(6) comments Back to story

Bill Broussard

Michael. The front page quoted a reputable lawyer who said there were two (2) criterion. You lead in saying the single criterion was ignored and PC violated their boundaries. I don’t think they did (and neither does Dr. Brown) if you look at the second criterion of is it in the public’s interest to abandon.
As far as the PC is concerned they have often and justifiably criticized for not taking a development into account before approval and the end result has been garbage and bankruptcy in some approved projects. It certainly is within their charter to do so.

Are there two or only one? I think we need a clear answer before this gets to council from outside the muppets that occupy city hall. Personally an auction set up correctly would be a good way to establish ownership and value.

Bill Broussard

By the way, your reporters (Samantha) have done a great job of follow up on the legality of beach access blocking dunes suddenly and illegitimately appearing at the end of city streets on the west end

There are two critical factors not yet covered however. First is our mayor turned beach access over to the park board during his first term. It’s in council video. Where is the park board in this illegitimate move on the part of homeowners? Does anyone there care even though it will not take too many of these sneaky moves before our entire beach access plan could be called into question

Second is that both of these mountains sit atop city street easements and not private property yet no motion to use the easements ever reached city council to my knowledge

Jarvis Buckley

BB I think your BP is rising.

Bill Broussard

[smile][smile]

Jeff Patterson

I totally agree that for most all cases, the Planning Commission should rule based on the specifics of the case before them. In this particular case however, their decision is much more impactful then just deciding to abandon a right of way for an alley in the middle of town. I also agree that property rights have to be respected, but again, in this particular case, the decision has a large, almost irreversible, impact on what happens to a very unique and visible piece of property, i.e. a private beach in Texas. I think this is a special case that really needs a robust public debate, and a willingness to look beyond normal procedures and processes to fully explore more creative and visionary alternatives. The other aspect to this is that whatever a person's political persuasion and view on climate change/global warming, it is pretty indisputable that sea levels are rising, and will continue to rise. It just doesn't make a lot of sense to me to build more large structures outside the seawall, particularly as we push for a ring level/Ike dike to protect Galveston from those rising sea levels and more extreme weather events. I believe that the 4 commissioners who voted against this were also considering the greater public good and interest, which I would think is within their purview as commissioners.

Jeff Patterson

Depending on the specific wording of the charter of the Planning Commission, I could be convinced that the members overstepped their bounds on this issue. Reading Commissioner Hill's letter to the editor, she stated that the City Attorney's view of this is that the decision for abandonment must consider two questions - does the abandonment impede the traveling public and does the public have use for the land? In her view, it met the first question, but not the second. In her words, "I feel that our beach-dependent community should retain ownership of beach interests."

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