Kemah Boardwalk neighbors not amused with coaster in back yard

Posted Thursday, September 6, 2007 8:37 AM | Contributed by eightdotthree

A Texas boardwalk roller coaster is an attraction, but comes within feet of some people's homes.

See the video from CNN.

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Thursday, September 6, 2007 9:15 AM
I don't feel sorry for them after hearing they could have sold their land.
Thursday, September 6, 2007 10:16 AM
I was at the ACE dinner at KI this year when they did the presentation on this ride. They kept saying how close it was to everything around it. They had to keep changing the ride to accomodate all. I am very impressed by what I have seen. But you talk about a backyard coaster, this is really one. Agree that these people could have sold out.
Thursday, September 6, 2007 11:11 AM
Speaking of KI, if you drive around into that one neighborhood down Western Row Drive heading east, both parts of The Beast and Vortex seem to be very close to those property lines! So what gives!?
Thursday, September 6, 2007 1:27 PM
Selling their land isn't a perfect solution. In their eyes, the quality of life is diminished either way. Move away from the place they live (and presumably like) or deal with a giant noisy thing in your backyard.
Thursday, September 6, 2007 1:32 PM
At the KI Ace presentation Gravity Group mentioned serveral times about how they had to constantly change designs and layouts due to many requests and standards imposed upon them. I am sure they did all they could and that the neighbors had enough time and say. My guess is that they just want a little sympathy now that it is open and a little air time.
Thursday, September 6, 2007 2:09 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar Just because they were given an offer, doesn't mean it was a good one. And it's not like up and moving is something you can just do on a whim.
Thursday, September 6, 2007 3:49 PM
Jeff's avatar Do any of you actually own your own house?
Thursday, September 6, 2007 5:47 PM
"Speaking of KI, if you drive around into that one neighborhood down Western Row Drive heading east, both parts of The Beast and Vortex seem to be very close to those property lines! So what gives!?"

It's not as close as it looks. There's a lot of land between Beast and the property line over there.

Thursday, September 6, 2007 7:11 PM
I own my own house! :) It sounds like CNN needed a story and invented one. I didn't see the owners of the house saying how much they hated the ride being so close. It was just some real estate chick that said "no one would want to live here". Obviously that's not true because like the story shows, at least one person would like to live there. My house is next to a freight rail. I don't mind it at all. Other people think it's annoying as hell. Different strokes for different folks!
Thursday, September 6, 2007 7:34 PM
Jeff's avatar It wasn't a CNN story. It was done by an affiliate, and as a local story, it was newsworthy.

There's a distinct difference between moving in next to something like this and having it built around you after you moved in.

Thursday, September 6, 2007 8:09 PM
If the residents were so worried about it, why weren't they voicing their concerns on the local news story? It sounded like a fluff piece to me. At least in the story from California about no screaming, the local residents were seen talking about their concerns, showing how important it was to them. Either the story has no real merit or the local news station does a horrible job of reporting.
Thursday, September 6, 2007 8:32 PM
Jason Hammond's avatar ^Exactly. If the residents were concerned, they would likely have been on the video as well. So since the owners wouldn't talk, they got a realtor to talk.
Thursday, September 6, 2007 9:28 PM
kpjb's avatar Maybe they filmed it during the day when they were at work... maybe they're sick of it and fed up with voicing their concerns since it did no good up to this point.
Thursday, September 6, 2007 9:48 PM
Jason Hammond's avatar A news crew wanting to get the juciest story, would have been willing to accommodate the schedule of the owners if they were willing to talk. For what ever reason they did not talk, I would be willing to bet it wasn't just because they were at work.
Thursday, September 6, 2007 10:12 PM
Jeff's avatar Wait, so you call shoddy reporting, then ask why the residents weren't sought for comment.
Thursday, September 6, 2007 11:34 PM
Shoddy reporting would consist of not seeking out the neighbors of the coaster for a story about people living next to a coaster, yes. If they didn't wish to comment, they could have easily said, "the owners of this house wished not to appear on camera, but made the following statement..."
Friday, September 7, 2007 12:03 AM
I don't know whether the park was there first or the houses, although the one house looked fairly new. And the house looks pretty close to the boundary line itself, but I don't know how large the lots are or how much room they actually have to build elsewhere on the lot.

It looks like on one hand the city has a crappy zoning ordinance that allows two incompatible uses to butt up against each other with little buffer between them. If I had a say in it, I'd make the house lots deeper with a wider setback to the rear, and require both zones to install some kind of buffer on their lots.

As it appears, whatever the park did, it was done legally in compliance with the zoning and they got no special treatment or favors. I'm sure they were subjected to a very thorough review process too before being allowed to build the coaster. They're allowed to use their land to the fullest extent allowed by the law.

On the other hand, I'd blame the house builder and realtors. To assume that the park would leave a strip of land hundreds of feet wide unused and never build anything there is pretty stupid. And I'd bet if anyone showed the slightest interest in one of those houses, Ms. Realtor would swear up and down there's no noise or other kind of problem with them.


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