Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Selling off our public property little by little

Is the town of South Padre Island so poor that we can no longer afford our bayfront access points? How much maintenance do they actually require? And how are island residents and guests supposed to launch their kayaks, etc. when there is no more public access to the bay?

I cannot imagine why our town leaders would think this to be a good idea. In fact, it seems utterly insane to me.

So what else is new....

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Blogger nancy said...

Our accesses to the beach and to the bay are our town's most important land assets. Easy access to the bay and to the beach is an amenity that should be available for island residents and tourists. I was shocked when I found out that Stillman's Landing was sold (where was I? I guess we were trying to Save Laguna Madre and I didn't pay attention). To sell off these bay endings is setting a precedence that the future and some of us in the present will regret. If they are to be sold the selling price should reflect the value of bay access and that is priceless.

8:23 AM  
Blogger Sam said...

There are lots of concerns I share, but I did ask around the grapevine why would a developer want to buy the dang streets if they were still open to the public?

Here's the answer, or at least an informed guess. On a puplic street such as these bay endings, the Town owns the roadway and a 15-foot Right of Way on each side of the street, such as for utilities. You might thing that is private property but in fact it is a public easement.

Then there is usually a 25-foot setback from the edge of the R.O.W. Add up 25 plus 15 and you get an extra 40 feet to play with. If you own both sides of the street, such as at Whiting, you can gain 80 feet. That's a whole bunch of land if you consider most of these residential lots are like 50 by a 100 feet.

By the whole dang street and you're really cooking!

All this is highly conceptual and I don't think the developer actually has finalized drawings, blueprints, and specifications to propose as a cast-in-stone project to be permitted by the Town. If the developed can revitalize the area AND increase public access, perhaps we should keep an open mind.

Watch the parking issue though, and don't forget about guys and gals with boats on trailers.

10:53 AM  

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