What is now named “Santa Fe” began under the code name “NK” or “North Kingland.” It is a 4,300-acre, fast-track mixed-use development being undertaken by our Client, Colony Ridge Land, LLC. Santa Fe will add 7,000 single family-lots, small and large retail centers, school sites, and parks to an area that, prior to other related development, had a population of approximately 900 people. Ultimately, Santa Fe and related projects are anticipated to add 140,000 people to the area over 15 years.
Prior to putting the property under contract, Landplan Engineering worked with the Client to define the property boundary. Of course, this included delineating the parcels, but also due diligence regarding the property, which involved determining how much of the property was developable. Constraints addressed included major pipelines running both north/south and east/west as impediments to drainage; on-going timber operations; floodplain; possible wetland related issues; and access.
Pipelines had previously been the defining factor for Colony Ridge’s projects in the area, which span from the Tarkington and Luce Bayous on the east to the East Fork San Jacinto River on the west. A set of north/south pipelines established a barrier across which stormwater could not be directed, essentially serving as a boundary to development on the west side of the properties. A set of pipelines also established a southern boundary to property under consideration on its western third. Natural topography dictated that much of the development needed to be directed to the southeast, which would require two sets of pipeline crossings. Thus, initial due diligence required identifying the pipelines and their owners, any natural crossings within the subject property, and the requirements for crossing them with stormwater facilities.
Prior to closing on the property, it was incumbent on the team to determine that there was a means of crossing the pipelines, which included two east/west 30-inch diameter, 1,000 psi gas transmission lines owned by Kinder Morgan. Costs for relocating and/or crossing the various lines were developed. In the end, one line, which was not in operation, was lowered and crossed over; another was crossed over; and three were crossed underneath, essentially by a small manmade river serving as the backbone of the development’s drainage system.