Tag Archive for: J. Carey Gray

Perry Homes Extends Deadline for Woodridge Purchase as Construction Ratchets Up

J. Carey Gray, lawyer for Figure Four Partners, a Perry Homes subsidiary, sent a letter to Harris County, City of Houston and State officials on April 15th. The letter extends to May 15th the County’s deadline for pulling a deal together to purchase Woodridge Village.

Conditions for a Deal

At the last Commissioner’s Court meeting, Harris County requested two things before consummating a deal in addition to a deadline extension from Perry Homes:

  • Land in lieu of a cash contribution from the City to help complete HCFCD projects and offset part of the County’s purchase price
  • Changes in the Montgomery County Drainage Criteria Manual, including Atlas-14 compliance. Closing the detention pond loophole was also mentioned.

See Russ Poppe, Executive Director of Harris County Flood Control District at approximately 7:33:45 in this video of the Harris County Commissioner’s Court meeting.

Construction Resumed Day after Meeting

The day after the commissioners’ meeting, Perry resumed construction on the Woodridge Village site.

A flyover of the site Tuesday, 4/21/2020, revealed that Perry contractors now have at least 30 pieces of earth-moving equipment at Woodridge Village. That’s compared to about 20 a week ago. Contractors are:

  • Expanding the N2 Detention pond and taking dirt to fill in low areas elsewhere around the site.
  • Blocking out new roads
  • Pouring concrete
  • Installing culverts.

Construction Pictures from Tuesday, 4/21/2020

The pictures below show the activity.

Looking south across Woodridge Village from northern boundary along western boundary at Webb Street Entrance in Porter.
Looking SE. Closer shot of work on N2 detention pond. Dirt from pond is filling former wetlands on left.
Grassy area in bottom right is portion of N2 pond built by MoCo in 2005 for another project.
Some excavated dirt from N2 is being used to fill the bog along Woodland Hills Drive near Kingwood Park High School
New section of concrete poured this morning north of Sherwood Trails
More concrete poured this morning north of Fair Grove in Elm Grove Village. Note: still no berm between S1 pond (center bottom) and S2 pond (upper right).
Culverts being installed along Taylor Gully where it cuts through Woodridge Village
Outlines of roads taking shape.
Dirt from pond is filling in wetlands, left.
Culverts about to be set in concrete.
Workers appear to be building a concrete pilot channel in the middle of the expanded N2 pond.
An assembly line of trucks carried more dirt away from N2, which is relentlessly expanding.

Text of Letter from Perry Lawyer

Despite all this activity, Lawyer Gray promises that if Harris County can pull together a deal, the additional costs will not affect Perry’s purchase price.

Gray also says that Perry continues to seek a private buyer. And that it hopes to have detention ponds completed by summer of 2020 (presumably if the purchase does not go through). See the full text of Gray’s letter below or download this printable PDF.

Page 1
Page 2

Draw your own conclusions from the letter and the construction, and keep your fingers crossed.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 4/22/2020

967 Days since Hurricane Harvey and 216 since Imelda

Perry Homes Converting Woodridge Village to Scuba Center or Maybe a…

Woodridge Village after a one-inch rain.

From Lifestyles of the Rich and Infamous

Kathy Perry Britton, CEO of Perry Homes, a titan of business and devotee of Zig “See You at the Top” Ziglar, has reportedly given up on her dream of building swamp homes in Woodridge Village. She has new ideas to turn mud into money.

Her confidante and hairdresser hints Britton has toyed with several options. The leading one at the moment: Turning the land into a world-class scuba center called “That Sinking Feeling.” She plans to market it to people who are underwater on their homes.

If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Boil ‘Em

“Perry Homes stands for quality,” she supposedly said. “And always will. If the scuba center doesn’t work, there’s no shortage of mud bugs out there. We’ll turn this into the Crawfish Capital of the Gulf Coast.” And then in a comment that reportedly angered crustacean-rights activists, she added, “If you can’t beat ’em, boil ’em!”

The irrepressible, unstoppable Britton reportedly has other backup options, too. “If that doesn’t work, Vince McMahon has approached us about turning this into the WWE Female Mud Wrestling Capital of the World,” Britton’s chambermaid reported. “He has plenty of stars lined up to turn this into a fairy-tale success. Vince has already received letters of intent from Misty Raine, Muddie Waters, and Hurrie Spitball Caine.”

Ms. Britton, paraphrasing Mark Twain, reportedly told her bootlicker, “The rumors of our bankruptcy have been greatly exaggerated. We have plenty of options to make a buck out there if suing the flood victims doesn’t work.”

According to unnamed insiders, Christian Louboutin has also supposedly brainstormed with Britton about brand extensions. Britton is confident there’s a market for stiletto hip-waders in Houston. “It’s a natural in places like Elm Grove. How else would women get to their cars in the rain?”

MoCo Offers Tax Incentives

The rumor mill also says that Wham-O has approached Perry Homes about turning Woodridge Village into the world’s largest Slip ‘N Slide. The irrepressible Britton told her fingernail artist, “Montgomery County even offered us tax breaks, finder’s fees, and margaritas. They’re so accommodating up there.”

In a rare moment of candor, Britton reportedly complained to her lawyer extraordinaire, J. Carey “Promise Them Anything” Gray. “I’m tired of all the mud slinging by these so-called flood victims in Elm Grove. It’s their fault they flooded. They built downstream from us. Duh! What were they thinking?”

“If worse comes to bratwurst,” Britton supposedly bragged to her chauffeur, “Home Depot and Lowes have both expressed interest in building mega repair centers on the property. They have raved to us about the possibilities. Repeat flooding. Hundreds of homes each time. Think about the potential synergies. My God, we could go public on the rumors alone and make a killing.”

The Right to Make a Profit

“I don’t know what these Elm Grove people are complaining about,” Britton reportedly grumbled to her masseuse. “I have to fly to Paris for a good mud bath. They get it for free.”

“These Elm Grove people are so hurtful. Always slinging mud. I have feelings, too. I just wish they could be positive for a change and see the marketing potential in all of this. We have a right to make a profit. This IS Texas after all.”

With that, Britton reportedly hurried off to discuss a separate deal with Monster MudTruck Rodeo organizers.

In Loving Memory of Robin Leach, A Parody Roast Post by Bob Rehak on 1/28/2020

882 Days since Hurricane Harvey and 131 since Imelda

This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance between characters in this post and executives of Perry Homes is strictly coincidental.

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.

Perry Homes Pulls Excavation Equipment From Woodridge Village Before Finishing Detention Ponds

Instead of accelerating completion of detention ponds on Woodridge Village as Perry Homes promised, the company appears to have pulled all excavation equipment from the site. Contractors who were supposed to have been working on detention pond N-1 have gone…BEFORE they finished S2 and BEFORE they finished a berm sealing off the southern portion of the site at Fair Grove Drive.

S2 Pond Still Not Complete; Does Not Meet Regs

On October 17th, a lawyer for Perry Homes’ subsidiaries sent a letter to the City of Houston Attorney promising that the company would “accelerate” completion of detention ponds. Even though Perry Homes had already substantially completed Detention Pond S2, it took Perry 63 days to restore it to its pre-Imelda condition. Worse, contractors left before the pond met the regulations in Montgomery County’s Drainage Criteria Manual. It still doesn’t have fencing, service roads around its entire perimeter, or grass on its banks. Finally, it holds water when regulations call for a dry bottom.

Equipment Left Site Instead of Beginning On Next Pond

Perry Homes had promised in its letter to accelerate construction, but this will slow it down – if they ever return. The only work being done Friday? Removal of some dead tree piles on the northern portion of the site.

Jeff Miller took all the pictures and videos below on Friday and Saturday. He also monitored work on the site and provided this scouting report.

Looking south toward Taylor Gully and the Harris County Line along the eastern embankment of the S2 detention pond.
The channel along the eastern portion of Taylor Gully is now lined with concrete. The spillway into the S2 detention pond has been widened and smoothed. The S2 detention pond is behind the camera position. Looking East.
Looking west across S2 detention pond. The dirt that eroded into the pond has been scooped back up onto the banks and compacted. Still no grass on the banks, however, so it could all wash back in with the next big rain.
Looking north. The grassy area in the background was supposed to have contained the N3 detention pond. However, contractors have simply excavated a channel from the northern section directly into Taylor Gully so now runoff can accumulate even more quickly.
Contractors widened and concreted the Taylor Gully channel along the eastern side of Woodridge Village. But they left the most vulnerable part of the channel without concrete. At the end corner by the telephone poles, water comes from the left. But no concrete protects the area where the water makes a sharp 120 degree turn. Expect water to erode behind the concrete and peel it away in the next big rain.

Woodridge Village Section One Now a Virtual “Ghost Town”

This weekend, Woodridge Village Section One looked like a ghost town, not a bustling construction site with people working against a deadline.

Heavy construction equipment used to be parked by dumpster in the background. Now it’s nowhere on the property.
Looking south. Another view of the same area that held construction equipment. It’s all gone and the berm sealing the site off from Fair Grove Drive is missing.

Still Removing Dead Trees/Mulch on Northern Section

On Friday, only smaller equipment turning tree piles into mulch remained.

Perry Homes Intentions Now a Mystery

As of Sunday morning 12/22/2019, no equipment actually working on construction could be seen on the site. The excavators and dump trucks parked at Fair Grove for months have been removed.

Perry Homes is NOT accelerating completion of detention ponds as it promised the City of Houston.

Instead, Perry Homes has thrown a curtain of silence around this job. It’s hard to know what their intentions are. At this point, Perry Homes’ lawyer J. Carey Gray has as much mud on his face as Elm Grove residents had in their homes.

The only thing we can say with certainty: Lowering flood risk for the people of Elm Grove does not seem high on Perry Homes’ priority list.

For Sale And For Lease Signs Serve as Christmas Yard Decorations

Meanwhile, a drive down Shady Maple or Village Springs, the two streets that border Taylor Gully, revealed residents’ attempts to salvage Christmas from the chaos of floodwaters. Dumpsters and debris still line the streets. Some people still live in trailers in their driveways. No apple cider around the hearth for them. They’ll be lucky to find space for a table top Christmas tree. For Sale and For Lease signs outnumber Christmas yard decorations ten to one.

On a street called Right Way in North Kingwood Forest, I found nine For Lease signs in a row. Sad reminders of Imelda and Perry Homes. Only three months ago, these homes were filled with families who flooded for the second time.

Kathy Perry Britton just added another credit to her resume, “The CEO Who Stole Christmas.”

Posted by Bob Rehak on 12/22/2019 with reporting and images by Jeff Miller

845 Days since Hurricane Harvey and 94 since Imelda

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.

Perry Homes Fails to Meet Own First Deadline For Additional Woodridge Village Detention

At the Kingwood Town Hall meeting on October 17th, 2019, Mayor Sylvester Turner read a letter from lawyer J. Carey Gray who represents Perry Homes and its subsidiaries against hundreds of flooded Elm Grove homeowners. The letter laid out a timetable – extending more than 2 years into the future – for completion of the detention ponds on the troubled Woodridge Village subdivision. The first step: finish the S2 pond, which was already substantially complete. Perry Homes gave itself 30-45 days for that task. As nonsensical as that sounded on October 17, they managed to miss the deadline … by not showing up … until after the deadline. 

Deadline Expired Yesterday With No Improvements to Pond

Yesterday marked 45 days since Lawyer Gray delivered his letter to the Houston City Attorney. Since then crews have worked several days on adding a concrete lining to a small portion of Taylor Gully. They also replaced some eroded dirt along the northern edge of S2. Still incomplete, however are

  • Excavation of the remaining dirt
  • Grass to stabilize the soil on the banks
  • A perimeter road required by the Montgomery County Drainage Criteria Manual
  • Lining for a severely eroded spillway between Taylor Gully and S2
  • Drainage of the detention pond
  • Backslope interceptor swales

Photos Demonstrate Lack of Progress

Here’s how the pond looked in September, two days after Imelda.

Status of S2 Pond on September 21, 2019, two days after Imelda
Status of S2 Pond on November 4, 2019, two and a half weeks after J. Carey Gray’s letter to City Attorney.

Here’s what it looks like today, 46 days after J. Carey Gray’s letter to the City Attorney. They had made some progress on lining the Taylor Gully channel behind the pond. But as far as the pond itself went, there was a lone excavator moving dirt that had eroded into the pond back up on the banks. That’s because they failed to establish grass there.

One day after the deadline for completing the S2 detention pond, Perry Homes had a lone excavator pushing eroded dirt back up onto the banks. Photo taken 12/3/2019.
Photo taken 12/3/2019. Hardly a bustling construction site with contractors racing to meet deadlines.

Only 735 more days before all the detention ponds are complete … assuming they can meet any of their own deadlines.

Questions Raised by Lack of Performance

The failure to meet this first deadline raises questions:

  • Is Perry Homes sincere? Can they ever be trusted for anything ever again?
  • Has Perry Homes lost its ability to deliver? Is the company financially crippled beyond repair?
  • Did Sylvester Turner extract terms from Perry Homes designed to get him through the general election?
  • Or did Perry Homes play Sylvester Turner to torpedo his chances in a runoff election?
  • Did Kathy Perry Britton, CEO of Perry Homes, think no one would remember?
  • Is Perry Homes holding the threat of future flooding over Elm Grove residents to force a settlement of their lawsuits?

If it’s the latter and there’s another flood – with this record of foot dragging – they’ve nuked themselves. It’s a Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School case study that will go down in the Annals of Corporate Stupidity. 

What can explain this level of ineptitude?

This has to be a huge embarrassment for the City of Houston and Montgomery County. It’s also a PR debacle for Sylvester Turner … in the middle of a hotly contested runoff election. Turner can’t do anything about that now except to tell the City Attorney to sharpen his spurs.

But if I were MoCo, I would claim Perry Homes’ performance bond and finish the work myself. 

Posted by Bob Rehak on 12/3/2019

826 Days after Hurricane Harvey and 75 since Imelda

The thoughts expressed in this post represent 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.

One Week After Town Hall, Still No New Work on Woodridge Village Detention Ponds

A week after J. Carey Gray, a lawyer representing Perry Homes’ subsidiaries and contractors, promised the Mayor of Houston that his clients would move as quickly as possible to complete Woodridge detention ponds, there still has been no excavation activity at the job site. And in fact, according to Jeff Miller, an Elm Grove resident who visited the site today, much of the material and equipment that had been on site are now gone.

Lack of Detention Implicated in Two Floods

Twice in four months, Elm Grove and North Kingwood Forest flooded severely when water from Perry Homes’ troubled Woodridge Village development overflowed into the streets of those communities immediately south and east of Woodridge. 

  • Before the May flood, Perry had clearcut virtually the entire 268 acres, but installed only 7% of the detention. 
  • Before the September flood, they had substantially completed only one more pond, bringing the total to 23% of the planned detention. 
Percentage capacity of the five planned detention ponds on the Woodridge Village construction site as measured in acre feet. To date, only S1 and S2 are substantially complete.

So it’s not too surprising that the completed detention ponds overflowed in heavy rains. 

It was like trying to store 100 gallons of water in a 23 gallon container.

Excavation Work on Detention Ponds Stopped for Two Months

Where’s Larry the Cable Guy when you need him? He could “git-r-done.” 

As the pictures below show, there’s one piece of excavation equipment on the northern portion of the site and it hasn’t moved for about a month.

Looking west at northwestern section of Woodridge Village from helicopter more than a month ago, on 9/21/2019, two days after Imelda. Note the yellow excavator with its bucket resting on the ground in the middle of the frame toward the tree line on the right.
Note the same excavator in the same place in the same position at the left of the frame. Photo taken 10/16/2019 from opposite direction, looking east.The foreground is where detention pond N1 should be. But the pond has not yet been started. According to the LJA Engineering report, it should have been excavated as part of the first phase of development.

Eight days later, you can see the same equipment still in the same place. However, it appears that two other pieces are now parked with it.

Photo taken by Jeff Miller on 10/22/2019 shows excavator in same photo it was photographed in on 9/21/2019a month earlier.

Only Modest Repair Work on Ponds Since August

Resident Jeff Miller reported that an excavator removed some eroded sediment out of one completed pond (S1) after Imelda. Below is the photo he took on 10/6/2019. However, this was repair work, not new excavation work.

Photo of S1 Repair Work taken on 10/6/2019 by Jeff Miller. S1 was the first pond completed.

Four Detention Ponds Promised as Part of Phase 1

According to the LJA Engineering Drainage Impact Analysis, Table 3, Phase 1 of this development was to have FOUR detention ponds installed: N-1 and N-2 (regraded pilot channel) on the north, S-1 and S-2 on the South. 

However, no new detention capacity exists on the northern section which has the steepest slope and the largest surface area. It was to provide 77% of the total detention.

N-1 and N-2 should provide 62% of the detention capacity. However, N-1 doesn’t exist. N-2 is not fully excavated. And N-3, which will provide another 15% is only a distant dream.

Hundreds of Families Remain at Risk

The lack of progress on detention places hundreds of families at risk as we slog our way through another 5 weeks of hurricane season. The season ends on November 30. But flood-weary residents also remain wary of non-tropical storms, such as Tax Day, Memorial Day, and May 7th this year. In the moist, Gulf-coast region, heavy storms can strike any time of year.

J. Carey Gray’s Promise

Last week, J. Carey Gray, Attorney at Law, made a promise to the City of Houston’s top lawyer, Mayor Sylvester Turner. Gray said, “To the extent possible, we will attempt to begin each project as quickly as plans can be completed and approved.”

Now, there’s an iron-clad contract if I ever saw one! However, as of October 22, 2019, no residents that I consulted around the site had seen any workers recently. Mr. J. Carey Gray, Attorney at Law, dated his letter October 17th.

According to resident Nancy Vera who lives immediately south of the construction site, there has been no recent construction activity anywhere on the site that she or her family can see.

Gretchen Smith who can see the site from her front yard in Porter has seen no workers.

Jeff Miller visits the site almost daily to check progress or non-progress of work. He had not seen any workers lately either. Moreover, he said that much of the materials and heavy equipment that had been stored on site appear to be gone.

Maybe Mr. Gray needs to consult with Larry, the Cable Guy.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 10/23/2019, with help from Jeff Miller, Nancy Vera, and Gretchen Dunlap-Smith

785 Days since Hurricane Harvey and 34 since Imelda

All thoughts in this post represent 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.

Perry Letter Part II: Perry Homes’ BBB Report

In yesterday’s post about the letter that Attorney J. Carey Gray sent to Houston’s City Attorney on behalf of Perry Homes’ subsidiaries, I questioned Perry Homes’ sincerity about flood mitigation. Gray expressed his clients’ concerns about Elm Grove flood victims from May and September while his clients sue the victims. Perry Homes’ BBB report helps put Mr. Gray’s letter in perspective.

Rescue from Shady Maple immediately below Perry Homes’ development, Woodridge Village, during May 7th flood. Approximately 200 homes in Elm Grove and North Kingwood Forest flooded that day. An estimated two to three times as many flooded in September.

BBB Report on Perry Homes

Perry Homes’ BBB Report, screen-captured on 10/19/2019.

Readers’ Responses To First Post About Perry Letter

In regard to yesterday’s post, many flood-weary Elm Grove readers commented that Mr. Gray’s letter to the City wasn’t worth the paper it was printed on. Hmmmmm. Looks like the flood victims are not alone.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 10/20/2019 with help from Jeff Miller

782 Days after Hurricane Harvey and 31 after Imelda

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner made Mr. Gray’s letter the showcase of last Thursday’s Kingwood Town Hall Meeting in advance of early voting. The thoughts expressed in this post represent my opinions on political matters, public policy, and public safety. They are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP Statute of the Great State of Texas. BBB is a registered trademark of the Better Business Bureau.