Trying to preserve that rural feeling in Spring
Here are a couple of stories from far North Harris County. The first is an update on the Grand Parkway, which may become a county project through the Toll Road Authority. Some residents in Spring who oppose this segment of the Grand Parkway, have fought TxDOT over where this section should be built. The current placement would put it through a rural area of Spring populated with family farms and older subdivisions that could literally be cut in half by the parkway.
State Sen. Jon Lindsay is in favor of the project along with Harris County and some developers, while state Rep. Debbie Riddle is working on behalf of residents to fight the current placement of the parkway. But if the county takes over the project from the state, then residents who oppose the project will be out of luck, because the county does not have the same requirements, as the state does, to do environmental impact studies or to hold public meetings to discuss projects, as this recent KHOU-11 story pointed out:
What many may not know is the Harris County Toll Road Authority, unlike TxDOT, can build a toll road anywhere it wants without public approval.
The Toll Road Authority said even though it doesn't have open forums, it has never gone against public outcry to build a project.
Grand Parkway opponents may test the Toll Road Authority on that.
Full disclosure time: I live in this area and I am not in favor of the Grand Parkway, if it runs through our little community. But, the realist in me believes the parkway will be built, right through our quiet little area and we will say goodbye to that nice sleepy quality that makes this community so enjoyable. After it is built, commuters from The Woodlands will flood Gosling Rd. and Kuykendahl Rd. to get to the parkway and both roads will have to be widened. Then new businesses and housing developments will spring up all along those feeder roads and the parkway itself. Ahhh, progress.
The second story I found in a post on the Houston Architecture Info blog. It references a Chronicle story from earlier in January about Harris and Montgomery Counties working together to preserve open space along Spring Creek:
Montgomery County Precinct 3 and Harris County Precinct 4 are working to develop an 8,000- to 12,000-acre regional preserve along Spring Creek, the dividing line between the counties.
With commercial and housing developments quickly moving north, officials from both counties say now is the time to protect the creek and the forestland around it.
Spring Creek is a hidden oasis of white sandy banks lined by a thick forest of cypress, sycamore and Eastern red cedar trees, many more than 200 years old. A variety of wildlife and birds, including bobcats, deer, white cranes and red-shouldered hawks, live in the area and sometimes can be spotted from the shore or through the woods.
The creek is one of only two in Harris County still untouched by development. Clear Creek is the other.
The comments responding to this article are also interesting to read.