Many residents concerned about the proposed new high-rise development in Kingwood both north and south of the Barrington have requested a meeting on the subject to voice their concerns. Monday night, starting at 6 p.m., they will get that chance at the Kingwood community center.
What the Meeting Will Cover
The meeting will begin with a brief overview of the proposed development and how it will affect the flood plain, floodway and wetlands.
After that, we’ll discuss where permitting stands for the development, and the kinds of things that the TCEQ and US Army Corps of Engineers will look at in the permitting process. They are seeking public comment. This represents your chance to learn about the types of things they look at and how they will make their decision.
Comments Pro or Con Invited From Public
Finally, we’ll open the floor to public comments so that people can share their feelings pro or con for this controversial proposal.
To help you prepare for the meeting and submission of comments to the Corps and TCEQ, I have added a new page to this site called High Rises. On that page, you will find links to conceptual sketches, details, and videos that the developer has prepared. You will also find links to posts about different aspects of the project. Finally, you will find sample protest letters prepared by experts, should you wish to prepare one of your own.
The meeting is free and open to the public. Please come and bring your neighbors:
Kingwood Community Center
4102 Rustic Woods Dr.
Kingwood, TX 77345
Below is a map showing the extent of the high-rise development. It extends from Kingwood Lakes on the north to the San Jacinto River and would contain multiple buildings 25-50 stories tall.
The developer plans to add 12 feet of fill to the flood plain, alter drainage, and fill wetlands. Because of surveys either not conducted by the developer or not supplied by the Corps for public evaluation, it’s not clear how this proposal would affect flooding in Kingwood and Forest Cove. Residents in subdivisions such as Trailwood, Kingwood Lakes, the Barrington, Deer Cove, Kings Forest, Kingwood Greens, and North Shore have expressed worries about backwater effects. A total of 650 homes flooded in those areas during Harvey, in part because of blockages in the river.
The developer’s application is based on old flood plain maps which are being revised as a result of Hurricane Harvey. They do not reflect the current conveyance of the river or an accurate extent of flood plains. The Corps has documented constrictions which the current dredging program will not address. During recent minor floods, gages documented a 10 foot difference upstream and downstream of major sediment dams. As a result the project area flooded three times between December 7 of last year and January 7th of this year. Normally, that area floods only once every other year. Still, the effect of persistent flooding on a high-end resort could be devastating. If the development fails, economic blows could ripple throughout the Lake Houston area.
A web site called VTRUSA.com shows the proposed Kingwood project and talks about it as if it exists already. Notice the redundant use of the word “is” in the copy describing the commercial project. Also notice that in one place, the site talks about the hotel, retail, offices and hotel spaces in the project all having 13,050 square feet. Immediately under that, the site claims the development has:
- 82,500 square meters of retail space (882,750 square feet)
- 179,780 square meters of offices (1,934,433 square feet)
- 20,400 square meters of hotel (219,300 square feet)
- 8,863 parking spaces (about one third of the number of spots at NRG Stadium, which has 26,000)
In total square footage, this is almost three times the size of Deebrook Mall (1.2 million square feet).
Please review the new High-Rise page and join us tomorrow at 6 p.m. Also, please share the high-rise link with any friends, neighbors or relatives who cannot attend. This is a vital issue of public policy that affects the entire future of Kingwood. We need to make sure we get this right. At least, that’s my opinion on a matter of public policy and it’s protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP statutes of the Great State of Texas.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 1/13/2019
502 Days since Hurricane Harvey