League City to purchase land for Dove Meadows detention pond project

(Courtesy city of League City)
(Courtesy city of League City)

(Courtesy city of League City)

League City officials can proceed with the acquisition of just under 17 acres of land, for use in construction and improvements associated with the Dove Meadows detention pond project, after League City City Council passed a resolution addressing the topic Nov. 30.

The approved resolution authorized City Manager John Baumgartner or a designee to make a final purchase offer to the owner of a 16.79-acre tract of land near the Dove Meadows neighborhood. Dove Meadows is located in south League City off FM 517, about 5 miles from Tanger Outlets.

The project is part of the city’s 2019 general obligation bond and includes design, purchase of land, construction of extreme event overflow swales along Blue Wing Drive and construction of an approximate 115 acre-foot detention pond adjacent to Borden’s Gully and the neighborhood, per council meeting documents. Construction will begin next fiscal year, pending land acquisition.

Staff will now continue discussions with property owners to acquire the necessary property. One of the steps to move forward with the acquisition of land, if there is no agreement on price, is to declare eminent domain. Eminent domain is the legal authority granted to certain entities, such as cities, that allows those entities to take private property for a public use, per the Texas Attorney General website.

The landowner is aware the land is for a project, Director of Budget and Project Management Angie Steelman said Nov. 30, and there has been an appraisal on the property. However, Baumgartner said he expects to file for eminent domain in order to acquire the property.

After debate among council members about the implications of filing for eminent domain, Baumgartner said city staff will bring the discussion back to council before formally filing. Council Members Andy Mann, Nick Long and Justin Hicks voted against the resolution.

“I’m going to say no on this, on principle,” Hicks said Nov. 30.

Design, bidding and construction have been scheduled for the project, which is expected to cost a total of $5.8 million, according to the city website. Final design is slated for the fourth quarter of 2021; construction bidding is scheduled for the first and second quarters of 2022.

The pond will be about 460 feet wide by 1,600 feet long, located just east of Blue Wing and west of Borden’s Gully, per council meeting documents. Construction work will take place from approximately the third quarter of 2022 through the fourth quarter of 2023, per the city website.

A drainage study and flood plain management modeling have both been done to ensure the proposed pond is the best use of the detention for the Dove Meadows neighborhood, per council meeting documents. The city has reviewed and approved the 90% design plans and obtained the necessary U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit.

Other business:

  • Following overwhelming opposition from League City residents regarding the East Walker Street extension project, Baumgartner said Nov. 30 that there will be an agenda item at the Jan. 11 council meeting about removing the project from the bond. He attributed the removal of the project to lack of neighborhood support.

  • During closed session, council discussed offering a financial or other incentive to a business prospect that seeks to locate, stay or expand within League City. The motion was approved with members Mann, Long and John Bowen against; specifics around the incentive are not publicly available. The city is having trouble attracting both workforce-generating locations and destination spots, the city’s Director of Planning and Development David Hoover told Community Impact Newspaper earlier this month.

  • As part of the consent agenda, council also passed a resolution authorizing Helen Hall Library to apply for funding to attend the Family Place Libraries Training Institute as well as applying for up to $6,000 to establish a Family Place program. Grant funds support the creation of family-friendly spaces, family literacy and parenting collections, and early childhood and parent-child workshops, per council meeting documents. Awarded libraries will be notified in February. Libraries will receive a reimbursement of up to $6,000 to establish a family space, learning environment and programs; no additional staff or matching city funds are required, per council meeting documents.

By Colleen Ferguson

Reporter, Bay Area

A native central New Yorker, Colleen worked as an editorial intern with the Cy-Fair and Lake Houston | Humble | Kingwood editions of Community Impact Newspaper before joining the Bay Area team in 2020. She covers public education, higher education, business and development news in southeast Houston. Colleen graduated in 2019 from Syracuse University and the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, where she worked for the university's independent student newspaper The Daily Orange. Her degrees are in journalism and Spanish language and culture. When not chasing a story, Colleen can be found petting cats and dogs, listening to podcasts, swimming or watching true crime documentaries.