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Katy Newcomers Share the Good and the Bad of a Growing City


January 17, 2023

By Natalie Cook Clark

Katy continues to grow introducing an influx of newcomers to a city that once was made up of rice fields. New business growth, sprouting master-planned communities, and highly rated education all make moving here attractive, but with the good comes some negative. Overall, Katyites are proud of their home and heritage.

Photo was published in a prior newcomer guide.

“I have always dreamed of living here and it took 30 years, but I got here,” says Katy newcomer Lindsey Huerta. According to Huerta the best part of Katy is the people.

From exploring the historic Downtown Katy to experiencing some of the newer entertainment venues, Katy is full of life and fun for families in all stages. Many newcomers share their different experiences both good and bad.

“My neighbors far exceeded the expectations of nice and welcoming,” says Milissa Smith. “Very best neighbors a new Katy resident could ask for.” However, she also talks about the negativity seen on local social media pages.

“In conclusion, Texans are no different than the “hate” you left, they’re human like everyone else,” says Smith. “They just have a fun accent and at least try to hide their disdain for those not in their Texas club. No regrets.”

Understanding a Tri-County City

There is so much for newcomers to explore and know, such as we are a tri-county city that involves many law enforcement agencies.

If you just moved to Katy, you need to determine if you live within the City of Katy limits and/or which county you live in -- we have three -- Harris, Fort Bend, and Waller. If you reside in the City of Katy, you are eligible for city services. If you live outside of the City of Katy limits (which most of us do), you use county services, and the Katy council members and mayor do not represent you.

However, we are one big family. Residents not living in the actual City of Katy can still register for emergency alerts. These alerts proved helpful to many during Hurricane Harvey. Sign up for KTAlert here.

Know Your Police Agency

Because of Katy's multiple counties versus city issue (mentioned above), the police department that protects your area may not be the closest one to you. The Katy Police Department only covers residents within the City of Katy boundaries. Fort Bend County Police only cover Fort Bend County residents, and so forth. The good news is your 911 dispatcher will know who to send in case of an emergency.

Police Agencies that cover the Katy area include:

Katy Police Department- 281-391-4848

Harris County Constable's Office Precinct 5- 281-463-6666

Harris County Sheriff's Office- 713-755-6044

Fort Bend County Constable's Office Precinct 1- 281-238-1430

Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office- 281-341-4665

Waller County County Precinct 1- 281-375-5233

Fulshear Police Department- 281-346-2202

With the Good, Comes Some Bad

Due to the area that Katy covers creates the most negative comment that newcomers (and long-time residents) talk about…Katy traffic and the rise in crime.

“The worst is that traffic and crime is up, and property taxes are awful,” says Giff Cappellini.

“Grand Parkway isn’t enough to support the growth we have,” says Laura Bradford.

“The road rage y’all have here in this area is unreal,” says Venessa Castro. “No regard for human safety.”

Newcomers Share the Best of Katy

While these can all be seen in areas of immense growth, Katy offers so many positive experiences.

“The best is food, neighbors and schools/athletics,” says Cappellini.

“We have an excellent variety of food and cultures,” says Bradford. “We are quite diverse for a small-town suburb.”

Set a goal to explore Katy’s several breweries, wineries, and distilleries seen here. Many of which offer fun family events and live entertainment. Get out and explore new cuisine such as the many offerings at Katy’s Asian Town.

“I can also drive and see land, trees and cows,” says Huerta. “The weather, that’s right I said the weather. It is crazy and bipolar, but I love every bit of it. I love the fact that there are so many restaurants you don’t ever have to eat at the same place, unless you want to. Just the fact that this is Texas!”

Realty Trends

Master-planned communities such as Elyson, Cane Island, Sunterra and more continue to attract newcomers to the area. The addition of four more Katy ISD schools currently being built is proof of such growth.

Katy realtor Kerri Schultz with Keller Williams Premier Realty says that Katy-area growth is projected to continue and beyond.

“The Brookshire and Fulshear areas are the new hotspot many thanks to the new Tesla land purchase out there,” says Schultz.

“For me personally, the people moving from out of state or country has slowed down.” says Schultz. She is seeing an increase in first time home buyers who have been renting.

Holds to a Rich History

Yet Katy still holds true to its rich history that keeps it feeling like a small town in light of such growth. Just this past weekend, the Katy Heritage Society led a birthday celebration for the Katy Depot as the popular local photo spot and museum celebrated 125 years.

“Welcome to Katy,” says Katy Mayor Pro Tem Chris Harris. “Jump in and find a community activity. We are glad you chose to live, work or play in Katy.”


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