Thursday, March 02, 2006

Isla Blanca Redux

One of the more galling aspects of the proposed design for the Laguna Madre Enhancement Group’s concession on Island Blanca County Park is that a marina and channel would be constructed. As has been noted by both Doyle Wells and Cameron County officials, there is a significant amount permitting and work that needs to be done before it is even considered. It might not happen at all. But if you look at the proposed development plan, here is what you get:

Notice the two “donut holes” which would become a marina with water in it. This would displace most all of the RV park area. Worse yet, the creation of this marina required dredging and the submerged land would be transferred from the County to the Texas General Land Office! Isn’t anyone mad about this? See, Texas owns all the submerged land in the state, so we’re giving away a lot of real estate here.

So if the marina is not built, can the RV’s stay put? I don’t see a contingency here for what that land would do if not underwater.

Now let us see what happens if that within 4 or 7 years if the marina really is constructed. First of all, you will note that there is no dry-stack storage for boats and that the Plan revolves around very expensive (and less efficient) wet docking, perhaps $2.50 to $4.00 per foot. Usually these docks are gated with a key access, meaning for you and me, no access. Pay or get lost, buddy!

Finally, take a look at this famous aerial shot by Richard Stockton. Do you see waves breaking in Dolphin Cove, the hottest place to surf in tropical storm wave action? What will that channel do to our enjoyment of Dolphin Cove? Huh?

Yes, I have to agree with Alderman Mallet that there is little the Town of South Padre can do about such things at this time. But still, there is the problem of historical access and frankly, my friends, what is happening stinks to high heaven, in that regard.


Everett said...

Hey Sam, where are you located in relation to the pic of Dolphin Cove? Man I don't think I would want to be living that close to sea level! At least I've got a few cliffs in the way of those big rollers that will come up the coast in a hurricane. What chu got mon? a coupla dinky sand dune?

Sam said...

We're at 5 feet above sea level, about 3 miles down the middle of the Idland. We live on the second floor of a house built on pilings driven 15 feet into the ground. The downstairs has "blow away" walls in case a big storm comes.

It's basically a 5 billion dollar sandbar!

other nancy m said...

Do we have any attorneys who are avid surfers? If so, they might be able to check the applicable law and help surfriders and other "friendlies" on how to approach the County.

Sam said...

Oh hi Nancy,

try pasting this into your browser:

Stuart Diamond is currently the chair of the local Surfriders and I believe he's an attorney. There are several other legal beagles as well.

The funny part of all this - OK, not funny - is that Cameron County asked for bids on the "concession" for Isla Blanca and all Doyle did (Laguna Magre Enhancement Group) was to "help" the county with a bid, which of course they won. So you have to go for the county, not Doyle.

Another frightening aspect was that the LMEG project was modeled after one meant for Biloxi, Miss (Doyle at the last BOA meeting). Yes, that's where the casinos are and where those hurricanes came ashore.

But now it is all in the design and implementation and approval of a Project Plan. The county commissioners are understandibly a little nervous about this ... and has even asked for some kind of support from the Town of SPI.