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Battle over blowing sand on Padre Island still tied up in court

Posted: 9:41 PM, May 31, 2018
Updated: 2018-05-31 22:41:11-04

It’s been about a year since the city took legal action over sand blowing onto roads on Padre Island. However, it’s been two years since people who live and work there have been complaining about it.

That sand is coming from the Lake Padre Development along Park Road 22 across from Schlitterbahn. Paul Schexnailder owns the property and is the developer of the project.

"Whether it’s air conditioners, respiratory, I’ve had a lot of the constituents out on the island call me, very concerned about the sand blowing and what can be done to stop it," Greg Smith, the District 4 representative on City Council, told KRIS 6 News about the ongoing issue.

Smith says the complaints prompted the city to start issuing citations for code violations to Schexnailder. 

Describing the prior state of that land, Smith said, "It was wetlands on there so it was basically grass and water and now they went and they raised the elevation and did not stabilize the sand. That’s the problem."

According to a city memo obtained by KRIS 6 News dated April 27, the city and Schexnailder went to court to try to settle. The result was an order that gives him until July 20 to stabilize that site or pay a $20,000 fine.

However, the memo also says Schexnailder failed to meet other deadlines from the court order and concludes that he’s "not currently in full compliance."
     
In the meantime, Smith says he continues to receive complaints "every time the wind kicks up."

But he’s hopeful that the upcoming July 20 deadline will bring winds of change, and signal the end of a longtime nuisance.

"I hope that the developer can stop the sand. It has been 2 years now and a lot of damage has been caused by that sand blowing."
          
The state is also enforcing violations against the Lake Padre Development because of the blowing sand. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality tells us, so far, no settlement has been reached.