Concern over High-Rise Development Triggers Biggest Turnout for Impromptu Meeting since Annexation

The City of Houston ran out of chairs. At least 500 people tried to cram into a meeting room set to accommodate about 100. Before the meeting could start, partitions had to be opened and hundreds of chairs were added to the room.

An overflowing crowd attended the January 14 meeting at the Kingwood Community Center to learn more about the proposed new high-rise development.

Yes, we’ve had bigger meetings organized by officials that were planned for months, but none like this one. It largely happened over the weekend in response to concerns raised in FaceBook.

Meeting in Response to Imminent Deadline

Concerned citizens organized the meeting hastily in response to a rapidly narrowing window for public comments pertaining to a proposed high-rise development. By developers’ own estimates, the proposal would add more than 8,800 vehicles to already crowded Kingwood traffic. The proposal would also add 25-50 story high-rises within a hundred yards of eagle nests and rambling ranch homes. Thousands of yards of fill would be brought in to elevate the new buildings by 12 feet. Residents worry that the fill will alter drainage patterns and increase flood risk to their homes hand neighbors’.

At the Meeting

  • Barbara Hilburn discussed the impact on internal drainage.
  • Bob Rehak discussed how the Army Corps and TCEQ will evaluate permits and how to phrase comments for maximum impact.
  • Bill Fowler discussed the history of the Corps permitting process
  • Dave Martin discussed the history of the development
  • Dozens of residents expressed their concern

Kaaren Cambio represented Congressman Dan Crenshaw. Kim Brode (Ted Poe’s long-time assistant) is now representing Harris County District 4 Commissioner Jack Cagle. Kim also attended and sent these pictures of the crowd. Sadly, I didn’t realize Kim was in the crowd! She sent me this picture after the event and graciously allowed me to share them.

Download Key Information

I’ve summarized information about the development, how the Corps and TCEQ will evaluate applications, how to compose a response that’s on point, and where to submit your concerns. It’s all in an easy-to-download text-based PDFthat should give you 90% of what you need. You can find additional information and sample letters on this site’s new High-Rises page.

Remember, the deadline for comments is January 29.

Thank you for your overwhelming support. It was nice to learn that people are listening! In the coming days, I’ll be posting additional information about the project. Check back often.

Posted by Bob Rehak on January 14

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