Tag Archive for: Hannover Estates

New Development on Townsend in Humble Almost Finished Clearing

Developers have virtually finished clearing approximately 70 acres on Townsend Blvd. West in Humble. The land is immediately north of Sam’s Club and east of Walmart and Aldine ISD’s Jones Middle School. The image below from Google Earth shows the location of the land and the extent of clearing as of last April. At that time, about a quarter of the property had not been cleared. See red oval.

Trees in red oval are now gone. See pictures below.

The two photos below show the land in the red oval as of 9/24/22.

Looking west at newly cleared area toward Townsend and Aldine ISD’s Jones Middle School.
Looking East toward Costco (upper left) and Deerbrook Mall (upper right).

Two Large Detention Basins Already Built

Since my original post on this property, the developers have also built two large stormwater detention basins that comprise most of the eastern boundary.

Two large detention basins sit between the development to the east and the land that developers will build on.
A second basin lies between the larger one above and the drainage ditch to the north.

The basins are a bit hard to see in photograph above because everything is so monochromatic. But if you look closely, you can see backslope interceptor swales around them and drainpipes that lead down to the bottom of the basins. The purpose: to prevent erosion on the sides of the basins that could accelerate siltation in drainage ditches and reduce their conveyance. Such swales represent a best practice.

Leaving the stand of trees on the left above also represents a best practice. Why? The land slopes toward the trees. Had a heavy rain hit the site before the basins were built, the trees would have intercepted runoff and prevented silt from entering the ditch in the background by the power lines.

Three residential developers appear to own all parcels that comprise this cleared area. They include Hannover Estates, Townsen Landing LLC, and Headway Estates LTD. A three-year-old article in Community Impact quoting Saratoga Homes suggests that 357 single-family homes and townhomes are planned for this location.

Here’s what the site looked like in April 2022.

Near Floodplain

The site is near the commercial center of northeast Harris County. But unfortunately, it’s also near the floodplain of the San Jacinto West Fork and Spring Creek. So flood risk is high. And will be going higher.

From FEMA’s National Flood Hazard Layer Viewer. Red oval indicates location of development.

Note the dates on the map above. One portion is 2014 and the other 2007. Both predate Harvey and NOAA’s new Atlas 14 rainfall statistics. These floodplains could soon expand and take in portions of the new development.

Harris County Flood Control (HCFCD) has submitted preliminary flood maps to FEMA for review. FEMA could release the preliminary maps as early as next year. Preliminary guidance from HCFCD is that floodplains will likely expand by 50%.

If that happens, these developers could be caught between rising interest rates and widening floodplains. That will squeeze profits. I talked to one developer last week who is choosing to retire now rather than ride out another recession.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 9/24/22

1852 Days since Hurricane Harvey

More West Fork Wetlands near Northpark Drive Could Soon Be Developed

Take Northpark Drive all the way west to where it ends at Sorters-McClellan and you will run into a 279-acre tract that the Houston Planning Commission will consider at its November 18th meeting. Sand mining has already destroyed most of the 279 acres. Now a developer wants to fill in the wetlands and build homes on the rest.

This is like “death by a thousand cuts.” Or the the Parable of the Rivet Poppers.

Parable of Rivet Poppers

Imagine you’re getting on an airplane and you see someone popping rivets out of the wing. You ask the pilot, “What’s that guy doing!?”

The pilot says, “Oh, he’s popping rivets. Our accountants have found that can eliminate weight and improve fuel economy.”

“But won’t that increase risk?” you ask.

The pilot replies, “Somewhat, but our engineers believe it won’t bring the plane down.”

Would you get on that airplane? Would you live in this proposed development? Or downstream from it? See details below.

Details of Northpark South

Here are the plans presented to the Planning Commission last Thursday for a plat of Northpark South. The commission deferred action on them until the next meeting. The developer is Hannover Estates, LTD. RG Miller engineered the development.

Pretty location! Just don’t let your kids go fishing there.
Of course, the homes will be built on the highest ground. But look how far the floodplain (dotted line) cuts into them.
Northpark South floodplain
Northpark South floodplains. Of course, these are based on 1980s data. Don’t be fooled by the data on the map. That’s the date of the background image. In Harris County, the new flood maps will reportedly expand the floodplains by 50% as a rule of thumb. But this is MoCo and the last update was much longer ago.
Here’s how that area looked during Harvey.
US Fish & Wildlife Service Map of wetlands (and former wetlands) on the site (center of frame).
Looking W from over end of Northpark Drive. Sorters-McClellan cuts through bottom of frame from left to right. West Fork cuts through sand mines in the background.
The barren spot just right of center is the wetland area that will be filled in to make home sites.
Meet the neighbors.
Where the subdivision drainage will go…straight into the West Fork.
Water flowed so quickly through this area during Harvey that it moved and sunk this excavator within the mine.

Another Development Targeted at the Uninitiated?

The shame of it is that if Northpark South gets built, the developer will likely build starter homes and market them to couples with young children. They’re the least knowledgeable about flood risk.

Of course, the people downstream won’t get to make a decision about this. But you can testify about it at the next Planning Commission meeting on November 18. Here are details.

Pop. There goes another rivet.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 10/31/2021 with thanks to Paul Ehrlich for the parable and Mai Truong for the heads up on this

1524 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.