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Katy raises development standard

September 7, 2018

Because the city of Katy falls within three counties — Harris, Waller and Fort Bend — different development criteria apply for subdivisions, according to officials.

On Aug. 27, Katy City Council adopted guidelines that will require new subdivision development within city boundaries — regardless of which county the property is in — and its extraterritorial jurisdiction to meet standards set by Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD).

The higher standard would in effect require developers to build larger detention ponds to hold water longer, said Steve Wilcox, project manager and partner of Costello Inc., the engineering firm hired by the city.

The Katy Planning and Zoning Commission approved on Aug. 14 adopting the HCFCD’s “Supplemental Guidelines and Criteria for developing in the Addicks Reservoir Watershed, Barker Reservoir Watershed and Cypress Creek Watershed Upstream of U.S. 290. The district adopted those guidelines in March 2016.

The recently adopted standard increases the minimum detention rate to .55 acre feet per acre. Wilcox said it provides an extra level of protection that’s not so much flood prevention as it is long-term detention.

“The adoption of these standards will help ensure that the cumulative effect of future development does not inadvertently increase the 100-year water surface elevations along Cane Island Branch Creek,” according to Wilcox.

In response to questions raised by several audience members, David Leyendecker, the city’s engineer, said, “If it’s a new subdivision, it would have to meet the criteria.”

City administrator Byron Hebert said he would ask officials of the Brookshire Katy Drainage District to adopt the higher development standards, too. That district serves south Waller County.

karen.zurawski@chron.com

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