Galveston City Council on Thursday voted 4-2, with Elizabeth Beeton and Terrilyn Tarlton opposed, to approve new regulations for the city's noise ordinance.
The ordinance limits noise levels to 85 decibels, which is the maximum set by state law, and to 80 decibels in residential areas after 10 p.m. The ordinance measures the noise level at the point of any complaint filed about excessive noise.
Beeton and Tarlton said they wanted to gather more information before approving the item.
The item was passed with a change to delay the effective date of the noise ordinance until November 1.
The city council voted 5-1, with Beeton opposed, to adopt a resolution in support of the “Ike Dike” Project, a proposed coastal barrier to protect the Houston-Galveston region from hurricane storm surges.
Rear Admiral Robert Smith, III, President and CEO of Texas A&M University at Galveston, addressed council regarding the Ike Dike Project. He discussed a visit to the Netherlands to study how the region mitigates their storm surge issues, and asked for support of the Ike Dike.
“Now they built an Ike Dike around New Orleans,” Smith said. “The Corps of Engineers built it, finished in three years, took $16 billion out of the defense department budget, $16 billion, let me plant that number on you. We think we can do this for about $6 billion and protect the ship channel.”
Smith noted that 25 percent of the fuel of the country is refined in the region. He said the goal was to protect the Texas economy and to protect jobs.
“I grew up on an East Texas cotton farm, and when Hurricane Carla came through here, it put all our cotton on the ground, up in north Texas, and my daddy got down on his knees and cried,” Smith said. “He cried. We can prevent that.” Listen
Beeton said she did not want to commit the city to one possible project to mitigate storm surge in the area, and wanted to see other entities also commit funds to the project.
“I just feel it's premature for the city to commit to one type of solution,” Beeton said. Listen
The city council voted 4-2, with Beeton and Cornelia Harris Banks opposed, to grant a specific use permit to a proposed hotel to exceed the city's height requirements under the Height and Density Development Zone.
The proposed hotel would be located at 1328 Seawall Boulvard, and would consist of an 80-room, multistory structure. The highest portion of the building would exceed the height requirement by 50 feet. The hotel would be 120 feet high, while the ordinance only allows for 70 feet, or five stories in height. The maximum floor-to-area ratio, or total above grade floor area of all structures compared to the total square footage of the lot, is allowed at 2.0 However, the potential ratio for the building would be 6.4 to 7.0, according to city staff.
Several residents along Avenue N 1/2, who would be behind the hotel, spoke in opposition to the permit.
Additional stipulations were placed on the approval, including reduction of the floor-to-floor height of the hotel's parking garage, perhaps not allowing oversized vehicle or vans, a “living wall” treatment for the north wall of the building, covering the wall in plants, and to pay the energy charge for additional lighting at the neighboring properties.
The city council voted unanimously to deny a request to abandon approximately 1,536 square feet of city right-of-way along 48th Street.
The city council voted unanimously to adopt a resolution requesting the Texas Municipal League to support legislation concerning the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association Act.
The city council voted unanimously to approve the purchase of 100 automated rollout garbage carts and repair parts from Toter, Inc.
The item was amended from purchasing 1,000 carts,which would supply the city for one year, and to solicit bits from other firms. Toter, Inc. was listed as a sole source provider.
The city council voted 4-0-2, with Banks and Rusty Legg abstaining, to authorize an additional expenditure of $885 to the firm of Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams & Aughtry for the representation of Legg in an ethics matter filed January 12.
Legg abstained due to a conflict of interest.
The city council voted unanimously to appoint Marcy Hanson as an at-large member of the Tree Committee. Hanson has served as a representative of District 2 on the committee, but now lives in District 1 due to redistricting.
Tarlton appointed Karla Levi to serve in the District 5 position on the Tree Committee. No vote was required on the item.
The city council voted 5-0-1, with Legg abstaining, to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of September 27.
An item regarding an interlocal cooperation agreement with the Galveston County Emergency Communication District for cost-sharing related to the public safety radio system was withdrawn from the agenda. Therefore, no action was taken on the item.
All other items were approved by unanimous vote. Council Member Norman Pappous was absent. Agenda
During the meeting, Mayor Lewis Rosen and Council Member Marie Robb presented Rear Admiral Smith with a proclamation recognizing Texas A&M University on its 50th anniversary of the first class of maritime cadets.