Sunday, July 30, 2006

Umbrella Wars, Part Two

Based on continuing complaints, the Town has decided to consider regulation of beach umbrella set-ups, as follows:

Sec. 13-24 Regulations of Shade Devices on the Public Beach
No person or entity may place shade devices, chairs or other physical devices on any portion of the beach within the Town of South Padre Island located seaward of the
Historical Building Line, unless the shade devices or equipment is being used by a member of the public in the immediate area. The placement of such devices on the beachwhen nomember of the public in the immediate area is using the same shall be a violation of this ordinance, and any devices left unattended for more than thirty (30)minutes shall be presumed (see below for Rebuttable definition) to be in violation of this ordinance and subject to a fine as provided by Sec. 21-1.

I'm not too sure this is going to work - in an earlier blog I had proposed a permit system for beach vendors, since they were infact "soliciting" on the beach, which is an illegal activity (legally speaking, the Town can issue permits and not be in violation of its own ordinances). A permit system would allow a reasonable amount of beach umbrellas in known "turf" areas so the vendors wouldn't fight over prime locations. In fact, I'm not so sure the proposed ordinance is really justified or can solve the problem, given the loosey-goosey exemptions to the rule. But that's what is being considered that Wednesday - things could change.

The other item of possible controversy is a 1.6 million dollar shortage in the contruction costs of the new municipal center. This shortage would be made up in a general obligation bond and a bank.

My research shows that the "real" cost when you include interest payments is another $250,000, bringing the true shortage up to 1.85 million dollars.


Anonymous said...

Umbrellas, Dewey will pit staff against saving his hide. This iisue wiil never be adjudiacated with the present admin and counsel.

Municipal bldg. They knew it all along. And, even when this one is built; it will be obsolete in terms of area. It was just to be another crown jewel for the city manager.

Anonymous said...

Sir, you have no idea what Dewey has gone through to try and solve this problem.
I can assure you "they" didn't know it along, what ever "it" is, and, obviously you haven't paid attention because the building approved is the original building the ad hoc committee recommended in their report, not the scaled down version that was created in an attempt to stay in the 5.3 million dollar cap some uneducated people strapped to the project.
You may have issues you want to attack the city manager on, but the two examples you gave are figments of your imagination.
May I suggest when you use big words like "adjudiacated" you spell them correctly.

Sam said...

I don't think I was criticizing the Municipal Center and I think Mayor Pinkerton explained it fairly well, the tortured estimates and all.

Sorry about the spelling ... my eyesight just "ain't what it used to be."

As to "shade devices" such as umbrellas I did offer some negativity, since it would seem to apply to anyone and not just a commercial vendor. Let's say my kid gets married and I set up a nice cabana tent and have to leave for an hour - bam, $500 in fines? Happy honeymoon, kids...

It is a sensitive subject - our town logo is three umbrellas, after all. It does seem a shame that now we might need a stopwatch or timer when going to the beach! /Sam

beerman said...

How would this sound?

All vendors, ie pay for shade, must have license. No more than 5, 6, whatever unsolicited (empty) setups may be erected (I like that word) within a 100 yard, 50 yd., whatever space per vendor, separated by another 100 yards, paces,whatever, at any given time during daylight hours. Gives all vendors a chance and leaves open spaces for the public.

No private shade structures shall be erected :) other than daylight hours. A wedding party can always beat a vendor to the beach, or setup within the 100 yard clear space.

Tha Beerman!

Anonymous said...

I think this nut was finally cracked yesterday when the BOA asked the city attorney and city manager to create a permitting process that will have rules and regulations that must be followed or you will lose your permit and be fined. The rules and regulations will follow shortly.

Sam said...

Yes, a bunch of folks were quite happy about that!