Monday, June 30, 2008

GLO Proposed Setbacks (HB 2819)

If the suggested setbacks go into place it would bump building from 25 feet, the current setback, to an average of 300 feet from the dune line. That would be around Beard Drive, you could lose the right to build on Bernice Drive.

Two public hearings have been scheduled for July 8th. The first of the two will be held at 11:00 am in the Jury Assembly Room at the new Galveston County Justice Center, and the second will be at 4:00 pm in the County Annex Building on the Bolivar Peninsula. Commisioner Patterson will be at both. We hope you all can attend.

Please view these two stories that were in the Galveston Daily News for more information:

HB 2819 Proposed GLO Rule Changes Erosion Response Plan (ERP)\

• Local governments must develop a draft plan by July 1, 2009, and
incorporate into the existing Beach & Dune Plan
• Establishment of a set back line, at minimum, no less than the greater of:
􀂾 60 times annual erosion rate, measured from the line of vegetation
(Basis UT Bureau of Economic Geology erosion rates);
􀂾 25 feet landward of the landward toe of the foredune ridge; or
􀂾 If there is no foredune ridge, 300 feet landward of mean high water of
the Gulf of Mexico
• Set back line rules for local governments
􀂾 Develop criteria to identify properties seaward of the set back line for
acquisition by local government
􀂾 Provide for the acquisition of fee simple title or a lesser interest in
such properties by the local government.
􀂾 Promulgate techniques for prioritizing properties to be acquired by
local government
􀂾 Consider acquisition of structures located seaward of the set back
line, by the local government. Structures that are damaged more than
50% or destroyed by a meteorological event repairs will fall under
provisions of proposed rules section with stricter standards.
􀂾 Prohibit new construction seaward of the building setback line.
􀀹 No construction for platted properties within setback line
Practicable standard / with limited grandfather provisionmust
have current or expired beachfront construction.
Construction activities cannot exceed footprint of original
􀂾 Structures within the setback area
􀀹 New construction are to be 3 feet freeboard above BFE and no
impervious cover and open foundations
􀀹 Develop a relocation plan for structures less than 5000 square
feet prepared by a registered professional engineer. Larger
structures not required to have a relocation plan.
􀂾 Dune Protection Line (DPL)
􀀹 The building set back line may not be located further
landward then the DPL, but the DPL must protect critical
dunes from erosion due to construction on adjacent properties.
Counties have statuatory authority to establish DPL, set-back
lines could impact DPL, forcing movement of DPL to match
State requirements.
􀀹 Local governments should ensure existing dunes protect inland
areas from a 100 year storm surge
􀀹 Local governments should provide dune restoration to fill gaps
in foredune ridge created by blowouts and private access
􀂾 Grandfathered areas:
􀀹 Previously approved master planned developments as defined
by GLO
􀀹 Accreting beach greater than 2 feet per year
􀀹 Platted property with an expired or current permit with
construction consistent with the prior permit
• Requirement for consideration of CEPRA eligibility
• Updated every 5 years
Other changes in HB 2819
• Line of vegetation – GLO determination is final
• Review periods – permits and amendments to beach access plans –
depending on situation, can be 30, 60, or 90 days
• GLO Commissioner has authority to determine if a property is insurable and
should be denied windstorm coverage through TWIA
• Prepare Geo-hazard maps for various coastal

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

June 2008 Newsletter - 2008-2009 Dues are being collected

Sunny Beach Neighborhood is an unincorporated, nonprofit, voluntary organization established to enhance the common voice of Sunny Beach.

Sunny Beach Neighbors: Summer is here, and it looks to be a HOT one!

2008-2009 dues are being collected; invoices should be attached to your newsletter.
Next Meeting
Our next meeting will be Saturday, July 5th, 2008, at 6 p.m. The Empey’s will host this meeting at their home, 11221 Bernice Drive.
Sunny Beach Blog
Tom Empey created a blog for Sunny Beach Neighborhood where we can post thoughts and comments and look at news from the neighborhood. Log onto: If you want to leave a comment, go past the posted information, and when you get to the bottom of that posting, you will see “leave a comment.” Click on that to leave your comments (not the picture of mail). Some people have been having problems signing on, but if you follow the instructions you should not have a problem. You need a Google account to leave a comment, not to read the blog. You can set that up by following links on our blog page. Once you have your Google account, you just sign in (normally, this is entering your e-mail address and a password) and type your comments.

E-Mail Addresses for Sunny Beach
Please send your preferred email address to: for future correspondences.

Projects – Past, Present and Future
CEPRA – FEMA Assistance This replacement sand that was lost during Rita. Sand was placed in early March, and if you blinked, or didn’t come that particular week, you missed it. The replacement sand has been redistributed. High tides took it out faster than it was placed.

Sunny Beach Sign We discussed landscaping at the last meeting, but without water it is going to be very difficult to do. Julia Lewis planted some nice flowers, and Anne Billings put a plant and painted the east side of the sun face to make it more visible. Bill Bond has been watering when he can. Art Cantu bought the pelican that is sitting on one of the pilings. It’s looking good!

Sidewalk to the Beach We have a new city council person, which we have not made contact with yet. At the next meeting, let’s have discussion on perhaps doing our own sidewalk.

Directory Anne Billings is working on our new directory. If you have any changes or additions, please let her know. Send them to Members are denoted in the Directory, so get your dues in as soon as possible to be credited as a member.

Raking This subject seems to change as often as the tide. We were told we needed a survey and permit to have the beach raked. Then we received an email stating that the Park Board could do it and we didn’t have to do anything but submit a letter. We submitted a letter, only to find out the GLO is making the Park Board also have permits to rake any areas they take care of. So, we were back to the no raking … but they have scraped it a few times since our letter. We have decided if they rake fine, if they don’t fine. We did not apply for a permit.

Hurricane Season Plan We all need to develop a plan in case we have a storm heading our way. After Rita, we all learned a lot about what needs to be done and having someone in place to do it. The people who live here have to take care of their own houses and leave early. Check now to make sure you have a shutter system available — whether that is cut plywood, film on your windows, shutters (roll, electric or other), or whatever you choose. Make sure everything is in working condition, so when it comes time to use it you are ready. When you leave the beach, take in your furniture, BBQ grill, or anything you have outside that could become a missile during high winds. If you have a rental, make sure the agency will take everything in for you. Give your cell phone number to Gerri Empey, and she will call after the storm to give you an update of the neighborhood (Tom will be here). We don’t live for storms, but we should have a plan in place in case we get one!

Garbage In your water bill you received guidelines for placement of garbage. Garbage is collected Monday morning; please do not put your garbage out before Sunday afternoon. If you have your house in a rental pool you need at least two cans. Call 409-741-4636 to order additional cans; it’s only an additional $3 per month. Make sure you have a system in place so that your trashcans get taken in and out at appropriate times.

Dirt Roads Please slow down, and post a sign in your rentals for cars to watch for pedestrians and to drive slowly. We have dirt roads and when people go speeding up and down them, the people on the north side of the road have a cloud of dust drifting into their faces. We have dogs, children and adults walking to and from the beach … please, let’s keep everyone safe and dust-free.

Lock Your Cars We have a lot of people coming and going in our neighborhood. Please question people. If it doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t. If your doors are locked you shouldn’t have any problems.
Texas Beach Watch Program The Galveston County Health District tests bacteria levels on the West End beaches. One of the locations checked is at 8 Mile Road, and we have a sign that lets you know if the bacteria levels are high. You also can check the Web site at
West Galveston Island Property Owners Association
WGIPOA is in its eighth year, and the challenges are still significant in the areas of coastal erosion, taxes, security, drainage and evacuation. They have been successful in addressing issues and concerns of property owner associations and maintaining the quality of life we enjoy on the West End. For information, go to or contact Jerry Mohn,

Galveston Calendar of Events
July 5th Sunny Beach Neighborhood Meeting
Downtown Farmers Market (second Sat. every month)
Galveston ArtWalks
For more information, go to
Sunny Beach Neighborhood
It’s never too late to join the Sunny Beach Neighborhood Organization!
Dues are only $25 a year; 2008-2009 dues are payable now. Your invoice is attached.

Sunny Beach Neighborhood is an unincorporated, nonprofit, voluntary organization. We exist to provide ways for our neighborhood to come together as a group and to make Sunny Beach a better place to live and play. Dues are only $25 a year; 2008-2009 dues are payable now. This pays for our membership with the West Galveston Island Property Owners Association (WGIPOA), newsletters, our directory, right-to-use access for our beach walkover, and other neighborhood improvement projects that the group would like to accomplish.

President — Tom Empey, 11221 Bernice Drive, or 409-741-2455
Treasurer — Sook Miller, 11227 Bernice Drive, or 713-822-8395
Secretary — Kathe Giebelhaus, 11210 Bernice Drive, or