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What are the pros and cons of possible Padre Island development?

Corpus Christi will vote on a second reading to rezone land on North Padre Island
Whitecap Preserve
Posted at 9:22 PM, Oct 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-17 23:52:23-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — When you look at a beach town like North Padre Island, it’s inevitable that growth will be desired. City council will be voting on a rezoning Tuesday, that will create some major growth on the island.

“Most of the constituents are positive about it, but then we do have others that aren’t. Just like any project, you have your pluses and minuses,” said Councilman Greg Smith.

Whitecap Preserve would be the development of the land between Commodores Drive and Whitecap Blvd., west of Park Road 22.

On Tuesday city council will vote on the second reading to rezone the land.

“If we look at the island, the development is old," said Smith. "It was designed actually in the 1960’s. So, this gives twenty first century product on the island.”

City council will vote to rezone the property to allow for single family homes, multi-family homes and hotel or commercial areas.

All will be intertwined with a canal system that work has already started on. Smith says that work has started under a different zoning.

“It’s going to have amenities that currently don’t exist," he said. "You’ll be able to launch a kayak with it. It’s about 30 acres of nature trails, it’ll be open to the public. And then, it gives more mobility to the island. You’ll be able to take a golf cart from Whitecap through the development over to Commodores.”

Smith said this is something he’s worked on bringing in since he took his seat as councilman. For him the positive to this, is growth in itself.

“It draws people to the area. It’s not like the people are here and buying a house when you have a vacation type area like the island. It will bring additional people and economic benefit with it," said Smith.

The proposal does include to allow these new places to be short term rentals (STR's), but not those immediately next to the already built residences. We know some island residents are against STR’s. Smith said he’s also heard other drawbacks from constituents.

“Extra traffic is probably the number one on there," he said. "And, they’re going into an area that was formerly a golf course, so there’s some concern about the density in that area.”

Smith said if council passes this, it will be a multi-year project, but houses could start going up in the spring.

Several neighbors in the area declined to comment on the project.

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