Local

Multiple trespassing calls occurring at Friendswood lake closed to public

Friday, July 06, 2012

Since school let out for the summer a large property in Friendswood marked with no trespassing signs has become a problem for nearby homeowners.

A 40-acre lake off FM 518 has seen more flashing lights from police than in recent memory, and city leaders say there have been some arrests, but not for trespassing.

It's tranquil and its turquoise hue is like that of a Hill Country lake. However, this small lake owned by the city of Friendswood is not open to the public. The signs are not always obeyed, as evident by the empty wine cooler and liquor bottles.

"Every so often, we'll see kids sitting back there in the middle of the night and police officers being called out to investigate," said resident Larry Cato.

This old sand pit, now a 40-acre lake, has been owned by the city of Friendswood since the late 80s. Recent attempts to procure a $434,000 state grant failed, since five acres of the lake are still privately owned.

Friendswood's mayor pro-tem says there are just not enough funds available to safely update the property into a park.

"Restrooms, playground equipment. We need to put in fishing piers, because there is rip rap concrete poured around the lake with rebar in it so people will have to be able to get out past that to be able to fish. It's quite an expensive thing," said Jim Hill, Friendswood Mayor Pro-Tem.

So with only no trespassing signs up to deter the public, arrests have been made, but only for offenses much more serious than trespassing.

"The arrests have been for drugs. We received complaints from neighbors back there about partying all hours of the night," said Hill.

And homeowners on the only paved road leading to the lake say the signs must be obeyed.

"Being a homeowner right here, I'm never going to complain about the police responding, if other people down in the area have concerns," said Cato.

Police have not issued trespassing citations, only given formal warnings. They have arrested people caught on the property for warrants and drug possession.

However, mayor pro-tem Hill says if trespassing persists those citations could also be issued.

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friendswood, local, erik barajas
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