Last Saturday morning (9/26/2020), Sally and JG Geis were out walking around Lake Woodlands. They came across a gathering of people protesting a proposed new development on Mitchell island in the lake.
The protesters’ concerns centered around the re-platting of the development. They feared it would bring an increase in traffic, create demands on local infrastructure, and impact nesting eagles. The majestic raptors in The Woodlands have attracted birders and tourists for decades.
Higher Density Now Planned in Sensitive Area
The 23-acre island was originally platted for 19 homes with a minimum size of 7,000 square feet. The new plan consists of 58 high-end residential homesites, which will reportedly start at $1 million.
According to nearby residents, the new plan will affect a pair of nesting bald eagles which visit the area every year.
Notice of October 1 Online Public Hearing
From 1+ acre lots to 10 foot lot lines. Note the credit line near the bottom. LJA Engineering! Wherever there is controversy, we seem to find LJA Engineering.
Trying to Beat the Clock on New Regs and Flood Maps?
After LJA rushed to get their plans for Woodridge Village approved before new Atlas-14 rainfall statistics went into effect, hundreds of homes in Elm Grove flooded. Is LJA trying to beat the clock once again before new regulations and floodplain maps go into effect?
This island sits within the extra-territorial jurisdiction of the City of Houston (CoH). So it must meet CoH floodplain requirements. The City and Harris County are trying to harmonize their floodplain regulations. Changes in those regulations could affect development on the island. Most of the island currently lies in the .2%-annual-chance floodplain. But portions lie in the 1%-annual-chance floodplain. See below. When new flood maps are redrawn, parts of that .2% floodplain could be reclassified as 1%.
Chapter 19 of the City Code currently requires minimum flood protection elevation of 2 feet above the 0.2 percent flood. However, the new plat does not show any retention ponds that could provide fill.
Elevating 58 homes will take lots of fill to meet the CoH minimum elevation requirement. Where will that fill come from? Outside the development? How will that affect the floodplain for surrounding homes? So many questions!
Let’s hope that the people in the City’s Planning and Development department have eyes as good as that eagle’s.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 9/29/2020
1127 Days since Hurricane Harvey
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.