Residents upset over potential loss of wetlands

March 31, 2010 4:51:08 PM PDT
People in one Kingwood neighborhood are fighting a new development that could be built over what is now a wetlands area. Residents say not only will the new development be an eyesore but it could create a flooding danger for the area in the future. The proposed project would go up on 121 acres of land off of Woodlands Hills Drive.

Lake Village Dr. in Kingwood Lakes is a neighborhood that backs up to a wetlands area. Steve Cady has lived on the street for 25 years. His home backs up to it, but developers have big plans for the 121 acres and that worries Cady.

"In 1994 there were half a dozen houses flooded or partially flooded, and according to Friendswood development, over 80 homes in Kingwood Lakes were flooded," said Cady.

Fears are the development of the wooded, marshy plot will only exacerbate the flooding prone street. The 121 acres encompasses an area off Woodland Hills Drive between the Kingwood Lakes entrance and the River Park Grove entrance.

The developer, Kingwood Pointe Partners, has already submitted an application to the Army Corp of Engineers. You can see where several acres of wetland would have to be filled in so apartments and retail could be constructed.

"We don't need building of homes and retail establishments in the wetlands. It's just going to divert more water into our homes," said Cady.

The application and proposed development is also meeting resistance from City Councilman Mike Sullivan.

"And all those things would be detrimental to people that live near here," said Sullivan.

He has already filed a formal protest letter to the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers and plans to file more with just about every entity involved with commercial construction permits in the city of Houston.

"Which would be flood plain management, floodway management, permitting processes and requirements. We are also filing letters of opposition to TCEQ," Sullivan said.

Cady hopes his two and half decades on Lake Village Dr. will continue without retail and apartments behind his home.

"We hope it remains wetlands the way it's supposed to be. That's all we're asking for," said Cady.

An attorney for the Kingwood homeowners association is also going to file a formal request at a legal hearing.

We spoke with the developer who says no apartments are planned, instead low-density townhomes about 10 to 15 per acre and/or patio homes along with retail space. He also says it would be deed restricted.

You can read more about the proposed project in the Kingwood Observer, one of our Houston Community Newspaper partners.


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