HOA shuts down family's attempt to protect home from flooding

RICHMOND, Texas – A family started building a concrete wall around their home in the Grand River subdivision near Richmond, but after their homeowner's association objected to the build, the family put the project on hold.

Hans and Lene Deul's home near McCrary Road and Farm to Market Road 359 didn't flood during Harvey, but the water came close, and some of their neighbors' homes flooded.

About two weeks ago, Hans, a retired engineer, began building a 600-foot-long concrete retaining wall around his house.

“And as soon as we got that permit, we began building that wall and immediately got a letter from the homeowners (association) that we had to stop it,” Lene said.

The Deuls said they applied to their HOA's management company, Graham Management, in December to build the wall, but they were told their application and plans hadn't been received.

When they tried to resubmit their plans, they said, the management company refused to accept them and referred the couple to the Fort Bend County engineer.

“I think the words were, "'We’re not to get further involved with this,' and that we had to take it up with the county,” Hans said.

The county approved the construction and granted the Deuls a permit last month, but as the wall began going up, they received a cease-and-desist letter from the HOA saying the project had not been approved and that they had not submitted anything to be considered.

Hans said that is wrong.

“So we followed exactly what they told us to do and, as soon as we had the permit, we started on that,” he said.

Now, the Deuls feel they’re stuck in limbo, with their home at risk.

“Hurricane season is here so I’m in a bit of a dilemma. Do I continue? And if I stop, do I get my house flooded?” Hans said.

KPRC asked Graham Management for comment. The company's relpy was, “No comment.”