A Line in the Vanished Sand

A LINE IN THE VANISHED SAND Galveston Planning Commissioner Chula Ross Sanchez, surveying damaged properties on the island 3 months after after Hurricane Ike: “The General Land Office (GLO) has drawn a new line in the sand four-and-half feet above sea level. People can stabilize their properties on the beach but we cannot issue new construction certificates in that zone. The line is normally based on vegetation but the storm wiped that out and the new line is based on mean sea levels. Drawing that line, many houses have ended up on public property.” [OffCite]

2 Comment

  • Beautiful, beautiful misguided environmental based planning regulation!

  • kjb434, which part do you think is misguided, the original TOBA or the GLO’s 4.5′ line?

    If you think the original TOBA is misguided, then what do you propose in its place? How should we handle, for example, properties that end up fifty feet on the water side of the shore line, with the water lapping eight feet up their stilts? Should the owners of the house then end up owning the land UNDER the water?

    A line has to be drawn somewhere. TOBA has been around for fifty years. If people buy houses on a barrier island in Texas without being aware of the law, that’s their problem. If they think the state is going to keep coming in and dumping in sand to shore up the beach that is being naturally eroded at a rate of X feet per year, they’re sorely misguided.