HOUSTON – Timbergrove Manor neighbors feel development in the works around them puts them at risk to lose everything again.
Hurricane Harvey destroyed many homes last year.
Plans to take out one rusting, three-story abandoned pipe plant and replace it with homes is a blueprint for Andrew Schaefer’s nightmare.
“I’m terrified,” he said. “It’s a lot of homes. It’s dense. Again, we’re all kind of wondering where is the water going to go?”
On streets where new homes literally stand taller, Schaefer’s family rebuilt too. They finished construction just before Hurricane Harvey washed out most neighbors in their neighborhood.
For years, flooding fears kept them at odds with another builder who owns permits to build 77 homes in what used to be woods nearby. City planners could allow a development, Palisades Park, twice that size on a floodplain.
“I don’t know if anybody can survive (damaging flood) again,” Schaefer said. “This house (across the street) they’re probably in their late 60’s, early 70’s. They’ve done it two or three times. Are they coming back? Who knows.”
The developer’s spokesman, Wayne Dolcefino, told KHOU 11 News they understand neighbors' fears and plan to add green space and build at levels to meet Houston’s newly amended floodplain ordinance. Changes approved in the amendment do not take effect until the fall, though.
“As long as these people are willing to follow the new rules and add drainage and reduce the amount of asphalt, that seems like on the surface development that seems pretty fair,” Dolcefino said.
The city of Houston plans to host a public hearing Thursday, June 21 at 2:30 p.m. inside the City Hall Annex downtown.