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Kingwood, Houston facts for kids

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For Kinwood, Texas, see Kinwood
Kingwood
community of Houston and Master planned area
Kingwood
"KINGWOOD" sign on Kingwood Drive entering Kingwood [now torn down].
"KINGWOOD" sign on Kingwood Drive entering Kingwood [now torn down].
Nickname(s): The Livable Forest
Country United States
State Texas
County Harris and Montgomery
Elevation 49 ft (15 m)
Population (2000)
 • Total 81,692
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 77325, 77339, 77345, 77346
Area code(s) 281, 713, 832
FIPS code 48-39376
GNIS feature ID 1385469

Kingwood is a 14,000 acre (57 km²) master-planned community located in northeast Houston, Texas, United States. The majority of the community is located in Harris County with a small portion in Montgomery County. Known as the "Livable Forest," it is the largest master-planned community in Harris County and second-largest within the 10-county Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land metropolitan area. It was classified as a "census-designated place" during the 1990 census, when the population recorded was 37,397.

Kingwood was created in 1971 as a joint venture between the Friendswood Development Company and King Ranch. Its name was derived as part of that partnership.

History

The Foster Lumber Company originally owned a portion of the tract of land that was later developed into the community of Kingwood. The Foster Family had owned the land since around 1892. On December 28, 1967, the land was sold to the joint venture between King Ranch and the Friendswood Development Company, an Exxon subsidiary. Exxon's Friendswood Development Company hired John Bruton Jr. to serve as the Operations Manager in which he was responsible for the planning, development, engineering, and construction of Kingwood Plans for the community included greenbelts, shopping centers, schools, churches, recreational facilities, riding and hiking trails, and a boat ramp with access to Lake Houston.

The City of Houston annexed portions of what would become Kingwood in the 1960s, but it dis-annexed those portions by the late 1970s, making them unincorporated.

Kingwood was founded in 1970, and the first village opened in 1971. Since the opening, the community had the slogan "The Livable Forest." In 1976 Kingwood had a few thousand residents. Between 1980 and 1990 the community's population increased between 40 percent and 70 percent. In 1990 the community had 19,443 residents and 204 businesses. The population increased to 37,397 in 1992. In 2005 the population was roughly 65,000,

In 1994, the City of Houston began the process to annex Kingwood. According to Texas state law, a home-rule city may annex an unincorporated area, without the consent of the residents, if the area is within the city's extraterritorial jurisdiction. Bob Lanier, then the Mayor of Houston, believed that the annexation of Kingwood would result in a $4 million annual gain for the City of Houston. Lanier argued that the city needed to bring in Kingwood to add more to its tax base. On Wednesday August 21, 1996, the Houston City Council asked the Planning and Development Department to create service plans for Kingwood and Jacintoport, another area being annexed by Houston. The annexation of Kingwood and Jacintoport increased the city's population by about 43,000 people. The annexation meant that areas de-annexed by the city in the 1970s were being re-annexed.

Renée C. Lee of the Houston Chronicle said that Kingwood residents "fought an uphill battle [against annexation] for two years." Kingwood residents offered to pay $4 million to the city in exchange for not being annexed. The residents also filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Houston, claiming that the city was taxing residents without representation. At the time, many residents believed that the City of Houston would not follow through on the state law requirement asking annexing cities to provide equal services to the annexed areas as they do to their original territory. Some residents did not like the idea of the city annexing their community without the community's consent.

Houston annexed Kingwood in 1996, adding about 15,000 acres (6,100 ha) to the city limits. During that year, Thomas Phillips, a retired longshoreman and Bordersville resident, joined with representatives of Kingwood and sued the City of Houston in federal court arguing that the city could not legally annex areas if it did not provide certain services to some of its existing areas, including Bordersville which never had city water. Imad F. Abdullah, the President of Landmark Architects Inc., criticized the residents who fought annexation in his 1996 editorial in the Houston Business Journal, arguing that a "not in my backyard" mentality in particular communities overall negatively affects the entire metropolitan area.

Kingwood lobbied the Texas Legislature, asking for modifications to the state's annexation laws. In 1999 the legislature successfully passed amendments requiring annexing municipalities to develop plans for services provided to communities being annexed, and municipalities are required to provide a three-year planning period prior to official annexation to allow for public comment. The modified law allows for communities to use arbitration if the annexing cities fail to follow through with their service plans. The amendments do not affect prior annexations, including Kingwood's annexation. Some Kingwood residents expressed satisfaction that other suburban unincorporated areas including The Woodlands would not undergo the annexation that occurred in Kingwood.

A 1999 series of robberies were perpetrated by four teenage girls from Kingwood. The film Sugar & Spice was loosely based on the incidents.

In 2006, Kingwood has over 65,000 residents. During that year, ten years after the annexation, Lee said that "[a]nger and resentment that colored the early days of annexation" never dissipated and that most Kingwood residents "have settled in as Houstonians, but who still opposed annexation." Lee said that while residents sometimes complain about high rates for sewer and water services and obvious inadequacies in the fire and EMS services, those residents believe that Kingwood "has greatly suffered from being a part of the city." Lee says that most residents "will never come to terms with Houston's hostile takeover." Lee said that "Services have deteriorated, and the community has lost its identity as a suburban haven as most people had feared" and "Many residents believe the community has not maintained its identity as the Livable Forest[.]"

Kingwood has two community newspapers, The Tribune Newspaper and The Kingwood Observer.

Demographics

Kingwood includes the zip codes 77325, 77339, 77345, and (in part) 77346. Approximately 81,692 people live within these zip codes. The population density is 2,006 people per square mile.

The median age is 37.2 compared to the US median is 37.6.

68.27% of people in Kingwood (zip 77345), TX, are married, 8.42% are divorced.

The average household size is 2.71 people. 32.49% of people are married, with children. 6.28% have children, but are single.

Race in Kingwood (zip 77339), TX: White population: 75% Black population: 5.55% American Indian population: 0.8% Asian population: 6.8% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander population: 1.8% Some other race population: 0.9% Two or more races population: 2.8% Hispanic or Latino population: 19.2% http://www.city-data.com/zips/77339.html

Race in Kingwood (zip 77345), TX

80.74% of people are white (non-Hispanic), 3.45% are black, 3.45% are Asian, 0.34% are native American, and .53% claim 'Other'. 9.56% of the people (zip 77345), claim Hispanic ethnicity (meaning 90.44% are non-Hispanic).

The Census Median Household Income for this geographic area is $77,527. The Median Family Income is $84,387, and the Average Non-family Income is $51,735. The Per Capita Income revealed in the Census for this area was $32,491.

Cityscape

Kingwood has over 15,000 acres (6,100 ha) of space. The community, newly suburban and heavily forested, includes over 15,000 acres (6,100 ha) in nature preserves and parks. Renée C. Lee of the Houston Chronicle compared the presence of forests, parks, and trails in Kingwood to the presence of those features in The Woodlands.

Kingwood is thirty miles northeast of Downtown Houston in the piney woods of southeastern Texas. It is divided into 25 neighborhoods, called "villages". Most villages have a neighborhood pool providing free access for village residents, and most provide their own set of village-specific services. During the summer, many of the villages organize youth swimming teams affiliated with the Northwest Aquatic League (NWAL).

Trailwood is Kingwood's oldest subdivision, with its first homes being completed in 1971: while new homes are still being built in Barrington, Kingwood Greens, Kings River, Kings Point, and Royal Shores.

Several other subdivisions and developments have developed around the Kingwood area. Some of these subdivisions are Forest Cove, which was first built in 1963, Bear Branch, Deer Ridge Estates, Sand Creek, Barrington,Kings mill , Kings Point, Riverchase, Rivergrove, Foster's Mill, Riverbend, Hunters Ridge Estates, Greentree, Trailwood, Kingwood Lakes, Woodland Hills, Elm Grove, Mills Branch, King's Forest, Woodstream, Sherwood Trails, North Kingwood Forest, Kings Lake Estates, Lakewood Cove and Woodspring Forest. Nearby developments include Oakhurst at Kingwood and King's Manor. Oakhurst does not pay Kingwood Service Association fees, though it is considered part of Kingwood and is also developed by Friendswood Development.

Parks and recreation

Town center1
Kingwood Town Center
Peoples park3
The People's Park in Kingwood

Kingwood has over 500 acres (200 ha) of nature preserves and parks, and it has over 75 miles (121 km) of hike and bicycle trails. The Kingwood community, not the city of Houston, owns the parks and trails.

The greenbelt trails' maintenance is the responsibility of the trail association in each village with the exception of Trailwood Village. Over 75 miles (121 km) of greenbelts comb the area. In addition, each village association maintains a park and swimming pool for the benefit of its residents.

  • Kingwood Park, operated by the City of Houston.
  • East End Park, owned and operated by the Kingwood Service Association.
  • Opened on May 21, 2004, Kingwood Skate Park is a 5,402-square-foot (501.9 m2) City of Houston facility that has skate benches, a kinked round grind rail, skate benches, skate tables, a kicker ramb, a bank to stair with a rail, shade structures that include benches, a drinking fountain, a mini half pipe with a ninety degree hip, and a skateboarder-shaped bike rack. It was the first municipal skate park built by the city.
  • A 2.25-acre (9,100 m2) public dog park opened in 2007

The City of Houston operates the Dylan Duncan Memorial Park. It includes a picnic pavilion and a skate facility

Events

Kingwood residents enjoy a number of community events throughout the year, including:

  • Mardi Gras, held in February in the Town Center Park. It has a parade and vendor fair with open-air concert.
  • Picnic on the Park, held the day before Easter in the Town Center Park it has an Easter Egg hunt open to children of all ages. The event also offers game booths, a vendor fair, and performances by local area groups.
  • Auto Shows, held in spring and fall, often April and October, at Town Center Park. Typically draws up to 200 vehicles in a wide variety of categories.
  • Fourth of July, has a parade, between Creekwood Middle School, and Kingwood High School; festivities, Town Center Park. It consists of a parade; and, firework display, with open-air concert, and vendor fair.
  • Christmas in the Park, held in the Town Center Park is a vendor fair, and live performances from local groups. Day ends with a tree lighting ceremony in the park.

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