Tag Archive for: resort

Clean Sweep for RV “Resort” Owners

As of Friday morning, 11/19/21, only about a half dozen trees remained standing on the 20-acre site of what will soon become the Kingwood area’s first RV “Resort.” At this point, they will need to rename it the RV Resort and Tanning Salon. All the trees that used to provide shade will soon be replaced by concrete that will broil RV owners in the Texas sun. And when it’s raining, that concrete will accelerate runoff and exacerbate flooding – because the detention pond is designed to hold only about half of the runoff required by the current City standard.

Making Room for 226 RVs on Site Permitted for 182

Last month, the City of Houston approved plans for 226 RVs on a site permitted for 182 and the denuding of the site began almost immediately. Despite multiple irregularities in permit approvals and concerns about the drainage impact on neighboring Lakewood Cove, construction of this concrete desert is moving forward relentlessly and, some say, remorselessly.

To my knowledge, this will be the first commercial venture in the Kingwood Area directly opposite a residential neighborhood without a green-space buffer between them.

Looking north at future home of Laurel Springs RV Resort. Lakewood Cove on right. US59 cuts through upper left. Photo taken 11/19/21.

Those buffers, usually in the form of trails and greenbelts, give Kingwood its distinctive character.

However, while the RV park will be in the Kingwood Area, technically it will not be Kingwood per se. So Friendswood deed restrictions do not apply. And the property seems to have no other deed restrictions, at least none that I can find.

What Kind of Traffic Will RV “Resort” Attract?

Aside from sunbathers, what kind of people will the Laurel Springs RV “Resort” attract?

Chapter 29 of the City of Houston Code of Ordinances permits several different types of vehicles in RV Parks. They include:

  • Camping trailers for a period not to exceed 30 days in any consecutive six-month period. They may be used for sleeping and living purposes during that time.
  • Self-contained motor homes, truck campers and travel trailers with a minimum 120 SF of floor space for up to six months within any consecutive twelve-month period.
  • Motor homes, truck campers or travel trailers with a minimum 84 SF of floor space that are not self-contained for up to 30 days within any consecutive twelve-month period.
  • Travel trailers without a time limitation if connected to park utilities, water supply and sewer system. They must have at least 120 square feet of floor space for the first occupant and at least 30 square feet for each additional occupant. Other conditions such as hot water, heating, etc. also apply.

Hmmmm. That last category may be a way to get your kid into Humble ISD schools without buying a home or even renting an apartment.

I have not yet found any information about how the owners intend to market the RV Resort.

Shell Companies Behind the Project

Two men, Clay McDaniel and Richard Rainer, are responsible for developing the site. They have insulated themselves from liability with several layers of corporations.

Laurel Springs RV, LLC, managed by Rainer and McDaniel, owns the property.

But the Plat shows McDaniel as a manager and Rainer as a manager/owner.

A TCEQ permit (see below) posted at the site shows LS RV Resort, LP, is the secondary “operator” of the site. (A contractor is the primary operator; the secondary operator supervises the primary operator.) Rainer signed the LS RV Resort permit and listed himself as Manager. Laurel Springs RV, LLC is LS RV Resort, LP’s general partner.

TCEQ Permit posted at Job Site. Interesting that Rainer signed the permit 10 days before LS RV Resort, LP was officially formed.

Rainer and McDaniel also own a company called Excel Commercial Real Estate, LLC. Their website claims they offer “…diverse experience … to each detail of the real estate development, management and ownership process.”

The two founded Excel in 2005 to “conceive, design, and build income producing real estate.”

Excel’s website shows they concentrate on small strip centers, self-storage buildings, and manufactured home parks.

A search of the Secretary of State’s website shows that Rainer plays some kind of role (manager, director, registered agent, director, VP, president or governing person) in approximately 70 different entities.

McDaniel is even more prolific. The Secretary of State shows McDaniel’s name attached to more than a hundred different entities, often in multiple capacities.

Rainer and McDaniel control more than 100 different companies or partnerships.

According to one developer I talked to, the large number of companies may indicate that spinoffs are part of their business strategy. And in fact, many of the projects shown on Excel’s website are listed as “sold.”


Rainer and McDaniel list 9121 Elizabeth Road, Suite 108, Houston, TX 77055 as the address for Excel; Laurel Springs RV, LLC; and LS RV Resort LP. That property is covered with trees and on a tree-lined street…where all the trees are vertical.

The address appears to be a real office building (as opposed to a PO Box).

How ironic that all the trees on Laurel Springs RV Resort are now horizontal!

Neighbors worry about train noise, blowing dust, street damage, loss of home values and possible flooding.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 11/19/21

1543 Days after 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.

Developer Plans to Build High-Rise Resort in Old Riverbed

The developer of a proposed new high-rise resort in Kingwood plans to develop the marina portion in an area that was once the riverbed of the San Jacinto west fork.

Aerial photos taken in 1943 clearly show the outline of an old meander about .4 miles north of the current riverbed.

1943 aerial photo. Note feint outline of old riverbed above the current river.

Google Earth lets users trace a path and then save it, like I have with this orange line.

Creating an outline of the path allows you to scroll forward in time within Google Earth (see image below).

Here is the same path superimposed over current conditions.

Plans call for marina high rises along orange path just north of lake below eastern edge of Barrington.
The Marina would be developed in the old river bed of the San Jacinto.
Photo of proposed marina site next to River Grove Park. The giant sand bar in the foreground of this photo taken after Harvey has mostly been dredged by the Army Corps. However, it’s appearance almost overnight during Harvey contributed to the flooding of 650 homes above the drainage ditch (center left). Future development in this floodplain would likely make flooding worse.

Dangers of Building in Old Stream and Riverbeds

During major floods, water often follows these old streams and riverbeds. Many neighborhoods in Houston discovered this danger during Harvey. Former Harris County Judge Ed Emmett often questioned the wisdom of such developments because of their susceptibility to flooding – even after mitigation.

Here are two examples that show such developments encroaching on waterways and separating them from their floodplains. In the first example, the waterway was obliterated. In the second, White Oak Bayou, the waterway still exists. However, the flood plain has been developed. Despite mitigation efforts during development, the neighborhoods around White Oak Bayou have suffered severe and repeated flooding.

Why Do We Continue to Develop Flood Plains?

This brochure,  Why We Continue to Develop Floodplains: Examining the Disincentives for Conservation in Federal Policy, is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the financial logic behind developments like this one. A group called Earth Economics developed it. Zachary Christin, Project Director for Earth Economics, and Michael Kline, from the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, authored it with support from the Kresge Foundation. This report investigates whether current federal policy is structured to prevent future flood damage or if incentives lead to further floodplain development.

The basic premise may rub many Texans the wrong way, but you should still read it. “Flood risk management,” the authors argue, “seeks to enable communities to live nearby by controlling rivers with levee systems and other structures. This false sense of protection places families and infrastructure at risk in a climate that is changing beyond our capacity to maintain protections against its effects. Rather than attempting to control our country’s powerful rivers, we should instead control how and where we allow human activities.”

Confining streams, they argue, merely shifts flood risk downstream. The authors explore the benefits and the natural protective qualities of healthy, functional floodplains. They then discuss the causes of floodplain destruction and investigate the policies that further incentivize their development. Finally, they outline paths forward to create new floodplain policy. You may disagree with the premise. But it contains many powerful observations and statistics.

As always, these represent my opinions on matters of public policy. They are protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP statute of the Great State of Texas.

Posted by Bob Rehak on January 2, 2019

491 Days since Hurricane Harvey