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Chamber Advocates For Pro-Business Environment Regarding New Land Development Regulations

Dear Chamber Members,

DocumentThe Chamber’s LDR Committee has worked tirelessly reviewing and communicating updates to our membership and city staff for well over two and half years now. The Chamber’s Mission since 1845 is to Promote and Advocate for Business and Community Development…it’s the reason we were established and we take that seriously. These regulations could affect our businesses ability to do business now and in the future. Our members are not just business owners, but neighbors, employees, young professionals and individuals who have a vested interest in the future of property rights in Galveston. Many members of the City Council made a commitment to the business community to promote a pro-business environment and we are hopeful that they keep their promises. We encourage all businesses to attend the City Council meeting this Thursday at 9:00 a.m. to voice their support of the Chamber’s Resolution.

Here’s what you need to know about Thursday’s meeting:

  • http://www.cityofgalveston.org/159/Planning-Department – On this page is a running list of the edits being made to the originally proposed recommendations presented by the Planning Commission. These edits are Council recommendations.
  • At the meeting Thursday they will first make a motion to adopt the Planning Commission’s recommendations. Once carried they can then make a motion to make amendments to the document. Those amendments will likely be the edits you see on the website above and any new edits that Council brings forward in the meeting.
  • Once approved the new regulations, and the amendment’s recommended by Council that are approved, will immediately take the place of the currently adopted regulations that have been in place since 1991. This is why it is so important to make your voice heard at this meeting! If you cannot attend the meeting in person you can watch it online at http://www.cityofgalveston.org/420/G-TV.

See you Thursday,

Gina M. Spagnola, IOM

At a special called meeting of the Board of Directors of the Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce on March 2, 2015 at 3 p.m. with special guests representing the Advocacy Committee and the C-Crew, those in attendance participated in a long a spirited discussion on the current status of the proposed Land Development Regulations for the City of Galveston.

It was the consensus of those in attendance that the process currently underway by the Galveston City Council to modify the LDR as originally presented by the Galveston Planning Commission last fall was clearly not in the best interest of the business community and would negatively impact individual property rights and values.

In keeping with the unanimous support of those in attendance the following resolution is presented for consideration by the full Board of directors of the Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce for presentation to the Galveston City Council.


The Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce is committed to its mission to Promote and Advocate for Business and Community Development. In keeping with this commitment The Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce believes that the proposed Land Development Regulations will have a significant long term impact on both business development and community development in Galveston. In support of local business development, residential property rights, encouraging new investment and expanding the local tax base the following resolution is presented to the Galveston City Council.


That the Board of Directors of the Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce:

Strongly Recommends that the City of Galveston adopt the Land Development Regulations and Maps as originally proposed by the Planning Commission to City Council last fall

Further Recommends that the Galveston City Council maintain the Urban Neighborhood designation for those neighborhoods so identified in the originally recommended maps presented by the Planning Commission to the City Council. The Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce has determined that the designation of Urban Neighborhood for these areas is in the best interest of both the property owners and the taxiing entities for the maintenance and improvement of these properties, flexibility of use and to encourage expanded investment and redevelopment in these areas.

Further Recommends that the City of Galveston adopt appropriate procedures for any neighborhood desiring to restrict certain uses such as short term rentals with a new zoning designation subsequent to a 75% vote by parcel of the impacted property owners.

SIGNED THIS 3 day of March, 2015


Prior Resolutions Passed and Taken To Council:
October 21:Resolution on Short-Term Vacation Rental Registration
October 21: Resolution on City Council Committee and Board Appointments Policy
September 16: Resolution on Proposed New Land Regulation for the City of Galveston

Galveston Invited to Participate in US-Japan Grassroots Exchange

Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 2.37.03 PMCommunity Leaders to Participate in Three-Year Dialogue and Exchange Program

(GALVESTON, TX) March 2, 2015 – Galveston leaders of local grassroots/nonprofit organizations, local government groups, and business groups involved in post-disaster community rebuilding have been invited to partake in a three-year dialogue and travel exchange project.  Five delegates from Galveston will participate in the program along with delegations from New Orleans, Louisiana and Miyako and Kobe, Japan.  Galveston organizations invited to participate in the program and their representatives include:

  • St. Vincent’s House – Reverend Freda Marie Brown, Executive Director
  • Gulf Coast Interfaith – Joe Compian, Community Organizer/Leader/Board Member
  • Artist Boat – Betty Massey, President of the Board of Directors
  • City of Galveston – Dustin Henry, Project Manager
  • Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce – Gina Spagnola, President

In June, the Galveston delegation will accompany their New Orleans counterparts in traveling to Japan to learn of the disaster recovery efforts taking place in Miyako following the 2011 Tohuko earthquake and tsunami, and in Kobe, which was located at the epicenter of the 1995 Great Hanshin earthquake.  In March 2016 the Japanese delegations will visit New Orleans and Galveston to learn of recovery efforts taking place in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina (2005) and Ike (2008), respectively.  All delegation members will then be invited to join in a dialogue at a capstone program at the University of Pennsylvania in the fall of 2017. The exchange program is being organized by the East-West Center, an institution with the mission of promoting better relations and understanding among the people of the United States, Asia, and the Pacific through cooperative study, research, and dialogue.  Funding for this program is provided by the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership, an organization established to promote collaboration between the people of Japan, the United States, and beyond in order to address issues of global concern.  For more information about the East-West Center, please visit http://www.eastwestcenter.org/. For additional information, please contact Dustin Henry at (409) 797-3672 or henrydus@cityofgalveston.org.

Lemonade Day kickoff event set for Thursday

Lemonade Day Galveston County 2015 gets under way this Thursday, January 29 with an annual Kickoff Event as part of this year’s Step Up for Education Expo.

The event, which will take place from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at Central Middle School, 3014 Sealy Ave. in Galveston, is a chance to learn more about Lemonade Day Galveston County and register to participate in this year’s events.

The Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce is proud to present the fourth annual Lemonade Day Galveston County on Sunday, May 3, 2015. On this day, more than 850 children from across Galveston County will become entrepreneurs by setting up lemonade stands. By May 3, these children will have been preparing for weeks by learning the lessons of owning and operating a business, such as setting goals, planning, budgeting, finding an investor, running their business and so much more.

Lemonade Day Galveston County, which is an initiative of the Galveston Regional Chamber’s Education Committee, empowers today’s youth to become tomorrow’s entrepreneurs. Youth of all ages – from pre-K through high school, across Galveston County can register to set up an official Lemonade Day stand. Upon registering, participants receive a backpack with an entrepreneur workbook that teaches the 14 lessons of Lemonade Day. Participants can register online at http://galveston.lemonadeday.org or visit the Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce at 23rd Street and Mechanic in Downtown Galveston.

There are also numerous ways that local businesses can get involved. For instance, your company can donate money, mentor kids, serve as a site location and so much more. Just $100 can provide the supplies needed for 10 kids to participate in Lemonade Day Galveston County. If you are interested in helping, please contact the Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce at (409) 763-5326 or connect with us at http://galveston.lemonadeday.org


World Renowned Kashmere Stage Band to Headline Annual Meeting

World Renowned Kashmere Stage Band to Headline Annual Meeting

Galveston Island, TX (January 8, 2015) – The Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce has a special guest on board the “Soul Train” this Friday, January 16! The Kashmere High School Stage Band, featured in the Jamie Foxx movie “Thunder Soul,” will be the headlining act at the Chamber’s 169th Annual Meeting and Gala.

In the early 1970s, national High School Stage Band competitions were fiercely competitive, strictly conservative, and almost entirely white. Conrad O. Johnson, widely known as “Prof”, was Music Director at the predominantly black Kashmere High School in Houston, Texas. Not only did he break the color barrier and get his kids into these competitions, he flipped the status quo by rearranging all of his band’s music into elaborate funk arrangements. From 1968 to 1977, the Kashmere Stage Band won a record number of titles around the nation and was invited to perform in Europe and Japan. Prof and the band made history when they won Most Outstanding Stage Band in the Nation at the highly prestigious All-American High School Stage Band Festival in Mobile, Alabama, in 1972 – the very same year that state’s segregationist Governor George Wallace would announce a run for the presidency.

Presented by Jamie Foxx, the movie “Thunder Soul” followed the extraordinary alumni from Houston’s storied Kashmere High School Stage Band, who return home after 35 years to play a tribute concert for the 92-year-old “Prof,” their beloved band leader who transformed the school’s struggling jazz band into a world-class funk powerhouse in the early 1970s. The Chamber is proud to present the Kashmere Stage Band as a tribute to this year’s 150th Anniversary of Juneteenth.

“We are so honored and excited to have the Kashmere Stage Band perform at our Annual Meeting,” stated Gina M. Spagnola, Chamber President. “The band members have expressed that they are incredibly proud to help kick-off this important year- long celebration of the 150th Anniversary of Juneteenth and 169th Anniversary of the very first Chamber in Texas!” 

You won’t want to miss this once-in-a-lifetime performance at the Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting, Friday, January 16 at the Tremont House Davidson Ballroom. For tickets and information, contact Elizabeth Rogers Alvarado, Director of Special Events, at ealvarado@galvestonchamber.com or call (409) 763-5326.  Or purchase tickets or a table online by clicking here.

About the Galveston Regional  Chamber of Commerce
Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce is the oldest Chamber of Commerce in the State of Texas and has been promoting and advocating for business since 1845.  The Galveston Regional Chamber is a national model for programs that engage the next generation of business leaders as well as exploring better connections with current members and the community.  The Chamber creates a catalyst for change and offers a legislative voice for the business community thanks to a synergistic environment where people and organizations come together and facilitate effective plans of action.  The Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce has proven itself to be the single most effective organization committed to helping solve today’s complex business and community problems.  For more information about the Galveston Regional Chamber, stop in at the Galveston Visitor Center at 2228 Mechanic Street in the Historic Downtown, visit www.GalvestonChamber.com, and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.  Access the Chamber’s membership directory, upcoming event information, and more by downloading the MyChamberApp on your smart phone.



Sarah Harano, Communications Director
(409) 763-5326

Galveston Chamber of Commerce launches new website

Today, the Galveston Chamber of Commerce, which has been promoting and advocating for business and community development on the island since 1845, launched it’s newly redesigned website at http://www.galvestonchamber.com.

The site features a number of tools to keep members and the community at-large in touch with events and happenings on the island as well as makes it easier to find all the content related to Galveston, its history, culture and the people that make Galveston the vibrant, thriving community it is.

Read the latest issue of the Galveston Chamber of Commerce's Island Guide.

Trustee Circle Chamber Members