Galveston County Commissioners might be entering into some tricky territory by attempting to abate nuisances and battle crime by amending rules that exist to manage development in flood-prone areas.

Commissioners had been scheduled Monday to vote on changes to the county’s flood plain regulations, which would have imposed restrictions on recreational vehicles and RV parks.

Michael A. Smith: 409-683-5206; michael.smith@galvnews.com

Editor

(6) comments

James Lippert

Our elected local officials really need to avoid spreading knowingly false information to the public. Such as:

1) "The first was a need to bring county regulations in line with Federal Emergency Management Agency rules. The county must meet FEMA’s standards or county residents might not qualify to be insured through the National Flood Insurance Program, officials said."
FACT CHECK - Galveston County wrote Floodplain Rules dtd May-10-2016 for the purpose of meeting FEMA standards. FEMA rules HAVE NOT changed from 2016, GalCo Regs dtd 5-10-16 were compliant then as they are now. No county resident is in peril of not qualifying for insurance thru the NFLIP due to Regs dtd 5-10-16.
The true reason the rules need to be changed is: 1) errors and omissions in Galveston County Regs dated May-10-2016 and 2) the draconian nature of the RV rules contained within Regs dtd 5-10-16, just READ Section B, paragraph 7, sub-paragraph (a) that concern RV's.

2) “I have said publicly this is about cleaning up crime and drugs in the Bayshore area, and I still maintain that is one of the reasons for stiffer regulations,” Apffel said.
FACT CHECK – No study has been conducted in Galveston County that objectively links RV’s vs other forms of housing as having a higher incidence of drugs. Drugs are the problem in Galveston County, NOT RV’s.

Bonus Fact - Another fact worth knowing is that Galveston County Floodplain Rules regarding RV’s were in fact taken from Federal FEMA requirements Title 44 Emergency Management & Assistance, Chapter 1, Part 60, Subpart A Floodplain Management, Section 60.3, sub-section e, subpart 9. The FEMA rules for RV’s, written by our Federal Government, contained within said subpart (9) of Sec 60.3 actually makes sense! The 1st time Federal rules make more common sense than Local derivatives of the same rules.

A challenge is hereby issued to "the officials" to answer the above with accurate objective statements in this public forum.

Honestly Galveston County citizens deserves better than this, if elected local officials cannot do better quality work and provide more candor maybe it is the officials that need changing. May 2019 elections are just around the corner with at least one Bayshore public entity needing voter approval for millions more in additional bond debt.

Ray Taft

When did The Daily News start caring about what happens in the Bacliff/San Leon unincorporated area? Could their sudden interest be because as leftist they naturally oppose law and order?

Smith writes: “You can’t blame the county for looking for indirect means to combat nuisance properties. Unlike cities, counties have limited authority to enact codes against things such as derelict vehicles and rundown houses.” Yet to question this valid attempt to bring law and order to an unincorporated area, Smith publicly questions it, paving the way to stop it.

James Lippert

As this Story unfolds it only gets more interesting:

FACT - It has been uncovered that the San Leon Municipal Water District (MUD) has been an active enforcer of the error & omission plagued Floodplain Regulations dated May-10-2016. Recently sending out over 200 violation notices to local RV parks/users. In the true spirit of things, the San Leon MUD saw fit to add their own interpretation of Regs May-10-2016 (see new line #5) in the MUD Notices. Furthermore San Leon MUD continued sending out Notices well after Commissioner Apfell’s office was notified of the error issue with Regs dtd May-10-2016.

QUESTION – If in fact Commissioner Apffel knows the location where crimes are taking place and dangerous housing exists why the hell has Galveston County Sheriff Trochesset along with Galveston County Nuisance Abatement team not taken appropriate action? Are there not adequate laws on the books in the State of Texas and County of Galveston to deal with such issues?

QUESTION – Where is the Honorable Judge Mark A. Henry? Judge Henry, who was NOT part of the circus at Monday’s Commissioner Court session is known for his practical no-nonsense approach to taking action that creates value for Galveston County citizens. For the past 18 years Judge Henry has done a great job, hopefully he can lend some of his experience to cleaning up this mess.

FACT – Lying to citizens and voters is perfectly legal in the USA. Everyone knows this, it happens all the time at the Federal level. Sometimes happens at the State level. We don’t expect it to happen at the Galveston County level, but yes your County Commissioner can tell you a bold faced lie and it is all perfectly legal. In Texas even down to the Municipal Utility District (MUD) level, our Publically Elected officials can tell the citizens a big “blooper” (say to acquire bond debt and raise your taxes) and there is absolutely no recourse! And it works like that for a reason; yes our Founding Fathers were pretty thoughtful in creating the foundation of our democracy. The check and balance to “Freedom to Lie” is the “Freedom of the Press”, “Freedom of Speech” and the ability of each voter to pick up his/her ballot twice a year and vote. It is the responsibility of each Citizen of the United States of America to do so. And this is one of the things that make our great country different from Russia, Venezuela, Mexico, Libya, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, etc. Hats off to the Galveston County Daily News for supporting Freedom of the Press.

FACT – Discrimination, prejudice, targeting and profiling does not have a place in American society. In choice of law enforcement, housing or anything else. This is pretty serious business and the Texas and Federal governments have some pretty serious laws on the books to enforce it.

FACT – Commissioner Apffel conceded three (3) demands from the citizens of Galveston County at Monday’s Commissioners Court Meeting. #1 – To postpone any vote on amended Regulations for 30 days. #2 – To appoint a Committee to assist in the creation of fair & balanced Regulations for consideration for approval by Commissioners Court. #3 – To personally appear and participate in a Public Forum to be held on Wednesday February 13th at 6:00PM at the Bayside Community Center in Bacliff .

PROMISE – Yes, this is about much more than RVs. More to follow as this saga unfolds...

George Croix

Just one step away from requiring EVERY owner of every RV anywhere in the county to 'prove' road readiness and 're-permit' every 180 days.
Might be tough to prove when it's 150 miles away at the lease for 7 to 8 months a year...or in a State Park somewhere at 'proving' time....
Something that not even car/truck/utility trailer/et al owners have to do, all of which can 'become missiles in a flood'...(gotta love that picked cherry...)
I imagine that most County RV's are NOT live in space, but, as the name says, used for recreation.
Too easy a target by the numbers to pass that by...

Being specific about WHAT RV's is Step One....
Then the hidden tax, by any other name, can follow.......

Jarvis Buckley

I to am concerned about the hardships that would be put on RV
owners as well as the parks.
As far as GDCN having a liberal bias.
There is no question in the past this was true. The past editorial boards of GDN made some extremely progressive recommendations in local, state , and federal endorsements . But times they are a changing. The editorial youngsters are growing up. Showing some level of practicality, and maturity. They are listening to their advertisers, and their
Subscribers a little more. It seems a light came on considering the bottom line. Young journalists come & go
that's the nature of journalism.
Taxpaying residents normally stay as do local advertisers. Paper seems to be reflecting majority views more instead of their on liberal options . That to me is definitely a sign of progress. Should result in more subscriptions & more small business
Advertising. Just my thoughts....

George Croix

Jarvis, I think it's time to consider what the meaning of 'a little more' is......[beam][beam][beam][beam]
Perhaps the GDN's conservative Editorial Board members, or even one of their conservative reporters, could let us all know......[beam][beam][beam]
I know.....but, I can't help it...I hold out hope that one day the windmill loses..........

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