The controversial Laurel Springs RV Resort appears to have another problem with permit violations. The resort’s detention pond falls within the FAA regulatory limit and should remain “completely dry between storms.” But it’s not.
How Building Permit Reads
This notation is clearly marked on the resort’s detention and mitigation plan approved by the City of Houston on 12/2/2020.
While FAA regulations give owners two days to drain ponds after storms, the Laurel Springs RV Resort pond has remained wet for more than two months. See a sampling of pictures below.
Purpose of FAA Regulation
I looked up the FAA Advisory above to see exactly what it said. To summarize the relevant portions of the 28-page document, they prohibit the construction of wet-bottom, stormwater-retention ponds within a certain range of airports. The concern: the water could attract ducks and geese that create a hazard for aircraft taking off, landing or circling. The detention pond for the Laurel Springs RV Resort falls within the regulated range of Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport.
Note the regulation above was revised about the time that the City of Houston approved the Laurel Springs RV Resort plans. While the wording in the replacement varies somewhat, the key point remains.
The updated report also states that 90% of bird strikes on aircraft happen under 3,000 feet.
History of Troubles
At first, contractors seemed to be doing everything they could to keep the Laurel Springs RV Resort pond dry. In January, they even opened up a trench in the southern wall of the pond to drain it into Harris County’s Edgewater Park, violating their TCEQ Construction General Permit. After they finally installed the permanent drainage, mysterious black spots started appearing on the floor of the pond.
Now it appears they’re just letting the water evaporate and leak out through the wall of the pond, running afoul of the FAA regulations.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 5/31/2022
1736 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.