Nueces County Poised to Purchase Beach Property from the State

An eight-mile stretch of land that covers more than 3,600 acres of beach on Padre Island could soon be cleaned up and made more accessible if Nueces County gets its way.

The area is technically in Kleberg County and is owned by the Texas General Land Office, but thanks to some financial help from a private foundation, Nueces County wants to buy the land and turn it into a park.

The land in question has been described as a "no man's land," and has encountered problems in the past with public nudity. The land has been used and abused. There's plenty of manmade trash on the beach, not just seaweed, shells, and driftwood. The trash just accumulates over time.

While the beach is in Kleberg County, it's not really accessible from Kleberg County, and thus the land has simply not been attended too; but the Corpus Christi-based Ed Rachal Foundation has committed to putting up $1 million for Nueces County to buy the land from the state.

Nueces County has discussed entering into an agreement with Kleberg County to provide clean up and law enforcement to the property. Nueces County Commissioner Joe McComb said the intent is to pretty much leave the land alone and let people enjoy its natural state, but just guarantee public access and try to make access a little more available.

"If you drive down there, you can see a lot of trash down there," McComb said. "You know on one sand dune out there they've got a vehicle that's on the top, I guess when they were going over, the catalytic converter caught the grass on fire and caught the vehicle on fire, and the whole thing's sitting on the top of this sand dune. It's just a burned out frame."

McComb said he thinks the land has just gotten to be a headache for the state and specifically the General Land Office, so this way, the state can get rid of this non-producing asset and put it in the hands of local folks who live near the land, and can use it and take care of it. McComb said it's a win-win situation.

The commissioner added that he is pretty optimistic that the deal will go through. Right now, the County is just waiting to hear back from the state, and they say now that the new year has begun, they hope things will begin to move.


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