FRIENDSWOOD

A dispute over 50 acres along Dixie Farm Road that a government agency wants for a flood-control project might finally be nearing resolution.

A court-appointed mediator last week told a Harris County district court judge in a filing that a developer and the property owner had agreed on how to split proceeds from selling the land to the Harris County Flood Control District.

“I am pleased to report that the parties have now settled all issues in the case and signed formal settlement documents,” said Jeffry Abrams in a letter filed July 8 in the 125th District Court, court records show.

An attorney for the defendant declined to comment and no one representing the plaintiff responded to a request for comment, but a judge in April ordered the two sides to mediation in the legal battle that temporarily stalled a government bid of almost $3 million to purchase the property.

The land, 2811 Dixie Farm Road, became controversial in June last year when nearby residents began objecting to a proposed shopping center at the site because they worried piles of dirt might worsen flooding in an area that had been inundated during Hurricane Harvey less than a year before.

“Hopefully, the sale will close quickly and issues with the build up of dirt on this property can finally be resolved,” Don Johnson, a Friendswood resident, said.

Officials with the Harris County Flood Control District confirmed Friday they were aware of the settlement agreement and were keeping their eye on further developments.

“We are still interested in purchasing the property, but will have to wait for a final order in the case before deciding how to proceed,” said Matt Zeve, deputy executive director with the district.

Plaintiffs John Carlew and Remington Homes filed a lawsuit in January against property owners Robert Wood, James Wood and Doris Wood over a dispute about splitting proceeds of a sale.

Officials with the Harris County Flood Control District have been negotiating with the owners to acquire the land as a possible stormwater detention site for Clear Creek, officials said.

Work on the proposed 60,000-square-foot Parkwood Plaza, a retail development anchored by a restaurant, stalled when Friendswood officials told the property owner they had voided his construction permit.

The dirt was from the excavation of the Mud Gully detention pond, a Harris County Flood Control District project.

A contractor working on that project had taken the dirt to the Dixie Farm Road property after flood control district officials had approved a request to do so, officials said in November. District officials approved the request because the contractor had attached 1999 flood insurance rate maps instead of 2007 maps when he filled out the paperwork.

The site shouldn’t have been approved because it fell in a 100-year floodplain, officials said.

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

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