September 14 Letters to the Editor

Illustration by Crowcrumbs.


This year, I attended a Board of Adjustments meeting during which a couple in my neighborhood were given a variance and a permit to expand their storage room by 12 feet in order to make an art studio. At that time the couple stated that the proposed studio would not be used as a living space but that when their two sons visited they might stay there briefly.

I do not believe the city sufficiently oversaw construction to ensure that the permit was being adhered to. Now, the final outcome is an AirBnB listed for $1100/month plus utilities. Among other things, I am wondering if the storage room was expanded to more than the variance permit of 12 feet. But who is to know, since city officials sell permits and then apparently do not enforce them.

At a meeting with Mandy Roane and Ann Dunlap, I was told that people could build pretty much whatever they want on their property, if zoning laws and other requirements are being adhered to. If that is the case, why have permits? AND BETTER YET, if permits are required, why can’t there be a financial penalty assessed when people lie about what the permit is actually used for? Like, “Hey, I lied and got a permit to make my storage room into an art studio but I’m going to make it into an AirBnB instead. Marfa can be my Cash Cow and since the city doesn’t check on ongoing construction I can do exactly as I please.”

At this same meeting with Roane and Dunlap, I was told that on a lot the size of the one in question it was illegal for there to be two separate long-term dwellings. So now the couple have rented out their actual house on a long-term basis and are living in their “casita” when it is not being used as an AirBnB. Doesn’t this constitute two separate long-term dwellings on the one lot?

To say I am upset is an understatement. Marfa has become a playground for the rich and rowdy because anything goes for them –– laws and ordinances seem to be mere suggestions.  

I am truly ashamed of what Marfa has become. 

Dawn Shannon

Marfa, Texas



The Marfa Chamber of Commerce would like to thank everyone who attended the 36th Annual Marfa Lights Festival. It was wonderful to see so many families, community members and vendors gather at the Presidio County Courthouse for a weekend of music, dancing, food, and fun. 

The Marfa Lights Festival is a huge undertaking we can only achieve with the help of many in our community. First and foremost, thank you to the City of Marfa for their continued support. Special thanks to Marfa PD, Marfa EMS, Gary Mitschke and the Marfa VFD. We would also like to thank Presidio County for allowing the festival to take place on the beautiful courthouse lawn.

Thank you to our wonderful performers; David Branch, Joe Morales and the Tip, La Diferenzia, the Marfa Municipal Alliance, Puro Party Allstarz, Primo y Beebe, the Solis Brothers and Zona Mutante! We appreciate Marfa Live Arts for facilitating a wonderful performance of My H.E.B. by Raul Garza.

We would like to give special recognition to the former students of the Blackwell School and the Blackwell School Alliance for joining us as parade grand marshals. 

Many thanks to our volunteers, too numerous to name. The Marfa Lights Festival would not have been possible without them and our amazing sponsors. Thank you for your investment in our community! For a full list of our sponsors, please visit our website.

The Marfa Chamber of Commerce is a volunteer-run nonprofit organization committed to promoting business opportunities and free community-building events. If you would like more information please email [email protected].

Thank you,

The Board of the Marfa Chamber of Commerce


Dear Editor,

I would like to extend a belated but hearty thank you to those who sent birthday wishes to my father, Donald Snook, on his 100th birthday in March. He enjoyed all the cards from friends he knew and from kind people he had never met. Following his birthday, Don flew to England where he continues well and is staying with my sister in a village not far from the British base where he served as a pilot in WWII. Thanks again to those who sent cards and otherwise showed kindness to my father during his birthday, and other days, here in Alpine.


Helen Snook