On September 26th, the City of Houston fired off a Cease-and-Desist Letter to Perry Homes regarding its Woodridge Village development just north of Elm Grove. The letter warned Perry and its subsidiaries to stop sending sediment into Houston storm drains. Now it appears the Perry gang is violating Montgomery County regulations, too. Let me call your attention to page 28 of the Montgomery County Subdivision Rules and Regulations. The sediment section reads (and I quote verbatim):
“IV. SEDIMENT CONTROL AND SEDIMENTATION PONDS. The subdivider shall provide effective sediment control measures in the planning and construction of subdivisions. Practical combinations of the following technical principles should be applied:
- No more than ten acres of land in road right-of-way shall be exposed at any one time during development, without prior approval of the County Engineer.
- When land is exposed during development, the exposure shall be kept to the shortest practical period of time.
- Temporary vegetation and/or mulching shall be used to protect critical area exposed during development.
- Sediment basins and traps shall be installed and maintained in properly designated places to remove sediment from runoff waters on land undergoing development.
- Provisions shall be made to accommodate the increased runoff caused by changed soil and surface conditions during and after development.
- The permanent final vegetation and structures shall be installed as soon as practical in the development.
- The development plat shall be fitted to the topography and soils so as to create the least erosion potential.”
Let’s compare these principles with Perry’s practices.
Shall provide effective sediment control measures in construction?
No more than 10 acres of land shall be exposed at any one time?
Land exposed for shortest practical period of time?
Provisions to accommodate increased runoff?
Final structures installed as soon as practical? Let’s look at detention ponds…that aren’t there…despite months of ideal construction weather.
Plat fitted to soils to create the least erosion possible?
Seven Strikes and You’re Out?
Not if you’re Perry Homes. Because when I first complained to the TCEQ about sediment flowing from the site in May, the TCEQ referred the investigation to Montgomery County. Then Montgomery County referred it to LJA Engineering. Perry Homes, of course, hired LJA to do the engineering on this site. So LJA was investigating itself and its client. Surprise, surprise, everyone called the problem fixed after installing some silt fencing in May. But it wasn’t fixed. Five months later, even more people flooded during Imelda than on May 7.
With the exception of some work on detention pond S2 last summer, Perry has not bothered to:
- Expand detention capacity
- Plant vegetation
- Install sediment basins
- Reduce runoff
- Compensate for the wetlands and streams they filled in
Perry has done nothing in SEVEN months that reduced flood risk to Elm Grove. The work they did last summer didn’t prevent flooding in September. And they haven’t done anything since.
Yet Kathy Perry Britton, Perry Homes CEO, talks about the value of character, integrity and decisive action. The value of practicing good corporate responsibility. And Perry Homes’ commitment to excellence and distinguished reputation.
News flash, Ms. Britton. Going 0-7 doesn’t show a commitment to excellence. And suing flood victims certainly won’t establish a distinguished reputation. Although it may put you in the Hall of Shame with Montgomery County Commissioners who refuse to enforce their own regulations.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 11/12/2019, with thanks to Jeff Miller
805 Days since Hurricane Harvey and 54 since Imelda
The thoughts expressed in this post represent my opinions on matters of public policy and safety. They are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP Statute of the Great State of Texas.