The Woodlands' Development Standards Committee OKs 30-home maximum for island development

The Lake Woodlands island known locally as Eagle Island or Mitchell Island is part of the East Shore neighborhood. (Vanessa Holt/Community Impact Newspaper)
The Lake Woodlands island known locally as Eagle Island or Mitchell Island is part of the East Shore neighborhood. (Vanessa Holt/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Lake Woodlands island known locally as Eagle Island or Mitchell Island is part of the East Shore neighborhood. (Vanessa Holt/Community Impact Newspaper)

After residents of The Woodlands Township’s East Shore neighborhood and developer Howard Hughes Corp. reached an agreement on how an island in the community’s midst will be developed, an amendment to the initial land-use designation for the property was approved Nov. 4 to set the maximum number of residences for the land at 30 houses.

The township’s development standards committee reviewed the proposed change Nov. 4, which in addition to stating the property would be used exclusively for up to 30 single-family residences instead of the original 19 allowed, changes the minimum square footage for the houses from 7,000 square feet to 3,000 square feet.

The amendment also states that structures can be no taller than three stories, and no part of the property can be used for a nonresidential or multifamily dwelling.

At the meeting, which was held through videoconference, the committee approved the amendment, with four members in favor and three members abstaining.

Heath Melton, executive vice president for master-planned communities with The Howard Hughes Corp., presented the request at the meeting and outlined how the development would proceed. He said the company would continue to meet with residents as the process moves forward, and he remarked on the company’s history of developing in The Woodlands around an eagle habitat in accordance with a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services permit.


“We have been great stewards of the environment, particularly the eagle, for the last few decades,” Melton said.

The developer reached the compromise for 30 houses after a previous proposal to increase the development to 58 units was met with opposition from East Shore residents. The proposal is for a 22-acre island in the community’s midst referred to locally as Mitchell Island or Eagle Island because of the eagles present in the area.

Residents raised objections to a proposal that initially went before the Houston Planning Commission to replat the island for 58 units, citing reasons such as density of housing and possible effects on the eagle habitat.

On Oct. 19, the developer and residents released a joint statement about the compromise reached for up to 30 units for the island.

Jim Carman, president of the Howard Hughes Corp.’s Houston region, said in a phone interview the company has a history of working closely with residents, village associations and homeowner associations to address concerns over development plans.

He said other recent discussions in which residents and the company have worked together include the Founders Reserve neighborhood, which had expressed concern last year about trees removed during construction of a new building for Alight Solutions off New Trails Drive.

Carman said after talks with residents, the developer made changes to the lighting, fences and reforested the affected area.

In the joint statement with Howard Hughes, Tami Houston, president of the local group Citizens for Eagle Island that formed amid the discussions, said the group hopes to be kept in the loop with real-time development drawings and updates.

At the Nov. 4 meeting, she said she also remains concerned that trees will be removed during future construction that could affect the eagles’ hunting and feeding habits.
By Vanessa Holt
A resident of the Houston area since 2011, Vanessa began working in community journalism in her home state of New Jersey in 1996. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2016 as a reporter for the Spring/Klein edition and became editor of that paper in March 2017 and editor of The Woodlands edition in January 2019.


MOST RECENT

Harris County Flood Control District is planning to submit preliminary flood plain maps to the Federal Emergency Management Agency in late 2021. (Kelly Schafler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Harris County's preliminary flood plain maps to be released in late 2021

The new flood insurance rates in Harris County could take effect in 2023 or 2024.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced the opening of a COVID-19 vaccine waitlist at a Jan. 25 press conference. (Screenshot courtesy Facebook)
Harris County to open waitlist for COVID-19 vaccines Jan. 26

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo warned that vaccine supply remains "extremely limited," and it will still take time for those waitlisted to get an appointment.

Harris County Emergency Services District No. 11 filed a counterclaim against Cypress Creek EMS on Jan. 22. (Andy Li/Community Impact Newspaper)
Harris County ESD No. 11 issues counterclaim against Cypress Creek EMS for $20 million

According to the counterclaim, the district is suing Cypress Creek Emergency Medical Services for about $20 million in “missing and stolen taxpayer funds.”

The Woodlands Christian Academy theater program, pictured here performing "The Diary of Anne Frank," is part of its fine arts department under new leadership. (Courtesy The Woodlands Christian Academy)
The Woodlands Christian Academy welcomes first fine arts director

In the 2020-21 school year, The Woodlands Christian Academy has brought its fine arts programs together under its first director of fine arts, Phil Sweger, to coordinate creative programs.

Montgomery County's two COVID-19 vaccine hubs received allocations of around 2,000 doses each this week. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Montgomery County's 2nd vaccine hub set in The Woodlands; Conroe hub, public health district to get more doses

The Woodlands hospital hub now offers vaccines on an invitation-only basis, and those interested in future vaccination may join the hospital's waitlist.

Preregistration does not guarantee an appointment. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
UPDATED: Montgomery County COVID-19 vaccination preregistration full in 30 minutes; Conroe hub plans Jan. 25 registration

The Montgomery County Public Health District's initial preregistration for COVID-19 vaccinations filled in less than 30 minutes after the program's launch Jan. 25.

The John Cooper School is located in The Woodlands. (Courtesy The John Cooper School)
A guide to private schools in The Woodlands area in 2021

Our annual guide includes a number of schools in The Woodlands area serving elementary through high school grades.

The Woodlands Township board meetings returned to a videoconference format Jan. 21. (Screenshot courtesy The Woodlands Township)
The Woodlands approves contract changes with Shenandoah for policing in mall, Market Street area

The Woodlands Township board of directors returned to a video conference format for its January meetings.

Retail locations began to open at Metropark Square in 2020. (Andrew Christman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Second phase announced for Metropark Square development focusing on 324-unit apartment complex

The Sam Moon Group has announced plans for moving its Metropark Square development, located off of I-45 in Shenandoah, into its second phase later this year.

Less than 7,000 COVID-19 cases remained active in Montgomery County as of Jan. 22. (Community Impact staff)
Montgomery County's active COVID-19 case count falls below 7K, 7 new deaths reported Jan. 20-22

Active cases in the county fell by several hundred this week, while COVID-19 hospitalizations among residents reached a new high.

Harris County Emergency Services District No. 11 met Jan. 21 at its new administrative offices. (Andy Li/Community Impact Newspaper)
Harris County Emergency Services District No. 11 lays groundwork for 911 dispatching plans

Cypress Creek EMS currently serves as a dispatch facility for 17 emergency agencies.