Friday, September 9, 2022

East Fort Worth IS FULL OF IT Stormwater Runoff and Sediment Pollution



Q:  What is stormwater runoff?

A:  Stormwater runoff is water from rain which flows from rooftops, over paved streets, sidewalks, parking lots, across bare soil, through lawns, and storm drains.

Q:  What is sediment pollution?

A:  As stormwater runoff flows, it collects and transports silt, soil, pet waste, pesticides, fertilizer, oil, grease, litter, and other pollutants and drains into creeks, streams, and rivers which eventually reach the ocean.  This is sediment pollution. 

These are pictures of sediment pollution caused by developer LGI on the east side of Fort Worth.  City of Fort Worth staff and elected officials have known about this for almost 5 years now.   




Q:  Did you know?  
  • The EPA identifies sediment as the most common pollutant in rivers, streams, lakes, and reservoirs.
  •  Construction activities account for 70% of sediment pollution.

Sediment pollution is considered a violation in the City of Fort Worth, but LGI and other developers in east Fort Worth (DR Horton, Benchmark, Huffines, and David Weekly) are not being held accountable for this by the City of Fort Worth.    

Our neighborhoods first brought this sediment pollution to the City of Fort Worth's attention in 2017 when DR Horton clear cut a 50-acre forest on a hill on Randol Mill. The unmaintained drainage ditches and inadequate drainage design by DR Horton approved by the City of Fort Worth is a recipe for disaster for property owners and motorists along that stretch of Randol Mill. 

This is how City of Fort Worth staff and elected officials responded to their citizens over the last 5 years. 

  • The drainage ditches along parts of Randol Mill were cleaned out a couple of times over the last 5 years.  
  • We learned the City's minimum standards factor in velocity of stormwater runoff but not volume of stormwater runoff when issuing permits.  While City of Fort Worth staff now recognizes volume as pretty important, City of Fort Worth staff is still studying whether their minimum standards should include considering volume of stormwater runoff when issuing permits. 
  • Since the LGI development on Randol Mill and Cooks Lane, City of Fort Worth staff now recognizes all development permits are not one-size-fits-all and should be considered on an individual basis. No changes have been made though, the City of Fort Worth is still studying this too.
  • We learned the City of Fort Worth does not have an adequate number of city inspectors to ensure compliance by developers.
  • We learned the City of Fort Worth justifies a certain amount of stormwater pollution by developers and refers to this as "interim conditions".  Interim conditions are expected to exist on most construction sites until the project is ultimately built out.  These interim conditions can last for years.   
  • We learned developers love to build in Fort Worth because once they receive their permit, developers know they can do whatever they want to their original design because no one in the City of Fort Worth is watching.  
  • The City of Fort Worth is using a Stormwater Criteria Manual from September 29, 2015.  2015 CFW Stormwater Criteria Manual.pdf (
  • The City of Fort Worth is using a Stormwater Master Plan from April 17, 2018. Stormwater Management Program Master Plan Update – Welcome to the City of Fort Worth ( 
  • The City of Fort Worth is using Stormwater Management Ordinances from 2010. § 31-105 STORMWATER MANAGEMENT. (
  • The City of Fort Worth and LGI put in a stormwater drain under Cooks Lane and Randol Mill which drains stormwater to the Trinity River.  The design is inadequate. 
  • The City of Fort Worth realized their Urban Forestry Ordinances were lacking after DR Horton clear cut 50 acres of post oak trees at their Trinity Oaks subdivision.  The City of Fort Worth is still studying their Urban Forestry Ordinances too.  
  • Developer LGI clear cut 100-acre forest on the second highest point in Tarrant County on Randol Mill and Cooks Lane for their Oak Ridge subdivision.
  • Developer Benchmark removed almost all of the 100s of years old post oak trees on Randol Mill for their Randol Mill Valley Estates subdivision.
  • Developer Huffines clear cut their Mockingbird Estates subdivision on Randol Mill. 
  • Developer David Weekly clear cut their Highwoods Village subdivision on Randol Mill. 
  • After years of gross sediment pollution, Code Compliance finally made a decision to fine developer LGI for their sediment pollution but someone above staff level is allowing LGI the opportunity to come into compliance before actually fining them. 

The City of Fort Worth knows the existing infrastructure for stormwater runoff on the east side is inadequate, yet the City of Fort Worth continues to permit development on the east side at a staggering rate knowing full well this development will only add to the existing problem! 

Adding insult to injury is Fort Worth City staff readily admitting in the article referenced below that they can't fix the problems they created because they don't have the money. 

A friend of mine likes to say, "If you're in a hole, quit digging!"

Quit digging, Fort Worth!  

The City of Fort Worth isn't the only city suffering similar growing pains. Maybe the City of Fort Worth will consider learning from other cities experiencing similar problems.  

Baton Rouge, Louisiana had similar issues and last year their City Council put a 12-month moratorium on development in place due to stormwater and flooding concerns.  Baton Rouge took input from subject matter experts, developers, and property owners and updated their stormwater master plan and building codes. Storm water master plan implementation means end of development moratorium (

This is Fort Worth, Cowtown, Texas! Take the bull by the horns and stop permitting development on the east side of Fort Worth until our outdated Stormwater Management Ordinances, Stormwater Management Program Master Plan, Stormwater Criteria Manual, Urban Forestry Ordinances, and pitiful minimum standards are updated and steps are taken to ensure responsible development in Fort Worth.   

Home ownership is the realization of the American Dream.  It's the biggest investment in ourselves and our families and is the cornerstone of a strong community.  At no time should local government compromise our dreams to increase tax revenue through permitting development the existing infrastructure cannot support. 

Mayor Mattie Parker and City Council.....represent us!!  

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Fort Worth Fails the East Side Again!

Why does Fort Worth disrespect the east side so much?  For about 10 years, our neighborhoods told the City of Fort Worth we didn't want a roundabout, but they forced one on us anyway, even after Fort Worth cancelled the construction of any more roundabouts in the City.  Most of us wanted 2 simple turn lanes to deal with the out of control traffic. Instead, Fort Worth chose a million dollar roundabout, a temporary fix for our outdated, failing infrastructure.  We told them it would flood.  City staff told us the area would drain better than ever.    
                                                             Guess who was right?   

This is a photo taken by a neighbor who got stranded in her car in the roundabout.  Stormwater run-off became trapped in the roundabout and our neighbor couldn't see the road.  Thankfully, she and her 2 and a half year old son were rescued without injury.  Her car sustained $3700 in damages.  Hopefully, Fort Worth's Risk Management will step up and pay for the damages.  Maybe Fort Worth will consider turning the new street lights on at the roundabout or providing some type of light for this very dark area.

Uninformed people are commenting on social media that our neighborhood should be used to this since we're in flood plain by the Trinity River.  This flooding has NOTHING to do with the Trinity River.  ALL of this water is stormwater run-off.  Areas on Randol Mill which historically did not flood are now flooding.  The reason.....development and the clearing of hundreds of acres in our area, which by the way, happen to be on the hill above our farm on Randol Mill.  

Pictured below outlined in yellow is the 100 acres cleared by LGI for the Oak Ridge housing development.  The smaller yellow circle is the typical size of our stock pond, about 2.5 acres.

Here's another picture of our farm underwater.....NOT from the Trinity River getting out of its banks either.....this is ALL stormwater run-off.   The specks on the right side of the picture are our cows.

The City of Fort Worth permitted this nightmare.....knowing there is no stormwater infrastructure other than bar ditches.  Notice the reddish-brown stormwater run-off on the left side of Cooks Lane and the absence of stormwater run-off on the right side of Cooks Lane.  Guess which side of Cooks Lane LGI is developing?       

The stormwater run-off was so swift that is actually swept this railroad tie onto Randol Mill.  

This drainage pipe couldn't handle the amount of stormwater run-off.  LGI's contract engineer Pape-Dawson has been planning for over a year now to put a drainage pipe along Cooks Lane to carry their stormwater run-off to the Trinity River.  If it ever happens, it would benefit some of our neighbors, but not all of us.

 At least LGI seems to be trying...unlike DR Horton.

LGI /Pape-Dawson is aware their stormwater run-off is going east under Cooks Lane and running down the hill onto Randol Mill, but we know of no plans to address this.  Actually, the majority of the water trapped in the roundabout came from the LGI site.

Here's a photo of the LGI stormwater run-off coming off the hill and crossing Randol Mill by our home where it continues east towards the roundabout. 

Here's a photo of LGI stormwater run-off traveling on both sides of Randol Mill Road headed to the roundabout. 

LGI stormwater run-off at the roundabout.

It's bad enough that our neighbors have to deal with all the unwanted water, but we also have to deal with debris and silt and whatever else the stormwater run-off picks up along the way.  Storm water run-off is actually considered a point source of pollution and subject to federal permit requirements under Section 402 of the Clean Water Act.  LGI knows it.....that's why there are construction workers on site after every rain.  Here's a photo of the construction workers trying to shovel the silt that came off the hill.

There was too much of it though so they brought in some equipment. 

They forgot some of their slippery silt though and left it for us on Randol Mill at an already dangerous curve.  

LGI's stormwater run-off, a point source of pollution, empties into our stock pond after any measurable rain.  

It also empties into the Trinity River.

Fort Worth City leaders brag about Fort Worth being the 13th largest city in the US, but it comes with a hefty price for existing Fort Worth residents; our quality of living.  Fort Worth City leaders are intentionally allowing more developments with full knowledge the City lacks the infrastructure to support current loads!  This must stop!  And unfortunately, the only way to change this is to change most of our City leaders and that can only happen if you vote.  Here in District 5, we are blessed to have City Councilwoman Gyna Bivens who represents her people, but even she couldn't stop all of the development in our area.  What's it going to take for Fort Worth City leaders to stop this madness?!

Monday, July 29, 2019

Fort Worth History Buffs....You Make the Call....Public Road or Private

Last week our tenant called to tell us a large fence was being put up across the front of the property blocking access to the property where my husband was born and raised.  The property is located on Trammel Davis Road, which was originally a county road and then annexed by the City of Fort Worth in later years.  Trammel Davis originates at Precinct Line Road, intersects at Norwood Drive, and then ends at Greenbelt Road.  Here's a picture of the area.  My husband's property is in the yellow box.  The red line indicates where the fence is being erected. 

My husband and I drove to the house and sure enough, an 8 foot high game fence, the type one would use to keep game on their property was being erected.  I called the City of Fort Worth's Call Center and asked if Trammel Davis was still a public road.  I explained our situation and was instructed to call Code Compliance. I called our Code Compliance officer who explained that she was very busy and wouldn't be able to get out to the property until next week.   I explained we had a tenant on the property that was being blocked access.  I explained that our tenant is terminally ill and needed access to the property.  She stated I would get a faster response if I submitted a complaint online. I submitted my complaint online and received a call back this morning.  The Code Compliance officer explained she had tried to go out to our property but was blocked by a barricade.  She recommended I call Fort Worth Transportation and Public Works.  I must've called 10 numbers before I called my City Councilwoman who helped me find a number.  Meanwhile, our tenant called and reported that he was fenced in on the property and had no way to get out.  I explained our situation to TPW city staff and was finally called later this afternoon to let me know someone would be out tomorrow.  I explained that our tenant was terminally ill and was fenced in without a way to get out or any emergency vehicle to get in.  The city staffer stated that I hadn't indicated earlier that our tenant was terminally ill, and that it would be tomorrow before I was contacted.  

So, with my nervous energy, I'm blogging about yet another horrible experience courtesy of the City of Fort Worth.  Our tenant is a kind, hard-working man who doesn't deserve this inconvenience and threat to his safety and well-being.  He won't be able to get to work until we either cut down the fence or Fort Worth actually helps us.  We have the bolt cutters ready!

I'll keep you posted!

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Another Tree Massacre by Developer (Benchmark Development, Inc.) in East Fort Worth

Tuesday morning, as I drove to work on what really used to be scenic Randol Mill Road on the east side of Fort Worth, a chill went down my spine when I saw the heavy equipment at 7429 Randol Mill Road.  The developer, Benchmark Development, Inc., out of Frisco, Texas, purchased 20+ acres of beautiful, huge pecan tree-lined green space for the purpose of building even more houses along Randol Mill Road.  I tried to talk myself into having some faith that the developer would keep their word as they had promised the neighbors they would keep the pecan trees.  I tried to believe the City of Fort Worth wouldn't let this happen again, especially after the DR Horton tree massacre.  

I was disappointed, yet again, as I drove home from work and saw the destruction of the hundreds of years old pecan trees sacrificed by for the developer to squeeze a few more lots onto their property.  I'm waiting for a return call from Fort Worth's Urban Forestry to see if this was a permitted act of destruction or another wanton act by developers who know they will have no consequence by the City of Fort Worth.   

Please think twice before considering buying a home from this developer (Benchmark Development, Inc.) as they have proven to not be men of their words.  Think twice before living in the City of Fort Worth too, especially the east side of Fort Worth, as for the love of tax money, the City allows developers' to build in areas that can't support the current infrastructure.  

Shame on Benchmark Development, Inc. and the City of  Fort Worth. 

Benchmark's lack of respect for hundreds of years old pecan trees.

The beautiful area before Benchmark.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Fort Worth Flooding Can Be Prevented!

The swings in my backyard,
Areas of the east side of FW went underwater again this week and the City of Fort Worth, developers DR Horton and LGI Homes, and the engineering firm Pape Dawson knew it was going to happen.  FW had City trucks with flashing lights in the flooded areas, DR Horton had staff out in the area taking pictures of the LGI stormwater run-off to make their run-off not look so bad, and LGI/Pape Dawson had equipment on site to clean up the torrential flood of red silty mud which 
came barreling down their hill.  

Some of the silt from LGI's hill.
It’s a shame these “professionals” are having to go to such lengths now when all of this could have been prevented during the permitting process.  Believe it or not, the City of Fort Worth permitted both developments knowing they were located on hills above existing property owners and knowing the current infrastructure, or lack thereof, could not handle existing loads. Our neighborhood learned Fort Worth only considers velocity of run-off, not volume of run-off, when permitting new development.  DR Horton's development is 50 acres, clear-cut of trees and LGI Homes is 100 acres cleared of trees on one of the highest points in Tarrant County.  

DR Horton's 50 acres....BEFORE.
DR Horton's 50 acres....AFTER.
LGI's pillaging of 100 acres....the run-off water in my backyard as a result.  It's been like this for more than a year now!
DR Horton has been flooding us with their run-off since February 2016.  LGI has been flooding us with their run-off since March 2018. Three years later and our situation worsens with every rooftop and inch of concrete poured.  What changes have been made to the permitting process to prevent this from happening to other neighborhoods?  NONE!  Are we any safer now then we were three years ago?  Fort Worth installed 2 flood warning signals along Randol Mill Road but neither were functioning during the road flooding.  Fort Worth has a website that allows citizens to check the real-time flood status of monitored locations but unfortunately these warnings are linked to the signals lights which weren't working at the time.  Randol Mill was over-topped with run-off in at least 6 locations and motorists had no warning.

Not functioning during the street flooding.
FW website which indicated no flooding at intersection of Cooks and Randol Mill.
Randol Mill near Cooks Lane.  
The east side has had three deaths in the last year due to flooding caused by run-off.  It's a miracle there haven't been more deaths.  What’s the magic number of deaths before Fort Worth provides us with flood protection caused by run-off?!

This situation isn’t exclusive to the east side of Fort Worth, it’s happening all over Fort Worth.  Areas that historically didn’t flood are now flooding due to over-development and grossly inadequate infrastructure.  The City knows they are flooding us out of our homes and we are letting them do it.  The City's solution thus far is to buy your home or buy flood insurance.  Either option is unacceptable!  Our homes are our biggest investments and it's time we come together to put a stop to this madness!

FORT are failing your City!  STOP permitting new developments until you fix what you are doing to us!!!

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Update on Stuck Cow

                  Thanks again to the Fort Worth Fire Department for saving one of our girls! 

Amazingly, she does not appear to be injured in any way and is happily grazing with her herd.  

I think the FWFD should give her a name....

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Fort Worth Firefighters Respond to Unusual Call

You never know what you're going to see on the east side of Fort Worth....but what I saw and experienced today was compassion above and beyond the call of duty by our Fort Worth Firefighters!
My husband and I run about 100 head of cattle on the east side of Fort Worth in the Trinity River bottoms off Randol Mill and Precinct Line Roads.  This area used to be all farmland.  Randol Mill is actually named after a mill once owned by a man named Randol.  The mill was a hub for farmers who brought their crops to the mill to be ground up into feed.  The mill even played a part in Fort Worth being named as the county seat.  It was wild and western back in the day!

Over time, this area has changed.  Development keeps coming and has pushed most of the farmers out of the area.  We love farming and we love our livestock.   It's become a challenge to maintain fence lines when fishermen and people on four-wheelers and dirt bikes cut our fences.  

We're blessed by the Lakes of River Trails neighborhoods as they are wonderful neighbors who help keep watch of our animals. 

Today, as the cows crossed the river, a young heifer and a baby calf found themselves stuck in the mud.  I slid down the bank and waded into the waist-high mud losing both my shoes.  I was able to free the calf who crossed with his mother who patiently waited for her baby, but I couldn't free the young heifer.  

I called the FWFD non-emergency number and explained our dilemma to the very kind officer.  Within minutes Engine 27 was on the scene.  I watched as the firemen carried equipment through the briars and brush down to the river where they tried with all of their might to free our heifer.  It didn't look good and I believed we would have to put the heifer down.

My husband and I went home to get what we needed to put our heifer down when I received a call from the fire department that Engine 14, Rescue 14, and Battalion 4 were at the scene and were going back in to try again.  Together as a team, the men worked together and freed our heifer from the mud and hoisted her up the steep bank.  The video is shortened but what I witnessed warmed my heart and made me proud to live in Fort Worth.

The heifer got to her feet and crossed the river and reunited with the herd.

There is no way to thank the FWFD for their compassion, bravery, athleticism, and professionalism!  You do Fort Worth proud everyday but today was something many of us will never forget!