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Katy is a city in the U.S. state of Texas, within the Houston–Katy-Woodlands–Sugar Land metropolitan area. The city is located in Harris, Fort Bend, and Waller counties. The population was 14,102 at the 2010 census, up from 11,775 at the 2000 census. The population was estimated to be 16,158 in 2015.
In the early 1800s Katy was known as "Cane Island", named for the creek that runs through the area, a branch of Buffalo Bayou. The creek was filled with tall cane, not native to the area. It was presumed to have been planted by either the Karankawa Indians or Spanish explorers to aid in fur trapping until the 1820s.
In 1845 James J. Crawford received a land grant that included this area. The hot summers, thick clay soil made it difficult to attract settlers to the area. Crawford, Peter Black, John Sills and the families of former slaves Thomas (Mary) Robinson and Milto McGinnis were the only recorded residents of Cane Island in 1875.
In 1895, James Oliver Thomas laid out a town, and in January 1896 the town of Katy was named through Thomas's post office application. The name "Katy" was derived from the MKT Railroad Company and was commonly referred to as "the K-T," which was also its stock exchange symbol. This common designation soon evolved into "the Katy."
The anticipations of prosperity would bring growth to the new town which was developed around the original train stop and railroad tracks. By the early 1900s many families had come by train and wagon to establish Katy. Cotton and peanuts and corn were the first successful crops, but rice soon became the primary commodity crop. Katy later became known for rice farming; the first concrete rice driers in the state of Texas were built here in 1944 and still stand as landmarks. The farming community well supported local businesses as several hotels, stores, livery stables and saloons were prospering.
On September 8, 1900, the town’s early efforts were swept clean by the Great Galveston Hurricane of 1900, the deadliest hurricane in US history. All but two of the original Katy homes were lost in the storm. Despite this, Cane Island rebuilt and continued to grow.
In 1945 the city of Katy was incorporated as a municipality. C. L. Baird was the first mayor. Boundaries were determined by finding the area that contained the most residents and was reasonably sized so that it could be managed by city services.
The construction and opening of Interstate 10 in 1966 allowed for rapid development of the area, as Houston expanded westward. This section was widened in 2008 to an average of 26 lanes, and in some areas 30 lanes total including 6 feeder and 4 HOV lanes for roughly 22 miles, making it the widest Freeway in the world. The population was 9,866 in 1988, 8,005 in 1990, 11,775 in 2000, and 15,591 in 2014. Currently Katy has grown to a population of well over 16,000 residents and almost 270,000 in the Greater Katy area. Katy has won national accolades for growth and sustainability. including the Gadberry Group naming Katy as one of "9 from 2009" most notable high-growth areas in the United States.
Several corporations are headquartered in areas surrounding Katy.
Igloo Corporation is headquartered west of Katy in unincorporated Waller County. Academy Sports and Outdoors has its corporate offices and product distribution center in unincorporated western Harris County.
BP America is headquartered in the Houston Energy Corridor and is the area's largest employer, with 5,500 employees on its Westlake campus as of 2009. BP's Katy operations include engineering and business support for much of BP's onshore operations in the contiguous United States, as well as its operations in the Gulf of Mexico.
As of 2017 Amazon is building a 1 million-square-foot distribution center near the intersection of Highway 90 and Woods Road. "We are honored Amazon chose Katy to be the location for their next fulfillment center, and we know the City of Katy will benefit from this relationship through increased job opportunities for our residents and their support of local Katy businesses,” said then Katy Mayor Fabol Hughes during the local announcement.
With the economy improving after 2009, retail centers were developed throughout Katy to accommodate the rapid residential growth. The major retail growth is taking place along Katy Fort Bend Road near the east entrance to the Katy Mills shopping mall. In August 2010, H-E-B Food & Drug opened a new UP format store at I-10 and Pin Oak. In July 2013, Costco announced that it would open a store at the southwest corner of Grand Parkway and I-10 in 2014. Construction began in August 2013. The new store was planned for completion by early spring 2014 and would be Costco's fourth Houston-area location.
The Katy Area Economic Development Council serves as the economic development organization for the area. Founded in 2003, the Katy Area Economic Development Council’s (Katy Area EDC) mission is to establish the Katy area as the premier location for families and businesses through planned economic growth and economic development. Since its inception, the Katy Area EDC has grown to over 210 members, has a budget of $900,000 and has assisted in the creation of over 16,200 jobs and more than $2.5 billion in capital investment. Katy Area EDC is a full-service private, non-profit, 501 (c) 6 economic development corporation.
The city of Katy is located at the three-border intersection of Harris, Fort Bend, and Waller counties, along Interstate 10, 29 miles (47 km) west of downtown Houston and 22 miles (35 km) east of Sealy. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city of Katy has a total area of 11.3 square miles (29.3 km2), of which 11.2 square miles (29.1 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2), or 0.38%, is water.
Katy is often further defined as either "Old Towne Katy" or "Greater Katy". "Old Towne Katy" refers to the proper of Katy, which was incorporated in 1945. Its boundaries, as defined by the Katy Independent School Divisions zoning, runs just south of Kingsland Blvd, stretching across Interstate 10 to Morton Road. Katy Fort Bend Road and Cane Island Creek act as the east and west boundaries, The "Greater Katy" area includes the city of Katy plus large sections of unincorporated land surrounding the city corresponding to the boundaries of the 181 sq mi (470 km2) Katy Independent School District. The "All Aboard Katy!" public art project and the Katy Area Economic Development Council's "Energy Grows Here" branding initiative are large-scale projects launched to help promote, identify and unite the Katy area.
Greater Katy includes communities such as Cinco Ranch, Green Trails, Grayson Lakes, Seven Meadows, Pine Mill Ranch, Silver Ranch, Firethorne, Grand Lakes and Cane Island. It also encompasses suburban developments from the 1970s and 1980s, such as Memorial Parkway, Kelliwood and Nottingham Country.
Old Towne Katy's new upscale communities include Pin Oak Village, The Falls at Green Meadows and The Enclave. Large developments underway include a new residential community boarding the east border of Mary Joe Peckham Park and the anticipated Katy Boardwalk. The City of Katy has recently placed a large focus on the downtown redevelopment plan which includes the new City Hall Building and an upcoming Downtown green space. Further projects include the Katy Museum of Modern Art's new building, Typhoon Texas Water Park, Katy Independent School District's Legacy Football Stadium, Katy Independent School District's Rhodes Stadium, Momentum Indoor Climbing Center, REI Climb Store and the YMCA at Katy Main Street. Large road improvements are underway in Downtown, on Morton Road and Franz Road.
The city of Houston's extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) stretches well west of Katy. This means that most of the unincorporated lands in the Katy area may be annexed by the city of Houston at some time in the future. The city of Katy's ETJ, meanwhile, is limited to parcels of land west and north of the city itself.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Katy has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
As of the census of 2000, there were 11,775 people in "Old Katy", 3,888 households, and 3,083 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,103.7 people per square mile (426.1/km²). There were 4,072 housing units at an average density of 381.7 per square mile (147.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 83.98% White, 4.24% African American, 0.56% Native American, 0.50% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 8.65% from other races, and 2.03% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 23.75% of the population.
There were 3,888 households out of which 45.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.9% were married couples living together, 10.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.7% were non-families. 17.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.00 and the average family size was 3.37.
In the city, the population was spread out with 31.5% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 30.9% from 25 to 44, 20.7% from 45 to 64, and 8.1% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 98.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.5 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $51,111, and the median income for a family was $57,741. Males had a median income of $38,412 versus $33,004 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,192. 8.4% of the population and 7.0% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 9.1% were under the age of 18 and 6.5% were 65 or older.
Katy is a home-rule city, chartered in 1945. Residents within the city limits are governed by a city council made up of five council members and the mayor. The city is split into two wards; two council members are elected from each ward, and one council member and the mayor are elected at-large. This type of organization favors candidates who can appeal to the widest number of voters and tends to limit the choices of minority voters to elect candidates of their choice.
Residents within the city limits pay city taxes and receive municipal police, fire, EMS, and public works service. The city has territory in three counties, each of which has its own representative governments. The counties have a greater influence on areas outside the incorporated city limits.
The Katy area lies in three counties. Residents in unincorporated Harris, Fort Bend and Waller counties are governed by those counties. The county residents elect representative county commissioners who represent them on the county courts of each county, presided over by the county judge of each county.
Harris County Precinct Three, headed by Steve Radack as of 2008, serves the Harris County portion of Katy.
People who live in Katy are zoned to schools in the Katy Independent School District. While multiple Katy ISD schools have "Katy, Texas" postal addresses, only a portion are located in and/or serve the City of Katy city limits.
The elementary schools in the City of Katy are listed here:
The following middle schools serve the City of Katy's residents:
The following high schools serve the City of Katy's residents:
Aristoi Classical Academy is a charter school in Katy.
The following private schools are located in Katy and serve residents of the City of Katy and Greater Houston:
Katy is served by the Houston Community College System. HCC Northwest College operates the Katy Campus in an unincorporated section of Harris County.
The Bible Seminar offers non-denominational college-level Bible study and ministry training, including a graduate-level Master of Divinity degree. It also offers a Bible Certificate program for local church members and leaders.
The University of Houston recently purchased the Verde Park Development site with plans to break ground on a Katy Campus at I10 and 99
Katy is served by the Katy Branch of Harris County Public Library (HCPL) at 5414 Franz Road. The branch is a partnership between HCPL and the City of Katy. The city joined the county library system in 1921. The Katy Garden Club started the first library, which was housed in several private houses. At a later point it shared space with the Katy Fire Department. The first Katy branch opened in 1940. The Friends of the Katy Library began in 1972. The construction of the current 15,000-square-foot (1,400 m2) branch began in 2002. The current branch building opened for regular business in Monday April 28, 2003, with its grand opening ceremony on the previous day.
The Cinco Ranch Branch Library is in Cinco Ranch, in unincorporated Fort Bend County, south of Katy. The HCPL Maud Smith Marks Branch Library is in unincorporated Harris County, west of Katy.
Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) operates the Kingsland Park and Ride (Route 221) east of Katy at 21669 Kingsland Boulevard. In February 2008 METRO opened a new park and ride location at the Cinemark parking lots near the intersection of Grand Parkway and I-10. The new Route is #222. Currently, only these express routes operate to and from downtown Houston during morning and evening commute hours.
METRO opened a six-story garage Park And Ride Bus Depot at the intersection of I-10 west and the Grand Parkway to service commuters.
Greyhound Bus Lines operates the Katy Station at Millers Exxon. Megabus.com stops at Katy Mills en route between Austin, San Antonio and Houston. This serves as a park-and-ride location for riders from the Katy and Greater Houston area.
Privately owned airports for fixed-wing aircraft for public use located near Katy include:
Privately owned airports for private use include:
Area airports with commercial airline service include George Bush Intercontinental Airport and William P. Hobby Airport, both of which are in Houston.
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