New Signorelli Development will replace this forest.

Signorelli Developing Another 3,000 Acres Near Splendora

The Signorelli Company (TSC) of The Woodlands, which developed Valley Ranch, has purchased another 3,000 acres of land near Splendora. The tract will become a master-planned community with more than 7,000 single-family homes in East Montgomery County. Located north of FM 2090 and west of Daw Collins Rd., the new development will be 15 minutes from Valley Ranch and five minutes west of Interstate 69. 

Senior VP Mike Miller said, “We planned the community to provide a unique lifestyle for residents – outside with nature. We are confident the amenities will attract a variety of homebuyers.” 

Amenities will include hundreds of acres of open space, numerous parks, miles of meandering trails, and various recreation areas.

TSC will break ground this fall, with the first phase of single-family homesites delivered by the end of 2023. Upon completion, the community will also have one million square feet of multi-family, office, medical, retail and hospitality space.

Maps of Area

According to Signorelli, new homes will range from the $250s to $700s. Signorelli did not announce a name for the development. Planning is still underway.

Location of new Signorelli development in SE Montgomery County. Map from Houston Business Journal.
Approximate area of Signorelli Development from Google Earth.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Watershed Viewer indicates that the West Fork of Spring Branch and Gully Branch drain most of this area.

Google Earth (above) shows that dense forests cover most of the area, with a few small, scattered farms and ranches. I drove there today to get a closer look. My initial impressions were correct. Gorgeous, secluded country homes on large acreage dot the areas surrounding Signorelli’s land. See below.

Looking west from Daw Collins Road and pipeline corridor. Until now, the area has been home to scattered small ranches and farms, secluded in the forest. Photo taken 6/4/2022.
Looking north from same location. Daw Collins Road on right. Sam Houston National Forest in distance. Photo taken 6/4/2022.

Virtually all of this forest is in some kind of floodplain. See FEMA map below.

Much of Land in Floodplains

FEMA’s National Flood Hazard Layer View shows that large parts of the Signorelli site are in the floodway (striped), 100-year floodplain (aqua) or 500-year floodplain (brown). Photo above this map was taken looking north from red dotted circle.

Keep in mind that the flood map above is based on 2014, pre-Atlas 14 data. The floodplains will expand even further when FEMA updates the flood map.

Current Residents Worry About Development’s Impact on Flooding

I talked to one lady today who lived near the clearing (shown in the first drone photo above) for 55 years. She said she never flooded in all that time. But she worries that she will now. She understood intuitively how the acceleration of runoff from developments, if not properly mitigated, can result in higher flood peaks. She also worried that changes to the slope of the land around her might funnel water toward her property, just as Valley Ranch did to some surrounding homes and businesses.

Only time will tell if her fears are founded. Based on the FEMA flood map above, it appears that Signorelli will need to move a significant amount of earth to elevate homes above floodplains. Signorelli will also likely need to create many detention ponds for an area this large.

Say Goodbye to the Era of Country Retreats

One thing is certain, however. The era of country retreats in this area is history.

The Houston Business Journal published an article on the Signorelli development last week. It listed seven new master-planned developments going in nearby. But the list didn’t even include the closest two, Townsend Reserve and Splendora Crossing on FM2090, about a mile to the southeast and immediately south of Splendora High School. Those have already consumed at least another thousand acres of forest. More on those tomorrow.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 6/5/2022

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