The areas surrounding Clear Creek in League City could undergo major developments over the next 10 to 15 years as a result of a master plan the city is considering.

The big picture

At an Aug. 8 workshop, consulting firm Halff presented a Clear Creek Master Plan to serve as a policy guide for future land use, creating greater accessibility, and recreation and tourism opportunities.

The plan looked at watershed areas of Clear Creek along 9 miles of the stream within the limits of League City.

The study area included 27% single-family residential land uses in addition to sections of Challenger Seven Memorial Park, Walter Hall and the Clear Creek Nature Center.

While the majority of the land fronting Clear Creek is privately owned, Halff Planning Team Leader Louis Cutaia said this creates an opportunity for the city to partner with homeowners associations in these areas.

The plan flagged the area’s 100- and 500-year floodplain as environmental constraints to the project. Floodplains are areas of inland or coastal land partially covered or saturated by water.

One of the plan’s biggest priorities is creating greater access to Clear Creek. Currently, public access is limited to five locations.

Zooming in

To secure community feedback, Halff held three open houses between March and July and sent two community surveys to canvass League City residents on their priorities and concerns regarding development on Clear Creek.

During the open houses, residents expressed concern about how development along Clear Creek could destroy wildlife habitats and also expressed desire for increased habitat preservation. Residents also said that a lack of accessibility prevented them from enjoying Clear Creek.

Based on community feedback, the plan’s major objectives are activation, connectivity and preservation.

To achieve these goals, the plan recommends adding 2 miles of elevated boardwalk, 21 miles of hiking and biking trails, seven new kayak launches, increased signage, and creating new wetland protected areas. Trail connectivity is estimated at $13.6 million, while boardwalk development was estimated at $5.9 million.

The plan also recommended improvements and developments for special park areas at an estimated cost of $20.3 million.

What they’re saying

“Obviously, it’s a lot of money, but I do like some of the ideas that were brought up,” Mayor Nick Long said. “I think they have value.”

Long then added that he did have concerns about designating privately owned land for preservation. Cutaia then clarified that it would be a "coordination opportunity" with the involved homeowners associations.

“The preservation would be sort of an opportunity for the city to work with those entities,” Cutaia said. “It’s sort of laid out as these are areas for enhancement and preservation opportunities.”

Cutaia also mentioned that a large portion of the privately owned land in the considered areas is undeveloped, which would give the city an opportunity to to partner with the developer.

What’s next

The Clear Creek Master Plan has been sent to City Council and parks board for further review. Parks board will consider the plan for approval in their Aug. 21 meeting before bringing it to City Council for approval.