Michael A. Smith is usually the voice of pragmatic reasoning in a confusing world, but his reasoning regarding the Porretto Beach rights of way is baffling.
According to his reasoning in “The Galveston Planning Commission ignored the rules” (The Daily News, Jan. 11) we should all be content to just follow the rules. The reasoning of Commissioner Cate Black in declaring that “this is a different situation because it’s a beach” informs that the “rules” don’t provide a clear determination in this unique situation.
The “rules” as revealed in this editorial are dubious at best. They sound like a clever interpretation by a competent lawyer doing his job.
The rule being that since the city wasn’t planning to use the rights of way then they should be abandoned, that the proposed development has nothing to do with it. If the development has nothing to do with it, then why is the city considering the abandonment of these rights of way after decades upon decades of having them? And why should any public entity abandon what is rightfully the ownership of the citizens who that public entity represents? Never mind that these rights of way are extremely valuable considering that an undeveloped urban beach is as rare as hens teeth. Who wouldn’t want to develop it?
So the city contemplates just giving these rights of way away instead of using them as leverage! Full disclosure, my sentiments in this matter are driven by (as Michael A. Smith put it) personal bias. I enjoy this beach. I live near it. I brought my future wife to it when I attended the Texas Maritime Academy on Pelican Island in the ‘70s. We brought our children to this beach through the years, and now, our grandchildren.
It’s not a thing just to be abandoned.