A letter dated September 30, 2023, and signed by all 25 members of the Texas Republican Congressional delegation urged Gov. Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton to investigate numerous allegations related to Colony Ridge in an upcoming special session of the Texas Legislature. The Colony Ridge developer has already launched a charm offensive designed to defeat what it calls “scurrilous rumors and lies.”
Congressional Letter Suggests Scope of Investigation
The controversial Liberty County development has drawn media attention dating back to at least 2015. The letter by Texas Congressional Republicans refers to many of those. Allegations in the letter include:
- “Owner-financed loans with no credit check or proof of legal residency, making the location an optimal haven for illegal aliens amid a historic border crisis.”
- Public safety concerns, including creating a “no-go zone” for law enforcement
- Sewage spills
- Fecal contamination in drainage ditches
- Significant erosion in drainage ditches leading to increased risk of downstream flooding
- Adverse effects on neighboring communities
- Unsuccessful local attempts to remediate issues
- Lack of fire hydrants
- Improvised living conditions
- Water, power and flooding issues
- Violent crime including several high profile murders
- The largest drug busts in the history of Liberty County
- Drug cartel activity
- Overwhelming the Cleveland ISD with “thousands of illegal aliens.”
The letter concludes with:
- A list of things that the Congressional Republicans have fought for at the federal level to make America secure.
- A request for Abbott and Paxton to share the results of their investigations with Congress.
- An offer to assist the state.
Since media attention to Colony Ridge has mushroomed, claims like those above have become harder and harder to brush off – especially in an election year, when Republicans have framed illegal immigration as a core issue.
To see the full, six-page, footnoted letter, click here.
Will Investigation be Instant Replay of Paxton Impeachment Trial?
Ironically, Paxton’s office will theoretically do the investigating. His recent impeachment trial centered around his relationship with a developer (but not this one). It will be interesting to see how/whether that affects this investigation. Only one thing is certain: Paxton, Abbott and Colony Ridge will be under a national spotlight.
Colony Ridge Developer Launches Charm Campaign
The developer also released a letter, one day ahead of the Congressional letter. (See below.) It calls the allegations “salacious lies and rumors.” It offered to give members of the Texas legislature tours of Colony Ridge in advance of the upcoming special session. I’m sure the tours will be heavily curated. For instance, I doubt they will:
- Go down streets with horrific living conditions
- Highlight their lack of fire hydrants
- Show off sewage spills
- Point out the bridge they blew out on FM1010
- Highlight the repossession rate of property (I talked to one owner of a new lot who was the fourth owner.)
- Tour eroded channels (that would require maintenance roads at a minimum).
Here’s the Colony Ridge letter.
Notice that the developer’s letter does NOT deny drainage problems.
Complies with All Regulations? Really???
I was not invited to the developer’s party. But any member of the Texas legislature who wants to see whether they comply with Liberty County regulations can consult these posts.
When I first started exploring Colony Ridge, I learned that Liberty County did not have construction plans, nor required drainage studies for many Colony Ridge subdivisions. And those that the County could supply underestimated the runoff from Colony Ridge by misrepresenting the soil types found there. The extra runoff blew out FM1010 which remains unrepaired as of this writing.
Colony Ridge also failed to meet fire-hydrant spacing and pressure requirements in the Liberty County Fire Code. I have ten fire hydrants on my block. At last count, Colony Ridge had 59 in an area 50% larger than Manhattan.
If you want to see an example of their “fully engineered” sewers, see this post. But hold your nose.
This post explores more Colony Ridge issues and impacts…
Posted by Bob Rehak on October 1, 2023
2224 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.