Perry Homes Taking Bids on More Detention Ponds for Woodridge Village

Note: This post has been modified to delete the mention of storm drains. On closer examination of older photos, it appears that the storm drains were installed before January 20th.

Perry Taking Bids on New Detention Ponds

Perry Homes is taking bids on additional detention ponds, as you can see from this document by LJA Engineering, their engineering firm for this property.

In a letter Perry’s lawyer sent to the City Attorney on October 17, 2019, Perry Homes promised the City they would accelerate construction of those. They were originally scheduled for Phase 1.

Status of Detention Pond Construction

The letter by Perry’s lawyer laid out a timetable. Perry Homes was supposed to have finished the S2 detention pond in 30-45 days.

As of last Thursday, they were still doing touch-up work on detention pond S1. Specifically, they were removing soil that had eroded into the pond since last May.

Woodridge Village S1 Pond still has no grass on shoulders almost a year after substantial completion. Last week, workers were trying to repair sidewall erosion and remove sand from pilot channel.

Grass still has not grown on the sides of either the S1 or S2 ponds.

Woodridge Village S1 detention pond still has no grass despite substantial completion before the May storms last year. Photo taken 2/13/2020.
Woodridge Village S2 pond as of 2/13/2020 still shows little grass.

Perry’s letter to the City promised construction of a berm between S1 and S2. Work on the berm connecting S1 and S2 looked like it had not begun yet as of last week.

Area between S1 and S2 where berm should be. Photo taken 2/13/2020. I can’t see it in this photo, but in fairness, resident Jeff Miller feels Perry is building this area up slightly.

Work on Three Northern Ponds Still Not Started

Perry still has less than 25% of the promised detention capacity constructed. Work on the three northern detention ponds has definitely not begun yet as you can see from the photos below. I took all of them on 2/13/2020.

The N1 detention pond should go in the foreground in the northwest corner of the site.
Montgomery County partially excavated this pond decades ago to count as detention for other development. Perry Homes must deepen it to create additional detention for this site. This is the N2 pond in the middle of the western side.
The N3 Pond will go above the S2 pond shown in the foreground here. It should stretch almost all the way back to the far tree line.

How Long Will It Take to Build Ponds?

Neither Perry Homes, nor LJA engineering has published bid requirements for the ponds. The only thing we currently have to go on for a construction timetable is J. Carey Gray’s letter to the City.

In it, Perry committed to developing each of those ponds within 250-280 days. Assuming construction remains on schedule and that the deadlines are sequential, not concurrent, Perry should complete the remainder of the ponds in 2.3 years.

If the work on S2 is any indication, consider this. Perry had substantially completed the S2 pond before Imelda. As of today, they have gone 109 days past a 45-day self-imposed deadline. They still don’t have a maintenance road around it. Nor do they have grass established on the sides of it. Both are Montgomery County requirements.

Implications for Future

The end of Perry’s letter says, “…we will continue to consider alternatives that provide more robust mitigation.” Presumably that was a veiled reference to a potential buyout by the City of Houston or Harris County Flood Control. No one is talking about that alternative at the moment…if it exists. A spokesperson for the City this afternoon said only, “We support any alternative that reduces flooding.”

On one hand, it’s exciting that Perry is finally moving forward with work that should have been completed long ago. But on the other…

… the additions to infrastructure signal that hopes for a buyout by the City of Houston and/or Harris County Flood Control – to provide more robust mitigation – have vanished or are fading quickly.

We should not forget that even if Perry succeeds in building additional ponds, they are based on old rainfall statistics. The NOAA Atlas 14 rainfall statistics – on which new flood maps are being redrawn – require about 40% more detention capacity.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 2/18/2020

903 Days after Hurricane Harvey and 151 since Imelda

The thoughts expressed in this post represent opinions on matters of public concern and safety. They are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP Statute of the Great State of Texas.