Ports & Terminals

Port Of Corpus Christi, City Of Port Aransas Reach Agreement On Harbor Island Development

The Port of Corpus Christi and the city of Port Aransas, Texas, recently announced the settlement of longstanding disagreements over future development of Harbor Island, a 256-acre area located on the northeast side of Corpus Christi Bay. The agreement ends “amicably” all litigation between the port and the city.

Following months of negotiations, the Port Aransas City Council approved the settlement agreement in a 7-0 vote August 20. Port officials previously authorized the plan in a July 21 commission meeting.

“We are thrilled to finally have reached an agreement with the city of Port Aransas on how to best move forward with the development of Harbor Island,” Port of Corpus Christi CEO Sean Strawbridge said in a statement.We value our relationships with local municipalities, and this agreement paves the way for more economic prosperity and public safety for the good citizens of Port Aransas. We thank [Port Aransas] Mayor Bujan, the entire city council and City Manager Dave Parsons for their leadership in reaching this accord, thereby endorsing a long-term collaborative view of the future of Harbor Island.”

Bujan praised the agreement, which establishes a structure for city oversight, permitting and safety as port development on the island moves forward.

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“For a number of years, the city and port authority have been fighting over matters regarding each entity’s respective regulatory powers and how conflicts between such powers should be resolved,” Bujan said. “This costly fight has recently spilled over into the courts. But finally, by entering into an inter-local agreement, the port and the city\now\have a workable framework in place to address development on Harbor Island, including oversight on city ordinance and permitting issues, and funding provisions to address fire protection and emergency services.

“The agreement also ends all of the litigation between the city and the port,” Bujan added. “Hopefully, this agreement can serve as a springboard for continued discussions with the port on Harbor Island and on other matters of mutual concern between the port and the city. The city is pleased to have resolved these issues and looks forward to continuing to address related matters of concern to the city’s residents.”

Harbor Island and the city of Port Aransas are both located near the entrance to the Corpus Christi Ship Channel. Harbor Island offers deep-water, highway and ship channel access. According to the port’s website, the port is proposing a pair of projects for Harbor Island: an oil export terminal capable of berthing two very large crude carriers (VLCCs) and a desalination plant.