GALVESTON — An appeal to the Texas Supreme Court attempting to halt the start of seawall parking was filed on July 26, the day before the program officially launched.
In the 40-page petition, Galveston resident and former mayoral candidate Greg Roof asked the court to “compel the Texas Land Commissioner to perform his non-discretionary duty under law to strictly and vigorously enforce the prohibition against encroachments on and interferences with” public beach access.
Roof claims that paid parking on the Seawall violates the Texas Open Beaches Act by not allowing the public to freely access the beach; that the city’s expenses for administering the program violates the Texas Administrative Code; that the program discriminates “on the basis of income and credit worthiness”; and that the program violates privacy rights by collecting license plate numbers.
“Texans have always been able to approach the beaches along the seawall, leave their horse, carriage or car along the seawall and walk down the beach, use the beach for as long as they want, and then walk back to their horse, carriage or automobile wand leave the beach,” Roof writes in the petition.
“It is what we have been doing for over a century along the seawall beaches,” he wrote.
Roof, a professor of government and economics at Alvin Community College, filed the petition pro se. In the appendix of the petition, he included letters written to the city by a GLO official, a copy of the city’s pro forma budget for the program and historic pictures of the seawall showing beach goers parking along the seawall over the decades.
Roof helped lead a successful campaign against seawall parking in 2004 and another unsuccessful effort in 2011.
The petition can be read on the next page.