City of Bevil Oaks Texas

What's Happening In Bevil Oaks...

City of Bevil Oaks, Texas – City Council


August 30, 2017

PUBLIC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN pursuant to the Texas Open Meetings Act, Chapter 551 of the Texas Government Code, of the following imminent threat to public health and safety or reasonably unforeseeable situation necessitating this emergency meeting:

Hurricane Harvey, a storm event that began on or about August 23, 2017 and is actively causing the displacement of the citizens of the City of Bevil Oaks due to mandatory evacuation and catastrophic intrusion of flood waters throughout the City has produced a City-wide emergency situation.  The impact and aftermath of Hurricane Harvey has created dangerous physical conditions that are preventing the City’s citizens from using the road and highway infrastructure to return to the City and is currently preventing the City Council from meeting in a single physical location and from posting its customary notice.

The City Council will meet in an OPEN PUBLIC MEETING on Thursday, August 31, 2017, at 10:00 A.M. at the office of the City Attorney, Dru Montgomery, The Heartfield Law Firm, 2195 Dowlen Road, Beaumont, Texas 77706 to consider the following matters:

  1. Call the meeting to order
  2. Roll call (both for members physically present and present through the use of teleconference)
    1. To discuss, vote on and implement a plan for the continuity of functions of the City Council, including but not limited to suspension of the quorum requirements, pursuant to the Texas Disaster Act of 1975, Chapter 418 of the Texas Government Code (“Texas Disaster Act”). (Requested by City Attorney)
    2. Declare a quorum pursuant to provisions of the Texas Disaster Act. (Requested by City Attorney)
    3. To discuss, vote on and authorize the issuance of a declaration of a local state of disaster relating to the catastrophic impact of Hurricane Harvey pursuant to the Texas Disaster Act. (Requested by City Attorney)
  4. Adjourn Meeting

_/s/ Rebecca M. Ford (signed with permission by M. Dru Montgomery)_

Rebecca M. Ford, Mayor

I, the undersigned authority, do hereby certify that the above City of Bevil Oaks, Texas – City Council EMERGENCY MEETING AGENDA is a true copy of said Notice and has been posted on the City’s official website,

Further, due to the dangerous situation referenced above, posting in the City’s customary locations noted in the following list is not physically possible and would not provide notice to any of the City’s citizens:

  • City of Bevil Oaks Office at 7525 Sweetgum Road, Bevil Oaks, Texas
  • City of Bevil Oaks Bulletin Board at 7390 Sweetgum Road, Bevil Oaks Texas
  • Community Bulletin Board, Sweetgum Road at Highway 105, Bevil Oaks, Texas

 The only place being convenient and readily accessible to the general public is the City’s website.  Said NOTICE WAS POSTED at on August 30, 2017, BEFORE 11:30 P.M., remaining posted continuously for at least two hours preceding the scheduled time of said meeting.  

_/s/ Rebecca M. Ford (signed with permission by M. Dru Montgomery)_

Rebecca M. Ford, Mayor

So, what's happening behind City Hall?  
Keep an eye out for our next newsletter that will explain in detail what is happening behind City Hall.  However, trees have been cut as the first phase of the DD6 ditch work that will help relieve the flooding at the crossing of River Bend and, upon completion, will make a way for us to install the playground equipment that has been on  hold until this project could be completed.  More information is coming very soon in the next newsletter.

Where are we with changing School Districts?
The Bevil Oaks Children's Legal Fund has been established in order to fight BISD's refusal to let us be attached to Hardin Jefferson ISD.  They will be procuring legal council, who is well versed in education law in Texas to present our case to the TEA Commissioner in Austin.  Our case is similar to a civil law suit and will require considerable funding.  OUR CHILDREN NEED THE FINANCIAL SUPPORT OF THIS COMMUNITY!  PLEASE HELP US TO HELP THEM!

HOW CAN YOU HELP? (Your donation can remain anonymous if you so desire)
Credit Card - - (then click on search Bevil Oaks) and you can donate any amount you want towards this cause.
Check - Checks may be made payable to "Bevil Oaks Children's Legal Fund" and may be dropped in the drop box at the City Office or brought inside and given to a City Clerk.
Cash - Bring your cash donation by the City Office and the City Clerks will document the donation and give receipts for those who want one. 

We are excited and energized that Hard-Jefferson has accepted us.  No donation is too small and time is of the essence.  Our appeal must be presented by June 30th.  This opportunity is unprecedented and our children deserve for us to continue the fight.  We thank each of you for your continued support of this endeavor.  

** Mark your calendars for June 20th 5-9 p.m.  Martha Vautrot will be donating profits from meals on that day toward our fund and residents in Bevil Oaks will be waiting tables, also.  Join together and have a great meal and help the cause.  

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, PLEASE CALL Jim Andrews, III @ 409-504-9337  or Allen Pride @ 409-999-5001.

They are also taking recipes to create a recipe book.  So for everyone who cooks, pull out your favorite recipes and drop them by City Hall!

How to pay your water bill online:  CLICK HERE

Dear Citizen of Bevil Oaks,

In an effort to keep Bevil Oaks residents informed of important updates with the Hurricane Harvey reconstruction efforts, the City has used a variety of methods calculated to reach each citizen, regardless of their location or circumstance. Many citizens, however, have not registered for the community call-out system or have access to internet updates through the City’s official Facebook page. Consequently, this letter is being sent to all citizens in an attempt to inform everyone of a very important issue that affects every structure in Bevil Oaks.

Homeowners in Bevil Oaks have access to affordable Federal flood insurance because the City is a voluntary participant in the National Flood Insurance Program (“NFIP”). The City has been a participant since 1978. The Ordinance has a number of requirements that ultimately benefit homeowners since participation in the NFIP’s Community Rating System has directly resulted in eligibility for insurance premium discounts. Despite the benefits of rigorous requirements of Bevil Oak’s CRS program, such as requiring construction of a home’s “lowest floor” two feet above Base Flood Elevation, the City has been able to adjust its operations to accommodate the community-wide destruction due to Harvey. For example, on September 28, 2017, the City held an emergency meeting to provide a temporary suspension of the two foot requirement. The suspension was authorized by FEMA and provided hope of economical rebuilding possibilities for hundreds of home.

There are certain requirements, however, that the City cannot suspend or alter and would never be authorized by FEMA or related enforcement agencies. Article 3 of Ordinance 207 makes many of these requirements mandatory and the City’s Floodplain Administrator is required by law to review permit applications for all building sites and to “review, approve or deny all applications all development permits”. Ord. 207, Art. 4, §§2, 3. Consequently, every home in Bevil Oaks affected by Harvey (and that was every home) is regulated both by the Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance and its Building Code Ordinance(s), Ordinance 239. Ordinance 239 and the related ordinances require the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy or Certificate of Completion—that allows homeowners to live in their new or rebuilt homes—until the requirements of the various building codes are met.

The importance of obtaining a building permit cannot be overstated. Not only are Building Codes an important health and safety measure, but Federal law requires compliance and requires the City to show proof of enforcement in order for it to be eligible for the CFIP. The requirement is so strong that FEMA a specific treatment for non-compliant properties subject to regulation:

No new flood insurance shall be provided for any property which the Federal Insurance Administrator finds has been declared by a duly constituted State or local zoning authority or other authorized public body, to be in violation of State or local laws, regulations or ordinances which are intended to discourage or otherwise restrict land development or occupancy in floodprone areas. 
44 C.F.R. §73.3(a).

When FEMA determines that a homeowner has violated this section, it may result in the issuance of a notice—commonly called a Section 1316—that is recorded in the real property records. A Section 1316 filing will prevent the issuance of flood insurance to current and future homeowners until the violation is remedied. Furthermore, violation of the City’s building code ordinances can result in a daily fine and possible misdemeanor conviction.

For all houses rebuilding substantially damaged homes, all the homeowner must do is pay $75 dollars to start the permitting process. The City has waived all other applicable fees. A completely demolished and/ or rebuilt home requires additional permitting. Also, those homeowners who move walls or reconstruct the internal structure should consult with City employees on various permitting options. Consequently, the importance of compliance with building codes and the flood prevention matters for a completely rebuilt or new home are even more important and have additional mandatory requirements. Whatever the level of reconstruction, every citizen will be able to obtain approval under local, state and federal law when they apply for a building permit.

Please also note that anyone who recently built before the storm, but was finished and received a certificate of occupancy, must obtain new permits and inspections. The old permits expire as soon as the certificate of occupancy is issued.

If you are in zone X, you will be issued one permit for building or rebuilding. However, those in zone AE must receive both a building permit and a floodplain permit before rebuilding. The floodplain permit is absolutely free.

Please make sure that you protect your home and the safety of the community at large by complying with these straightforward but immensely important requirements.
/s/ Kimberely Vandver 
Kimberely Vandver, CFM
City of Bevil Oaks, Texas