Caplen Shores POA, Inc.
This website is designed to provide property owners and potential property owners within the Bolivar Peninsula Subdivision of Caplen Shores with up to date information about their subdivision and the developments within Caplen Shores POA, Inc (Property Owner's Association). We hope it will coordinate our efforts by effectively communicating with each other.
Hurricane Ike Updates
Neighbors, here's the bottom line purpose of all the "verbiage", and updates I've written below:
To obtain FEMA/SBA/Grant money to assist us and to possibly hire a service and/or grant coordinator to obtain SBA money and other grants to resurvey, reengineer and rebuild our subdivision. Will it be successful? Not if we don't get our act together! All we're asking for is $100.00 per lot donation to get us off the ground. I have personally obtained SBA money on my own in the past. They can actually be very quick in a disaster since they have different rules to play by. Please send your $100.00 per lot donation today to Caplen Shores POA, Inc., 3000 Richmond Ave., Suite 270 Houston, TX 77098, noting your lot number(s) and your name will be placed on the "Contributions" page on the left side of your screen.
If you haven't read these updates before, you should probably start at the bottom and read up, as the updates describe and define many of the programs such as CBRA, CEPRA that might be confusing if you start with today's update.
02-14-09 20:00.. Discussion between Dan Jacobs and Jerry Parker regarding assistance of Redwine Construction (owner of Steve's Landing Resteraunt) to possibly rebuild Caplen Shores
02-08-09 08:00. We attended the Galveston County HMGP buyout meeting in Beaumont on Thursday. There was some indication from Galco officials (not FEMA who really foots the bill) that Caplen Shores would be eligible for the buyout, but I personally contend that Caplen Shores it is not eligible due to my extensive attempts and research. Nevertheless, I submitted my documents and will see what happens. The deadline for submission is February 21. There was another issue that held some promise for Caplen Shores subdivision from a county perspective that I will continue to follow, although I don't believe it can legally happen. Once again. FEMA cannot legally make payments to anyone for repairs to a CBRA area, which Caplen Shores is. After months of attempts, and attempts to get the roads in Caplen Shores grandfathered and repairs paid by FEMA, I've exhausted all possibilities and have given up.
In order to begin a possible sellout process, I have listed my 3 properties at Caplen Shores with Remax on the Water in Crystal Beach. http://remaxonthewater.com/
Neil Spiller is the agent I listed with, and their phone number is 409-684-3377. In my many years renting my properties, the most important thing to me was their responsiveness, honesty and integrity. Expect a call or email from Neil soon regarding your interest in listing with ReMax. Kathleen Carpenter (lot 10), and Keith and Stacey Downs (lot 18) are in the process of listing their lots as well with Neil. My recommendation to all is that you contact Neil immediately and list your property so that a possible group sellout might occur. I believe that Neil can "gather" the various owners for a group sale. I have listed my beachfront lot at 181K and my two second row lots at 65K. Once again, for those with skepticism about my motives, I hereby declare that I (meaning anyone I know) will receive no compensation, payments, kickbacks, mordita, bribes, or any other form of rebate from Remax, Neil, or anyone associated with Remax or Neil. I have to admit, I'm trying all angles to get rid of my properties, and this is just one of them. I see Caplen Shores as a dead subdivision for individual owners, although I see it as an absolute bargain for a developer that has the money to spend to repair the roads and beachfront. I have been asked the question; How much can I get for my property? My answer has been and will remain the same: Who cares, as long as I get more than a dollar, I'm coming out on top. In truthfulness, I suspect there are speculators who would fork over $1,000.00 today for the beachfront lots and $500.00 for the 2nd row and back. Heck, I'd do that right now. Matter of fact, anyone can take those numbers as firm offers from me, however, I'm certain everyone wants to sit back and see what happens. Just call me if you want to sell. I sort of feel the same way. However, with a group sale, I suspect we actually might be able to get at least 50% of our Pre-Ike appraised value for our lots, even though some said they wouldn't sell at any price. Maybe if the offer is actually made, it could happen. (See the "Sell Out" page by clicking on the link on your left. Again, if we sell for $2,500,000.00, that's just over $150,000.00 per acre, which I still think is a good deal for a large chunk of beachfront land. The 4 acres directly east of Caplen Shores was previously for sale for $400,000.00 pre-Ike. I'm sure the front row will want to hold on to their properties and not sell, but I don't see any reason the rest of the subdivision would not, other than possibly lots 1, (Segura), 2 and 3 (Mires), who said they were not interested in selling at all.
By the way, I rented an airplane (Cessna 172 with pilot) out of LaPorte on Thursday and flew down to Bolivar. I'm fairly certain I saw the remnants of the "Pink Paradise". Pretty hard to miss, as well as parts of my beachfront cabin. I'm going to try to get a boat next week and get over to Goat Island to see for myself. http://harveyrihn.com/ is the company I rented from. It cost me just a little over $200.00, but I flew around a lot more than I really needed to.
Frank DeVooght has indicated he thinks it will cost $4,000.00 to repair his half of the road in front of his lot 42. I have no idea how that number was arrived at, but there are so many obstacles to a plan like that (corner lots $8,000.00?, beachfront lots $16,000?, etc). If I thought I could recover the roads to my 3 lots for $32,000.00 per Franks suggestion, I'd pay that today. Who knows. If someone comes up with a plan and a way to pay for it, let me know. Anyone can come up with a plan, but getting the funding is another story, and there's only one way to do it. A mandatory POA that has a right to decide fees and assessments. I do feel certain Frank's number might have been close, and I'm absolutely positive something like Frank's suggestion could work to make it happen if we had a property owners association, but again, we don't, and only a fraction of the owners sent in their Amendment to Deed Restriction to implement the POA. It would be very easy to devise a plan and to repair the subdivision, and it could be up and running in a couple of months if we had a POA. There is zero doubt in my mind this could work. There are several contractors who are ready and willing to do the repairs if we get the POA together. My guess is still that it will cost between $300,000.00 to $1,000,000.00 to repair the subdivision to pre-Ike condition. I will be happy to put up my share immediately if 60% sign up! To show my positive outlook, I will personally put up $100,000.00 to get the redevelopment rolling the second we get 60% of the Amendments to Deed Restrictions signed and in the office of Kelly DiCampli per the instructions previously sent. Actually, I will put the money up prior to receiving the signed Amendments to Deed Restrictions if I receive a simple email confirmation from the 60% required, of your intent to sign. Remember, it's a 5 member board thatYOU elect to make decisions on how to proceed with repairs. Not me. I will gladly serve as president and do the legwork, but that's up to YOU!
01-12-08 12:00. The SBA deadline has been extended until Feb 6, 2009, however, only one person has sent in the executed Amendment to Deed Restrictions. As we've stated before, the only way recovery and access will be gained to any property in Caplen Shores other than those along Highway 87 will be a combined effort requiring 60% participation by an Amendment to Deed Restrictions. This also includes a total sellout of the subdivision, whether to a private party, or to the State or FEMA under the HMGP. If anyone has any other ideas, let me know. I will maintain the website at my own cost for the foreseeable future, but due to the lack of interest (failure to return Amendment to Deed Restrictions), the personal time and money I expend for this effort will be paired down, until such time as we receive 60% of the Amendments to Deed Restrictions.
12-23-08: 23:00 Please see the correspondence between myself and Carl Sherrill with the SBA under the "Correspondence" Link. Based on that correspondence, I think we're down to the "less than 5% chance" of receiving FEMA / SBA assistance due specifically to CBRA, even though I still believe we should be grandfathered.
I ordered the complete Caplen Shores plat map to be delivered to Brystar Construction in Beaumont in order to allow their surveyors and estimators to complete a formal bid to repairs the roads and lots to pre-Ike condition.
Since things don't look too bright on the FEMA / SBA side, I corresponded with Neil Spiller with ReMax on the Water, who have their office in Crystal Beach, and will be opening again soon full time. I have dealt with owners Neil and Jeanne Turk on many occasions, and feel they are the best chance we have of a block sellout. I wasn't expecting any positive response regarding a total buyout, however, his response gave us some hope. Please see our correspondence under the "Sellout" link. I still believe we have a chance of making a good return on our original investment even though the current value of all of our properties (except the Highway lots) is zero. Remember, a developer who might build commercial property etc is not going to require FEMA insurance or needing future FEMA assistance, and therefore may be more interested in acquiring a CBRA plat. Let's keep our fingers crossed. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.
12-22-08: 12:00. The SBA loan deadline has been moved to January 12, 2008. Even though we have applied, all initial documents have to be in by that date. Still awaiting word from Carl Sherrill who initially was told by the Ft. Worth SBA office we are not eligible, however due to the fact Leland Wilson with FEMA said we're eligible, I will continue to pursue the issue. Still awaiting word of the impending FEMA / Galveston County / Carl Griffith and Associates meeting from John Johnson to proceed with the HMGP / PA grant writing.
12-11-08: 11:00. We (Caplen Shores POA, Inc.) have officially applied for an SBA loan on 12-11-08. The loan hopefully will be utilized for the 25% matching funds of a FEMA grant.
Our grant administrator firm, Carl Griffith and Associates met with the high level FEMA representatives on Wednesday. I spoke with John Johnson, who was not in the meeting, but was apprised by Carl Griffith of the meetings details. John said "In principal, they (FEMA) are very interested in helping us" (What else would they say). He said they talked specifically about the grandfathering of the roads in Caplen Shores. The end result of the meeting was the agreement to move forward and "put together a meeting with Judge Doyle and the FEMA representative for Galveston County" to determine what can be done for Caplen Shores. Unfortunately for us, setting this meeting up may take some time.
Some signed Amendment to Deed restriction forms have come in. I'll try to post those who have sent them in on this website next week.
12-05-08 11:00 We had a conversation this morning with John Johnson, who will be writing our FEMA grant request. He had his meeting with Galveston County last Monday, but essentially didn't have much to report, however, his firm is meeting with high level FEMA representatives next Wednesday, and will be specifically discussing our issue regarding the grandfathering of Caplen Shores since it was platted in 1982. We still expect that FEMA will fund the repair of the roads at 75/25 and hopefully Galveston County will pick up the 25%, then take over the road maintenance, however, we still believe it would be better to have a FEMA buyout.
Tomorrow, we will be sending out the First Amendment to the Deed Restrictions of Caplen Shores. The document is also posted on this website and it would be very helpful if you would print it out from the webpage, have it notarized, then fax to the number listed. This amendment proposes a 5 member board of directors to establish an official property owner's association under section 201 of the Texas Property Code. We will be posting the amendment documents on www.caplenshores.com Again, it is important to remember that nothing is going to happen to rebuild Caplen Shores subdivision unless we have a 60% majority vote. Therefore, please return the signed and notarized document before December 12, 2008 in order to meet the SBA filing deadline. We are recommending an initial dues schedule of $95.00 per year for beachfront lots 10-18, $75.00 per year for 2nd row lots 19, 20, 37-40, 8, & 9, $50.00 per year for 3rd row lots 21, 41, 36 and 7, $35.00 per year for lots 22, 42, 35 & 6, $25.00 per year for lots 23-25, 43-45, 32-34 and 3-5, and $75.00 per year for commercial lots 1 and 26-31 along Highway 87. Again, these numbers are just a starting point, and must be voted on by the Board of Directors, but at least we're trying. We have determined the known holdouts for voting in the POA are all of the commercial lots along the highway, of which 6 are owned by one person, and that one person also owns lot 42, lot # 1, which has indicated they cannot afford it, lot 17, who has said he is not interested, and lots 2 and 3 who has said he is not interested. We have been unable to contact or locate 3 owners, Nicholas, Norris and Conner, who own 1 lot each. That makes the vote at this point 28 for the POA, and we need 26 votes for the 60%, however, the amendment must be signed and notarized by all owners in order to ratify the amendment.
11-22-08 09:00. I visited the GLO mobile office on Bolivar yesterday. Met with Molly McIiver and Mike Lemonds for about an hour. Very informative meeting. What did I get out of it? I received several handouts, with two being very important to CS. First is the "GLO FAQ's About Emergency Repairs and the Temporary 4.5 Foot Elevation Line" and the second is "HMGP Property Acquisition Nutshell". Neither are available online yet. I will try to scan both and have them posted early next week. In an attempt to encapsulate both, the FAQ's about the 4.5 Foot Elevation line says that properties (land) intersected by the "black line" can be rebuilt with clay. Those that are 100% seaward cannot. This means to me that the front row cannot be rebuilt now, but Molly said they truly expect the black line to move seaward. I have posted the "black line" photo superimposed on "More CS Photos" on the left side of this screen. The second HMGP Property Acquisition essentially reviews the HMGP grant process which we are putting together on our own. Neither of these are available online as of this moment. I'm assuming because they have never been used heavily in Texas up until now. I have attended several conferences on obtaining grant money, so I know it can be done. The bad part about this for some of us, is that all insurance must be considered before a buyout. However, if you just own property, you may be eligible for "Fast Track" buyout at Pre-Ike prices per the "General Rule of thumb to estimate Pre-storm FMV by taking the appraised tax value for structure and land and add 25%". We all know this number is bogus, but it goes on to discuss appraisals, and the approval process for additional money. The one issue it doesn't address is whether CBRA properties are included. Unfortunately for all of us, I'm betting somewhere that it doesn't, but I'm still banking on giving FEMA the option to repair the roads once every 10 years for $1,000,000.00, or give us 2,500,000.00 for Caplen Shores and let them turn it into greenspace.
11-21-08 10:30. The GLO has opened an office on Bolivar that addresses issues such as FEMA buyouts. I encourage anyone who is interested to go there and inquire to obtain their perspective. Remember. FEMA will not buy out your property, since it is in a CBRA area, but since our roads are grandfathered, I highly suspect that FEMA would rather buy us out rather than pay to build a road to nowhere.
I met Chris Gatlin yesterday (Thursday, 10-20-08) at Caplen Shores. We reviewed the plat and what he can do for us. He says he can rebuild the dune using clay, which has previously been prohibited. On top of the clay, their are going to lay 6 inches of sand. According to Chris, Lafitte's Landing has obtain approval to use clay, so we should be able to as well. Another critical step that we were not aware of is that, according to Chris, we only have 6 months to accomplish the work, whereas before, we thought it was one year from the date of Ike. For planning purposes, Chris is charging $16,800.00 per beachfront lot to rebuild the dune. However, bear in mind, Lafitte's Landing had no damage to their road, their 2nd row lots, or their third row lots. In my mind, this is a no brainer if we are able to rebuild the road at FEMA expense, Then comes the cost of repairing the 2nd and third row lots, and figuring out how to work around the one front row lot that is not interested in doing anything. It's the 2nd lot from the SW end (where the dome house was), whereas if it was an end property it would be a little easier to plan around. I think the 2nd row lots will be about $12,800.00 and 3rd row lots would be about $4,800.00, entirely based on my personal observations.
I'm going to repeat myself, but anytime anyone wants to jump in and help, I welcome their opinions and assistance. We want to be very transparent in anything we do, and definitely do not want to end up in a situation where anyone thinks we're doing anything for personal gain at any cost to others. Ask your questions now. Please don't try to armchair quarterback this effort once we're on down the road to recovery. We know this can happen, as it has before. If anyone wants to fully take over our efforts, we would welcome that as well. We might as well say this now, too, since someone is bound to be thinking it. If anyone can dream up any possible way that we can put money in our own pockets through any of our efforts, please let us know so we can dispel any ideas. I personally certify by writing this that no kickbacks, bribes, payoffs or whatever you want to call them will be requested, solicited or accepted for anything associated with the effort to rebuild Caplen Shores or anything associated with same.
We spoke with John Johnson (with our Grant Writing Firm of www.CarlrGriffith.com this morning. They are meeting with Galveston County officials Monday, December 1, 2008 to go over what we are attempting to do. As previously stated, they are writing the grant request for the Rancho Carribe, which as we all know, is in a little different situation than Caplen Shores in that they were platted after the initiation of CBRA in 1989, whereas Caplen Shores was platted in 1982. We still feel very strongly we have a good shot at FEMA assistance, however, John feels they are going to attempt to ask Galveston County to repair and acquire the roads through their FEMA funding. Another excellent word we received from John is they do not charge upfront fees for the grant writing request. They get paid only when we acquire funding. This is great news as far as I'm concerned.
The PPDR forms are out now on www.gcoem.com. If you want the debris removed from your property (and everyone has some), you should fill out this form and send it in.
11-20-08. 10:30. I have been on vacation for a couple of days. I met with Chris Gatlin, who does a significant amount of excavation work at Crystal Beach. He said he is doing a dune restoration at Lafitte's Landing for the 33 front row lots. This is exciting news for those of us who plan to restore Caplen Shores. It appears there is one front row lot owner that does not plan to restore his lot. I'll be meeting with Chris today (Thursday) on site to see exactly what they can do for us. Still no update on the FEMA HMGP funding to buy out CS. One question that comes out quite often from the phone calls I get, is what happens to Caplen Shores if the HMGP grant buys us out. Answer: It's turned into greenspace. One other question is some feel we will get low ball offers from FEMA. First, anything is better than nothing, but I'm still hoping for FMV (Fair Market Value) for my properties, and I have no reason to think it won't happen if we're organized, and every reason in the world to think it won't happen if we don't organize. And again, it's my perception that everyone except the front row has absolutely nothing, and will have nothing for their lifetime unless the road is reconstructed since there is no access to anyone's property.
11-13-08 17:30. As we have said previously, in order to get FEMA assistance, and/or SBA assistance, Caplen Shores must be a specific type of entity. This entity has to be established under Texas Property Code 201.001. Therefore, a petition committee has been formed and we have filed the necessary documents with Galveston County to begin the voting process to establish the entity required to receive FEMA and/or SBA money. Now when you read the petition, please give it a chance before you form an opinion one way or another. Remember, we believe this is the only way we're going to get any money from FEMA/SBA. Please see the official petition by click on "Petition for POA" on the left side of your screen. Again, I know some will be against it, but in the long run, there is absolutely no doubt it will benefit everyone. Please email me or call me as to whether you are for or against establishing this entity to get money for the subdivision. I will make a note of your wishes on the website, so we can know whether we will have a 60% majority vote, which is required. This will keep us from wasting everyone's time and money. Obviously, this will be a voting organization in order to do anything. One major advantage we have as far as cost is that Kelly DiCampli has graciously volunteered her time, experience, and obviously money to handle the finances. Additionally, she is a CPA, and as such, has a fiduciary responsibility to conduct proper financial transactions. Heretofore, property owner's association could be "controlled" by anyone, and that meant they were ripe for financial wrongdoings. I'm sure everyone knows this, but I have to admit I didn't until about 10 years ago, that "fiduciary responsibility" means there is incredible oversight by the state, and an entity that has fiduciary responsibility can lose it's license to practice if there are financial shenanigans. I personally feel very safe in allowing Kelly to handle our finances, and again, we're lucky to have her volunteer to do it. The reason for the POA is not to assess property owners fees, but to have a consensus when it comes to whether we want to have FEMA spend their 75% on the road and Caplen Shores spend our 25%. Again, I think this would be an excellent option, and of course, we'll do everything we can to rebuild the entire subdivision, not just the roads. I prefer to correspond by email, but anyone is welcome to call me at 281-772-1650.
11-12-08 13:00 Spoke with Max Lyons this morning. He had a very good recommendation. Of course, we're still counting on FEMA assistance, and it looks like it will happen if we are able to get our group together, however Max recommended we use an SBA loan to buy 4 dump trucks, get the dirt from either the roadway or buy it if we have to. After we're done, hopefully in a month or so, sell them. I think this is a great idea if FEMA does not come through with any assistance. Obviously, we would have to buy a loader if we get dirt from the roadway, but if we get it from a dirt pit, we can probably more economically pay the pit to load it into our dump trucks. We would then have to buy a maintainer to grade it out. Obviously, a short term lease might be better, but it's so far in the future, it's not worth discussing, especially if we don't get our group together. Keith Zahar is probably hard into the dirt business now that GCM is down for a while. He used to own the dirt pit across from Caplen Shores, but I don't know whether he still owns it or not. I'll try to reach him.
We are also attempting to determine if the entire front row is interested in doing a combined survey and elevation for the entire front row. Please let me know one way or the other if you want it done at a discount if everyone does it. Obviously one holdout will reduce the discount. I will personally have my 2 2nd row lots done at the same time, and if anyone else wants it on the 2nd row, let me know.
11-10-08 10:00. We spoke with John Johnson with Carl Griffith and Associates this morning. Very good conversation. It appears they are willing and able to help us. We'll of course provide updates as they occur. They are local and familiar with Bolivar Peninsula issues.
11-07-08. 17:00 We were informed today by Ron Fonke, with X2 Services, who we are hoping to have do the road repairs, that the county was the one who was prohibiting anyone from taking sand from the roadside, but that he (Ron) had a "deviance" letter from the Texas Department of Transportation to allow him to do so. We're hoping to still be able to get free dirt. We are still attempting to contact John Johnson with Carl Griffith and Associates, Inc. to determine whether they are able to help us with grant writing, however, we have left several messages over the last couple of days, but haven't heard back yet. I understand they are doing a lot of work on Bolivar, which is good for us.
Also, we determined today the SBA loan application deadline has been extended to December 12, 2008, so we have a little breathing room.
11-04-08. Please be sure to take a look at the "Web Links" page to your left. It may answer some of your questions, specifically about FEMA assistance.
Kathleen Carpenter was also guided to call a grant consulting firm named
Carl Griffith & Assoc., He is a past Jefferson County Judge. I spoke with
Bonnie Loiodice from his office today at (409)722-5100. Bonnie said John
Johnson is the local coordinator, and she would be getting our information
to him for analysis.
I also spoke with Dr. John White today. He is an independent professional grant writer. http://www.techwriteinc.com. His information was very valuable, and it sounds like he would be the type of grant writer we are looking for. He estimated his fee for our project to be about $14,000.00, with approximately $4,000.00 to get started. I didn't ask him if this was based on total amount of the estimated $300,000.00 project, but I'll work on getting that answer if we proceed with him. It makes sense to me to use a grant writer. If anyone has a better idea, let me know. I'll post answers to your questions regarding this if you email them to me. He has completed millions of dollars of grant writing, and even though he lives in Michigan, he lived for 30 years in Alabama, so I don't see this a negative factor. He also brought up the fact of completing the engineering needs soon. He mentioned that often engineering firms do the grant writing themselves, which is something I hadn't considered, and I sincerely thank him for being forthcoming with that information even though he admitted it may cost him money in the long run. This says a lot about a persons integrity in my mind. We'll certainly look into that. We cannot use FEMA money for the grant writer, however, my thoughts are that we may be able to obtain an SBA loan for the grant writing. I will look for an answer on that.
10-29-08. It's official. Galveston County has banned the pickup of dirt or sand from the roadside. We didn't get the funding in time to move the free dirt. We will be working on the SBA and FEMA money applications today.
10-26-08. Our membership in the Texas Chapter of The American Shore and Beach Preservation Association has been re-established. We believe this will be a very informative venue for our Caplen Shores neighbors. While not directly benefiting our subdivision, we believe our membership will give us name recognition by the folks that make the decisions, as a viable and progressive subdivision when it comes time for doling out federal and state funds. It will also give us insight as to the actions taken by other coastal states in reaction to hurricane damage. Please see the October newsletter at http://www.asbpa.org/1008asbpa.pdf. Either click on this link or copy-and-paste the entire URL into your Web browser. This link will be valid until the next e-newsletter comes out; after that, back issues are still available in the "Members Only" section of the ASBPA Web site (your user name is "member"; password is "shore1933.").
You can access the ASBPA website by clicking www.asbpa.org. Again, the user name is "member"; and the password is "shore1933."
We have not received a quote yet for the repairs, however, we did "hear" that people were arrested late last week for taking the sand from the side of the road. We're still working to find out Monday the 27th.
You've probably heard about the people the Pacific Legal Foundation sued the GLO on behalf of, and they were "awarded" $40,000.00, but was later overturned. What's important to recognize about this case is the 40K was the removal and or moving of structures from beyond the vegetation line to a lot before the vegetation line. It was not for the actual purchase of the homeowner's land, which was still acquired by the state of Texas.
Are you aware there are people that are working hard to make certain we don't get our land back? See their website at http://www.texasopenbeaches.org/act.htm
10-24-08. I spoke with Mr. James (Wendy) Mires Thursday night regarding joining our efforts. He said he is not interested, and is not interested in selling his property either. He owns lots 2 and 3 in Caplen Shores. The 2nd and 3rd lots on the left as you enter the subdivision. While I'm disappointed, I certainly respect his position. He said he's not sure what he's going to do with them. We did not receive anything from the Public Assistance office today. I should be able to get back to work on the project Monday and hopefully have some better information. We're still hoping the majority of owners will try to help just a little.
10-23-08 06:30. We have not received the paperwork yet for our Public Assistance Request. Hopefully soon. We do want to assure anyone in the subdivision that we always recognize the rights of others. Again, those on the second row on back always joke about someday having beachfront property. As I said before, I own 3rd row property west of Crystal Beach that may be beachfront now. We'll see when the smoke clears. However, putting the subdivision back together 100% is our goal. It is also our goal to do it properly with extreme respect to nature. We recognize the possible impact of the growth or diminishment of the shoreline, however, it is really the final authority of the GLO, but with our assistance, and the assistance of our FEMA Public Assistance coordinator, we now plan to complete the reconstruction in an "environmentally friendly" way. Again, and you're probably tired of hearing us say this, if your lot is not directly located on Highway 87, it may be lost forever if you do not join our efforts. We believe that if we are allowed to reclaim ALL our land by filling in these roads for everyone starting with the 2nd lots from the highway, our contributions in the way of taxes, which in turn benefit millions of people nationwide, will far offset any short term risks associated with our efforts.
10-21-08 20:15. Here's an email we received today from FEMA Public Assistance Office. Still don't know what to make of it. We haven't received the actual paperwork yet.
To: Public Assistance Applicant
From: Richard Harris and Jim Rhoades
Date: 21 October 2008
Re: Disaster Assistance
We have received a Request for Public Assistance from your organization for a disaster. A Checklist has been forwarded to you describing all information needed by this office to initiate your Kickoff meeting and start the determination of your damage and reimbursement. It is necessary for you to immediately return all information listed on the Checklist NOW ! If you have any questions, please call us at the phone numbers listed above.
10-20-08 13:00. I'm in school all week, and may not have too much time to work on CS projects. We will need to get a PPDR from each lot owner to provide to FEMA in order to clean up debris at Caplen Shores. I'll try to write it up later. Please fill it out and fax to me at 713-490-9594. No cover sheet required.
10-19-08 14:00 I received a letter today that said Lloyds will no longer write insurance for Caplen Shores. In case you didnít know it, Lloydís was the insurer of last resort for flood policies since we are in a CBRA area. One of our Caplen Shores Property Ownerís sent an email today wanting to know what a CBRA area is. In short, it means Coastal Barrier Resources Act. (Some refer to it as COBRA). Most of the beach is not CBRA, however, Caplen Shores, Rancho Carribe and The Biscayne are all within CBRA areas. It essentially means that anyone who builds on property deemed to be within the CBRA area after 1989 cannot get NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) flood coverage. Without flood coverage within the 100 year flood plain, (anywhere at the beach) you canít get a mortgage, and you run the risk of losing everything, as we recently did. You also canít get any assistance from FEMA in the event of a loss. By the way, FEMA did already pay approximately $28,300.00 to anyone that didnít have any insurance, who owned a home at the beach, and were not in a CBRA area.
Folks, hereís another possibility, since our subdivision is worthless, and probably will be permanently: Maybe we can sell out lock stock and barrel to a developer / investor, or oil company who has money and doesnít need flood insurance (self insured) if we have 100% participation. We are in a unique position rarely seen on the market. I donít think itís out of the question. Take a look at my thoughts by clicking on "Sell Out" page on the left side of this webpage.
10-16-08 19:30. We attended the Rebuild Bolivar meeting on Wednesday in Beaumont. We learned enough and made enough contacts to make it worthwhile. Will be making further updates and commentary hopefully on Friday, but it may be Saturday or Sunday before we can complete a report. Today, Butch Harris, my brother in law, and supervisor at http://www.brystar.com, was kind enough to donate half his day to help us, even though his firm is committed to municipal contracts and can't do the work. His SWAG was that we would need to move approximately 20,000 cubic yards of sand to complete the project, with 10,200 going to the road. He said it would cost about $4.00 per yard (minimum) to move the dirt. Remember, the dirt may be free if we move fast and get it off the side of the road. Otherwise, we're probably looking at double the cost.
10-14-08 22:32 Possible great news from the SBA. Kathleen Carpenter attended the SBA meeting. Please see the reader comments section. Let's keep our fingers crossed. We'll be working on it for everyone! Thank you Kathleen!
10-14-08 12:00. All of the required documentation has been submitted with the exception of the State Tax exemption form. Now we're waiting on them.
10-13-08 12:00. We have submitted our official Application for Public Assistance, and it has been acknowledged received by the Texas state official that sent it to us. We may have some help from several sources. Kathleen Carpenter has volunteered to meet with the SBA on Tuesday at 13:00 to discuss our possibilities. We are going to meet with the judge and county commissioner at 16:00 in Beaumont on Wednesday, and then hopefully with at least one contractor on Thursday to give us advice. Kelly DiCampli has located one of her clients who may have the capability to help us out as well. Again, the biggest part of doing it on our own is the liability if we damage someone's property (i.e. water lines / fiber optic cables, pipelines, etc. which might be along the Highway 87 right of way. If we hire a contractor to do it, the liability moves to him (in theory),
10-11-08 19:00: We're almost ready to submit our official Application for Public Assistance. Remember, it's matching funds! We plan to submit it on Monday, even though it's a holiday. I have to work at my real job all day Monday, and may not be able to attend, but can someone please attend the meeting at 13:00 on Tuesday at Tiki Bar? I'm taking the first flight I can on Tuesday AM to get there, but I may be late. It's an SBA meeting, and we all know the SBA deals primarily with loans, but with a combination of what we've done so far, it's not out of the questions that we may be able to proceed down that avenue. I hope to see you there. I'll probably be the only 6'4" 50 year old red head there. Please say hello.
10-11-08 09:30. We have received the complete application package (5 sections) for Public Assistance. We will spend the weekend filling it out. Please do your part by sending in your contribution. If you donate more than the requested amount, your contribution will be noted and will be apportioned evenly. And of course, in the unfortunate event the effort is disbanded without expenditure of funds, you will receive the additional excess portion above the requested amount back. Remember, we're unpaid volunteers working for you! You can't use the excuse that "you know what you're doing" because that wouldn't be true. We have no clue, but at least we're doing something.
10-10-08 09:30. The FEMA request for Public Assistance has been received per the following email from the State of Texas:
Rcvd, thanks for the e-mail Ė will begin processing ASAP.
Texas GDEM - State Public Assistance
Even if we are unable to get FEMA assistance, I'm praying there's more funding that Greg can refer us to. Remember, we probably will need matching funds.
If anyone is interested in selling out, there MAY be interested parties at POST IKE values. Please contact Kelly DiCampli directly by email at email@example.com Please let her know what lot and location. She and Jim may also be interested in purchasing some lots but the buy out of lots will be very low. She also has a client looking to buy. If you're interested in selling, please let me know the lot and price and I'll post it at no commission on this website.
Some have asked why we're working so hard for the back row owners as much as the front row owners. Our position is that the subdivision is completely dead with little chance of survival. We understand the 3rd row and back would have no real interest in spending money on behalf of the first and second row owners. We can't really say we wouldn't feel the same way ourselves, but then we realize that if the people with the most to lose (first and second row) don't spend any money at all, the third row on back will definitely be dead entirely due to the loss of the road. We're hoping everyone in the subdivision understands this.
10-09-08 21:00. We have formally submitted a Request for Public Assistance, FEMA Form 90-49. We have no idea whether we submitted it to the right place or not. Supposedly, it's the starting point. We'll see what happens, and we'll try to follow up tomorrow. Again, we don't have a clue what we're doing, so we're having to learn "on the job". Therefore, don't get your hopes up, but at least we're trying to accomplish something on behalf of all of the owners of Caplen Shores.
10-09-08 13:00 Spoke with Keith Downs, who was just about to complete an $800,000.00 custom home on the SW corner of Caplen Shores. Keith is in essentially in agreement with me. It won't be possible to cost effectively move the dirt we need to move with anything less than major dirt moving equipment such as bulldozers and excavators. He has seen the damage. His approximate estimate to fill in the roads is $100,000.00 for the dirt alone if we have to buy it later on. We're probably talking about $1000.00 per day minimum to move the dirt from Highway 87 onto Caplen Shores Drive and Caplen Shores Circle with 5-7 days work. Remember, this still really doesn't help the front row at all. It may only help with the 2nd row and behind to the highway. Looking for suggestions.
10-08-08 20:00. According to Pat Doyle, County Commissioner, we're going to need a letter from all lot owners to clean up debris by Crowder Gulf, the cleanup contractor. I'll work on this as soon as I can. They are working west from High Island. If we miss them when they go by, we may be out of luck.
10-08-08 08:00. I'll be working all day today at the job that pays me money. Have to take a day off from my Caplen Shores "job". I'll try to get back to work for you Thursday, at no charge of course. If I knew how to drive any kind of dirt mover, I would do it voluntarily, but I don't. Does anyone know how in the event we can rent one?
Update: 10-07-08 11:30. I just spoke with Lee Crowder, Galveston County Road and Bridge Manager. He confirmed my fears. He reiterated that we are a private subdivision, and we're "On our own". The county will not help. Kathleen Carpenter has some short term ideas that I have posted on the "Reader Comments" section of www.caplenshores.com , such as hiring someone to move the dirt from the roadside that is probably ours anyway, but it won't be free. I think it's going to be more expensive than many of our property owners are going to want to pay, even though they have lost their property. I have a call in to Kerry Kipp, TXDot Maintenance Supervisor to get permission to move the dirt/sand from the side of the road, but if someone has any other ideas, please let me know. If someone knows someone with a cheap front end loader, there's a chance we can at least move some of the dirt/sand from both sides of Highway 87. I think it might not be a good idea to spend our funds on our own without matching SBA or other money that we may need to match down the road. However, we might consider pushing all the sand off the right of way onto Caplen Shores Proper, but I'm not sure about that, either.
I spoke with Kerry Kipp at noon today. He said "Do what you've got to do" when I asked him if we could take the sand/dirt and place it back on our roads, so now we've got to decide whether we want to spend the money to do that or not as a group. He said his people won't bother us. Hopefully, we will get some SBA money, but we've got to decide what to do if we don't. Also, if we hire someone to move the dirt now, we won't have to pay for the dirt part at least, only for the movement of it. Probably looking at a ton of money to do it however.
Update: 10-04-08 23:00. Dan met with SBA representatives in High Island this afternoon, and will be attempting to complete the necessary applications tomorrow. We still need an additional $150.00 for the $250.00 annual membership dues in the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association. You will then have access to the "Member Section of the ASBPA website. If you can send $50.00 in addition to the requested $100.00 per lot, please send a separate check designating "ASBPA" to Caplen Shores POA, Inc. 3000 Richmond Ave., Suite 270 Houston, TX 77098. Again, the ASBPA can be a significant voice for our efforts. Even if we go over, we'll send it to the ASBPA to apply to next years membership. We hate to keep revisiting this, but remember, unless you have a lot on Highway 87. Your lots will never be accessible again without major, and we're talking in the hundreds of thousands, if not in the millions, work, and the county has no responsibility to us. Our only chance is to group together and find the answers. We have personally attended several grant workshops, so we know the money is there for a lot more crazy things. It's all in the presentation. Read on.
We have contacted John Lee to attempt to get the county to dump all the sand and dirt they have piled on the sides of the road for miles and miles along 87 into Caplen Shores River.
Update: 10-03-08 20:00 We have incorporated Caplen Shores POA, Inc. and received our EIN, but we still need your donations to move forward. I will be applying to FEMA over the weekend in the first move. As I reminder, we are working free for you, the property owners of Caplen Shores. Is anyone else doing anything for you? I can answer that. No. As a reminder, Kelly, Robert and Dan are non paid volunteers. We will not take a dime of the Association's money. Zip. It will all be used to fund the furtherance of our efforts to obtain money from outside source. There are lots of them, but if we're not a majority, it simply isn't going to happen, and we need your donation to move forward.
Update: 10-02-08 20:00 We still need your donations. Please help us work for you and send your $100.00 per lot today to DiCampli and Associates, PC (see address below) to get us off the ground. We still are looking at all the possibilities. In 2005 FEMA paid 3.6 million to buy out 11 flooded properties in Tennessee. I wouldn't have a problem with that, but it may not be possible since we are a CBRA area. When we apply for the FEMA money, we will only list those properties who have assisted us in this effort by paying your $100.00 to help us get started. We need more than just the $400.00 for the incorporation. Even if we get it, we must continue our efforts, so if you can afford $100.00, please help. If you can't afford it, we'll understand. Please excuse us if we sound cynical, but we are definitely in dire straights. The county will not help (someone please prove me wrong) since we are a private subdivision, and direct state help is out of the question. You pay lots of money in taxes to the county and get absolutely nothing in return. If you pay your $100.00 per lot, at least you've got a chance. See the "Web Links" section of this website for FEMA Public Assistance Program Information.
Please read the "Reader Comments", which might turn into a Q&A. Remember, I don't have all the answers. I have 10 different adjusters. 5 Windstorm and 5 Flood. The crazy part is some adjust for both, but they don't assign them to the same house. Just another way they are going to screw those of us who have homes and rental properties on the peninsula and elsewhere affected by Ike. Just today, I had one adjuster tell me NFIP National Flood Insurance Program) is going to cover up to the base of the house and TWIA (Texas Windstorm Insurance Association) is going to cover the rest, and another one said flood is going to cover up to the base of the ceiling and TWIA will cover the roof. Just another way to hold up payments so I am forced to take their offer. My P&I is still accruing daily at about $300.00 a day. These are just the things one doesn't think about. I also purchased "ACV" Actual Cash Value" insurance rather than replacement cost coverage. Never realized that ACV doesn't really mean Actual Cash Value, but as informed by the adjusters over the last couple of weeks that if I would have read the fine print, it means Actual Depreciated Cash Value. What a bunch of crap.
We have had one other "pledge" of $100.00, but until we have the money to DiCampli and Associates, we really can't do anything. Some good news is that an NPO is less than a regular corporation, so that might help.
I have been dialing the Galveston County Road and Bridge department for a week now. No answer or busy.
Update: 10-01-08 11:30
Kelly DiCampli has been nominated as Treasurer, Robert Spong as Vice President and Dan Jacobs as President. Still awaiting $200.00 pledge to get going.
Update: 09-30-08 15:00
Kelly DiCampli (Lot 13 at Caplen Shores) is a CPA, and has volunteered to be treasurer. She is not technically a homeowner, but her husband Jim DiCampli, holds title as sole and separate property, but I personally see no problem with that. Kelly has said she will set up a Non Profit Organization, (NPO). We may decide to call it Caplen Shores FEMA Money Acquisition Association, LLC., so please don't read too much into a name. It will most likely be an LLC but it's up to Kelly. She will set it up as an officer of the corporation (she won't be providing legal assistance) at a cost of $400.00, which as you probably know is her cost ($325.00 filing plus $75.00 for the corporate book). Even more importantly, she has volunteered her company's time and efforts to maintain the corporate books and accounting. Since she has volunteered to do this, can someone please help me pay her for this? If so, please send whatever you can (I'm sending $100.00 today), but we need to really have at least $100.00 from 10-15 people in order to begin properly sending out voluntary NPO dues invoices, as we will have to purchase a current database of property owners, then mail out the statements, and we certainly can't ask her to pay for those direct costs. Please don't let the word "dues" bother you it's really a donation. The term is used for NPO purposes only. If you want to call it something else, we will. If you can send more, please do so and we'll ask her to even it out as we go along to:
DiCampli & Associates, P.C. Attention: Caplen Shores NPO. 3000 Richmond Ave., Suite 270 Houston, TX 77098. Please note your lot number on your check. If you don't know what it is, call or email firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll help you figure it out.
Once you have sent your money, please let Dan Jacobs know you have done so, and I will place your name on the website and the amount contributed. If you're not interested in helping, or you think we're going in the wrong direction, please let me know. If you have any concerns about what we're doing, please let me know.
Thanks, Dan and Kelly
Update: September 30, 2008. 06:00 Under Texas GLO rules, Section 15.17, we have 120 days to get our dunes rebuilt, with a possible 60 day extension. The time to move on the information I have provided below is now.
Update: September 29, 2008. Personal visit to Caplen Shores. I have spent the last 3 days combing the area around Caplen Shores, and walking in a northwest direction (the debris field) all the way to the intracoastal waterway. There is virtually nothing recoverable. I found a little lighthouse (It may be mine, but I'm not sure), from "The Cottage" in Beaumont. I found some ladders, but they're pretty messed up. There was lots of siding and roofing materials from our houses, but nothing useable. I'll try post some photos and videos later.
The worst part is the loss of access to all of the subdivision except those lots directly on Highway 87. In his quest to keep costs of development low when it was build in the eighties, Andrew Johnson, (deceased) the developer, decided not to pave the streets, thereby preventing us from obtaining any county maintenance. As you probably know, the subdivision went bankrupt, as well as Mr. Johnson. Of course the positive aspect of this is that we were a private subdivision. We got an estimate about 2 years ago to pave the roads. That estimate was $150,000.00. It's hard to say, but that might have saved us if we had done it then. For those of you who have not seen it, the dirt "roads", with the exception of the east west section on the north side, are totally gone. The two north south sections are literally 15 foot deep rivers. Synopsis? We're screwed. We've all joked about "someday my second row property will be beachfront". Well, that didn't happen. Even the 2nd row is completely gone. If you've got third row property, you now have beachfront property. Nice, you think? Not really. You're landlocked. You have no access to your property. If the GLO has it's way, you can never build on it because of the new laws Patterson has attempted to legislate, enforce, whatever the case (which were deferred for 120 days last week), that call for setback lines based on the percentage of annual erosion. Caplen Shores was a receding beach prior to Ike. I would think it's possible we could be considered an accreting beach post Ike, but this is a total guess. Again, in my opinion, this is legal theft (not eminent domain) by the state WITHOUT any compensation. In my estimation, and I'm not trying to sound cynical, unless we act now, you will have to own at least 5th or 6th row property to even have a chance of building on it as long as Jerry Patterson is in office at the GLO. And that's only if you can rebuild the entrance road for about 200 feet to make the right turn onto Caplen Shores Circle. My estimate is that 200 foot section will cost at least 100K. My estimation (WAG) is that it will cost approximately 2-5 million to repair the land and pave the roads. It's not out of the question, but virtually impossible without federal assistance. Again, the state hopes we give up. I'm just not ready.
Nevertheless, our only hope is the formation of an POA in order to possibly get FEMA money to reconstruct our roads, and possibly build up the front end. I met with John Lee, Galveston County Emergency Management official, on September 25, 2008. He knows more about Bolivar than just about anyone, and is a proponent of the peninsula. Jerry Patterson, the GLO Commissioner, would just as soon scrape us off the face of the earth. John pretty much said the same thing. Caplen Shores is screwed without help.
The issue of the Geotube may be of some help as rulings come down from above. The Geotube is / was erected by the county with some state funding. As many of you know, Galco had recently requested 40 million to fun the Geotube all the way to near Rancho Carribe. I think this would be important for the redevelopment of Bolivar, however, there are many ways it could be redeveloped.
So, in my opinion, the only way we're going to get help is to form an POA and apply to FEMA for help. Once we obtain FEMA money, we might be able to hire legal help, and then engineering help. Here's the problem. I don't have any money to do it personally. I do have, and would be willing to make monthly voluntary dues contributions to the POA of at least $10.00, and maybe based on the type of property (First row, $25.00, 2nd row $20.00, Third row $15.00, etc.. My mortgages and mortgage payments go on but my rentals don't. I thought I was properly insured, but it now appears that I'm underinsured by far more than I knew. Bottom line, if someone wants to pony up the money to incorporate Caplen Shores POA, LLC as a NPO, I'll personally do the legwork and chase down FEMA money. Someone (Sec Tres.) will need to set up the books for the NPO and maintain them. Once incorporated, I will apply on behalf of the corporation (if I am listed as president) I won't do it without a VP and Secretary/Treasurer for NPO oversight reasons. I do think we should hire an attorney who is familiar with our needs, such as Mary Bath Nelson. Obviously, there will be no guarantees as to how long or how much it will cost to repair Caplen Shores, or even if it can be repaired. With the road problem, all but the properties directly on Highway 87 are now landlocked with absolutely no access. If we get FEMA money, we may be eligible to get matching COASTAL EROSION PLANNING & RESPONSE ACT (CEPRA) funds from offshore oil drilling. Generally, from what I know, CEPRA funds have to be matched 25% by the homeowners to be obtained. Therefore, if we need two million to repair the subdivision, then we'll need 500K from FEMA. But, at that point, we'll have county roads, and they will be maintained by the county. I for one, as owner of both front row and second row properties, believe the front row needs to be rebuilt if possible.
Here's what we need. Someone email or call me and let me know if you'll do it.
1. Money and or lawyer to incorporate and maintain Caplen Shores POA, LLC, a non profit organization.
2. Someone to volunteer to set up the books and bank account. DONE! Thanks Kelly DiCampli. Maybe some of our group is looking for a caring CPA for themselves!
3. Someone to set up and maintain a monthly mailing list to property owners.
4. Someone to send out a monthly newsletter. Yes, I will still update everything on the website, but many people like to see something on paper if they are sending money to a HOA or POA.
5. Hire grant coordinator using initial FEMA money to obtain CEPRA and other state mandated channels such as Coastal Impact and Assistance Program (CIAP). This is not state money. Remember, the state wants us gone, but they have no choice other than to grant us funding if we meet the criteria originally mandated for certain funds such as CEPRA.
6. Hire engineering firm using FEMA money to redevelop Caplen Shores.
This will not be an POA as most of us know it, at least initially. The exclusive reason to do it is to obtain FEMA money for repair. Again, I don't know if it will work or not, but it's our only hope. The reason it won't be a POA that charges mandatory dues is because of the lack of interest (see below) of the majority of the property owners. I understand their position. For the most part, many of them are just sitting on lots they bought for $1,500.00 years ago and don't really care. Of course, it's possible, now that 90% of the subdivision's 44 lots are "dead" due to the elimination of the roads, that a proper POA could be voted in. See Attorney Mary Beth Nelson's information about POA formation below. We'll obviously have to give up our "private subdivision" status, but unless we do, I'm 99% certain we have no hope of ever using or selling our property.
I'm also asking that someone renew our membership in the Texas Shore and Beach Preservation Association. I paid for it last year, but just don't have the money. If you can pay even $50.00 toward our membership, if they don't receive it the full amount required for membership, I would think you could get your money back. http://asbpa.org/membership/membership_who_are_we.htm. It's a voice that we don't have that we could really use. It also gives us information about what other states are doing with their shoreline. Unfortunately for Texas, with our shallow shelf, it is conducive to hurricane surge, but hopefully not within any of our lifetimes again.
Here are some photos. I have lots of videos. If you want them, email me.
The photos really don't show you how deep the Caplen Shores Drive "River" is. The first two were taken of the foundation of "Pink Paradise" from across Caplen Shores Drive, which you can see is now a 15 foot deep river. The third is looking SE down Caplen Shores Drive, and the fourth is looking north toward Highway 87 Click on photos to enlarge.
Please excuse my punctuation, spelling and grammar. I'm not a writer.
Ike Emergency Announcements
Texas General Land Office
Thursday, September 25, 2008
GLO Post Ike Emergency Rules summarized
AUSTIN - The day Hurricane Ike hit the Texas coast, Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson issued emergency rules that allow coastal property owners to immediately begin work to stabilize and repair structures damaged by Hurricane Ike.
A brief summary of those rules follows:
At the present time, LOV determinations are not needed for emergency repairs except for dune restoration or septic system repairs.
This is a summary. Please refer to the complete rules at www.glo.state.tx.us (select "Ike Hurricane Response").
Contact the local permitting authority before commencing any activity. A permit detailing specifically what is to be done will need to be issued.
Send mail to
questions or comments about this web site.