Preserve At Woodridge

Guefen Clears 17 Acres Between KPHS, St. Martha for 131 High-Density Homes. Will Detention Pond Be Enough?

Guefen Development Partners has announced that it will build a “luxury single family build to rent multifamily community” [sic] on 17 acres between Kingwood Park High School and the St. Martha Church on Woodridge Parkway.

Future site of Preserve At Woodridge. Looking W toward St. Martha Church across a drainage ditch that empties into Bens Branch.

Nine Homes Per Acre with 65% Impervious Cover

Guefen will build 131 units on 14.65 acres. The rest of the 17 acres will contain a detention pond. That works out to nine homes per acre. RG Miller, the firm that engineered the “Preserve at Woodridge” estimates the development will have 65% impervious cover. See the Plans here. (Caution: large file, 21 mb download.)

Grass will definitely be in the minority. I’m not sure what the Preserve is preserving. The site certainly preserves no trees.

Pictures Taken This Week

Here’s what Guefen’s land looks like as of this week.

Looking E. Cleared area between St. Martha and Kingwood Park High School baseball fields will hold 131 homes and a detention pond.
Guefen’s detention pond will border the drainage ditch that empties into Bens Branch about a block south.

Basis of Detention-Basin Calculations

The technically inclined reader may appreciate the detention calculations below. The basis for the calculations is a 16.1 inch rain in 24-hours which is the Atlas-14 amount used throughout Montgomery County. MoCo specifies an average to keep things simple for developers. Their average is slightly less than the 17.3 inches specified by NOAA for the Kingwood area.

See pages 17-24 for the drainage portion of the subdivision plans.

Will the Detention Pond Be Enough?

With other high-density developments going in upstream along Bens Branch, I hope Guefen’s detention pond capacity will suffice. Brooklyn Trails, several blocks upstream on another tributary of Bens Branch, lacks about 30% of the capacity needed to meet Atlas-14 requirements according to my calculations.

Montgomery County’s Subdivision Rules and Regulations specify that outfall ditches, such as the one in the first photo above only need to carry a 25 year rain. (See page 9.) With that in mind, it seems like Guefen’s detention pond so near a ditch would fill up quickly from ditch overflow in a 25-year rain and provide little detention benefit for anything heavier, for instance, 50-100 year rains.

If that ditch ever needs to be widened, like Hall’s Bayou, the fact that so many homes are built so close to it will severely limit mitigation options.

You can’t build mitigation projects if you don’t have the land.

668 SF Homes with “Interior Garages” and “Luxury Vinyl” Flooring

The 131 single-family detached homes will range in size from 668 square feet to 1,255 square feet and feature “luxury vinyl” flooring. The press release boasts of an “amenity suite” including interior garages. It’s hard to imagine how much living space would be left in 668-SF homes with “interior garages.”

So I checked the plans. I found 29 parking spots labeled “garage spcs.” Many more exterior parking spaces exist. But no one, it appears, will be unloading groceries from his/her car directly into a kitchen. Your “interior garage” could be several homes away.

Nor do all the homes front on a street. That’s going to make moving day hard for your college buddies. You know who your real friends are when they’ll go the distance for you.

Speaking of going the distance, in case of an emergency, that firetruck may be parking 250 feet away from some homes. That’s almost the length of a football field.


According to Guefen’s website and press release, the company sees a niche market for this type of housing in the Kingwood area. They are building these homes to rent them, not sell them. The company normally specializes in multifamily and student housing.

While plans show detached homes, they also show five to six feet of separation. That should be enough to dampen most stereos. So party on, Wayne!

Posted by Bob Rehak on 11/10/2021

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