Board Rejects Latest Draft Term Sheet From HCFCD

On December 10th, 2020, Tom Petrick received a DRAFT term sheet for a proposed transaction between Cypress Forest PUD (the “PUD”) and the Harris County Flood Control District (“HCFCD”) from HCFCD. HCFCD proposed to convey the 27 acres that it acquired from the Raveneaux CC owners to the PUD in exchange for approximately 140 acres owned by the PUD. The proposed 140 acres includes approximately 35 acres east of Champion Forest Drive and approximately 105 acres along Cypress Creek west of Champion Forest Drive. The CFPUD Board rejected the DRAFT term sheet at its January 5th, 2020 meeting and authorized its committee of Tom Petrick and David Normand to meet with interested golf groups to discuss considerations of potential golf operations within terms of any land exchange agreement with HCFCD. The CFPUD Board expects to continue discussions with HCFCD on a potential land exchange after taking feedback from the potential golf operators.

CFPUD Response

From: “Zeve, Matthew (Flood Control)”
Date: May 29, 2020 at 2:26:38 PM CDT
To: Greer Pagan
Subject: RE:  CFPUD Response

Hi Greer,

Please see our responses below in red. HCFCD would like to have our next discussion either face-to-face or as a virtual meeting as opposed to continued emails back and forth.

After the Board and you review, please suggest a few days and times that area available and we will get something on our calendars.

Thanks,

Matt

Matthew Zeve, P.E., CFM


From: Greer Pagan
Sent: Wednesday, May 6, 2020 2:17 PM
To: Zeve, Matthew (Flood Control)
Cc: Tom Petrick; Dave Normand
Subject: CFPUD Response

Matt:

I am writing in response to your May 1, 2020 email to Tom Petrick and me regarding the HCFCD’s proposed purchase of CFPUD property currently leased to Raveneaux Country Club (RCC) for a flood risk reduction project along Cypress Creek.  This response has been authorized by the CFPUD Board of Directors and approved by the CFPUD committee of Tom Petrick and David Normand.

We understand your email correspondence to set out two scenarios for a possible transaction between HCFCD and CFPUD.  The CFPUD Board of Directors is not interested in your first scenario in which HCFCD would purchase substantially all of the CFPUD property currently leased to RCC at CFPUD’s cost plus carry and would commit to “engage with the community” and “work with” CFPUD on a long term plan for recreational facilities.

As to your second scenario in which CFPUD would donate a portion of the RCC property to HCFCD, the Board of Directors is willing to consider this option and would suggest the following terms as authorized by Texas Water Code Section 49.226:

  • CFPUD would transfer roughly 60 acres along Cypress Creek to HCFCD to allow the construction of a HCFCD Phase I flood risk reduction project along Cypress Creek; HCFCD has determined that the proposed, future flood damage reduction project would require significantly more acreage than 60 acres. While there would be some flood damage reduction benefit from a 60-acre stormwater detention basin, the benefits would be relatively minor and not be reflective of the potential this site has for reducing flood risks. HCFCD requests consideration of the transfer of the ~27 acres that HCFCD currently owns in exchange for the CFPUD property south of Cypresswood drive.  The CFPUD property north of Cypresswood Drive would remain with the CFPUD.   
  • CFPUD would transfer/exchange the 27 acres purchased in January 2020 from the Raveneaux owners to CFPUD;  An exchange could only occur for property of equal or greater value than the acquisition cost of the ~27 acres that HCFCD owns. HCFCD must ensure that any possible exchange of real property allows HCFCD to recover the ~$11.5M that HCFCD has already invested in this project, which would include a certified, third party appraisal of the proposed property to exchange. HCFCD is prepared to compensate the CFPUD for a land exchange that exceeds our initial $11.5M investment in this project.  See offer in item #1 above.
  • CFPUD would agree to grant easements within the balance of the RCC lease property in an amount to be determined (subject to a minimum amount of acreage) and consistent with a land use determined by the CFPUD Board of Directors: HCFCD would need to have input on the land use discussions, especially if we have to coordinate any potential future use with the CFPUD Board of Directors.  
    • HCFCD would have the right to excavate such easement areas and store storm water from Cypress Creek within the areas;
    • The easement areas would be part of a Phase II flood risk reduction project for HCFCD;
    • Easement areas would be determined within a set period of time of any HCFCD/CFPUD agreement to allow CFPUD time to determine how to utilize the balance of its property.

HCFCD agrees in concept with the three bullet points above, but HCFCD and CFPUD need to have more specific conversations on how much land would be made available for excavation.

  • Any agreement must include terms to minimize construction traffic along Cypresswood Drive including possible placement of spoil on CFPUD property or other alternate arrangements for transportation of spoil materials. The entire CFPUD and HCFCD property is located within the limits of the 100-year floodplain of Cypress Creek. Placement of spoiled material in the existing 500-year floodplain is not permitted in Harris County unless it is offset by the same amount of excavation. HCFCD agrees that all reasonable efforts will be made to minimize construction traffic on Cypresswood Drive, and will work with the CFPUD to ensure the construction site and associated activities are safe and limited to normal working hours.

We look forward to discuss the terms of a possible agreement under scenario two with you and your colleagues at your earliest convenience.  GP

Greer H. Pagan
Allen Boone Humphries Robinson LLP

Response to HCFCD

Matt:

I am writing in response to your May 1, 2020 email to Tom Petrick and me regarding the HCFCD’s proposed purchase of CFPUD property currently leased to Raveneaux Country Club (RCC) for a flood risk reduction project along Cypress Creek. This response has been authorized by the CFPUD Board of Directors and approved by the CFPUD committee of Tom Petrick and David Normand.

We understand your email correspondence to set out two scenarios for a possible transaction between HCFCD and CFPUD. The CFPUD Board of Directors is not interested in your first scenario in which HCFCD would purchase substantially all of the CFPUD property currently leased to RCC at CFPUD’s cost plus carry and would commit to “engage with the community” and “work with” CFPUD on a long term plan for recreational facilities.

As to your second scenario in which CFPUD would donate a portion of the RCC property to HCFCD, the Board of Directors is willing to consider this option and would suggest the following terms as authorized by Texas Water Code Section 49.226:

  • CFPUD would transfer roughly 60 acres along Cypress Creek to HCFCD to allow the construction of a HCFCD Phase I flood risk reduction project along Cypress Creek;
  • CFPUD would transfer/exchange the 27 acres purchased in January 2020 from the Raveneaux owners to CFPUD;
  • CFPUD would agree to grant easements within the balance of the RCC lease property in an amount to be determined (subject to a minimum amount of acreage) and consistent with a land use determined by the CFPUD Board of Directors:
    • HCFCD would have the right to excavate such easement areas and store storm water from Cypress Creek within the areas;
    • The easement areas would be part of a Phase II flood risk reduction project for HCFCD;
    • Easement areas would be determined within a set period of time of any HCFCD/CFPUD agreement to allow CFPUD time to determine how to utilize the balance of its property.
  • Any agreement must include terms to minimize construction traffic along Cypresswood Drive including possible placement of spoil on CFPUD property or other alternate arrangements for transportation of spoil materials.

We look forward to discuss the terms of a possible agreement under scenario two with you and your colleagues at your earliest convenience. GP

Greer H. Pagan
Allen Boone Humphries Robinson LLP

Raveneaux and Reducing Future Flooding

From: Matthew Zeve, P.E., CFM
Deputy Executive Director
Harris County Flood Control District

On June 15, 2018, HCFCD hosted a public meeting at the Raveneaux Country Club to discuss the HCFCD Bond Election that was held on August 25, 2018. Over 500 people attended, which exceeded the official building capacity and required many residents to wait outside in the heat to get their turn at attending the meeting. At the meeting, some residents very forcefully demanded that HCFCD reduce the risk of flooding in the area. We subsequently received over 330 comments, including many passionate pleas for us to do something to address flooding. Since that time, the recent survey we conducted in the Raveneaux subdivision area has generated 670 responses with 51.6% of people choosing “Reduce Future Flooding” as their top priority. 7% of responses listed “Community Center” as their first priority.

Over the last six months, we have been coordinating and negotiating in good faith with the PUD to acquire the PUD property for cost plus carry and the 27.6 acres from Michael Block, which we did purchase in January 2020. These two purchases would well position us to address the community’s demands for a significant flood risk reduction project. That said, we are somewhat perplexed by your offer below. However, to address your request for something in writing regarding our intended next steps we offer the following terms as the basis for negotiations of an interlocal agreement if HCFCD has to purchase the remaining acreage from the PUD:

  1. The PUD sells the remaining acreage to the Flood Control District for the cost of acquisition plus carrying costs.
  2. Once acquired, HCFCD would continue to engage the community on developing plans for a major flood risk reduction project at this site, with the appropriate level of recreational components. The PUD would be included in the community engagement meetings as attendees.
  3. RaveneauxHCFCD agrees to maintain the property, including during construction. After construction is complete, we would work with the PUD to identify a long term operation and maintenance plan for the detention component and recreational component(s).

A second scenario would be if the PUD was willing to donate a portion of the acreage to HCFCD. We see the same process as above taking place once HCFCD has access to the remaining acreage with one noteworthy change. Under this scenario, we would be able to engage the PUD with helping us develop plans and alternatives, with particular focus on the donated portions, before presenting this information to the at-large community. Keep in mind that even under this scenario, our overall focus will still be addressing the significant flood risk along Cypress Creek.

We understand change is hard, but we hope that the PUD sees the opportunity this site has to address an overwhelming majority of your resident’s concerns about taking meaningful steps to help address historic flooding in this area. We look forward to receiving what we hope to be your positive response.

POSTPONED: HCFCD Public Meeting on Champions Stormwater Detention Basin/Raveneaux Acquisition

In an abundance of caution and in line with other City of Houston and Harris County agencies, the Harris County Flood Control District has postponed the Public Meeting originally scheduled for March 31 in connection with the Champions Stormwater Detention Basin project and Raveneaux property acquisition. All other Flood Control District Community Engagement and Public Meetings for the month of March 2020 also have been postponed.

Please help us get the word out to others who might be interested, and please visit the project webpage for project updates and future meeting information.

https://www.hcfcd.org/Find-Your-Watershed/Cypress-Creek/Champions-Stormwater-Detention-Basin-K500-24-00

Raveneaux Country Club Acquisitions Information

The Harris County Flood Control District closed on the purchase of the Raveneaux Country Club on January 30, 2020. The final purchase price for 27.63 acres of land was $11,496,427.20, which is also the current appraised value for the property.

The final deal includes a leaseback on the 27.63 acres, allowing the Club to continue operating for up to one year.

The Flood Control District will begin discussions with the Cypress Forest Public Utility District in February regarding an agreement to acquire the remaining acreage that primarily makes up the golf course.

Community engagement meetings are being planned for late March.

More information…