Yet more drone footage by local resident and videographer Jim Zura of Zura Productions revealed that Elm Grove and North Kingwood Forest weren’t the only areas with flooding problems on May 7, 2019. The low-lying Romerica land is in the floodway and floodplain of the San Jacinto West Fork. A large part of the property is also classified as wetlands.
May continued the developers’ long standing tradition of flooding follies.
Both the TCEQ and US Fish & Wildlife Service complained about the flooding and wetlands when protesting Romerica’s permit application to build high rises in an old riverbed of the West Fork. Between February of 2018 and January of this year, the Romerica property flooded six times – once every other month. In April, Romerica requested an extension of the time allowed to respond to 727 protest letters. The Army Corps withdrew their application instead, but without prejudice. That means the developer may reapply at a future date.
Zura Videos Show Scope of Flooding Day After May 7
Zura filmed three short drone videos linked below. The first two from River Grove Park show the extent of Romerica’s flooding problems on May 7. The third shows street flooding on May 3 on much higher ground.
The first shows how deep the water was in River Grove’s popular boardwalk area. It also shows wetlands adjacent to Woodland Hills, near where Romerica wants to build a commercial and retail mall.
The second shows how much of the developer’s property was flooded after a four inch rain the night before.
The third video shows trucks trying to navigate down a residential street on much higher ground.
Romerica Reportedly Reapplying for Permit
Romerica has reportedly decided to reapply for a permit from the Army Corps. As they develop the required surveys and studies coming out of Round One, they have taken down many of the websites that previously caused them so many problems. For instance, they removed the site offering EB-5 visas to foreign investors through their American Vision program. However, I have screen captures of all the suspect websites.
Zura’s video underscores the folly of developing this property into anything other than a park. I hope Mr. Haddad and Mr. Covarrubias watch these videos closely.
The Producers Sequel called The Developers?
This is starting to feel like a remake of a Mel Brooks 1960s movie called The Producers. In the movie, a Broadway producer discovers that he can make a lot more money with a flop than a hit by overselling shares in the production, because no one will audit the books of a play presumed to have lost money. If I were developing the sequel, I would call it The Developers and base it on two foreign investors trying to recreate a suburban Atlantis for which they can also sell flood insurance backed by (you guessed it) the U.S. Government.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 6/11/2019
651 Days since Hurricane Harvey