84% 97%

understand everything that I’m saying. They can have a conver- sation with me; they can read to me; their writing is great; and it’s both English[-speaking] and Span- ish[-speaking] students,” Arteaga said during the meeting. The program began in the 2019-20 school year with kindergartners. The fourth group of students is slated to start in the 2022-23 school year, according to the presentation. 2nd grade SOURCE: TOMBALL ISD/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER 1st grade Kindergarten

Kindergarten

1st grade

2nd grade

The first group—which just finished second grade—is independently reading in the second language at 97% for Spanish-speaking students and 100% for English-speaking stu- dents, according to Arteaga. Both of these groups were below 90% at the beginning of the 2021-22 school year. Webb said for the program to fully allow students to be bilingual, students need five to seven years of instruction in both languages.

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TOMBALL – MAGNOLIA EDITION • JULY 2022

CITY & COUNTY

News from Tomball & Harris and Montgomery counties

Judge, staff in place as County Court at Law 6 prepares for cases

County Court at Law 6 will begin taking cases in September. The court was approved in 2021 to ease the burden on other county courts. CARRYING THE CASELOAD

handled misdemeanor cases with each one taking the responsibility for two years. “[The judges] felt the need for a juvenile home court was there, so they created CCL 6 with a dual docket,” Valdez said. “We’ve had three amazing judges take the docket, but [the new judge] will help with consistency and continuity.” Commissioners Court documents obtained by Community Impact Newspaper showed the planned staff will include a court administrator, a court coordinator, a court reporter, two court clerks and a staff attorney in addition to the judge. The total cost of implementation will be $120,491.90 from the fiscal year 2021-22 budget, while the expected impact on the FY 2022-23 budget for salaries and benefits is $652,000, according to Budget Officer Amanda Carter.

The year County Court at Law 5 was added, the newest county court at law at the time 2007 The projected impact of County Court at Law 6 on the county’s fiscal year 2022-23 budget $652,000 The number of staffers approved, including Judge Scharlene Valdez, for the new court 7

BY JISHNU NAIR

Services Department has helped prepare her for the new role. “I’m very ready to continue with the fine work the county attorney’s office has done, … and I’m eager to implement new policies and proce- dures where they see fit,” Valdez said. “I believe my family law background and my CPS background will bode very well for this court.” The court was created in early 2021 to lower the average civil caseload per county court judge and to give a permanent home for juvenile cases in Montgomery County, Valdez said. Previously, juvenile cases rotated among three other county courts that

MONTGOMERY COUNTY A year after its creation, Montgomery County Court at Law 6 will begin taking cases Sept. 1. Judge Scharlene Valdez of the 418th District Court will preside over the new court following her June 14 appointment. She ran unopposed for the new seat in the Republican March 1 primary and did not have a Democratic opponent for the November election. She will be sworn in Aug. 15. Valdez said her previous experi- ence working as an attorney in the Montgomery County Child Protective

SOURCE: MONTGOMERY COUNTY/ COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

5 members named to county’s Safe School Commission

City of Tomball launches new interactive map

BY KAYLI THOMPSON

Smith said the city created it to increase transparency and assist the public with getting information more easily. Smith said the interactive map allows users to search by property tax ID, measure in two ways, change the base map and look at the different layers. The layers include zoning, the future land use plan, utilities, the thoroughfare plan, Federal Emergency Management Agency flood hazard areas, parcels, parks, municipal boundaries and streets. “This is kind of a brainchild of yourselves [council]. Because you ask us on a regular basis what these [zoning] uses are, and what can and can’t be used,” Dietrich said.

TOMBALL In an effort to remain transparent and address questions City Council and the public have, the city of Tomball added a new interactive map of the city to Tomball’s website. Community Development Director Nathan Dietrich and City Planner Jared Smith presented the map to council members July 5. “A new interactive map that we have [is] available for all citizens, real estate developers … and, most importantly, you [council mem- bers]. … You can get to a lot of the information that sometimes would seem very onerous to get, … whereas now all of this information is at your fingertips,” Dietrich said.

BY RACHEL CARLTON

HARRIS COUNTY Commissioners approved the appointments of five candidates to the Harris County Safe School Commission on June 28. The commission will address school safety for private schools as well as Harris County’s 25 ISDs. Members will present their findings to the court before the end of their term Aug. 1. The appointees include Saami Baig, a high school student at the John Cooper School; Traci Latson, a teacher at the Meyerland Performing and Visual Arts Middle School; Calandrian Simpson Kemp, founder of No Weapon #1Life Empowerment Foundation and member of Moms Demand Action; Humble ISD Super- intendent Elizabeth Fagen; and Lisa Andrews Alpe, vice president of the Spring Branch ISD school board.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COUNTY HIGHLIGHTS HARRIS COUNTY The Harris County Commissioners Court voted unanimously to increase the property tax exemption of individuals with disabilities or those over age 65 from $229,000 of the appraised property value to $250,000 during the June 14 court meeting. HARRIS COUNTY Members of the Harris County Election Commission voted unanimously to name Clifford Tatum, the former general counsel for the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, as the county’s new elections administrator at their July 5 meeting. Tatum will be officially appointed at a later date once he meets eligibility requirements as a resident and registered voter of Texas, according to Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo. Tatum previously served as the executive director for the District of Columbia Board of Elections and the interim director of the Georgia State Elections Division, according to his biography for the EAC. He replaces former Elections Administrator Isabel Longoria, who resigned after issues with the March 1 primary elections. Tomball City Council will meet 6 p.m. Aug. 1 and 15 at 401 Market St., Tomball. 281-351-5484. www.tomballtx.gov Magnolia City Council will meet 7 p.m. Aug. 9 at 18111 Buddy Riley Blvd., Magnolia. 281-356-2266 www.cityofmagnolia.com Montgomery Commissioners Court will meet 9:30 a.m. Aug. 9 and 23 at 501 N. Thompson St., Ste. 402, Conroe. 936-756-0571 www.mctx.org Harris County Commissioners Court will meet 10 a.m. Aug. 2 and 23 Meetings are held virtually and at 1001 Preston St., Ste. 934, Houston. www.harriscountytx.gov. MEETINGS WE COVER

Harris County discusses possible $1.2B bond package for November

STUEBNER AIRLINE RD.

2920

N

BY RACHEL CARLTON

HARRIS COUNTY Commission- ers in Harris County voted 3-2 to begin community engagement for a potential $1.2 billion bond issue in November at their July 19 court meet- ing, an increase from the previously discussed $1 billion bond proposal June 28. The bond would fund roads, parks and public safety. County Administrator David Berry said a $1.2 billion bond would raise property taxes by $32 a year for the average homeowner, while a $1 bil- lion bond would raise them by $27. This bond would not include more funding for the Harris County Flood Control District, as around 74% of funds from the $2.5 billion bond approved by voters in 2018 have not yet been spent or encumbered, according to County Engineer Milton Rahman. The county’s last similar bond was in 2015. Commissioners would have to vote on a bond order between Aug. 12-22 for the item to be placed on the Nov. 8 ballot, Berry said.

Members of the Tomball Fire Department and Chief Joe Sykora (far right) break ground on Station No. 4 on June 27. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)

Tomball breaks ground on Station No. 4 TOMBALL The city of Tomball and Harris County Emergency Ser- vices District No. 15 broke ground on Tomball Fire Department said during the groundbreaking event. “We’re excited to build this station.” ESD 15 was formed just over 15 years ago, Sykora said, and opened the first station it funded BY ANNA LOTZ

Station No. 4 during a ceremony June 27. Station No. 4, to be located at 10333 Mahaffey Road, Tomball, and funded by ESD No. 15, will help reduce response times to emergency calls in the eastern part of Tomball’s extraterritorial jurisdiction, Tomball Fire Depart- ment Chief Joe Sykora said during the June 27 event. “We are very thankful for the citizens that support us in this endeavor. We had purchased this piece of property about four years ago, and it’s exciting that we are breaking ground today to provide the service that these residents greatly need and reduce those response times, which is some- thing very important as well with today’s fire development,” ESD 15 Commissioner Jason “Bear” Wilson

on Telge Road about six years ago. Station No. 5 is located at 19900 Telge Road, Tomball. “This will actually complete their territory as of right now, unless it gets more populous, which we are expecting,” Sykora said. “This is a great day … for the future—the future of Harris County and the future of the city of Tomball. This station will protect approximately 2 square miles of our territory and reduce the response times by over five minutes.” Sykora previously said in February the department projected a 21% increase per 1,000 people in calls from the southeast region, which the new Station No. 4 will help address, Community Impact Newspaper reported.

Bond breakdown

If approved, the $1.2 billion bond would go to voters in November.

$700M: roads and transit $200M: parks $200M: neighborhood drainage $100M: public safety

SOURCE: HARRIS COUNTY/ COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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TOMBALL – MAGNOLIA EDITION • JULY 2022

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