Dunes float. Sand dunes appear to change locations. It’s actually sand that moves and not the dune itself. Sand is windblown, traps more sand and the resulting dune appears to have floated from an old location while an old location slowly erodes from the same wind that built the new dune. Nature is pure Siegfried and Roy.

Galveston is a special place. Only in Galveston are there dunes that arise spontaneously and (preferably) block beachgoers from access to the shoreline they own as citizens of our state. “Spontaneous arrival” dunes seem to free-range our West End since neither the city of Galveston nor homeowner organizations will disclose how dunes blocking beach access got where they are currently.

Only the General Land Office in Austin seems to know anything factual about our spectral mounds: They are new creatures and not repaired creatures, they are man-made, they occupy city of Galveston street easements absent any city council approval and (the most chilling of all) they just appeared despite state law requiring permits.

The city acknowledges these floating dunes require a state permit because they are new dunes (“GLO: Dune construction violated emergency rules,” The Daily News, Jan. 7). And yet, the city helped justify and build them with the HOAs. To the best of my knowledge, it’s the city that had the responsibility to permit all dunes being repaired during the 90 day GLO dispensation period following Hurricane Harvey. Is the city saying these dunes were never issued a permit by the city? If not permitted, we have an HOA rebellion against both the city and state. If they were permitted as repaired dunes, the city colluded in permitting dunes over 8 feet high that never existed previous to Harvey and block entrance to the beach.

West End Homeowners Associations completely blame the city with specious tales about how the city seduced them by pretending to solve long-term drainage issues and inviting HOAs to pile sand-mountains on top of new culverts, promised broad financial assistance in everything from laying slate walkovers to planting pretty flowers and promising eight more “spontaneous arrival” gritty poltergeists in the near future. Then, the city ran frightened by their own commitments leaving the HOAs holding their sandbags.

Whichever side you hear, it’s likley fake news. What is fact: in Pirates Beach, two sand mountains block entrance to the beach where there were no such mounds previous to Harvey. They appeared absent GLO approval disguised as the little sand mounds there previous to Harvey that actually encouraged pedestrian beach use. It’s likely they were permitted under “repair” guidelines knowingly by our city.

Finally, they sit atop city mapped street easements absent council approval or a rental charge. That’s minor, however, since who in the world cares about building over unused city rights of way?

Did someone just say “Porretto?”

Bill Broussard lives in Galveston.


(1) comment

Don Schlessinger

After reading year or so ago comments by George P. I believe wgipoa has a friend inside in the GLO.

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