Homeowners voice concerns over bayou widening

HOUSTON Officials say the homes need to go in order to widen Hunting Bayou, but residents who have lived in their homes for decades voiced their concerns at a commissioners' court meeting Tuesday morning.

About a dozen homeowners and concerned citizens from the Kashmere Gardens area spoke in opposition to the Harris County Flood Control District's plan to deepen and widen the section of waterway between Highway 59 and Wayside in order to create better water flow, especially during heavy rain.

Approximately 40 homes are identified by district as part of imminent domain, meaning the county will purchase the land and homes for fair market value. By doing so, officials say about 5,000 homes will be out of the flood plain and out of danger of flooding.

Homeowners said in commissioners court Tuesday that they want to stay in their homes and are concerned if their homes are bought out, they won't be able to find another place to live. They believe there are alternatives.

"We're gonna fight. We're very, very strong people. We don't give up. We don't accept, 'No.' We feel there is a better way," said concerned homeowner Deborah Butler. "The bayou already has a structure, so all you have to do is come in and clean it out, go deeper and do what you have to do."

This was not part of the commissioners court agenda, so no decision was made Tuesday. The homeowners said they want to meet with Commissioner El Franco Lee who is open to a discussion.

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