The Woodlands Edition | October 2020

ROADTOREVISIONS Development must go through several governmental entities to receive the necessary approvals. 1 As part of the city of Hous- 3 The Woodlands

R E S I D E N T CONCERNS

2 Montgomery County issues developmental

4 The Woodlands Township neighborhoods are covered

ton’s extraterritorial juris- diction, the Houston Plan- ning Commission approves variances and platting, or how lots are divided.

Township’s Develop- ment Standards Committee approves the aesthetics and size of the project.

by village covenants to enforce deed restrictions and govern other physical changes to properties.

• TRAFFIC: Residents say an increase from 19 to 58 housing units could bring additional trac. • AESTHETICS: Neighbors said the additional construction would remove most of the tree coverage of the island and go against the aesthetics of The Woodlands. • EAGLE HABITAT: The island has been reported as an area where bald eagles hunt and relax. Part of the east side of the island is included in a habitat conservation plan the township participates in under a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services permit that restricts clearing and building. East Shore residents have raised a number of points in opposition to the development of Mitchell Island. A group has formed using the email address eastshoreresidentsunited@ gmail.com.

permits, which are required for resi- dential structures.

SOURCES: HOUSTON PLANNING COMMISSION, MONTGOMERY COUNTY, THE WOODLANDS TOWNSHIPCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

interviewshe shares some of her neigh- bors’ concerns, but she emphasized the board will not have the nal say. “My concerns as a resident are addi- tional trac, what it will do to the infrastructure of our community as we more than double the number of homes—triple—in a limited space that we as homeowners were told when we built and moved here that it was designed for 19 homes,” Snyder said. East Shore resident Stan Hewitt told the board he was concerned about trac because only one residential road—stemming from Timberloch Place—leads on and o of the gated island via a bridge. The road is not open to trac, but has room for two lanes. “Obviously [the higher density] will come with triple the construction trac, and in perpetuity, triple the residential trac going to and from all of our homes,” he said. Edmund “Ned” Chapman, the president of the Grogan’s Mill Village Association, elaborated on concerns about the eagles’ presence and exist- ing protections in place in his com- ments to the board. “Someone had the foresight back in 2003 to secure a federal Fish and Wild- life [Service] permit for the east side of Lake Woodlands,” Chapman said. “This provides among other things a 70-foot-wide shoreline preserve for the eagles and a requirement that 60% of the trees greater than 16 inches in

Some residents voiced support for the idea that becoming a city could give The Woodlands additional tools to control development. “It’s annoying and frustrating when we know that The Woodlands as a special-purpose district cannot really defend us and be out there for us,” Windsor Hills resident Ana Cosio said at the Sept. 23 meeting. “Some people may not want to be a city. But we need to put something about being a city in order to control our future, control our roads and have more of a say in what is left to be developed.” However, Amy Lecocq, the chair of the steering committee for TownshipFuture, a political action committee inTheWoodlands area, said incorporation would not be a cure all. “On the issue of whether incorpora- tion would resolve this issue, our cov- enants and deed restrictions run with the land, so the resident-majority DSC has the same land-use approval authority whether we are a city or a township,” Lecocq said in an email. “This board’s incorporation plan does not include a planning and zoning department, but even if we created zoning regulations, the existing deed restrictions would still control how the land could be used.” The board discussed having a town hall discussion on the topic in the future and inviting Howard Hughes Corp. to give a presentation, although

diameter be protected. It is just frankly not clear how this replat can go for- ward without impacting our eagles.” Houston echoed the sentiment, describing her concerns about changes in the quality of life for resi- dents of the area. “Envision the impact of bringing the urban city to the island on the East Shore,” she said. “The trac noise. The pounding hammers. The air you are breathing. The houses stacked like matches in a matchbook.” Because the item was not on the board’s Sept. 23 agenda, members could not comment on residents’ con- cerns in depth. The topic is expected to be on the agenda for board’s next meeting at 6 p.m. Oct. 22 at 2801 Technology For- est Blvd. The meeting is expected to be the rst held in person since March and will include social distancing and other safety precautions, ocials said. Incorporation debate During the incorporation study conducted by the township in 2019, Bunch said one reason he felt incor- poration should be considered was to ensure the township’s future ability to control roads and development. Although 2020 began with the possi- bility of an incorporation election in November, it was dismissed by the board due to economic concerns sur- rounding the coronavirus pandemic.

SOURCES: EAST SHORE RESIDENTS, THE WOODLANDS TOWNSHIP COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

no details were provided at the Sep- tember meeting. “We have hundreds of residents that have weighed in on the issue,” Bunch said. “I think we would have a signicant, standing-room-only type environment. It may be the warranted next step.”

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THE WOODLANDS EDITION • OCTOBER 2020

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