Cypress Oaks Tree Clearing
Many residents in Enchanted Oaks, Cypress Forest, and Cypress Forest Lakes have been contacting our District Manager, as well as Harris County WCID No. 110 (“WCID 110”) Board of Directors about the tree clearing taking place between the sewer plant and I-45. This property is owned by Cypress Creek Townhomes, LTD (“CCTO”) and lies within the WCID 110 boundaries. WCID 110 has no zoning authorization, nor does it have the legal right to restrict development of property within its boundaries. To the extent that WCID 110 has available water and sanitary sewer capacity to serve a proposed development within its boundaries, WCID 110 is obligated to provide such services. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has supervisory authority over water districts in Texas, and WCID 110 is required to comply with the rules and regulations of the TCEQ in providing water, sanitary sewer and drainage/detention services. WCID 110 is also subject to the rules and regulations of Harris County and the City of Houston.
Development plans for the CCTO tract are subject to approval by the TCEQ, City of Houston, and Harris County Flood Control District. The Board of Directors of WCID 110 has no legal authority to prohibit or prevent a property owner from clearing its land. While the Board of Directors may share the sentiment of many of its homeowners regarding the development of the CCTO Tracts and in the removal and clearing of many of the trees, the property owner/developer has the right to develop and alter their property.
The property along CCTO Tract has been within the boundaries of WCID 110 for many years. CCTO has offered the land for sale for some time without success because it lies within the 100-year flood plain. It is being cleared and once that is completed the land will be filled with fill dirt to raise the land elevation above 100-year flood plain elevation. By raising the land elevation above the 100-year flood plain elevation, CCTO hopes to start selling commercial tracts for development. It is highly unlikely any residential developments will be feasible on this land because of the purchase price. As stated before, WCID 110 has no legal authority to zone/restrict development to property within its boundaries.
Development is occurring on a triangular tract of land located at 2526 Cypresswood Drive (“Shell Tract”). The Shell Tract is not located inside the boundaries of WCID 110. Current development plans provide that the Shell Tract will be developed as a gas station and convenience store. Harris County has posted notice on the Shell Tract that proper permits are required to proceed with development. Also, there is a pending water well application being processed by the TCEQ on the Shell Tract. Before approving a water well application, the TCEQ requires an owner to contact nearby water system providers, such as WCID 110, to inquire as to whether the provider has available water capacity to serve the tract. WCID 110 received such an inquiry on the Shell Tract. After a preliminary review of its water capacity requirements and input from neighboring residents, WCID 110 has responded that it has available water capacity. As WCID 110 has indicated that water capacity is available, this information will be provided to the TCEQ. Once it receives this information, it is unlikely that the TCEQ will grant the private water well permit. The TCEQ will require the developer/owner to apply for service with WCID 110. If the developer/owner approaches WCID 110 for water service, they will be required to submit an Application for Service as set forth in the WCID 110 Rate Order. Per the Rate Order, applicants requesting service whose land is not in WCID 110 must also apply for their land to be annexed into WCID 110. They will also be required to comply with stipulations set forth in the Rate Order as to the development of the tract. If the developer/owner submits an Application for Service, WCID 110 will then conduct a feasibility study to determine whether it is feasible to serve the Shell Tract and an estimate of cost to connect the Shell Tract to the WCID 110 water system. WCID 110 requires the developer/owner to pay the costs incurred by WCID 110 for the feasibility study, annexation and connection to the water system. The cost to the developer/owner of the Shell Tract to obtain water service from WCID 110 may be cost prohibitive, in which case the developer/owner may reply to the TCEQ.
Harris County WCID 110 will be holding a Town Hall meeting on April 19th at the clubhouse at 19023 Joanleigh Drive starting at 6:30 p.m. answer any questions WCID 110 residents may have regarding the tree clearing of the CCTO Tract, and the Shell Tract.