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.