Monday, July 2, 2012

Lake Thicket - Barkers Landing Board of Directors

From:  Leigh Voreh
To:  Michael McNally, Skanska
Sent: Mon, July 2, 2012 3:43:28 PM
Subject: Lake Thicket - Barkers Landing Board of Directors

Good Afternoon Mr. McNally and Associates,

Please read the attached letter and photos from the Barkers Landing Homeowners Association Board of Directors. They, along with other communities are very concerned about Lake Thicket .

Please feel free to contact me with any information I can pass along to the Board of Directors.

Thank you,

Leigh Adams

Barkers Landing Homeowners Association, Inc.
P. O. Box 219223
Houston, Texas 77218
281-870-0585 / Fax 281-870-9170
July 2, 2012

Dear Mr. McNally and Associates,

Our Barkers Landing Board is writing to you as concerned neighbors about Skanska’s office building development which is underway at 15375 Memorial Drive in Houston, Texas.  We are apprehensive that Skanska is ready to embark on actions that will irreversibly damage the wildlife environment and increase flooding along Buffalo Bayou. Therefore, we seek your immediate attention.

Lake Thicket is a two-acre natural body of water sited about 30 yards south of Memorial Drive between Eldridge and Highway 6.  Lake Thicket is not just some nice man-made water feature; it is the historical confluence of Buffalo Bayou (the banks of which the City of Houston was founded on in 1836) and Langham Creek.  Just immediately upstream of Lake Thicket, ExxonMobil Chemical Company kept and enhanced that portion of Langham Creek that flowed across its property.

When Skanska purchased the property in February, the Memorial community was hopeful that it would preserve the natural wildlife habitat around the 2-acre Lake Thicket, as has been done across the street by ExxonMobil. Initially, our community was led to believe that the lake and the wildlife habitat surrounding the lake would be preserved   Instead the conditions of the lake have deteriorated for months, the lake was fenced off and the ducks are dying and now are being removed from the property. In a recent communication from Skanska we were told that the domestic ducks have been moved to a “safe, habitable location”. Many still remain with difficult access to the lake itself.

Also attached for comparison sake are two different pictures of Lake Thicket. One was taken on a recent average day and another during flooding conditions in 2009.  If Lake Thicket had been gone during this flood, approximately three million gallons of water would have been released to further impact the flooding on adjacent properties, as well as downstream surrounding neighborhoods. Skanska states in the attached communication mailed June 20 that Lake Thicket “is not considered a regulatory retention or detention facility” and that Lake Thicket “has no impact on neighborhood drainage”, but this picture is clearly contradictory to those statements. Additional flooding without Lake Thicket would be detrimental to many Memorial communities adjacent to and downstream from the Skanska property. This lack of concern for the impact made on the area in deference to a potentially more lucrative outcome for Skanska causes us great concern.

Our Memorial community welcomes Skanska and other companies to our fast-growing West Houston community.  And we must remain watchful and protective of our natural resources. Any changes made in haste may cause irreparable damage to our safety and to the environment.  We implore you to invest in our community by retaining Lake Thicket to preserve our Memorial wildlife habitat and to avoid additional flooding of our community.  Your new tenant(s) will benefits from a more pleasing work environment that will result in more satisfied and highly productive employees.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

 Barkers Landing Board of Directors
Recent Picture of Average Day at Lake Thicket

Lake Thicket During Flooding Conditions in 2009

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