CLEAR LAKE CITY — The Clear Lake Water Authority is looking to turn what was once a nearly 200-acre golf course into a natural park that will help with floodwater detention and will run down the middle of suburban neighborhood. 

The plan to transform the former Clear Lake Golf Club, 1202 Reseda Drive in Houston, is moving forward, and the water authority is working to get the needed permits from the state, said John Branch, vice president of the water authority. 

Contact reporter Christopher Smith Gonzalez at 409-683-5314 or chris.gonzalez@galvnews.com

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(9) comments

Kim Etheridge

Sure doesn't seem like the highest and best use of financial or natural resources.

When a non-profit throws out a range of between $25M & $35M dollars for a project (a whopping 40% difference!) it means they don't know what they're doing and they don't care about the public's money.

Andy Aycoth

Sounds like a good plan to benefit all.

Kim Etheridge

If this plan proceeds as laid out in this article the property owners who back up to this area should be concerned about how it will affect their flood map designation.

Kevin Lang

Etheridge, I don't know how putting detention ponds in will increase the flooding potential. As green space, the former golf course will have much less of a negative impact on flooding as planing acres of concrete.

As for the concern about alligators and mosquitoes, there are already a few bayous and creeks--wild wetlands--that are in the Clear Lake City area. As for mosquitoes, the lawns in the neighborhood are already great breeding and feeding areas for them. As for the alligators, do what people in El Lago, Taylor Lake, Seabrook, Nassau Bay, Clear Lake Shores, etc. do.

I like the idea of using either natural water, or untreated water--perhaps reclaimed water--and stocking the "lakes" with fish. Of course, treated water will cut down on the alligators. They don't care much for chlorine and flouride, especially since their food doesn't usually live in that kind of water.

Kim Etheridge

This non-profit wants to establish "wetlands". Once a property becomes a designated wetland it and the surrounding properties will be at the mercy of FEMA.

Kevin Lang

Oh, I'm sure there are a number of ways to handle it. I doubt the feds control all "wetlands" in this country, and I'm sure that if clear thinkers stay involved in this, this could be made into something that works for everyone involved, with the feds, state, or even local governments involved to the least extent possible. Be wise with the conditions of grants, and you can steer clear of lots of regulations you don't want to deal with.

However, I'm sure that whatever is done there--park or apartments--FEMA's going to consider the impacts on flooding. And, if the park does drain into any creeks, bayous, bays, etc., there will be lots of agencies that will need to sign off that the project doesn't adversely affect those ecosystems. Just like with the existing green space or any other development that might happen there.

Kim Etheridge

To kevjlang - Actually, the feds do control all wetlands - the EPA to be exact. Everything surrounding homeowners may want to do to their private property will come under scrutiny because it will impact a wetland.

Referencing a government agency and inserting the words "clear thinkers" in the same sentence is an oxymoron.

Kim Etheridge

kevjlang: They are not proposing detention ponds. "...a series of five interconnected lakes that would be about six feet deep and take about 38 acres." Detention ponds dry out; lakes do not.

Kevin Lang

I think control may be too strong of a word for it. If the wetlands have connections to real water sources, the EPA has, and should have, regulatory authority over where that water goes. Neither of us would want someone just going through and spraying insecticides and herbicides into a marshland that either feeds drinking water, irrigation water, or our favorite fishing hole.

If your concern is that if they create wetlands that they'll be under jurisdiction of the EPA and other state, federal, and local regulatory agencies, you're right. However, that was true when it was a golf course, and in its current state, as is the entire Clear Lake City development.

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