HUMBLE, Texas - You may have seen video of the violent fights that broke out last week at a new subdivision in Humble. Now, residents there are coming together to fight for their neighborhood.
It’s there in the Balmoral Sub-Division where you’ll find what’s called the Crystal Clear Lagoon, which isn't only attracting home buyers, but residents say it's become a magnet for violence and crime after community management opened it up to the public.
Fights certainly are not what you expect in a community with gated neighborhoods like Balmoral where houses have price tags, "From $200,000 up to a half million and beyond. You don’t expect to look outside your backyard and over your fence and see cop cars and fights," explains Balmoral resident Ray Givens.
"We paid almost $400,000 for our home and this is what we get? Let alone, we can’t use the lagoon most of the time because it’s too packed," adds Balmoral resident Carey O’Connor.
The fights broke out in Balmoral last week as a resident held a birthday party for their teenager, but it was also during what’s called a Showcase Event, where the public is invited to swim to "showcase" the neighborhood to potential home buyers.
"They (management) also have big billboards up on Highway 59 saying there’s a party, lagoon party, summer kickoff. It’s really sending the wrong message out to the community. This is not a waterpark," O’Connor says.
Even the roadways last week were packed with people.
"They were slamming on car hoods, kicking cars. It was just insane," says O’Connor.
Residents met over the weekend and have signed a petition asking management to close their lagoon to the public and restrict it to residents and invited guests only.
"I’m already losing one of my favorite neighbors. He’s selling his house after just eight months being there because of this. He’s also had his home broken into," O’Connor adds.
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Residents believe the break-ins are related to opening their neighborhood to the public.
After less than two years, the Givens family is also moving from their house.
"You go home to relax and to be in a safe place and enjoy and spend time with your family. When you don’t have that, then it's no longer home," says Givens.
Land Tejas, the management company for Balmoral released the following statement:
"We have launched an investigation into the unfortunate events that took place at that the Balmoral lagoon last week. We are investigating how this situation occurred, who was involved, how these people gained access to the lagoon and what could have been done to prevent this from happening. The investigation will also help us understand if the people that acted in a deplorable manner were guests of a Balmoral resident that hosted a private birthday party at the Balmoral lagoon that day or if they were families that purchased tickets to the showcase event. The findings from the investigation will be for internal use only and will help the lagoon development team and the community development team create new policies and procedures to help ensure this never happens again. We expect to share the new policies and procedures with Balmoral residents very soon. In the meantime, all upcoming public events and large private events at the Balmoral lagoon have been put on hold or canceled until further notice."