Monday, July 09, 2007

Requests Presented to Marquette

The following are requests for a commitment being presented to the Marquette group from the subdivisions effected by the proposed development via the West Galveston Island Property Owners Association. Hope all is well and please post your comments.

Marquette Development
Beach Front Subdivision

A commitment list for beach front subdivisions for an agreement with Marquette Development:

· Include in a shoreline protection engineering study the areas from the end of the Seawall to 13 Mile Road with recommendations in what needs to be done to stabilize the erosion rates. Among the considerations of the study should be planning for integration of both existing and proposed protective structures, with particular emphasis on the interfaces between subdivisions using different technology designs.

· Include in covenants and deed restrictions for the development areas from 8 mile road to 11 Mile Road and South of Stewart Road to the beach, a mechanism for monetary assessment for beach preservation.

· Investigate the possibility in setting up a Management District or a Public Improvement District. Investigate if the West Galveston Island Conservation District can be used for this purpose.

· Participate and provide funds for beach restoration, protection, renourishment or enhancement of the beach seaward of the line of vegetation.

· Any beach protection systems that may be installed by Marquette or any other entity in the project currently identified as The Preserve at West Beach will not create any accelerated erosion of the beach in front of adjacent areas.

· The Preserve at West Beach will not negatively impact the water pressure provided by the City of Galveston to the homes.

· Marquette will cooperate regarding vehicular traffic flows, parking and routing of traffic and encourage their residents not to cross private lots to have access to the beach.

· Marquette will cooperate to encourage the City of Galveston to find a permanent solution for lack of drainage of rainwater in the beach subdivisions adjacent to the Marquette properties.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Letter to the Mayor

The following is a letter that I recently sent to the Mayor of Galveston. I thought you might like to see it. I will post the response.


June 14, 2007

Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas
City of Galveston
P.O. Box 779
823 Rosenberg
Galveston, Texas 77553

Dear Madam Mayor,

I am writing to bring to your attention an issue that has had a tremendously negative impact on our small neighborhood on the west end, Sunny Beach. We are located just south of 3005 and east of 8-mile road. 8-mile road is the only access to our neighborhood, and the access to the public beach parking area.

We are aware of the difficult task the planning department had bringing the island into compliance with the Texas Open Beaches Act. However, the beach access plan instituted last year has unfairly burdened our neighborhood. The plan more than doubled the Sunny Beach T head parking area. The increased traffic load is substantial.

Now this year beach pocket park #1 has reopened as a PAID parking area to our east. Beach pocket park # 2 just to our west is also a PAID parking facility. The distance between the two is less than 1.5 miles with our FREE and enlarged T head sandwiched in-between. You can imagine the FREE traffic we get. The public works department has helped at least slow the traffic with the placement of speed humps, but it’s not enough.

Many of our neighbors use 8-mile road to walk to the beach. It is no longer safe for our residents, their children and guests to make that walk down the side of 8-mile road. We are respectfully requesting the City of Galveston’s help to mitigate a small portion of the negative impact the cities plan has caused in our little neighborhood.

We would like a sidewalk placed adjacent to 8-mile road the entire length of our neighborhood, from 3005 to the beach. (approx 875ft) We also want a barrier between the traffic and the pedestrians. We have a design of posts and a rope fence in mind. It would be economical and form a safety barrier for the pedestrians, while maintaining an aesthetically appropriate beach friendly appearance.

We all want to co-operate with the cities plans for the future, and understand some of the problems created by growth. Please take this opportunity to help mitigate a problem created by city staff. Feel free to contact me at any time if you have concerns that need to be addressed. We look forward to helping the cities public works department in completing the sidewalk project in any way we can. Time is of the essence; the summer season is upon us. Your help and attention to this matter is greatly appreciated.

In addition, we are requesting written notification to any meetings or discussions of modifications to the current beach access plan.


Tom Empey
Sunny Beach Neighborhood Association
11221 Bernice Drive
Galveston, TX 77554
713-410-9672 (mobile)

Dianna D. Puccetti
Steve LeBlanc
Brandon Wade
Jerry Mohn
Honorable Bryan Lamb
Ray Newby, GLO
Wendy O’Donohoe

June 19th Planning Meeting for Marquette Project

Letters came out for the next Planning Commission meeting for the rezoning of the property to the west of us. June 19, 2007 4pm City Council Chambers second floor of City Hall. Let me know if you did NOT get two letters.

Also, if you want to hear and see the information on the development this Saturday (June 16) West Galveston Island Property Owners Association is meeting at the Galveston Country Club beginning at 9:00 AM. The meeting will include:
80th Legislative Session update
City Council report
Windstorm Insurance
Innovative beach stabilization technology
Marquette Companies presentation of the "Preserve at West Beach"

Marquette would like a letter from our subdivision supporting this project, in return they will include us with any protection project they do. What are your thoughts on this? What I mean by include ... is they will let us know what they are doing and we can benefit from their research and perhaps surveying information. It looks like this project will happen, and we can perhaps benefit from it.
Let's hear some comments ...

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Marquette Group Rezoning Meetings

I'm exhausted from going to meetings!

Monday - Kathe Giebelhaus, Bill Husemann, Gerri Empey, Tom Empey attended a presentation of the master community plan that the Marquette Group is proposing. The questions got heated with some of the people attending. See the article in the Galveston Daily News (Tuesday edition).
Tuesday - 2pm I went to a Task Force meeting with people from Spansih Grant, Burmuda Beach and a couple other subdivisions, Jerry Mohn and, Darren Sloniger who is the Managing Director of the Marquette Land Investements, LLC. At this meeting it was discussed that if or when they put in some sort of sand sock or tube that the properties on the end of these become more vulnerable to increased errosion. At this meeting it was asked of them to please involve or at least let the subdivisions know what they are planning and see if it's feasible to piggy back with them. Tom and I both met Darren Sloniger and have his contact information.
After the meeting I spoke with Darren and they will NOT access 8 mile road from the subdivision west of 8 mile. Also, he said they are going to own where the water tower is being taken out. And I just want to make sure everyone is aware, and understands, that along 3005 on the back row of this subdivision they will have midrises and multi-family units.
Tuesday - 4pm The City of Galveston Zoning meeting. Again if you go to the Galveston Daily News (Wednesday edition) you can read about what happened at that meeting. It has been tabled for two weeks to get some more information. Things that were brought up: Traffic, evacuation,Insurance rates, increased possibility of the island splitting if there are more cuts and digging, only one subdivision backed them up.

*** This is a 20 year plan for this project, the first phase will be on the north side of 3005 and west of 8 mile road (across the street from the Gaff Top) ***
In that 20 year period the city will have to make changes in the infrastructure anyway. I'm sure it will go through, they might be able to ... perhaps not allow the highrise on 11 mile road, but I would think everything else will go forward as planned.
A lot of people spoke at both the Monday meeting and the zoning meeting on Tuesday and although they need more time to think about it, the Marquette group is being very thoughtful and helpful working with the city and citizens to make this a partnership. They have set a lot of land aside for "Preserve" uplands and lowlands and have really been trying to come in and make this a planned community instead of just chopping it up and selling it off.
That's what I think anyway ...
Any questions or comments, let me know.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

New Development

As many of you know, there is a new development coming to the island. It will occupy 1045 acres. and will start at eight mile road. It has been a busy week keeping up with all the meetings. Please watch the blog. We will update as we can to keep everything as up to date as possible.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The water tank is coming out! Check the Galveston Daily News 5/16/07!

The water tank on 8-mile road is coming out as I write this post. Check the Daily News today for an article on the planned development to our west! Use the link on the left hand side of the blog. Looks as though we will have neighbors soon. We are working to find out more on how this will affect us.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Re-zoning letter update

As we understand it the property owners to our west will have to resubmit the re-zoning request and the letters will be resent.

Monday, May 07, 2007

City Re-zoning Letters

Hi all,

I know most of us received letters concerning a re-zoning request for a large section of property immediately west of Sunny Beach, from the beach to the bay. It is a fairly complicated and total re-zoning request of the area. You can view the proposed plat at the city planning department, forth floor of city hall. The city is requesting any protests to occur in writing before a scheduled public meeting at 4pm Tuesday May 15. I believe this is a standard occurrence, however it is rather short notice. Gerri stopped at the city on Friday to view the proposed plats and discovered a rather glaring error out of the gate. The proposed plat had the lots coming all the way to 8-mile road. An obvious error, as we all know, there is an easement on the west of 8-mile that runs the entire distance of the road, at least from 3005 to the beach. It contains a petroleum pipeline as well as the old city water tank and infrastructure. Gerri informed the planning department and they acknowledged the error and said they would move accordingly. This should make us immediately suspect and watch carefully. We don't have a good sense of whether this is good for us or not. Immediate concerns are the drainage plans. This area drains through our neighborhood and on into the pond system. Are there any engineers out there that know a little about hydrology, and drainage? What are the concerns that you all have? Thanks for listening.

Tom Empey

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Sand Update

Hi All - This is an update from Ray Newby, at the Texas General Land Office, to Tom:

The current status of the WGI repairs is that Shiner Moseley is working on the amendment items for the WGI Beach Nourishment permit from the Corps ofEngineers to add additional sand sources available to the project. The most significant source is the South Jetty Sand Source that may hold enough volume to meet our short and medium term sand needs. We're still shooting for the next construction window next Oct. through March after turtlenesting season ends. Please let me know if you need any additional info on this.
Ray Newby, P.G.Geomorphologist/Project Manager
Texas General Land OfficeCoastal Resources Program
ph. (512) 475-3624, fx (512) 475-0680

So we have been delayed until, the earliest, October ... which means we willgo through this hurricane season without the sand placement. Sorry wedidn't have better news!

Sunday, March 04, 2007


Thanks to the Byerly's for hosting the March meeting for the Sunny Beach Neighborhood Association. Thanks to everyone who participated in the meeting. Next time we will have to check Eric Clapton's schedule before planning our meeting. :)

Testing 1234

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Neighborhood Meeting Tonight !!!! 3/3/2007

If your logging on to check the meeting status... It's Tonight at 5:30 at the Byerly's Home 11205 Bernice. Bring Yourselves, a light agenda follows but an important one as always. T.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

CEPRA re-nourishment update

Just a note to everyone. There will be an update on our project in the coming week. I will update this blog as we get new information. It looks like the permits and engineering will start shortly. For those of you who have already donated to the re-nourishment fund, look for e-mailed invoice/receits. Thanks to all of you, we will be on our way shortly.

Monday, January 01, 2007

CEPRA Beach Project 2007

Hi Sunny Beach Home Owners

The Speed Humps are in! It's already working to slow traffic.

For those of you that were here in 2002-2003 you will most likely remember
our beach re-nourishment project. We applied for and received a
state/federal grant to place re-nourishment sand on the beach in front of
our neighborhood. The program title for the grant we received is called
CEPRA, "Coastal Erosion Planning & Response Act". Our project was quite
successful and placed a nice amount of sand. The sand is meant to slowly
wash into our beach area and naturally keep the beach in a healthy state.
During Hurricane Rita, two summers ago, much of the sand was lost. Because
it was originally placed under a federal grant program and was lost during a
catastrophic event, we are eligible to get a little help from FEMA for
repairs. What was there pre storm is eligible. The area was surveyed
before and after the storm. We applied for and received the funding for the

The original project was quite large and we had to raise matching funds for
that project. We originally placed almost 100 thousand cubic yards of sand,
about $95k worth. The amount of sand was based on sand price last time as
well as this time around. We will have to pay a bit more for the sand this
time but it is still a very worth while project. It is also a matching
project just like last time. This time our neighborhood needs to raise
$1,930 for our match portion. Please review the attachment on your e-mail that is a repeat of this post to see how the
math worked. I will post the excell spread sheet as soon. We will place approximately 4,500 cubic yards of sand.

History: In 2002-2003 we raised about $9,000 for our match funds. We
raised money on a sliding scale the first time, assuming people up front get
the largest benefit. During the last meeting we decided a sliding scale
would again be the best way to raise the money.
I'm sure your all aware that during Rita, at least partly due to the placed
sand, the erosion we experienced to our dunes was minimal. Any and all we
do to help our beach is a step in the right direction. We all benefit from
having a healthy beach.

This is a great opportunity for us and we hope everyone will participate.

This is the suggested donation:
1st and 2nd row pay $100 (Odd numbered houses or South Side of Bernice Drive
and Garfield Way)
3rd and 4th row pay $50 (Even numbered houses or North Side of Bernice Drive
and Beard Street)
Reagor Way and Schwartz $25

Please make checks payable to:
Tom Empey/SBN
11221 Bernice Drive
Galveston, TX 77554

As always we work on a voluntary basis, so in order for this to work we need
everyone to participate.

Thank you for your dedication to our neighborhood.
Any questions please call Tom or Gerri Empey 409-741-2455.

Tom Empey
Sunny Beach Neighborhood Association
11221 Bernice Drive
Galveston, TX 77554