Inwood Forest Stormwater Detention Project

Inwood Forest Stormwater Detention Project
Menu

ADVISORY

In the winter of 2019/2020, residents of Inwood Forest may notice some activity in the area of White Oak Bayou that may include digging or trenching by heavy-duty vehicles. This work is being undertaken by the Harris County Flood Control District as part of the Inwood Forest Stormwater Detention Basin Project to satisfy special requirements to evaluate the site as part of the federally required environmental review. This work is site evaluation only and does not signify the start of construction. Determinations on design and construction for the Inwood Forest Stormwater Detention Basin Project are still being considered. The site evaluation work is expected to be completed in early 2020, weather permitting, and is not expected to impede or adversely impact traffic in and around the area, but may impact walking and biking trails. In the interest of public safety, please follow all posted signage and warnings.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION 

The Inwood Forest Golf Course, a 226-acre property near Antoine Drive and West Little York, was purchased by the City of Houston in 2011 for approximately $9 million. A land use agreement stipulates the property may only be used as parkland, for recreational and stormwater detention purposes. The property is located in the White Oak Bayou and Vogel Creek watersheds. 

On March 26, 2019, Harris County Commissioners Court approved a $1.27 million contract with an engineering firm for design, bidding and construction stage engineering services in support of this project. 

The City of Houston, on August 2, 2019, received a FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) grant for the Inwood Forest Stormwater Detention Project. The grant will fund the design and ultimately the construction of all identified areas of the Inwood Forest Stormwater Detention Project. Harris County Flood Control District supported the grant application effort. The project is estimated to cost approximately $48 million; the federal grant will cover 75% with a 25% local match. Initial construction of two basins in the area has been completed by the City of Houston, and the Flood Control District intends to proceed with construction of the remaining basins. With the new grant monies, all design and construction will now be completed as one project.

The stormwater detention basins will be built by the Flood Control District on the former golf course property to provide flood damage reduction benefits during heavy storms and to mitigate impacts of future public drainage projects as appropriate. The City of Houston is responsible for the construction of the recreational features associated with the detention basins. The City of Houston is partnering with the Houston Parks Board to conduct a study of potential recreation and amenities, and will seek funding for future efforts to bring recreational opportunities to the area. 

The proposed stormwater detention basin project encompasses property located both east of Antoine and west of Antoine, with a total of 12 interconnected stormwater detention basins. In order to comply with federal funding requirements, the basin project must be designed, permitted, and constructed as a single project. Environmental assessment and permitting must be completed before construction can start. The Flood Control District has received the 50% design plans for this project and is preparing to submit a permit application to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in early 2020. The Flood Control District is continuing to gather feedback to be considered and incorporated into the final project design.

The basins will vary in stormwater storage capacity, which is measured in acre-feet. The goal for the stormwater storage capacity for all of the basins combined is approximately 1,200 acre-feet, for shared use by the Harris County Flood Control District and the City of Houston. One acre-foot is equal to one acre times a one-foot depth, or 43,560 cubic feet (325,850 gallons). With the addition of recreational amenities, capacity within the basins to hold stormwater typically decreases. Actual storage capacity will be determined once design plans are complete.

Project Areas

The project includes a total of twelve basins of varying size. The basins are individually labeled with letters A-L. The City of Houston has completed Basin K and partially completed the construction of Basin L. The Flood Control District’s upcoming project will include construction of the remaining basins as shown in the diagram.

Recreational Opportunities

As owner of the property, the City of Houston will determine the recreational opportunities, with community input. 

White Oak Conference Center, formerly the golf course clubhouse, which includes a community center and is managed by the Near Northwest Management District, will remain on the site and operational. Community programs such as First Tee, a youth golfing program, are included in the planning and additional recreation will be designed based on community need. 

The largest basin, Basin C, currently is being considered by the City of Houston as a location for First Tee. The White Oak Conference Center is located next to Basin C.

Tree Preservation

In early 2017, a tree inventory was conducted on the Inwood Forest Golf Course property. Trees greater than four inches in diameter were tagged and documented according to size, species and general health. Suggestions for possible tree preservation zones were indicated as part of the inventory. 

Residents may notice tags on trees. These tags indicate that the tree has been inventoried for planning purposes. 

Following Hurricane Harvey in summer 2017, the project focus shifted to increasing stormwater detention volume to offset street flooding. To allow for maximum basin volume, trees in the immediate area may need to be removed. Where possible, a bank or banks of trees will remain. 

The Harris County Flood Control District is continuing to work with our arborists, our partners and area residents to address concerns regarding the removal of trees and other vegetation. 

Upon completion of the project, new trees will be planted as appropriate.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT MEETINGS

While the process of securing the federal grant delayed the beginning of construction, it also offered an opportunity for the City and the Flood Control District to hold a series of meetings with the public and other stakeholders to hear their concerns.

The Harris County Flood Control District, along with our partners from the City of Houston and the Houston Parks Board, plan to hold additional meetings in the future with the community, prior to construction of the project.

HOA Meeting Presentation (12/11/19) 

On December 11, 2019, the Harris County Flood Control District, along with our partners from the City of Houston and the Houston Parks Board, provided updated information about this project, including 50% design plans, tree and vegetation removal in the immediate area, as well as recreational and amenity concepts that may be considered for the area after construction is completed on the stormwater basins. The meeting was hosted by the Inwood Forest Community Improvement Association and the Inwood Homeowners Association.


HOA Meeting Presentation (8/14/19) 

On August 14, 2019, Harris County Flood Control District leadership, along with our partners from the City of Houston and the Houston Parks Board, presented to the residents of Inwood Forest an update on the Inwood Forest Stormwater Detention Basin Project. The meeting was hosted by the Inwood Forest Community Improvement Association and the Inwood Homeowners Association. 

The update included information regarding the August 2, 2019 grant award announcement by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to the City of Houston for funding to cover 75% of the costs for design, and ultimately construction, of the entire project. Residents also were briefed on plans for future recreational opportunities and other Capital Improvement Projects in the area. Additional meetings with the community are being planned and will be posted to this site, as the project progresses.


HOA Meeting Presentation (8/15/18) 

On August 15, 2018, Harris County Flood Control District leadership, along with our partners from the City of Houston, presented to the residents of Inwood Forest an update on the Inwood Forest Stormwater Detention Basin Project. The meeting was hosted by the Inwood Forest Community Improvement Association and the Inwood Homeowners Association.