Montgomery County residents sue POA over lack of neighborhood improvements

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- It's a bumpy, cratered ride through much of the New King's Colony subdivision in Montgomery County.

We talked to longtime resident, Marcos Morales.

"They're all nothing but dirt, and when I pass by I'm breathing in all this dust and I have to lift my shirt and walk like that while all the cars are passing by," said Morales.

Morales has lived here for nine years, and his parents are in a group of property owners that have filed a lawsuit against the Property Owners Association (POA) and singled out it's president, John Harris. The plaintiffs say the members are not getting what they're paying for.

"We've been paying the association for 9 years and the streets are the same," said Morales.

This subdivision has history as bumpy as its roads. Years ago, a POA administrator went to jail for mismanaging funds. Harris claims he had stepped in at that time to help the subdivision. Residents began paying a higher fee of $180 a year in 2012, and say they were promised improvements.

A spokesperson for Harris, Kurt Johnson, addressed the situation.

"Consider that $180 per year from a single lot doesn't go very far," also stating, "While progress might appear to be slow, such limited funding is sparse in contrast to the needs."

The plaintiffs' attorney, Chris Bell, said this about the fees.

"It doesn't sound like a whole lot of money but there are over 1,800 addresses listed in New King's Colony. How many are paying that, we'll find out in discovery."

Harris' spokesperson says the members can request that information themselves, but have never done so. Johnson also says Harris denies the allegations of this lawsuit, including the assertion that he is a developer.

"Regarding what the POA has "done" since Mr. Harris became involved in POA management in 2009, the immediate response is that there have been numerous improvements for the benefit of residents, including paving of streets and other infrastructure improvements. Those specific details may require POA authorization for release, but the details are being researched and will be provided to you when the information is available and after release has been approved by the POA," stated Johnson.

He tells Eyewitness News that Harris has even poured some of his own money into improvements, and that could be part of the records made available as well.
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