LC waterfront subdivision

Jay Holley stands in front of a field that could be raised 10 feet for a proposed waterfront subdivision behind West Drive in Kemah on Friday, Aug. 10, 2018. Holley and other neighboring residents are concerned the proposed plan could work as a dam and make surrounding areas flood more easily.

At least one man living near a planned development is on a mission to keep the developer from raising the lots with dirt because he fears it could exacerbate flooding on his property, he said.

“It’s going to stop water from running off the property like it naturally does for every resident on West Drive,” said Jay Holley, a League City resident who lives near the proposed development.

And many other residents in the area are concerned about the development’s plans, Holley said.

But city officials argue no plans are final and developers must show the new subdivisions won’t cause flooding elsewhere.

“We can’t comment on the plans, because they haven’t been submitted, but as with any development, they’ll have to prove flooding mitigation not only for the community they build, but the surrounding area,” said Sarah Greer Osborne, spokeswoman for the city.

Town Harbour Estates, a planned unit development, will be a gated community with 73 to 75 lots on 37 acres near Lakeside Drive in eastern League City, according to documents.

Joe Watson, who is developing the project, did not respond to a request for comment by deadline.

But the development’s preliminary plans call for crews to build a 143-foot, man-made canal, and use the excavated dirt to elevate all of the lots above the flood plain, according to a presentation Watson gave in January.

“It’s a little disconcerting, if the developer is going to come in and dredge a canal and use the dirt to build up, and not build the lots on stilts,” Holley said.

Most homes in the area are built on 10-foot stilts, which has less of an effect on surrounding properties, Holley said.

While Holley is concerned about the plan, the raised lots shouldn’t cause any issues, Realtor Rick Wade said.

“Most of the homes in that area are built on stilts,” Wade said. “None of them are living on the ground floor — I don’t think it will adversely affect them.”

But, after seeing the damage Hurricane Harvey caused in League City, Holley is concerned, he said.

“We get a little street flooding sometimes,” Holley said. “During Hurricane Harvey, about a dozen houses took on water, but there was no major flooding.”

But that could change if the land is elevated, Holley said.

“I am not opposed to building $800,000 homes,” Holley said. “It’s just the raising of the lots that concerns me.”

The development drew some opposition in March when two members of the city’s parks board voted against the plans in a 5-2 vote.

“The loss of historic oak trees in League City has to come to an end,” park board member Sandra Kelly said in a previous interview.

Matt deGrood: 409-683-5230; matt.degrood@galvnews.com

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