Mavera Wetlands Bite the Dust
Mavera, a 1700-acre new development in southern Montgomery County at FM1314 and US242 has finished clearing a large section of land northwest of the intersection and started pouring concrete. Signs welcome visitors to model homes. The area, once laced with wetlands now has a massive linear detention pond and uses FM1314 for outflow control.
Areas west of FM1314 to Crystal Creek are also being cleared, but their current state of development is not quite as advanced.
Likewise, an area east of FM1314 has expanded north, almost to Gulf Coast Road. Neither is its drainage fully developed.
Long, Linear Detention
The development relies on a wide linear detention basin – more than a mile long! And that’s only the part east of FM1314!
Two smaller basins also exist. One is currently by a small park and recreation center.
In the photo above, also note the small swales that outline lots. Will some drainage go overland? Or is underground drainage just not connected to the detention basin yet?
The Mavera website by Centex homes says the swimming pool at the rec center will open late this summer. Pulte will also build homes in Mavera.
Name Changes and a “Beat the Peak” Drainage Analysis
I previously posted about Mavera in January. Compare the pictures taken then.
The development seems to have undergone a series of name changes. The land was originally known as the Denbury Tract. Later, construction plans and a drainage analysis refer to it as Madera. But now, the builders are marketing it as Mavera.
The drainage plans for Mavera (aka Madera/Denbury tract) rely on a hydrologic timing assessment (see last line in screen capture above).
Harris County has tried to discourage neighboring counties from using such analyses. They encourage developers to get stormwater to streams and rivers faster rather than slower. The theory is that if you can beat the peak of a flood then you aren’t adding to it. But if everybody tries to “beat the peak,” eventually you shift the peak and flood downstream neighbors. For a full discussion of drainage issues, see my previous post.
The drainage analysis claims the development will have no downstream impact, but engineers didn’t study those areas. Nor did they study how new development upstream may have already shifted the peak of a flood.
Impact on FM1314?
Long linear detention schemes typically accelerate the flow of water. This one will rely on one culvert under FM1314 to hold back more than a mile of water collected from hundreds of acres. That will put a lot of pressure on FM1314 in a heavy storm.
The roadway will act as a dam to detain water collected from almost all of the area shown in the photo below.
Let’s hope all that water doesn’t blow out the road like Colony Ridge drainage blew out FM1010 in Liberty County.
For Potential Home Buyers
FEMA mapped most of this area in a ten-year flood zone. For the sake of potential home buyers, let’s also hope the engineers got the drainage calculations right.
Potential homebuyers may also be interested in reading about the risks of building homes over wetlands.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 7/16/2022
1782 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.