01/09/17 12:00pm

Balmoral Master Plan, Humble, TX

Crystal Lagoon marketing shotsLand Tejas’s Scottish-castle-themed Balmoral development in Humble (sketched out above) is 1 of 2 currently planned Houston-area locations for fake lake maker Crystal Lagoons’s giant outdoor pools, Candace Carlisle reports. The sand-bottomed water feature will be around 1.5 acres, and a similar 8.5-acre pool is planned for a different Land Tejas development (though the actual location of that one hasn’t yet been announced). As it does in the demo lake shown here, the lagoon company plans to keep the water in the pools much clearer than is typical of the area’s bayous and beaches (or even of the stormwater-detaining landscaping lakes typically accompanying such developments) by using a soundwave- and flocculation-based filtration system. Bacteria and algae would also be kept at swimmable levels with a set of sensor-and-Internet-controlled disinfectant injectors.


Humble Lakemakers
04/05/16 10:00am

The Crossing, Towne Lake, Cypress, TX 77433

2013 Map of The Crossing, Towne Lake, Cypress, TX 77433A high-flying reader sends this mid-March progress shot of the segment of Cypress’s Towne Lake development known as The Crossing. The other major crossing planned for nearby — a continuation of Towne Lake Pkwy. over the less-holy water feature under construction to the south and east, as shown in this selection from the development’s master plan — looks to still be in the works. The parkway will eventually connect all the way down to the Kroger just south of Tuckerton Rd. 

The site also seems to have resolved some of its earlier crises of purpose: Originally the land just north of David Anthony Middle School was labeled as a potential church, but developer Caldwell Companies appears to have opted for the secular route since the 2013 version below was published:


Driving on Water
12/02/14 2:45pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: WHY THE WATER IN YOUR NATURALLY FILTERED BAYOU-SIDE SWIMMING HOLE IS GOING TO BE BROWN Illustration of Proposed Houston Swimming Hole“I’ll bite. Here’s a very simple engineering analysis. Problems with stream-fed swimming pools in Houston are going to be three-fold: 1) Silt (in engineer-speak, Total-Suspended-Solids or TSS). TSS is treated with sedimentation basins. That can be a large pool (that people don’t swim in) adjacent to the real pool. In water/wastewater treatment plants, a coagulant like alum is usually added to sedimentation basins to make TSS precipitate out quicker. If you’re going to do this with no chemicals, you’ve got to be willing to accept either VERY long treatment times, or only partially successful results. The tiny diameter of the clay particles that make up the TSS in our bayous just flat out won’t come out of suspension without a coagulant, so the water WILL be brown. It’s not necessarily a deal breaker — the water in Galveston’s brown too. 2) Bacteria (in engineer-speak, total coliform count). See here. Usually these are E. Coli, algae, and some protests. ALL streams/lakes/oceans in the entire world have this, even the cleanest and clearest. Realistically, to get an insurance policy to operate, the water’s going to have to be disinfected to some degree. That means chlorination (chemicals), ozonation (chemicals), or UV disinfection. More on UV in a minute. 3) Dissolved oxygen content. You don’t want the water to turn anaerobic. If there’s enough carbon-containing compounds dissolved in the water, the bacteria naturally in the water will eat it rapidly, causing the bacteria to use up all the oxygen that’s already dissolved in the water. This leads to any/all fish in the water suddenly dying off, as well as noxious smells and other really terrible stuff. You can make sure the dissolved oxygen doesn’t drop by filtering out carbon containing compounds (takes chemicals), or using aerators. A dual-way to solve the #2 and #3 issues is by passing the water over a very shallow (less than 6-in. deep) bed of rocks at a fast speed. Think rapids. This lets the water simultaneously re-oxygenate and also absorb huge amounts of UV. This might be the sort of silver bullet that makes this possible in Houston. So: This is going to be expensive, but it’s probably do-able. However, the water is still going to be brown. Sorry.” [Ornlu, commenting on Bayou Swimming Hole Promoters Jump To Kickstarter To Jumpstart Project] Illustration: Houston Needs a Swimming Hole

01/07/14 11:30am

IT’S BEEN COLDER THAN USUAL IN KATY Frozen Fountain, Avalon at Seven Meadows, Katy, Texas“Subdivision Waterfalls” may have been frozen out of the winners’ circle in the Favorite Design Cliché category of the just-concluded Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate, but the florid fountain-turned-ice sculpture fronting the Avalon at Seven Meadows development off Fry Rd. west of the Grand Parkway in Katy has been thrilling and chilling onlookers since early this morning. Photo: Andrea Musetti-Camacho, via Bill Bishop/KHOU

12/27/07 11:31am

Lake at Crown Oaks, ConroeThe charms of gated acreage near Lake Conroe: large, wooded lakefront homesites, plus only a 25 minute commute . . . to The Woodlands! Oh, and if we’re talking about 1400-acre Crown Oaks in Montgomery County, lots of lawsuits, too!

Last year, the Crown Oaks Property Owners Association, along with individual homeowners, sued Affiliated Crown Development LTD, citing poor structure of the two manmade lakes in the development, located outside Montgomery.

But so much has happened since then: After new board members decided the developer would finally work with them to solve the lakes’ problems, the property owners association dropped its suit this fall. But now two groups of 10 individual homeowners have hired separate legal teams to continue their lawsuit against the developer. And in turn, the developer is now suing the engineering and construction firms it hired to build the dams on both lakes.

But there’s even more lawsuit fun:

“The POA tried to get out of the suit as a plaintiff, so my group has also sued them,” [homeowner attorney Kevin] Forsberg said. “The individuals were not satisfied. … Even though the POA started working with the developer in the hopes that the lakes would be fixed, nothing has actually been done.”

What’s it like to build your home on a lake that doesn’t bother to show up? Thanks to the amazing power of the internets, you can experience all the highs and lows of manmade-lakefront real-estate investing yourself — from the comfort of your own computer! Watch videos and read details of the whole dam story . . . after the jump!