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Porretto Beach Abandonment

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https://www.galvnews.com/news/article_38ddffe5-29d7-5242-9b5a-afcefcc11b87.html

I've been reading about a project that's been in the works since 2016 but just recently permitted to move forward back in January. The project will be placed in front of the seawall on the current land of Porretto Beach.

 

This is the PDF of the project.

https://www.galvestontx.gov/DocumentCenter/View/4558/Construction-in-Front-of-Seawall---April-28-2016

 

 

5a18c24b5cec5.image.jpg

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According to the attached .pdf, it does mean "in front of the seawall."  As in, between the seawall and the Gulf.

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20 minutes ago, mollusk said:

According to the attached .pdf, it does mean "in front of the seawall."  As in, between the seawall and the Gulf.

 

I didn't think the seawall extended that far east.

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28 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

 

I didn't think the seawall extended that far east.

 

I see now that the seawall does go out there... it's just not as tall.  (edit button does not work)

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I wonder if they'll ever be a Hampton's like atmosphere in Galveston? Or If they'll ever have any developments for the uber rich.

Edited by Elseed

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On 7/4/2018 at 4:36 PM, Elseed said:

I wonder if they'll ever be a Hampton's like atmosphere in Galveston? Or If they'll ever have any developments for the uber rich.

 

Enough with wanting Galveston to be the Hamptons. Why is Galveston "supposed" to be like the Hamptons instead of just being Galveston? Should every beach resort town near a major metropolitan area be transformed into a soulless Hamptons clone for the "uber rich" and "uber rich" wannabes?

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On 12/19/2018 at 1:54 PM, Reefmonkey said:

 

Enough with wanting Galveston to be the Hamptons. Why is Galveston "supposed" to be like the Hamptons instead of just being Galveston? Should every beach resort town near a major metropolitan area be transformed into a soulless Hamptons clone for the "uber rich" and "uber rich" wannabes?

 

You're probably not very good in business. Nor do you have an imagination; pity.

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Catering to the "uber rich" is pretty much the exact opposite of "having an imagination." Galveston has enough actual problems that should be addressed; turning it into a playground for the wealthy would not be helpful.

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13 hours ago, Elseed said:

 

You're probably not very good in business. Nor do you have an imagination; pity.

Galveston is fine as it is. There is no need for any further big development. There's no reason to turn the Island into a Texas version of Miami Beach, or any other place. In fact, making the entire island a state park with minimal development would be great.

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53 minutes ago, ttuchris said:

What is the history of the lots outside the seawall?  Were they originally city blocks that just erroded over the years?  

There were a few buildings that extended on piers beyond the Seawall that were wiped out after Ike (others existed in years before). Murdoch's rebuilt, but others like the Balinese Room or Hooters were destroyed.

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Will the public still be able to use the beach or are they taking away a beach to give to private interests?

 

Is this a result of the demise of the open beaches act? What a shame, I can't believe they would approve something like this.

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1 hour ago, zaphod said:

Will the public still be able to use the beach or are they taking away a beach to give to private interests?

 

Is this a result of the demise of the open beaches act? What a shame, I can't believe they would approve something like this.

It's all pretty complicated. The Open Beaches law doesn't apply to this beach. There's more information here 

 

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/columnists/greater-houston/article/Galveston-still-struggling-with-public-vs-private-12363957.php

 

Open in an incognito window to avoid the paywall

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On 12/24/2018 at 8:00 AM, Texasota said:

Catering to the "uber rich" is pretty much the exact opposite of "having an imagination." Galveston has enough actual problems that should be addressed; turning it into a playground for the wealthy would not be helpful.

 

Nah, thats limited thinking. Thats a very old school backwards texan type thinking.  Turning it into a playground for the rich would be ideal. 

On 12/24/2018 at 11:39 AM, Ross said:

Galveston is fine as it is. There is no need for any further big development. There's no reason to turn the Island into a Texas version of Miami Beach, or any other place. In fact, making the entire island a state park with minimal development would be great.

 

It would be awesome if it could be a hybrid of South Beach and New Orleans. Its kinda lame as it is. 

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On 12/23/2018 at 9:45 PM, Elseed said:

 

You're probably not very good in business. Nor do you have an imagination; pity.

 Seems you're the one without any imagination as you seem to need every beach town to be some artificial Disneyfied simulacrum of another place in order for you to be able to enjoy it. And it's obvious from your other "make it like the Hamptons" post in the other thread, you actually have very little knowledge of what Galveston actually has to offer, as you were completely unaware of Beachtown until someone else brought it up, and your calls for a "crystal clear blue lagoon", which can only be accomplished via chlorination, are already available on the island at Moody Garden's Palm Beach and Schlitterbahn. I'd say that you should spend more time on the island so that you actually know what the island has to offer before you start dictating what it "needs", but it would be better if you just stayed away. Since Galveston in 2016 brought in nearly 3 times the visitors of the Florida Keys, it doesn't need visitors like you to "discover" what the rest of us already know and appreciate about it.

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On 12/30/2018 at 10:44 PM, Elseed said:

 

Nah, thats limited thinking. Thats a very old school backwards texan type thinking.

 

Oh yeah, and pushing for spending large sums of money for intensive luxury developments on a low-lying, hurricane-prone barrier island in a time of rising sea levels is just so "forward thinking."🙄 You accuse me of “not being good at business,” but assessing risk is an important part of business you’re apparently completely clueless about.

 

Another point on your ridiculous "let's make Galveston a playground for the uber rich" premise, at the end of the canal my family's vacation home in Galveston is on, is a house that belonged to Ken Lay of Enron until his death. The next canal over, the house that Joe Jamail built in 1987 after he was the winning lawyer on the Texaco-Pennzoil lawsuit. The $10.5 billion dollar judgement was the largest in history to date, and the joke was that Jamail let Pennzoil keep some of the money. Galveston has been a playground for the uber rich of Houston for over 30 years (at least), even before it had the "crystal clear lagoon" (which it has now had in Palm Beach at Moody Gardens for over 20), and even without "Hamptons-type developments". Any uber-rich person who still finds Galveston lacking isn't going to be swayed into making the hour and a half drive to Galveston by the addition of another "crystal clear blue lagoon" chlorinated pool or more Beachtown-like developments, he's going to hop in his G6 and either go to the real Hamptons or the Caribbean in 2 and a half hours. Anyone who is "good at business" would tell you that suggestiong Galveston try to capture that market is idiotic.

Edited by Reefmonkey
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On 1/2/2019 at 11:54 AM, Reefmonkey said:

 Seems you're the one without any imagination as you seem to need every beach town to be some artificial Disneyfied simulacrum of another place in order for you to be able to enjoy it. And it's obvious from your other "make it like the Hamptons" post in the other thread, you actually have very little knowledge of what Galveston actually has to offer, as you were completely unaware of Beachtown until someone else brought it up, and your calls for a "crystal clear blue lagoon", which can only be accomplished via chlorination, are already available on the island at Moody Garden's Palm Beach and Schlitterbahn. I'd say that you should spend more time on the island so that you actually know what the island has to offer before you start dictating what it "needs", but it would be better if you just stayed away. Since Galveston in 2016 brought in nearly 3 times the visitors of the Florida Keys, it doesn't need visitors like you to "discover" what the rest of us already know and appreciate about it.

 

Nah, I like my idea better.

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On 1/2/2019 at 12:10 PM, Reefmonkey said:

 

Oh yeah, and pushing for spending large sums of money for intensive luxury developments on a low-lying, hurricane-prone barrier island in a time of rising sea levels is just so "forward thinking."🙄 You accuse me of “not being good at business,” but assessing risk is an important part of business you’re apparently completely clueless about.

 

Another point on your ridiculous "let's make Galveston a playground for the uber rich" premise, at the end of the canal my family's vacation home in Galveston is on, is a house that belonged to Ken Lay of Enron until his death. The next canal over, the house that Joe Jamail built in 1987 after he was the winning lawyer on the Texaco-Pennzoil lawsuit. The $10.5 billion dollar judgement was the largest in history to date, and the joke was that Jamail let Pennzoil keep some of the money. Galveston has been a playground for the uber rich of Houston for over 30 years (at least), even before it had the "crystal clear lagoon" (which it has now had in Palm Beach at Moody Gardens for over 20), and even without "Hamptons-type developments". Any uber-rich person who still finds Galveston lacking isn't going to be swayed into making the hour and a half drive to Galveston by the addition of another "crystal clear blue lagoon" chlorinated pool or more Beachtown-like developments, he's going to hop in his G6 and either go to the real Hamptons or the Caribbean in 2 and a half hours. Anyone who is "good at business" would tell you that suggestiong Galveston try to capture that market is idiotic.

 

Nah, it'll be worth it.

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We understand them very well, enough to realize they are unworkable and irresponsible. Trying to convert Galveston into an artificial shadow of the Hamptons or Miami Beach makes far less sense than playing up its natural similarities to Savannah or Charleston, which is a hot destination right now.

Edited by Reefmonkey

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On 3/19/2019 at 8:18 AM, Reefmonkey said:

We understand them very well, enough to realize they are unworkable and irresponsible. Trying to convert Galveston into an artificial shadow of the Hamptons or Miami Beach makes far less sense than playing up its natural similarities to Savannah or Charleston, which is a hot destination right now.

 

I don't think his idea was to "copy Miami Beach or Hamptons" in so much as its just advocation of general growth/improvement of Galveston. 

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He doesn't even know what he's advocating, he can't articulate it. Try asking him for any details at all:

 

 

On 12/10/2018 at 1:56 PM, Elseed said:

There should be a crystal blue lagoon development in Galveston. Along with some Hampton's type development. 

 

 

On 12/17/2018 at 6:56 AM, Reefmonkey said:

What exactly do you mean by “crystal blue lagoon development “?

And what do you mean by “Hampton’s type  development?”  The Hamptons are a bunch of 200-300 year old towns, how do we recreate that artificially and why should we want to try to become an inferior wannabe clone of a NY East Coast experience  instead of the authentic Gulf Coast town we already are?

 

 

On 12/23/2018 at 9:43 PM, Elseed said:

 What I mean is; there should be a a crystal clear blue lagoon development created in/around Galveston Beach. This project would be close to the beach and it will have a crystal clear blue lagoon anchoring it.

As for “Hampton’s type  development”, I mean; there should be a “Hampton’s type  development" in Galveston. No one said it has to be exactly like the Hampton's, that's why I wrote; “Hampton’s type  development." Notice the word "type." This development doesn't have to be inferior and it could essentially be just a neighborhood; at first. Then it can grow to whatever the developers or the city's hearts desires. Also, the "authentic Gulf Coast town" experience is a pretty crappy experience if you ask me. You've got to have vision Reefmonkey or you'll just continue to make the same crappy development that Houston and Texas is so used too.

 

 

Edited by Reefmonkey

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On 3/20/2019 at 1:33 PM, AnTonY said:

 

I don't think his idea was to "copy Miami Beach or Hamptons" in so much as its just advocation of general growth/improvement of Galveston. 

 

 

You sir have hit the target.

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On 3/20/2019 at 5:07 PM, Reefmonkey said:

He doesn't even know what he's advocating, he can't articulate it. Try asking him for any details at all:

 

 

On 12/10/2018 at 1:56 PM, Elseed said:

There should be a crystal blue lagoon development in Galveston. Along with some Hampton's type development. 

 

 

On 12/17/2018 at 6:56 AM, Reefmonkey said:

What exactly do you mean by “crystal blue lagoon development “?

And what do you mean by “Hampton’s type  development?”  The Hamptons are a bunch of 200-300 year old towns, how do we recreate that artificially and why should we want to try to become an inferior wannabe clone of a NY East Coast experience  instead of the authentic Gulf Coast town we already are?

 

 

On 12/23/2018 at 9:43 PM, Elseed said:

 What I mean is; there should be a a crystal clear blue lagoon development created in/around Galveston Beach. This project would be close to the beach and it will have a crystal clear blue lagoon anchoring it.

As for “Hampton’s type  development”, I mean; there should be a “Hampton’s type  development" in Galveston. No one said it has to be exactly like the Hampton's, that's why I wrote; “Hampton’s type  development." Notice the word "type." This development doesn't have to be inferior and it could essentially be just a neighborhood; at first. Then it can grow to whatever the developers or the city's hearts desires. Also, the "authentic Gulf Coast town" experience is a pretty crappy experience if you ask me. You've got to have vision Reefmonkey or you'll just continue to make the same crappy development that Houston and Texas is so used too.

 

 

 

Maybe I didn't articulate it perfectly but AnTonY gets it. Galveston has so much potential. It has potential to be a Savannah or Charleston or whatever it wants itself to be.

The problem is people like you who have no vision, no pride in your community, and quite frankly, "no swag" want Galveston to be the same or at best a poor mans Mobile, Alabama ( No offense to Mobile). If people like you were with the Allen Bros in 1836 all you would've saw is a mosquito infested swamp not a thriving port city that they envisioned. You probably called Tillman a fool for wanting to build a boardwalk even after the original got destroyed, but he still did it; visionary. You would've probably be against spending millions in developing Discovery Green in Downtown Houston but somebody thought it was a great idea; a vision. Whatever Galveston does it MUST be world class. Its got too much going for it not to be: close to a major metropolis, beaches, charming urban city center, historically preserved buildings, close to at least 4 other major cities (N.O., S.A., Dallas, ATX), theme parks. Having nothing less than the best or should I say aiming for nothing less than the best is really doing Galveston a disservice. So there you have it. Oh, but one thing that is clear as day is; this whole topic has really gotten your panties in a bunch lol. Its OK snowflake we're on the same team. No need to be a NIMBY.

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The idea of a large body of water that is manmade that is inviting and perhaps a part of a larger resort setting would be good for Galveston.  Instead... we’re getting that in... Texas City!!  

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11 hours ago, Elseed said:

 

Maybe I didn't articulate it perfectly but AnTonY gets it. Galveston has so much potential. It has potential to be a Savannah or Charleston or whatever it wants itself to be.

The problem is people like you who have no vision, no pride in your community, and quite frankly, "no swag" want Galveston to be the same or at best a poor mans Mobile, Alabama ( No offense to Mobile). If people like you were with the Allen Bros in 1836 all you would've saw is a mosquito infested swamp not a thriving port city that they envisioned. You probably called Tillman a fool for wanting to build a boardwalk even after the original got destroyed, but he still did it; visionary. You would've probably be against spending millions in developing Discovery Green in Downtown Houston but somebody thought it was a great idea; a vision. Whatever Galveston does it MUST be world class. Its got too much going for it not to be: close to a major metropolis, beaches, charming urban city center, historically preserved buildings, close to at least 4 other major cities (N.O., S.A., Dallas, ATX), theme parks. Having nothing less than the best or should I say aiming for nothing less than the best is really doing Galveston a disservice. So there you have it. Oh, but one thing that is clear as day is; this whole topic has really gotten your panties in a bunch lol. Its OK snowflake we're on the same team. No need to be a NIMBY.

 

You and Antony can socially groom each other all you want, but you still have no idea what you are talking about, either about me or Galveston. I never said I was anti-development, I welcome quality, sensible development;  I merely  asked you to elaborate on your vague assertions of "crystal clear blue lagoon" and "Hamptons-type" development and you couldn't. If you can't do that, then you're the one without any "vision". "Vision" isn't "yeah, let's develop more, and make it something swag," vision is actually having a detailed and sustainable plan. Vision isn't trying to copy someone else, which is all you've been able to offer with your "let's be like the Hamptons and Miami", you want Galveston to be a lame wannabe Hamptons or Miami instead of something unique. And at the most basic level, knowing what is already there is a prerequisite for vision, and you don't know jack, you didn't know about Beachtown, didn't know about Palm Beach at Moody Gardens or Schiltterbahn. So the more you try to camoflague your lack of vision or knowledge in made up straw man mischaracterizations of me or use of moronic dudebro insults like "no swag" and "snowflake", the more transparently pathetic you are. As for anyone having their "panties in a bunch" over this thread, it's been lying dormant now for almost a month, you're the one who revived it with your juvenile chest-thumping macho rant, so simmer down, son. The fumes from your Axe body spray seem to be going to your head.

Edited by Reefmonkey
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16 hours ago, arche_757 said:

Yes I’m aware of those developments.  They’ve been around for years.  I think the assumed “large manmade body of water” was a Crystal Lagoon or similar.

 

A Crystal Lagoon is basically just a very large beach entry swimming pool, filtered and chemically treated like any other swimming pool. Which is exactly what Moody Gardens's Palm Beach and Schlitterbahn's Kristal Cove, Kristal Bay, Wave Lagoon, et al are. What is it you guys are thinking is so special or magical about a Crystal Lagoon compared to what is already there? The only thing really difference is the size, with some Crystal Lagoons being large enough to do water sports in. Okay, lets look at the practicality of having one of those. Once you get west of the Moody Gardens complex (around 99th Street), the island narrows significantly. It's pretty obvious there is no room for a Crystal Lagoon gulfward of FM 3005 (among other issues), and the distance between 3005 and Stewart Road is about 1500 feet, and already has a lot of developments between the cow pastures which would limit the contiguous land that could be bought up. Bayward of Stewart Road the island is crenellated with multiple coves and inlets, and much of what appears to be solid ground on a map or satellite imagery is actually wetlands, and the solid land that is there is mostly already occupied by vacation home subdivisions. As soon as Stewart Road ends, you hit Galveston Island State Park, which spans the island from beach to bay. After that, the island gets even more narrow. And you have subdivisions like Jamaica Beach, Indian Beach, Sea Isle, with maybe a parcel or two of land in between them, but none big enough for one of these water sports-capable Crystal Lagoons and the infrastructure and the parking that would be needed for them. And who is going to want to pay to do watersports on some tiny little sterile confined body of water where type and size of craft and speed is going to be heavily restricted, when the freedom of navigation of West Bay is right over their shoulder? So basically, again, we're talking about a big beach entry swimming pool, and why would someone drive out past 12 Mile Road to go to a new one when they could go to Schlitterbahn or Palm Beach practically right after I-45 dumps them on the island?

 

See, this is where having actual knowledge of the island exposes brotastic "vision" as unrealistic pipe dream.

Edited by Reefmonkey
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@Reefmonkey I should have stayed out of this discussion altogether, as I really don’t care either way.

 

I should add you seemingly took a defensive approach with my comment(s).  I understand that the Galveston sub-forum has devolved into some ...tense replies here and there.  I’m not here to challenge your opinion, or that of others - everyone is welcome to express what they think.

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2 hours ago, arche_757 said:

@Reefmonkey I should have stayed out of this discussion altogether, as I really don’t care either way.

 

I should add you seemingly took a defensive approach with my comment(s).  I understand that the Galveston sub-forum has devolved into some ...tense replies here and there.  I’m not here to challenge your opinion, or that of others - everyone is welcome to express what they think.

Sorry if I misinterpreted your intent, brotastic dudebros tend to stretch my patience. But I was also hoping to provide an explanation once and for all of why the lack of a Crystal Lagoon in Galveston isn’t due to Galveston city fathers’ lack of “vision”, but due to real geographical limitations,  for anyone who’s really interested. 

Edited by Reefmonkey

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I understand your frustration.  Galveston is a frustrating place!

 

I think (having dealt with the permitting process for commercial properties there many times) that Galveston has the right mind set, if perhaps a somewhat flawed set of development guidelines.  The Land Development Regulations, more specifically the Height and Density Development Zone mandates that projects provide public interaction, and engage the street frontage (among other things). That said, these same standards have, to an extent, limited what can be built within the same zones where the City mandated density.  These standards have no doubt chased away some good developers who don’t have to deal with such oversight in other jurisdictions.  For example: a mid-rise project requires an investment of affordable housing (on the project site).  Presumably these units could be built elsewhere on the island, but this has scared away development of that I am sure.  This applies to ANY project, any typology - not just a multi-family construct.  While admirable, this sort of regulation isn’t conducive to further promoting the isle as a viable investment area.  And - while affordability is extremely important, Galveston needs meaningful investment and not just from locals.

 

As is too often the case - I feel Galveston cannot get out of its own way.

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On 4/17/2019 at 8:46 PM, arche_757 said:

I understand your frustration.  Galveston is a frustrating place!

 

I think (having dealt with the permitting process for commercial properties there many times) that Galveston has the right mind set, if perhaps a somewhat flawed set of development guidelines.  The Land Development Regulations, more specifically the Height and Density Development Zone mandates that projects provide public interaction, and engage the street frontage (among other things). That said, these same standards have, to an extent, limited what can be built within the same zones where the City mandated density.  These standards have no doubt chased away some good developers who don’t have to deal with such oversight in other jurisdictions.  For example: a mid-rise project requires an investment of affordable housing (on the project site).  Presumably these units could be built elsewhere on the island, but this has scared away development of that I am sure.  This applies to ANY project, any typology - not just a multi-family construct.  While admirable, this sort of regulation isn’t conducive to further promoting the isle as a viable investment area.  And - while affordability is extremely important, Galveston needs meaningful investment and not just from locals.

 

As is too often the case - I feel Galveston cannot get out of its own way.

 

As the old saying goes, "Beggars can't be choosers ." While I don't like how extreme New York City and San Francisco are with all of their requirements, regulations, and obligations, they can get away with it because they know that at the end of the day a developer still wants to build there, and people want to either run a business or live there simply do to proximity. Those are two of the most high profile cities in the country and so no matter how tightly the city puts the squeeze on its developers they know they hold the power at the negotiation table. Its opposite for Galveston. Maybe someday when it becomes a desirable place for business and living then these requirements, regulations, and obligations will be warranted, but for now it only gives businesses an excuse to avoid the city like the plague. More progressive mindset policies only work in the most extremely competitive of cities because its already known people want to be there. Galveston really needs to instead go back to a more classical liberal / libertarian approach. Slash as much fat and waste as possible and make it as easy as possible to keep the door open. Keep design guidelines and make them as clear and focused as possible, but minimize the undo bureaucratic burden.  

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You’re correct.  That said, I believe Galveston’s intention in implementing the LDR was to define standards which would remove the potential for buildings like the San Luis or maybe even the convention center.  They were trying to avoid having developers block entire blocks of low-rise residential, which is technically still possible - albeit much more complicated these days.

 

Folks in Galveston *want* expect to have beachfront views from their scabbed on garage rooftop porches, even if the “structures” are 2-3 blocks north of the commercially zoned Seawall frontage.  That and they’d reaaaly like to avoid any high rise development along most of the Seawall.

 

There are too many Galvestonians that think they deserve some sort of grandfathered in exclusions for their immediate backyard.  Which, as a homeowner myself I don’t necessarily blame them, but you have to weigh the risks when buying near (1-3 blocks) of a commercial zone.  If Johnny Developer comes along and smacks down a 5-floor building on a piece of land which is zoned for such development - what should you expect?

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