This year we also have a James Lee Witt "honorable mention" winner. The North Central Texas Council of Governments
serves as the facilitator of nine cities, two counties, and two governmental
entities that implement the Trinity River "common vision." Because of concern
that potential cumulative flood impacts could not be adequately assessed
through individual permit reviews, the Fort Worth District of the Corps and
NCTCOG launched this regional initiative that is still going strong decades
L-R: Audra Valamides with city of Arlington (NCTCOG member); Mia
Brown, environment and development planner for the NCTCOG; and Clair Davis
with city of Fort Worth (NCTCOG member).
Through the Trinity River Common Vision, the NCTCOG has promoted higher
floodplain management standards throughout the Upper Trinity River Watershed.
In the late 1980s, NCTCOG adopted a Regional Policy Position on the Trinity
River Corridor, which affirmed that local governments must be the stewards of
the Trinity River Corridor, that individual local goals can only be achieved
through cooperative management, and that a comprehensive approach addressing
flood damage reduction, recreation and environmental quality must be pursued.
An innovative Corridor Development Certificate process was implemented to
stabilize the flooding risks. This process does not prohibit floodplain
development, but ensures any development that does occur in the floodplain will
not raise flood water levels or reduce flood storage capacity. A CDC permit is
required to develop land within a specific area of the Trinity floodplain
called the Regulatory Zone, which is similar to the 100-year floodplain. Under
the CDC process, local governments retain ultimate control over floodplain
permitting decisions, but other communities along the Trinity River Corridor
are given the opportunity to review and comment on projects in their neighbor's
This regional coordination facilitated by NCTCOG is the key to
the success of the Trinity River Common Vision.