Living on the Edge or The Death of Caution
Ninety-one more acres. Gone. Without a care or hint of caution. This used to be a forest and wetlands. With deer. Seasonal ponds. And creeks running through it. Adjacent to the West Fork of the San Jacinto.
And most of it is in the floodplain. Which will likely be expanded shortly after this development is built.
Now it’s barren. Dirt in the process of becoming concrete and asphalt shingles. Three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath tributes to willful blindness. The “vision” of a Colorado developer. Who saw an opportunity to buy cheap, flood-prone land and sell high. If they marketed it right.
Maybe they will call the high-density, starter homes “river estates.” Maybe the streets will bear the names of the birds or wild animals that once lived here. Eagle Pond. White Tail Trail. Or maybe the names will invoke the imagery of an exclusive retreat by the shore of a natural wonder. Sandy Shore Lane. Hidden Springs.
But the reality will be far different. Mold. Rot. Silicosis from the surrounding sand mines. Flooding. Repairs. Living with fear every time a storm approaches. Years lost hassling with adjusters and contractors. Paying for the home over and over again…every time it is rebuilt. Tax protests. Eventual buyouts. Abandonment. Decay. Demolition.
And finally eventual restoration of the forest and wetlands, that if left intact, could have avoided all the pain and suffering. Here. And downstream. Where other people had no idea that tax-subsidized flood-insurance would encourage the death of caution and put them at risk, too.
More on Throwing Caution to Wind
As a side note: Did you notice something else in the photos of this Montgomery County development? Just like Woodridge Village, silt fences have major gaps! Runoff is going directly into ditches which lead to the West Fork. I wonder if the Montgomery County permitting authorities and TCEQ know about that. LJA Engineers probably hasn’t gotten around to inspecting this one yet. Are you seeing a pattern here?
Posted by Bob Rehak on 7/11/2019 with drone photography by Fritz Willette of BCAeronautics
681 Days since Hurricane Harvey
All thoughts expressed in this post are my opinions on matters of public policy and safety. They are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP Statute of the Great State of Texas.