When last I checked on the status of Perry Homes’ Woodridge Village project in Montgomery County north of Elm Grove, contractors were still putting the finishing touches on detention ponds. Since then, Perry has:
- Erected chain-link fencing with barbed wire around the perimeter
- Planted some grass to stabilize the soil
- Removed all construction equipment from the site.
More Than a Year After Imelda, Still No Deal
Perry is waiting to see if Harris County and the City will be able to finalize a deal to purchase the site and turn it into a regional detention basin. The three sides have been talking for more than a year. The project twice contributed to flooding Elm Grove last year after Perry cleared the land but before they built all of the required detention capacity.
In February this year, the City declined to consider purchasing Woodridge Village. The City said it was the County’s responsibility because voters passed a flood bond, even though the City had approved Perry’s plans even before LJA’s drainage analysis had been submitted.
Harris County has subsequently tried to buy the land and build more detention capacity since April. But Precinct 1 Commission Rodney Ellis has heaped new conditions on the sale every time the sides seem close to reaching a deal. Commissioners finally voted to approve negotiation of an earnest money contract in September. But then, at the October 27 Commissioners Court Meeting, Ellis hinted that he now wants the City to apply his “equity” standards to its own flood mitigation projects. “I’m going to propose that they give us a recommendation or I’ll come up with one,“ he bragged. Or threatened.
In the meantime, Perry Homes hinted to Elm Grove leaders that, “It sure would be nice if all those lawsuits went away.” Perry Homes also still has a “For Sale” sign up on the property, although the listing company does not show the property on their website.
This all reminds me of a line from one of my favorite movies. “Once the plan gets too complex, everything can go wrong.”Walter Sobchak in Big Lebowski
At this rate, the 60% solution may stay the 60% solution for a long time. Certainly, the lawsuits show no sign of going away any time soon. The Harris County District Clerk’s website (see CAUSE NO. 2019-33415) has seen a flurry of filings in recent months.
Here’s how the site looks today.
The detention ponds passed several minor tests last spring and summer, but have yet to see a major challenge.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 11/9/2020
1168 Days since Hurricane Harvey and 417 since Imelda