The Woodlands’ No-Fault Defense

THE WOODLANDS’ NO-FAULT DEFENSE The Woodlands Development Company is trying to hold the line in its legal battle against a growing number of homeowners claiming that repeated damage to their homes is the result of movement along 3 separate geological faults running through the community. According to reporter Cindy Horswell, the company is going further than simply claiming that the building and ground cracks and resulting new alignments in the properties must have been the result of something other than surface fault lines. A statement penned by developer spokesperson Susan Vreeland-Wendt appears to claim the fault lines do not exist: “We have done actual testing, and none of the testing that we’ve done to date has found any evidence of an active fault line in proximity to any Woodlands residence.” That contradicts the claims of the now 2-dozen families from the Carlton Woods, Alden Bridge, Cochran’s Crossing, and Sterling Ridge neighborhoods¬†involved in or about to join the lawsuit, which was originally filed in March of this year, who say a 1993 letter proves the developer knew about the problem. “The plaintiffs’ attorneys say five different geologists have verified the existence of at least three fault lines — Big Barn, the longest and most active line that runs about 33 miles underground from a salt dome near Hockley to the flank of a salt formation near Conroe, as well as two smaller faults, Jones and Panther Branch. The San Jacinto River Authority’s geological report also recently pinpointed these same surface faults when working on plans to install a new 52-inch pipe to bring water into The Woodlands. To protect from the shifting soils, a special flexible pipe will be used wherever the pipe crosses a fault zone. ‘They do exist, and they are active,’ said Mark Smith, division manager over the water authority’s water project.” [Houston Chronicle ($)] Fault-line map: KHOU

11 Comment

  • I’m curious to see the fault line map going through Carlton Woods, can’t find one anywhere.

  • This is the closest I have found; eyeballing it, it looks like it runs right through the Carlton Woods area, but you’d have to overlay it to be sure. http://www.uh.edu/~sdkhan/Msc/Publications/2013_Geophysics_Hockley_fault.pdf

  • Go to:

    https://cstx.gov/default.asp?id=454C7071-2E12-40D3-9D9E-FFCDDD048B82&show=addendum

    Download:

    RFP 13-030 Addendum No. 2

    Page 14 of the PDF has the fault line map. If you were to extend the Big Barn line to the west, it enters Carlton Woods and then Sterling Ridge.

  • They are real and they are spectacular

  • Rodrigo, I think you meant the Fault Study under the Specifications, Terms, and Conditions tab. Addendum 2 has only 9 pages and no maps.

  • That map seems to be missing the really long fault that runs close to the Bear Creek lake and across Carlton Woods.

  • Yeah, 249 goes over a fault line, it looks like it would extend into The Woodlands…

  • Dave, you’re absolutely right, my bad for only glancing at the filename and not opening it up.

  • Meh woodlands sux….if its not in Beltway 8 or the inner loop then i dont care…holla

  • These homeowners needed to have done more extensive due diligence. They’re looking for a way to sell their homes & have a deep pocket entity bail them out. Besides, they cannot hold the Woodlands Development Company liable for naturally occurring situations. What next: hold the WDC liable for thunderstorms /hurricanes/tornadoes / animal attacks? A bunch of whiny, self-important,grasping homeowners. Who will NEVER be happy or satisfied with anything. They need to STF. And go away. Because if the judge rules in their favor, it’ll open the floodgates of disgruntled homeowners looking to cash in…These people are exactly what is WRONG with America today: they want the government to protect them from themselves and their stupid decisions!! Yes,that sounds radical. It is called being RESPONSIBLE for yourself and not depend on the nanny state/Big Brother to bail your sorry asses out of any situation. It is a direct affront to the Nanny State that has raised up in Western nations.

  • @Patrick, perhaps, but on the other hand WDC is a private company that sold a faulty (pun intended) product (the lot) to the consumer. Perhaps a municipality would not carry liability in such a case but a private corporation certainly does. They also concealed the said fault from consumers and certainly the builders. When they say the information was available to builders, they mean it was filed in a locked box in a bunker 300 feet below Dick Chaney’s bunker.