Splendora is exploding with growth. On FM2090 west of U.S.59 near the Splendora High School, two new developments have already cleared 598 acres and have another 611 to go. Together, they could easily quintuple the population of a rural town that only had 1900 residents in the last census.
Development Well Underway
I first covered this story in January. The developers have made remarkable progress since then. Townsend Reserve, Ltd. and Forestar USA, have built drainage, utilities, stormwater detention basins, roads and model homes on most of the land already cleared. Now, they’re building the first homes for sale. Rural, sleepy Splendora will soon change forever.
Here’s the layout and photos of work in progress.
Forestar USA has named its development Presswoods. Townsend Reserve USA has simply called its Townsend Reserve.
Closer Look at Detention Basins
Three things strike me about these photos.
- Stormwater detention basins everywhere you look. Let’s hope the volume is sufficient. Engineers based their calculations on pre-Harvey runoff estimates. As other developers clear additional forests beyond these, drainage assumptions could change radically.
- Huge financial risk. As interest rates continue to climb, will there be buyers for these homes?
- Vast expanse of forests surrounding the developments. They seem endless. But not for long.
People hoping to find a quiet life in the country are gobbling up the very thing they seek.
Maybe this is inevitable. Developers tell me that smaller lot sizes and higher density don’t allow them to preserve trees anymore. Builders just plant one in the front yard when they’re done.
It’s not exactly clear yet how many homes the developers hope to build here. But in the last census, Splendora’s population was only 1,900 people. Even if they just built 5 homes per acre on 800 developable acres and the average household size was 3, that would mean 12,000 people could live here – more than 6X the current population.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 10/10/22
1868 Days since Hurricane Harvey
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