As most people familiar with South Padre know, there is a whole bunch of privately-owned land north of town that is currently undeveloped due to the fact that there are no services (such as water, electricity and garbage pickup) available as of yet. The following article was submitted by one of those property owners and speaks to his vision of what could be a future for this part of the island.
I can begin by telling you that living by the coast was always a part of my early childhood. I was born in 1966, Sarasota Florida then moved to Miami Florida, another coastal town where early Saturday mornings my family would pack up a picnic, ice chest, inflatable kiddy tubes and head out to Key Biscayne to spend a whole day at the beach by a century old lighthouse.
Years later my family picked up everything and moved to Texas. My surprise and disgust came the day we visited Corpus Christi, TX. My concept of the Texas beach was bad, really bad until attending a church youth activity in the valley led me to a day at South Padre Island.
Hallelujah! What a surprise! It was a picture perfect day, blue sky, blue ocean, gentle surf and clean sand so similar to my early childhood beach… I knew then this island; this wonderful beach was a special place. Somehow I needed to own a part of this….
I kept returning to South Padre with family & friends through the years and always kept eyeing the realtor listings always dreaming of someday finding & buying a piece of the island. My desire kept growing with each visit then when the time was right, I reached for the phone and called a realtor on the Island and found a choice lot at a good price.
Many people do not realize but most of the property north of town is actually owned by people from up north (Snow Birds) not by the government. It is all subdivided and platted. The only disadvantage, that raw land does not have water, electric services or sewage systems therefore it is considerably cheaper than the city lots.
Well the day came when I personally surveyed the lot and it’s approximate location and then did the transaction and bought it. This was in 1997, since then I’ve researched coastal structures, coastal footing dynamics, and army corps of engineer’s handbooks, Timber/post construction, solar/homes and coastal restrictions. As a result I developed quite a number of beach house plans that will suite the needs for vacationing and recreation north of town.
1). I saw the need to create a dwelling that would not interfere and pollute the environment. 2). I saw the need to acquire water for daily use. 3). I saw a need to acquire electricity for daily use. 4). A building structure that could withstand forces of nature 5). A building structure that was economical yet pleasing in design.
One thing anyone who is considering owning a bit of South Padre Island north of town is think “Spartan”, in other words roughing it out to a point because there are no established services out there yet. The dwelling would provide shelter from the extreme heat or cold of the day, provide a safe place to sleep and rest but also respect the environment.
Many people dream of owning a place to go to get away from it all, I say South Padre Island fits that perfectly, with peaceful solitary beaches, wilderness, birds, vegetation and rolling dunes. - This is a future ecotourism Mecca.
I believe the beauty of this area can be maintained if each lot owner planning to build unites with a building association, which oversees these unique environment friendly dwellings. To make sure they comply and therefore go before the county and state agencies to apply for all permits etc.
There is a new awareness with the environment, the importance of our dune system, which actually protects the whole Texas coast including the bay area. A day will come when all land owners up north will unite and decide to build whether the government places needed services or not.
I challenge landowners north of town to get to know each other as neighbors and meet at least once a year on South Padre Island to discuss the establishment of a an association. Our voices will be heard.
Peace on my Island…. South Padre Island
View Pablo's designs for beach living on his web-site at www.ecohut.com