At the 12/12/2019 San Jacinto River Authority (SJRA) Board Meeting, several people talked about problems getting boats in and out of Grand Harbor, a waterfront development on Lake Conroe. They used this to argue against the lowering of the lake. No doubt, the temporary seasonal lowering policy of the SJRA Board makes recreation more difficult for these folks several months out of the year.
However, the seasonal lake lowering policy is just one of many Grand Harbor problems. And the navigation problems did not start with seasonal lake lowering.
Maintenance Issues Dating Back Years
Matt Newsom, a Grand Harbor resident, has produced several videos on waterfront issues associated with the development. In May of 2018, before the lake lowering policy ever started, he produced a video detailing maintenance problems in Grand Harbor. In it, Mr. Newsom describes the origins of Grand Harbor’s problems. They include:
- Developer problems
- Shallow excavation (6 feet)
- Subsequent siltation
- Unsold lots without bulkheading that let hillsides collapse into canals
- Lack of maintenance
- No planning for maintenance assessments
- Broken spillway
- Builders dumping debris into canals
- POAs not accepting responsibility for maintenance
- Homeowners unwilling to fund repairs
Now Problem is Lake Lowering, Not Lack of Maintenance
Mr. Newsom also produced the YouTube video below in November of 2019. It discusses how seasonal lake lowering will affect lakefront property owners in Grand Harbor. It’s based on information provided to Mr. Newsom by the Lake Conroe Association. I reviewed this video last month. It makes no mention of the maintenance problems discussed in the May 2018 video, 18 months earlier, before lake lowering started.
Problems Go Far Deeper than Lake Lowering
I can’t fault Mr. Newsom for fighting for extra water. He appears to be a sincere community activist trying to rally support to tackle a tough problem. I admire him for that. If every community had leaders as committed and as articulate as Mr. Newsome, the world would be a much better place.
I just wish that in his second video he acknowledged that the problems go far deeper (no pun intended) than the lake lowering policy. Lake lowering worsens boating problems. But…
Had the problems outlined above been addressed in a timely way, lowering Lake Conroe would likely not have been the problem for Grand Harbor residents that it is today.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 12/13/2019
836 Days after Hurricane Harvey