Casa Del Mar

Hurricane Ike Information

This web-site will be updated as often as we have accurate information available to report to the owners.

As of March 25th, we can report the following:

The front east elevator was up, up, up and running on March 18th, just in time for the busy week of Spring Break and the rear east elevator is running as of today! We are very appreciative of the Schindler Elevator crews for working us into their hectic schedules as our power situations evolved. As you can imagine, there are hundreds of elevators that were damaged and out of service throughout the island and Galveston County as a result of the storm and we’re thankful to finally have all 4 of ours back in service!

The carpet in the lobby area was installed on last week as well and the actual front desk has been installed behind the lobby counters, finally making our job of keeping everything organized and running smoothly a little easier. The front desk staff should be commended for their ability to adapt to table top working skills – there are an awful lot of papers shuffled through the front desk each day and they did a great job of keeping it all together during the storm repairs. Every day things get a little more back to normal and as we’ve said before – “looking back in front of us” is a term we’ve used to put what is seemingly slow progress into perspective. We still have our meeting rooms and administrative areas to go, but we’ll get there sooner than later.

In reference to the notices all of our owners received from the City of Galveston recently, the following is a duplicate of a letter we sent to all owners on 3-25-09

Dear Owner,

You recently received correspondence from the City of Galveston Planning Department regarding several requests for variances in the zoning requirements made by the McDonalds directly across 61st street from our property. We contacted the Planning Department and inquired further on the details of the project in question and below is some additional information. We hope this information will help you better understand the requests as well as our recommendation, from a management perspective.

Because of damages sustained by Hurricane Ike, the McDonalds at 2912 61st Street will be torn down and rebuilt. The new construction does not meet three requirements of the Height and Density Development Zone (HDDZ). The HDDZ was adopted about a year ago and regulates the design and placement of new constriction.

All owners in the Casa del Mar are required by state law to be notified of any requests by projects within 200 feet of our location that come before either the Planning Commission or Zoning Board of Adjustment.

These requests will be heard by the Zoning Board of Adjustment on April 8, 2009. The meeting is held at 4pm in City Council Chambers on the 2nd floor of City Hall. The Zoning Board of Adjustment is the body that grants variances (or waivers) from the City’s zoning regulations. Management will be present at the meeting to represent the Homeowners Association and our positions are indicated below. However, any owner who wishes to do so may attend and voice any concerns they may have.

Here is a summary of the requests:

09Z-10 (2912 61st Street) Request for a variance from the Galveston Zoning Standards Section 29-107 (f)(4)(c) regarding Wall Plane Articulation in the Height and Density Development Zone. Property is legally defined as Lot A, The Golden Arches, a Subdivision in the City and County of Galveston, Texas.
Applicant: Andy Lee
Property Owner: McDonald’s Real Estate Co.

The HDDZ requires that new buildings have some variation in the wall design. It is not permitted to have just a flat wall. This regulation provides for more interesting building design. The regulations state that for each 30 feet of wall length, the wall must be broken up with an off-set of at least 5 feet in depth. The applicant is requesting that the off-set depth be reduced from 5 feet to 1-foot and 4-inches.

The new building will be very similar in “foot print” to the previous building. Management has no objection to this request for a variance. We intend to check the box marked “I have no comment regarding the request”.

09z-12 (2912 61st Street) Request for a variance from the Galveston Zoning Standards Section 29-107 (f)(3)(a) regarding Required Percentage at Build-To-Line in the Height and Density Development Zone. Property is legally defined as Lot A, The Golden Arches, a Subdivision in the City and County of Galveston, Texas.
Applicant: Andy Lee
Property Owner: McDonald’s Real Estate Co.

The HDDZ requires that new construction be built at the property line, abutting the sidewalk. The applicant is requesting that the setback be reduced from 0 feet to 24 feet. This increased setback will enable the building to be placed so that cars can drive around the building, which facilitates the drive-thru portion of the business.

The new building will be positioned on their lot very similarly to the previous building. Management has no objection to this request for a variance. We intend to check the box marked “I have no comment regarding the request”.

09Z-12 (2912 61st Street) Request for a variance from the Galveston Zoning Standards Section 29-107 (f)(10)(e)(1) regarding Height of Parking Area Lighting in the Height and Density Development Zone. Property is legally defined as Lot A, The Golden Arches, a Subdivision in the City and County of Galveston, Texas.
Applicant: Andy Lee
Property Owner: McDonald’s Real Estate Co.

The HDDZ requires that light poles in parking lots have a maximum height of 8 feet. The applicant is requesting a height of 24 feet for the parking lot lights.

Our main concern with this request is that their parking lot lights don’t distract from our owner’s views on 61st street. The new lighting plan is similar to their previous lighting – all parking lot lights are about 24 feet high and they are pointed downward. We definitely want them to be able to have a safe parking area which is why they are requesting the higher lighting. It is our opinion that we would not oppose this request for a variance, provided that the new parking area lighting is directed downward and is similar in position and quantity to the previous lighting on the property.

However, because there is not box which allows for being in favor with a stipulation, we will check the box marked “I am opposed to” and in the comments field, we will write “We would not object if the newly proposed parking area lighting is directed downward and is similar in position and quantity to the previous lighting on the property.”

We recommend that all owners send the bottom portion of the forms to the Planning Department with your opinion checked in the appropriate box and any comments you may wish to add.

In the event you have additional questions, please feel free to contact Catherine Gorman Tinnemeyer, Senior Planner/Assistant HPO, Department of Planning and Community Development, City of Galveston, 409-797-3660

END OF LETTER

As always, we will do our best to keep you informed via the web-site for any issues related to Hurricane Ike and our recovery efforts. Thanks for your patience! Please feel free to call us if you have any questions or need additional information – 409-740-2431.

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