BREAKING: Houston Residents File Federal Lawsuit Against City Of Houston Over Flooding
After the second massive flood in 11 months, residents surrounding Memorial City have had it. This morning, Houston Residents Against Flooding (RAF) filed a federal lawsuit against the City Of Houston and Memorial City Development Authority. The suit seeks no damages, just change.
RAF, along with named individuals who have suffered significant property loss during floods in 2009, 2015 and 2016, filed suit today against the City of Houston and TIRZ 17 Redevelopment Authority in federal district court. The suit alleges federal and state constitutional violations from the "repeated, unnecessary" flooding of the plaintiffs’ properties and homes surrounding Memorial City. The suit does not seek monetary damages, but instead requests injunctive relief to provide flood protection for residential neighborhoods adjacent to TIRZ 17.
After the April Tax Day flood, it was "clear that litigation was the only option," says RAF head Ed Browne. The suit specifically alleges that since the inception of TIRZ 17 in 1999, the group has systematically implemented drainage infrastructure projects that effectively convey stormwater out of the TIRZ 17 commercial areas and into the surrounding neighborhoods. The suit also alleges that TIRZ 17 has favored private commercial development over neighborhoods by postponing project to help residents, often shifting focus to non-essential projects benefiting commercial interest.
TIRZ 17 was formed to improve public health and safety in the area. Initially, the city mandated TIRZ 17 could only undertake projects related to mobility and drainage to remedy "blight" conditions identified in the area.
We'll file additional coverage as this story develops.