GALVESTON

Crews this week will begin work on the second major sand replenishment on Babe’s Beach, west of 61st Street, since the beach was constructed in 2015.

Keri Heath: 409-683-5241; keri.heath@galvnews.com or on Twitter @HeathKeri.

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(6) comments

Alexander Nelson

The seawall in front on babes beach showed no signs of damage or the the gulf “chewing” into it before it was created. Guess you have to justify spending millions on a ridiculous project rather than place sand on areas which it’s actually needed like the West End. Waste of money and time. Oh and the vendors are losing the busiest time of the season to operate on Babes Beach. If Babes Beach isn’t continuously funded and dredged it will disappear because there’s nothing stabilizing that area. Kelly has no science background and it’s apparent.

Susan Fennewald

The Park Board should get some legal concession from the west end beachfront property owners before any money is spent on sand replenishment. We should get something for our money instead of constant griping about the public over crowding their beaches.

Alexander Nelson

That’s extortion. The Government should protect private and public property no matter the cost. Getting concessions to actually do the purpose of government (protecting property and rights) is extortion if you’re holding funds over their heads to do it.

John Harper

I do not believe that the public overcrowding West End beaches is the issue. It appears that too many of the public who drive their vehicle on the beach not only overcrowd but also misbehave. I do not see the same behavior on beaches that prohibit drive-on. BTW...;you should take a look at the tax revenue from West End owners...Galveston certainly does already get something for its money...significantly.

Susan Fennewald

The government is not obligated to protect west end beachfront owners from erosion.

The houses were built too close to the water. When efforts are made to enact rules that would force new houses to be built further from the water, the property owners threaten to sue and claim its their property - they can build on it if they want to. Well, they could, and they did. But the government is under NO obligation to pay to protect their property from the erosion that everyone could see would happen. In fact, the government may be prohibited from spending money directly to protect individual houses without a public benefit. (I seem to recall that the GLO said they could only spend money to benefit the public, not individual property owners.)

Of course, the situation is more complicated than that - but that is still the essence of the situation.

The state/govt had been willing to do sand renourishment as long as the rolling easement rule was in effect and they were ensuring that the public beach was being protected.. That rule said that as erosion occurs, eventually the front row will end up on the beach and the house will have to be removed (generally after destroyed by a storm). In this way the beach area remained fairly constant, but gradually the original front row of houses was lost. After the Severence case, If the property owners were willing to agree to the rolling easement that guarantees the public beach , then the government could do some beach renourishment. But the owners wouldn't agree to that. It was their property, and they weren't going to give it up to a public beach when erosion occurred. So the public (govt) walked away and left them to it.

(That's my take on the situation.)

Bill Broussard

Let me see if I could add some clarity to Susan’s discussion. First off. She completely correct in her analysis. For years now since Ike the west end has taken pride in calling the shore “private beach” and the GLO has taken the stance that since that’s what West Enders believe, they can spend sand money on private property so wait till erosion does it’s work

Well, currently it has done its work and not just on the west end. The city is currently constructing one of several pumps the island needs for floods and anyone at city hall will tell you it’s because the seas have risen and drainage no longer can run down hill

I think Susan means by her call for tit and tat that she

Means the HOA’s on the west end need to sign off on rolling easements and the shore is not private beach. To me, that concession just seems like common sense but who knows

One of the great mysteries to me is I doubt many former homeowners still pay taxes on their plots that once held a house. Why doesn’t the county or city just re-posses those lots for default? Problem solved The GLO can get this city or county to agree to anything and reconstruction of the shore can begin

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