Clear Lake pond pits neighbors against each other

Its nice here. Really nice. Really quiet. That's why 20 years ago Paul and Linda Merryman built their home here. But about a year and a half ago, their peace was shattered.

"Before daylight one morning we heard a racket and looked out the door and there were 30-40 dump trucks," said Paul.

They dumped load after load of fill. A neighbor was filling in part of the pond to make it ready for a home. The Merrymans say the real problem is it restricted the water flow into and out of the pond from  Galveston Bay especially during low tide. They say it's impacted the wildlife, especially the flounder.

"They're gone. They're all dead. They covered up their feeding and all died or went away," Paul says.

They say not only that, but it was all done without proper permitting.

Joe Huntington owns this and other properties on the island. He says he thought he had the right permits with the city and has applied for the proper one with the Army Corps of Engineers now. He says he plans to sell the lot and give the money to Doctors Without Borders.

"I believe in doing good works in between my engineering projects and this is one of the good works I want to do," Huntington says.

He says when landfilling is complete, culverts will restore the tidal flow. He says other property owners on flounder pond used the same city permits as he had and so he is issuing this challenge.

"If they'll take their land back out that they filled in on this pond I'll take mine back out," Huntington says.

The Corps is holding public comment period that runs till the September 17. They it will decide if it can stay or has to go.