Since 2010, Fort Bend County’s population has grown by over 7 percent, and employment has increased by a remarkable 78 percent according to the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce.
As our population continues to increase and industry continues to spread outside of Houston, the potential for conflict between growing municipalities and existing industry also increases.
Take the recent litigation against the Blue Ridge Landfill for example. In 2001, the City of Pearland designed a master planned community, Shadow Creek Ranch, as a result of the municipality’s continued growth. However, over the years the community has grown closer to the Blue Ridge Landfill, which has served much of Fort Bend County for approximately 30 years now. As a result of community complaints, the landfill has agreed to a number of expensive modifications to reduce any odor emitted from the site over the past couple of years. However, Pearland has decided to take additional steps and pursue litigation to strip the landfill of their solid waste permit, which would effectively shut the operation down after three decades of business.
The fact is, we may very likely continue to face similar scenarios well into the future given Fort Bend County’s growth, and as a community we must find ways to facilitate our growth in a manner that does not rely on lawsuits. Businesses like the Blue Ridge Landfill provide an important economic benefit to our community and it is paramount that we work with these industries, not push them out.
Mayor Boudreaux – Simonton
Mayor Moore – Richmond
Mayor Jessup – Meadows Place