Latest version.
  • ____________



    Adopted: August 21, 1985
    Effective: August 21, 1985


    Published by Order of the City Council, 1985



    of the


    Sylvester Turner


    District Council Members

    Brenda Stardig, District A
    Jerry Davis, District B
    Ellen R. Cohen, District C
    Dwight A. Boykins, District D
    Dave Martin, District E
    Steve Le, District F
    Greg Travis, District G
    Karla Cisneros, District H
    Robert Gallegos, District I
    Mike Laster, District J
    Martha Castex-Tatum, District K

    Council Members At-Large

    Mike Knox, At-Large Position 1
    David Robinson, At-Large Position 2
    Michael Kubosh, At-Large Position 3
    Amanda Edwards, At-Large Position 4
    Jack Christie D.C., At-Large Position 5


    Chris Brown
    City Controller


    Ronald C. Lewis
    City Attorney


    Anna Russell
    City Secretary


    Augustus Chapman Allen and John Kirby Allen
    August 30, 1836


    1837 James Sanders Holman 1890—1892 Henry Scherffius
    1838 Francis W. Moore, Jr. 1892—1896 John T. Browne
    1839 George W. Lively 1896—1898 Horace Baldwin Rice
    1840 Charles Bigelow 1898—1901 Samuel H. Brashear
    1841—1842 John Day Andrews 1901 John D. Woolford
    1843 Francis W. Moore, Jr. 1902—1904 Orren T. Holt
    1844 Horace Baldwin 1904—1905 Andrew L. Jackson
    1845 William W. Swain 1905—1913 Horace Baldwin Rice
    1846 James Bailey 1913—1917 Ben Campbell
    1847—1848 Benjamin P. Buckner 1917 Joseph Jay Pastoriza
    1849—1852 Francis W. Moore, Jr. 1917—1918 Joseph Chappel Hutcheson, Jr.
    1853—1854 Nathan Fuller 1918—1921 Almeron Earl Amerman, Sr.
    1855—1856 James H. Stevens 1921—1929 Oscar Fitzallen Holcombe
    1857 Cornelius Ennis 1929—1933 Walter Embree Monteith
    1858 Alexander McGowan 1933—1937 Oscar Fitzallen Holcombe
    1859 William Harrison King 1937—1939 Richard H. Fonville
    1860 Thomas W. Whitmarsh 1939—1941 Oscar Fitzallen Holcombe
    1861 William J. Hutchins 1941—1943 Cornelius A. "Neal" Pickett
    1862 Thomas William House, Sr. 1943—1947 Otis Massey
    1863—1865 William Anders 1947—1952 Oscar Fitzallen Holcombe
    1866 Horace D. Taylor 1953—1955 Roy Mark Hofheinz
    1867 Alexander McGowen 1956—1957 Oscar Fitzallen Holcombe
    1868—1869 Joseph R. Morris 1958—1963 Lewis Wesley Cutrer
    1870—1873 Thomas Howe Scanlan 1964—1973 Louie Welch
    1874 James T. D. Wilson 1974—1977 Fred Hofheinz
    1875—1876 Irving Capers Lord 1978—1981 Jim McConn
    1877—1878 James T. D. Wilson 1982—1991 Kathryn J. Whitmire
    1879 Andrew J. Burke 1992—1997 Bob Lanier
    1880—1886 William R. Baker 1998—2003 Lee P. Brown
    1886—1890 Daniel C. Smith 2004—2009 Bill White
    2010—2015 Annise D. Parker
    2015— Sylvester Turner



    This Code constitutes a complete recodification of the ordinances of the City of Houston, Texas of a general and permanent nature.

    Source materials used in the preparation of the Code were the City's 1968 Code and ordinances adopted after October 4, 1967 adopted by the city. The source of each section is included in the history note appearing in parentheses at the end thereof. The absence of such a note indicates that the section is new and was adopted for the first time with the adoption of the Code. By use of the Comparative Tables appearing in the back of this volume, the reader can locate any section of the 1968 Code and any subsequent ordinance included herein. A table listing the state law citations and setting forth their location within the Code is included at the back of this volume.

    Numbering System

    The numbering system used in this Code is the same system used in many state and municipal codes. Each section number consists of two component parts separated by a dash, the figure before the dash representing the chapter number and the figure after the dash indicating the position of the section within the chapter. Thus, the first section of Chapter 1 is numbered 1-1 and the twenty-first section of Chapter 44 is 44-21. Under this system, each section is identified with its chapter and at the same time new sections or even whole chapters can be inserted in their proper place, simply by using the decimal system for amendments. By way of illustration: If new material consisting of three sections that would logically come between Sections 2-1 and 2-2 is desired to be added, such new sections would be numbered 2-1.1, 2-1.2 and 2-1.3 respectively. New chapters may be included in the same manner. If the new material is to be included between Chapters 5 and 6, it will be designated as Chapter 5.5. Care should be taken that the alphabetical arrangement of chapters is maintained when including new chapters. New articles and new divisions may be included in the same way or, in the case of articles, may be placed at the end of the chapter embracing the subject, and, in the case of divisions, may be placed at the end of the article embracing the subject, the next successive number being assigned to the article or division.


    The indices of the Code have been prepared with the greatest of care. Each particular item has been placed under several headings, some of the headings being couched in lay phraseology, others in legal terminology, and still others in language generally used by municipal officials and employees. There are numerous cross references within the indices which stand as guideposts to direct the user to the particular item in which he is interested.

    Looseleaf Supplements

    A special feature of this Code is the looseleaf system of binding and supplemental service, by which the Code will be kept up-to-date periodically. Upon the final passage of amendatory ordinances, they will be properly edited and the page or pages affected will be reprinted. These new pages will be distributed to holders of copies of the Code, with instructions for the manner of inserting the new pages and deleting the obsolete pages.

    The successful maintenance of this Code up-to-date at all times will depend largely upon the holder of the volume. As revised sheets are received, it will then become the responsibility of the holder to have the amendments inserted according to the attached instructions. It is strongly recommended by the publishers that all such amendments be inserted immediately upon receipt to avoid misplacing them and, in addition, that all deleted pages be saved and filed for historical reference purposes.


    The publication of this Code was under direct supervision of George R. Langford, President, and Roger D. Merriam, Supervising Editor, of the Municipal Code Corporation, Tallahassee, Florida. Credit is gratefully given to the other The publishers are most grateful to Mr. Paul Bibler, assistant city attorney and all other city officers and employees for their cooperation and assistance during the progress of the work on this Code. members of the publisher's staff for their sincere interest and able assistance throughout the project.

    Tallahassee, Florida


    ORDINANCE NO. 85-1380





    WHEREAS, the City of Houston is authorized under its charter and pursuant to Art. 1176a Tex. Rev. Civ. Stats. to codify its civil and criminal ordinances and to adopt a code of ordinances together with appropriate penalties therefor, which code, when adopted, shall have the force and effect of an ordinance regularly enacted with the usual prerequisites of law; NOW, THEREFOR,


    Section 1.  That the two loose-leaf volumes labeled "Code of Ordinances/City of Houston Texas" and designated as Volume 1 and Volume 2 that are attached to and made a part of this ordinance as Exhibits "A" and "B", respectively, containing Chapters 1 through 47, inclusive (except that Chapter 25 is reserved), are hereby adopted and enacted as the "Code of Ordinances, City of Houston, Texas" (hereinafter referred to as the "1985 Code of Ordinances"). The 1985 Code of Ordinances shall be a new and comprehensive ordinance that codifies the general civil and criminal ordinances of the City of Houston, and repeals the "Code of Ordinances, City of Houston, Texas" as adopted by Ordinance No. 68-1900, as amended (hereinafter referred to as the "1968 Code of Ordinances"), except as otherwise provided in Section 2 of this ordinance, below.

    Section 2.


    The repeal provided for in Section 1 of this ordinance shall not be construed to repeal any of the following:


    Any ordinance adopted after May 1, 1985.


    Any ordinance adopted on or prior to May 1, 1985, that has not been incorporated into the 1985 Code of Ordinances, except and only to the extent that it expressly amended or repealed the 1968 Code of Ordinances or any provision(s) thereof.


    Any Motion or Resolution adopted by the City Council.


    Ordinance No. 84-1962, adopted on December 19, 1984, as amended.


    The Fire Code of the City of Houston (Ordinance No. 73-2078, adopted November 21, 1973, as amended, which is Chapter 17 of the 1968 Code of Ordinances).


    The Building Code of the City of Houston (Ordinance No. 71-2351, adopted December 15, 1971, as amended).


    The ordinances that appeared as Appendices "A" through "E", inclusive to the 1968 Code of Ordinances, to-wit: A—Ordinance No. 61-589, adopted July 12, 1961, as amended; B—Ordinance No. 61-1830, adopted October 18, 1961, as amended; C—Ordinance No. 74-307, adopted February 13, 1974, as amended; D—Ordinance No. 61-849, adopted May 16, 1961, as amended; and E—Ordinance No. 74-419, adopted February 27, 1974, as amended.


    Any ordinance that is expressly saved from repeal by the provisions of the 1985 Code of Ordinances.


    Subsection (a) of Section 34-11 of the 1968 Code of Ordinances.


    The provisions of the 1968 Code of Ordinances shall remain in full force and effect for the trial and punishment of all criminal violations thereof occurring through the time of its repeal and for the recovery of penalties and forfeitures incurred thereunder and for the preservation of rights, privileges, obligations, liabilities and remedies established, accrued, accorded or incurred thereunder before the time of its repeal. The repeal of the 1968 Code of Ordinances does not affect its prior operation or any prior action taken under it.


    The repeal provided for in Section 1, hereof, shall not be construed to revive any ordinance or part thereof that has been repealed by a subsequent ordinance that was repealed by this ordinance.

    Section 3.  Violations of the 1985 Code of Ordinances shall be punishable as provided therein; if no specific penalty is otherwise provided for an offense, then it shall be punishable by a general penalty fine not exceeding two hundred dollars as more particularly provided in Section 1-6 thereof.

    Section 4.  The 1985 Code of Ordinances may be amended as provided in Section 1-4 thereof. In case of an amendment for which no specific penalty is provided, then the general penalty established in Section 1-6 thereof shall apply as provided in Section 3 of this ordinance.

    Section 5.  The City Council hereby notes for reference that the two volume edition of the 1985 Code of Ordinances to which is appended to this Ordinance as Exhibits "A" and "B" contains Supplement No. 1, which has been installed in accordance with the instructions furnished by Municipal Code Corporation as the editor of the 1985 Code of Ordinances, and that Volumes 1 and 2 (Exhibits "A" and "B") also have been corrected to cure the errata that are listed on the "Errata list" that is attached to and made a part of this ordinance as Exhibit "C". The City Secretary is hereby directed to record this ordinance and the 1985 Code of Ordinances in the ordinance records of the City of Houston.

    Section 6.  The Mayor is authorized to approve and authenticate, and the City Secretary is authorized to attest, any printed copy of the 1985 Code of Ordinances that conforms to the Volumes 1 and 2 (Exhibits "A" and "B") attached hereto as a true copy. Copies, so authenticated by the Mayor and City Secretary, shall have the same force and effect for all purposes as the originals thereof that are appended to this Ordinance and shall be admissible in evidence in all courts pursuant to Section 5 of Art. 1176a, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stats. and Article IX, Section 13 of the City Charter. The provisions of this section shall not be construed to prevent the certification or admission into evidence of the 1985 Code of Ordinances, or any excerpts or copies thereof, in any other manner authorized by law or judicial rules.

    Section 7.  An authenticated copy of the 1985 Code of Ordinances shall be kept on file in the office of the City Secretary preserved in loose-leaf form, or in such other form as the City Secretary may consider most expedient. It shall be the express duty of the City Secretary or someone authorized by him or her, to insert in such copy and in the designated places all amendments or ordinances which indicate the intention of the Council to make the same a part of such Code when the same have been printed or reprinted in page form, and to extract from such copies all provisions that may be from time to time repealed by the Council. Such copy shall be available for all persons desiring to examine the same.

    Section 8.  Any ordinance or document that amended or referred to any provision of the 1968 Code of Ordinances shall be construed as if it referred to the like provision of the 1985 Code of Ordinances. The City Attorney is hereby authorized and directed to make any nonsubstantive revisions of ordinances adopted after May 1, 1985, amending the 1968 Code of Ordinances as may be required for their proper incorporation by supplement into the 1985 Code of Ordinances, including, but not limited to, the correction of section, division, article and chapter numbers and the conforming of definitional words and phrases to those used in the 1985 Code of Ordinances.

    Section 9.  If any provision, section, subsection, sentence, clause, or phrase of this ordinance, or the application of same to any person or set of circumstances, is for any reason held to be unconstitutional, void or invalid, the validity of the remaining portions of this ordinance or their application to other persons or sets of circumstances shall not be affected thereby, it being the intent of the City Council in adopting this ordinance that no portion hereof or provision or regulation contained herein shall become inoperative or fail by reason of any unconstitutionality, voidness or invalidity of any other portion hereof, and all provisions of this ordinance are declared to be severable for that purpose.

    Section 10.  This Ordinance and the 1985 Code of Ordinances that is incorporated herein and adopted hereby shall take effect immediately upon the passage of this ordinance on third and final reading and its approval by the Mayor.

    PASSED on first reading August 7, 1985.

    PASSED on second reading August 14, 1985.

    PASSED on third reading August 21, 1985.

    APPROVED August 21 at 3:35 o'clock p.m. on August 21, 1985.


    /s/ Anna Russell
          City Secretary      


    /s/ Kathryn J. Whitmire


    Prepared by:

    /s/ Paul Bibler, Jr.
          Senior Assistant City Attorney      



    /s/ Jerry E. Smith
          City Attorney      



    Volume 1 (Exhibit "A")

    Chapter 2, Section 2 (2)j., page 171, first column, line 47
    delete "the"

    line will read: "dar week, the consideration of that"

    Chapter 6, Section 90, page 434, first column, line 12
    change "section" to "article"

    line will read: "fied in this article for the issuance of a license,"

    Chapter 6, Section 92, page 434, first column, line 46
    change "section" to "article"

    line will read: "record of all licenses issued under this article"

    Chapter 9, Section 141(d), page 672, second column, line 22
    change "during" to "thing"

    line will read: "thing of value (paid or to be paid specifically"

    Chapter 9, Section 251(2)a., page 682, second column, line 21
    change "tractor" to "tract or"

    line will read: "tract or lease agreement."

    Chapter 11, Section 55(c), page 847, second column, line 5
    change "changeable" to "chargeable"
    change "(2)" to "(3)"

    line will read: "be chargeable under item (1) or item (3) of section"

    Chapter 20, Section 25(d), page 1430, first column, lines 45 and 46
    delete "(Code 1968, § 19-25; Ord. No. 78-1882, § 1, 9-20-78)"

    "Cross reference—Building Code, § 10-1."

    Chapter 21, Section 15(a) I.B., page 1511, second column, line 4
    change "Macteriology" to "Bacteriology"

    line will read: "B. Milk and Food Bacteriology:"

    Chapter 21, Section 15(a) I.B., page 1511, second column, line 5
    add "18.00" under "Fee"

    line will read: "Milk, raw (counts, inhibitor, WMT) 18.00"

    Chapter 21, Section 15(a) I.B., page 1511, second column, line 8
    change "34.00" to "13.00"

    line will read: "Milk, DMSCC ..... 13.00"

    Chapter 29, Section 38(a), page 2040, first column, line 16
    change "expected" to "excepted"

    line will read: "cepted in calculating the said period."

    Chapter 29, Section 84, page 2048, first column, line 11
    change "change" to "charge"

    line will read: "responsible agent or other persons in charge of"

    Volume II (Exhibit "B")

    Chapter 34, Section 127, page 2362, first column, line 42
    change "organizations" to "organization"

    line will read: "tion qualified under this article, to gather in-"

    Chapter 36, Section 61, page 2473, second column, line 16
    change "permit" to "permitted"
    change "used" to "use"

    line will read: "Sec. 36-61. Composition; permitted use of funds,"

    Chapter 36, Section 78, page 2478, second column, line 28
    insert "by" before "law"

    line will read: "obtained at the fees prescribed by law for copies of"

    Chapter 38, Section 4(b)(2), page 2590, first column, line 29
    change "tract" to "track"

    line will read: "ing the railroad track from each direction."

    Chapter 38, Section 4(h), page 2591, first column, line[s] 6-7
    change "notifying" to "modifying"

    line(s] will read: "decision in writing to both parties upholding, mo-"
    "difying or overruling the decision of the director"

    Chapter 46, Section 23, page 3144, first column, line 28
    change "chapter" to "article"

    line will read: "renewed under this article, the assessor and col-"

    Chapter 46, Section 23, page 3144, first column, line 36
    change "chapter" to "article"

    line will read: "this article. It shall further be unlawful for any"

    Chapter 46, Section 28, page 3145, second column, line 9
    change "Chapter 46" to "article"

    line will read: "the terms and provisions of this article shall"

    Chapter 46, Section 31(a)(1)b.4., page 3147, first column, line 30
    change "Littley" to "Little"

    line will read: "on the west, to the junction of Little"

    Chapter 46, Section 68, page 3153, second column, line 33
    change "article" to "division"

    line will read: "The annual fee for a permit under this division"

    Chapter 46, Section 294(a), page 3182, first column, line 9
    change "46-294" to "46-293"

    line will read: "issued pursuant to section 46-293 shall present"

    Chapter 47, Section 42(3), page 3248, second column, line 1
    change "February 12, 1974" to "February 13, 1974."

    line will read: "(3) Ordinance No. 74-307 (February 13, 1974)"

    Chapter 47, Section 62(b)(1)b., page 3256, first column, line 2
    insert "monthly" before "quantity."

    line will read: "mum monthly quantity."

    Chapter 47, Section 62(b)(1)b.3., page 3256, first column, line 10
    change "$0.58356" to "$0.56856"

    line will read: "lion (390,000,000) gallons: $0.56856"

    Chapter 47, Section 241, page 3293, second column, line 29
    insert ", Article II" before "of this Code."

    line will read: "to Chapter 20, Article II of this Code."

    Chapter 47, Section 247(d), page 3298, second column, line 10
    change "the" to "for"

    line will read: "for suspension or revocation of waste transporter"

    Chapter 47, Section 321(c)(1), page 3309, first column, line 32
    change "=" to "-"

    line will read: "(A × B) - (C + $525);"

    Chapter 47, Section 321(c)(1), page 3309, second column, line 1
    change "=" to "-"

    line will read: "(A × B) - C."

    Chapter 47, Section 321(c)(2), page 3309, second column, line 7
    change "=" to "-"

    line will read: "[A × (B - E)] - C"