The Woodlands Township board of directors received results of an engineering study outlining a number of flooding concerns with developing a 208-acre parcel of land as a new area park along Gosling Road.

What you need to know

According to an inundation study presented by Kristin LeBlanc, a site development team leader from Halff Associates, the area is designated as a very high flood risk zone.

The report said 70% of the park is within established floodplains and floodways, according to Federal Emergency Management Agency maps. LeBlanc said 42 acres is within the 100- and 500-year floodplain maps, while the remaining 166 acres falls within the floodway.

LeBlanc said the township needs to focus on limiting fill and grading as well as carefully monitoring the placement of any facilities. However, she did provide the township with certain guidelines regarding the types of amenities that can be placed within the park area.

Floodplain area (42 acres):
  • Restrooms
  • Court sports
  • Playgrounds
  • Skate park
  • Community garden
  • Miniature golf
  • Parking
Floodway area (166 acres):
  • No structures
  • Hiking trails
  • Mountain bike trails
  • Fields
  • Dog parks
  • Open grass areas
Township Chief Operating Officer Chris Nunes told the board the largest factor in developing the park is meeting permitting requirements by Harris County as well as having a number of improvements in place that can withstand flooding and are easily cleanable for the township after a flooding event.

Quotes of note

“This project is not a one-and-done project. This is a 20-year project, maybe longer,” Nunes said. “There is a lot of opportunity in this tract, even though there are challenges, and that's why at this point, the recommendation is to accept the reports.”

“It has upstream and downstream [impact],” LeBlanc said. “You have to be very cognizant [in] keeping improvements and natural ground to maintain existing drainage patterns.”

What’s next?

The board accepted the report from Halff Associates regarding the tract with no additional action. Nunes said township staff will continue to look into possible improvements to the park and then bring them back before the board for future consideration.