Preserve at Woodridge. Does it really have 65% impervious cover or is it more?

65% Impervious Cover?

Only about 4.4% of the land in the U.S. has estimated impervious cover greater than 40%. Usually, high percentages of impervious cover are associated with shopping malls; large apartment complexes; manufacturing and warehouse districts; and densely populated urban neighborhoods. Now there’s a new entry in that category: the Preserve at Woodridge – single-family housing so close together that you can spread your arms and touch two homes.

If you like living close to neighbors, the Preserve at Woodridge will be for you. Guefen, the developer, claims 65% impervious cover. Assuming their calculations and claims are accurate, what does that look like?

We can now see. Builders have framed the first cluster of homes. I’ve posted before about how close together these homes would be. But until you see them, the proximity is hard to fathom. They certainly don’t pass the eyeball test for 65% impervious cover.

Pictures Dramatize Proximity of Homes

The good news is that these homes, some as large as 660 square feet, definitely have more space than a porta-potty or a cargo container. You’ll be able to vacuum the home in world-record time. And you’ll never have to wonder where you left your cell phone. It would be impossible to lose in a home this small.

The cluster of homes shown above is also shown in the schematic below.
Note 4.95-foot width between home in middle and one below it. See actual space below where ladder is.

You know things are tight when the developer measures the distance between homes down to the hundredth of a foot (1/12th of an inch).

Notice how the ladder leaning on one home is braced against the foundation of another. Those two homes have less than five feet of separation.

Regardless, the engineers claim the development has 65% impervious cover for the purposes of calculating detention pond volume. That means 35% would be pervious, i.e., grass. See below.

From developer’s drainage calculations, page 20.

But Where Do You Put the Lawnmower?

But with so much shade between the homes, can you really get grass to grow? And if you can, where do you put the lawnmower? The developer has only 34 garage spaces for 131 homes. Perhaps you can put the mower under your Murphy bed. Or in your gym bag.

More pads for the next batch of homes.
Status of Preserve-at-Woodridge construction as of 1/29/2022.

Guefen plans to rent, not sell these homes. I guess you could consider these a step up from apartment living. But the developer has not preserved much at the Preserve. They certainly won’t live up to the reputation of the Livable Forest.

This is going to feel more like high-density, inner-city living … without the public transportation. We’ll soon see if there really is a market for this concept in the Kingwood Area.

How Impervious Cover Can Contribute to Flooding

The higher the percentage of impervious cover, the less stormwater soaks into the ground. It runs off faster. And without sufficient detention pond capacity, flood peaks build higher.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 1/30/2022

1615 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.