League City agrees to land swap with Friendswood

League City will give up nearly 30 acres of land to Friendswood in exchange for some of the property tax revenue generated by the move after League City City Council’s unanimous vote April 13. (Courtesy city of League City)
League City will give up nearly 30 acres of land to Friendswood in exchange for some of the property tax revenue generated by the move after League City City Council’s unanimous vote April 13. (Courtesy city of League City)

League City will give up nearly 30 acres of land to Friendswood in exchange for some of the property tax revenue generated by the move after League City City Council’s unanimous vote April 13. (Courtesy city of League City)

League City will give up nearly 30 acres of land to Friendswood in exchange for some of the property tax revenue generated by the move after League City City Council’s unanimous vote April 13.

The Avalon Project is a development taking place along the boundary of League City and Friendswood. Due to detention ponds in the area, it is “infeasible” for League City to build infrastructure such as roads and water lines in the area, according to a memo to the council.

Additionally, it is difficult for emergency services to reach the area, said David Hoover, director of planning and development for League City.

Friendswood requested League City offer 29 acres of the proposed development footprint belonging to League City to Friendswood. In exchange, Friendswood will pay 50% of the property taxes generated from the acreage to League City each year for the next 20 years.

Council Member Hank Dugie said the development could do a well and septic system instead of relying on hooking into the city’s water line but ultimately concluded the deal with Friendswood was a good one.


“If there was [a way to get value from the property], I’d say let’s keep it and turn it into something,” he said.

Mayor Pat Hallisey said Friendswood should pay for the land, to which Hoover said League City is getting a good deal.

If the property stayed within League City’s boundaries, the city would not generate enough property tax revenue to offset the cost of servicing the area. By getting 50% of the property tax revenue without having to pay for utilities or infrastructure for the area, League City is making more off the deal than it would have otherwise, Hoover said.

“The reality is we’re getting a lot more than what it’s going to cost to service those houses,” he said.

City Council approved the land swap on first and final reading April 13.
By Jake Magee

Editor, Bay Area & Pearland/Friendswood

Jake has been a print journalist for several years, covering numerous beats including city government, education, business and more. Starting off at a daily newspaper in southern Wisconsin, Magee covered two small cities before being promoted to covering city government in the heart of newspaper's coverage area. He moved to Houston in mid-2018 to be the editor for and launch the Bay Area edition of Community Impact Newspaper. Today, he covers everything from aerospace to transportation to flood mitigation.