Googlemaps is participatory - anyone can upload any tagging information that they want, and unless it is inappropriate or challenged by others, it seems to persist. But that fact alone doesn't necessarily make it easy to track the backstory or the instigators in a case like this, so I just left this issue alone figuring that the makers would make themselves apparent sooner or later.
|I figured it might be someone connected to the existing developments, because additional wetland set-asides are evident within the older neighborhoods just south of the undeveloped area shown above. |
Screengrabbed from Googlemaps.
|You'll notice that they use the phrase "significant nexus" in that last line. Ordinarily that might mean pretty much everything from a regulatory standpoint, but we are not currently living in strictly ordinary times as the following Wikipedia grab suggests. |
Screengrabbed from the Galveston Baykeeper website.
|A discussion of the particulars is way, waaay beyond the scope of this blog (some would argue that it's so complicated that it's beyond the scope of any blog). Suffice it to say that both the regulatory and the biological issues are not clear and not necessarily as settled as some might claim or hope. |
Screengrabbed from Wikipedia.
I'm digressing obviously, but the current bottom line on this court case is that it will be interesting to watch what happens here. I myself wouldn't count any given outcome as a done deal just yet.
In this September 2013 post, I joked about owning a piece of "the original" Space Center Blvd. extension above CLC Blvd. A $2 million grade-related construction mistake forced the developers to rip out a large section of the original paving because it was built at too low an elevation. Many of us who lived in north Clear Lake at the time took full recreational advantage of the fact that the right of way lay abandoned for months and months, making it wonderful for biking, hiking, sports, etc. I remember quite clearly the construction area being peppered with wetland delineation signs on either side of the faulty right-of-way. Those signs suggested that at least some of the wetlands in that area are, in fact, jurisdictional, but I don't have any information on the extent of it.
DISCLAIMER: As usual, this blog presents personal observations and editorializing only. I have no personal or professional connections to either of the parties named in the litigation referenced above. Neither am I a wetlands expert - and I wouldn't want to be, because that area of regulatory administration is too complicated, too mercurial, and too intensely politicized for my taste. I just know from casual reading that it is unsettled and constantly evolving.