This is the last week of April and the busy summer season will soon be upon us. For those that don’t keep up with the goings on at City Hall, I thought I would bring you up to speed on two new regulations that have gone into effect or will commence before the summer starts.
Beginning May 20, a new ordinance regulating RV parking on the beach goes into effect. City Code 27-51 was modified and now requires that recreational vehicles (Including yours) whether parked or camping on the beach, to be parked perpendicular to the water’s edge of the Gulf of Mexico beginning the third Friday in May and ending the first Tuesday in September (Sept. 7, this year).
For those of you RV’ers from college station or norman (lower-case intentional by the Tea-Sip author of this column); “perpendicular to the water’s edge” means at a right angle to the waves; so either the front (the part you hook up to your truck) or the back (the part with the brake lights) of your RV must be closer to the water than either of the other two sides and the camp side will face the beach, not the water or the dunes.
In addition to new signage that will be in place, we will begin assigning an officer to the beach most of the day to try to inform RV’ers of the new law before they set up. Unfortunately, if you don’t read the signs or an officer doesn’t contact you in time, and you set up parallel to the water or roadway you will have to reposition your rig or face a fine up to $500.
For those of you who think it is OK to save a spot on the beach overnight by leaving your canopy, chairs, and/or some something else in place, and then returning to “your saved spot” the next day, I have some bad news.
We recently added section 27-510 to the city code to address “personal property left overnight on the beach.” The new code states that it shall be unlawful for any person to leave an item of personal property, including, but not limited to items such as canopies, shade structures, tents, umbrellas, chairs, towels, equipment, vehicles, trailers, games, and coolers, any or all which are not associated with an overnight beach camping, anywhere on the open beach between the hours of sunset and sunrise on the following day, except as otherwise permitted through a city issued large or small events permit.
Any item of personal property left on the beach in violation of this Section shall be deemed discarded by the owner, and may be removed, destroyed, or otherwise disposed of, accordingly by the City of Port Aransas public works beach crews, or their designees.
In the confiscation and disposal of any such item under this Section, the city shall not be subject to any responsibility or liability to persons or damages to property caused by the confiscation or subsequent disposal of items left overnight on the open beach.
In plain English, this means that, unless you are physically camping on the beach, at the end of each day you need to pick up all your stuff and take it with you. If you decide to leave it unattended overnight, it will be considered as abandoned and the beach clean-up crews will pick it up in the morning and take it the city transfer station (the dump) for proper disposal.