Perry Homes left the future of a popular Kingwood trail in doubt when it abruptly removed its excavation equipment from Woodridge Village before Christmas. The trail, owned by the Sherwood/Elm Grove Trail Association (SEGTA) runs along the northern border of Kingwood, parallel to Woodridge Village. Hundreds of students used it to get to Kingwood Park High School via foot and bicycle. And residents used it to get to shopping in the Northpark Place Commercial District. But not now. Perry Home’s contractors destroyed a section about 500 feet long. And with their construction equipment now gone, only warning signs remain.
Approximate Location of Destroyed Trail
The map below shows the approximate location of the portion of the trail that Perry Homes destroyed. Hikers and bikers must now detour through streets – none of which have sidewalks. That poses a safety hazard.
How Could This Happen?
According to Ethel McCormick of Kingwood Association Management, Friendswood initially built the trail then gave it to SEGTA. However, part of it wandered onto property that Friendswood also owned but did not give to SEGTA. They later sold that adjacent property to Lennar. No one developed the property through seven changes of ownership. Then in 2018, it became Woodridge Village.
When Perry Home started the new development, surveyors found that the part of the trail was not on SEGTA land but belonged to Perry Homes’ subsidiary, Figure Four Partners. The developer destroyed that part.
However, they intended to reconnect it later when they became part of the Kingwood network. But with Perry Homes apparently abandoning plans to finish the development, the trail’s fate is now in limbo.
The SEGTA Board does not have any information about what will happen at this time, according to McCormick. But it was a major topic of discussion at SEGTA’s last board meeting.
Perry Homes left abruptly before Christmas without restoring the missing part, removing warning signs or taking down construction fencing.
In the meantime, residents and their children do not have use of the remaining trail on Association property. And they must detour several blocks on streets around the interruption below.
Options for Association
At this point, it appears the Sherwood-Elm Grove Trail association has three options.
- Move the trail back onto its own property.
- Abandon it.
- Hope that Perry Homes or whoever buys this property reconnects it to an expanded trail network.
As of this morning, Perry Homes still had no construction equipment on either the southern or northern sections of Woodridge Village. They only had tree mulching equipment working on the northern portion of the site. With Perry Homes’ intentions unclear, option three could take years.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 12/27/2019
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