How much impervious cover does this development really have?

Impervious Cover Percentage Raises Downstream Concerns

The Preserve at Woodridge based its detention basin calculations on 65% impervious cover. But photos taken on 11/26/22, a full year after they cleared the land, suggest the impervious-cover percentage may have been dramatically understated.

That affects the amount and speed of runoff. And that raises concerns for downstream residents along Ben’s Branch, many of whom have flooded in recent years, in part because of dense upstream developments like this one.

Looking straight down reveals little dirt between the densely packed rental homes and the concrete surrounding them.

Taken 11/26/22

I continue to be amazed at how the developer claims that one third of this dense, concrete bungle is NOT “impervious cover.” And lest you think I selectively cropped the photo above to exaggerate the percentage of concrete, the shot below shows virtually the entire development.

Taken 11/26/22. Area on right still does not have sidewalks.

Pushing the Limits

At my age, I don’t like the idea of carrying groceries blocks from my car to my house – which I would potentially have to do here.

Nevertheless, to give credit where credit is due, it appears that this developer has a flair for pushing limits. Just look at the development’s website. They offer “unmatched amenities” like vinyl flooring.

And some homes are 660 square feet. Much smaller and you would expect the residents to wear orange jumpsuits.

But still, this new concept in luxury living has its rewards:

  • No stairs to climb like in apartments.
  • An extra wall between you and your neighbor’s stereo.
  • On-street parking, just like Manhattan.
  • 147 parking spaces for 131 homes.
  • Plenty of nearby food-trucks.
  • A “Scream Park” and fireworks stand within walking distance.
  • No leaves to rake.
  • Your own toilet.

This is way better than life in a frat house. The stainless steel refrigerators are definitely a step up from Igloo coolers.

The only thing missing is a pet run that can accommodate a Chihuahua and Cocker Spaniel at the same time.

But seriously, this developer claims to have identified a niche between sleeping bags and starter homes. Perhaps the company will pioneer a new market and this will be the future of Montgomery County. To see their construction plans, click here.

Will Detention Basin Hold Enough?

I just hope their detention pond is big enough in case their impervious-cover calculations are off.

Preserve at Woodridge detention basin is built to pre-Atlas 14 rainfall rates. It appears partially fenced in so that residents can’t walk around it.

Montgomery County’s Subdivision Rules and Regulations specify that outfall ditches, such as the one in the photo above only need to carry a 25 year rain. (See page 9.) With that in mind, it seems that this detention pond would fill up quickly from ditch overflow in a 25-year rain and provide little detention benefit during 50- or 100-year rains. And that’s no joke.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 11/28/2022

1918 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.