Kingwood Greens Evacuation During Harvey by Jay Muscat

Next Steps for Army Corps in Evaluating High-Rise Permit Application

Janet Botello, a USACE Evaluation Branch Chief, provided the following explanation about next steps in the Army Corps’ permit evaluation for the high-rise marina project in Kingwood.

Kingwood Greens Evacuation During Harvey by Elgene Muscat
High-rise marina project is at a cross-roads. Harvey Photo by Jay Muscat.

30 Days For Applicant to Respond

Said Botello, “As the comment period has closed, we are providing the applicant with those public comments we’ve received. Applicants have 30 days to respond to those issues and concerns raised during the comment period.”

Next Steps Contingent on Applicant Responses

Botello continued, “Once we receive those responses, we will be in a better position to determine if a public hearing will be held.”

Ms. Botello also stated,  “If we determine that additional information is needed for us to make a decision on this permit application that has not been already gathered from the public or applicant through our public interest review process, the Corps may decide to hold some type of public meeting.”

The Corps did not give a firm deadline for the decision on a public hearing.

Assuming that:

  • It takes a week or two to log, parse, process and transmit all the comments to Romerica…
  • And that it takes Romerica another month to respond…
  • And that it takes the Corps a few weeks to review their responses…

…my guess is that we should be hearing from the Corps in May as to whether a public hearing is needed.

They also leave open the possibility that a public MEETING may be needed if they need even MORE information/input. Please note: the Corps draws a distinction between public hearings and public meetings.

Difference Between Hearing and Meeting

At a hearing, citizens state their complaints and the Corps listens, but makes no comment and asks no questions. A meeting, on the other hand, is more of a dialog. The meeting Romerica scheduled is NOT the meeting that the Corps refers to.

I am told by people who have worked these kinds of issues with the Corps before that it can take months before a final decision is rendered. One engineer suggested it could take the rest of this year. The Corps did not provide a total time estimate.

To see the original public notice with project specs, maps and details, click here.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 3/5/19

554 Days since Hurricane Harvey