Update on Annexation of Approximately 55-Acre Tract

In early 2020, a developer, Meritage Homes of Texas, approached the Fort Bend County MUD No. 146 (District) Board of Directors (Board) requesting that the Board consider annexing into the District an approximately 55-acre tract west of the existing District boundaries. The developer was seeking to develop the tract with approximately 167 single-family homes, which would need to be provided with public utilities, including water supply and distribution, sanitary sewer collection and treatment, and drainage facilities. The preliminary land plan and plat for the development are shown below.

Because the tract borders a substantial portion of the District’s western edge, the District is very interested in ensuring that any development on this tract is compatible with and beneficial to the existing Long Meadow Farms community. To that end, the developer signed an agreement and deposited funds for  the District’s engineer and financial advisor to perform analyses to determine whether it is feasible for the District physically to construct the public water, sanitary sewer, and drainage facilities required to serve the tract, and whether it made sense financially for the District to do so. The analyses showed that the annexation is feasible, so the District and the developer began negotiating terms for a proposed annexation.

One of the District’s longstanding conditions for any annexation request, including this one, is that the developer ensure that the new development share a similar “look” and “feel” as the existing community.  Although at this time the new development will not be part of the Long Meadow Farms Homeowners Association, the District is working with the developer to ensure that development standards consistent with the existing community are incorporated into deed restrictions that can be enforced by the new homeowners association that the developer will create for the tract.

In addition, following discussions in the fall of 2019 with Fort Bend County regarding traffic and other concerns relating to Winding Path Way, the County abandoned the stub out at the end of Winding Path Way located on the western edge of the District.  As a result of the abandonment, Winding Path Way will not connect through to the new development, and the District is working with the developer on a plan to modify the paving and landscaping in the area to remove the stub out and round off the existing cul-de-sac, which was required by Fort Bend County as a condition of agreeing to abandon the connection.

Many residents also have expressed concern regarding the status of the approximately 40-foot reserve along the western edge of the District generally behind Beverly Chase Drive and Crescent Knolls Drive.  The District plans to maintain the 40-foot reserve, including preserving the mature trees located on the District’s property where possible.

The District has not yet annexed the tract into the District. The District, however, has finalized its agreement with the developer for the annexation and is working through the required process with the City of Houston to allow for the annexation to be completed, most likely sometime in the spring or summer of 2021.

The District understands that this issue is of great interest to the community and welcomes all public input. All interested members of the public are invited to attend the District’s Board meetings, which currently are occurring via telephone conference due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The meeting agendas are posted at the Welcome Center and on the District’s website, http://www.fbmud146.org, at least 72 hours prior to the meeting.  Written comments and questions can be submitted to the District, via http://www.fbmud146.org/contact.

Preliminary Land Plan (PDF)

Land Plat (PDF)

The Scoop on Poop!

Did you know the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that just 3 days’ worth of dog waste from 100 dogs can contribute enough bacteria to temporarily close a bay and all watershed area to swimming or shell fishing within 20 miles? You may think “I’m not planning to drink or eat shellfish out of Oyster Creek”, but Oyster Creek flows into the Brazos River which then empties into the Gulf of Mexico. Many communities now draw water for drinking out of the Brazos River and millions of people along the Gulf Coast and the nation eat fish and shellfish caught in the Gulf of Mexico.

According to LiveScience, approximately 40% of dog owners claim they don’t pick up their pets poop for a variety of reasons (lazy, don’t feel like it, small dog=small waste, etc.), but the main reason is they think the poop will eventually go away. Although the poop will eventually break down on its own, it can take a long time. Once the poop has broken down, it doesn’t mean the bacteria and parasites disappear. Other animals and humans can be exposed to these pathogens directly or it eventually gets washed into storm sewers or Oyster Creek and enters the surface water system.

Environmental Concerns

When pet waste is left behind, it gets washed into storm drains and creeks by the rain. From there, unlike the separate sanitary sewer system that collects wastewater in your home from your sink, toilet and other appliances, water and other substances deposited in storm drains head straight to local rivers, lakes and bays with no filtering or cleaning. As pet waste goes through the chemical process of decomposition, it uses up large amounts of oxygen in the water. This oxygen reduction is harmful and sometimes fatal to many aquatic species. In addition, the process by which the pet waste is broken down produces by-products that encourage weed and algae growth, which also can be detrimental to aquatic and marine life. Stories of fish kills from algae blooms come to mind.

Health Concerns

One pound of dog waste can contain 10.5 billion fecal coliform bacteria. The average dog excretes .75 lbs. of waste per day—or 274 lbs. of waste per year. As you can see, dog waste is a very significant host of bacteria, and those bacteria can be harmful to human health if the waste is not disposed of appropriately. Some of the more common diseases caused by pet waste are Campylobacteriosis, Cryptosporidium, Toxocariasis, Toxoplasmosis and Salmonellosis. And it is not just bacteria—dog waste sometimes contains parasites, too, which can include hookworms, roundworms, whipworms, tapeworms and giardiasis. Oh, by the way, dog waste is a major food source for rats, which brings the health concern to a whole other level. It should be no surprise now that pet waste can create serious health concerns!

What to do with Pet Waste

We can pretty much gather by now that simply leaving pet waste where it lies is not an acceptable solution. The best way to deal with pet waste is to collect it and flush it down your toilet so that it undergoes the same treatment as human waste from your home. The next best option is to collect the waste and dispose of it in biodegradable bags along with your other garbage. If no biodegradable bags are available, collect it in a plastic bag and dispose of it in the same manner.

What not to do with Pet Waste

Under no circumstances should pet waste be dumped into storm sewers, as that only hastens its trip to the waterways and oceans. Because of all the bacteria that can be contained in pet waste, it should never be used in compost piles or for fertilizer in gardens. It takes chemicals or extreme heat to kill the bacteria and parasites found in dog waste and composting generally does not generate enough heat.

One of the leading sources of water pollution in communities across America is entirely preventable and can be completely eliminated overnight. Dog owners simply need to take responsibility and pick up after their pets.

So, let’s not only be healthy and environmentally conscious neighbors, let’s be considerate, respectful neighbors and pick up after our pets. After all, it’s the right thing to do.