TX NATURAL RESOURCES CODE

SUBTITLE B. SURVEYS AND SURVEYORS

CHAPTER 61. USE AND MAINTENANCE OF PUBLIC BEACHES

SUBCHAPTER C. MAINTENANCE OF THE PUBLIC BEACHES



§ 61.061. PURPOSE.
     It is the purpose of this subchapter to allocate responsibility for cleaning the beaches of this state and to preserve and protect local initiative in the maintenance and administration of beaches.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2480, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 61.062. PUBLIC POLICY.
     It is the public policy of this state that the public, individually and collectively, shall have the free and unrestricted right of ingress and egress to and from the state-owned beaches bordering on the seaward shore of the Gulf of Mexico if the public has acquired a right of use or easement to or over the area by prescription, dedication, or continuous use. This creates a responsibility for the state, in its position as trustee for the public to assist local governments in the cleaning of beach areas which are subject to the access rights of the public as defined in Subchapter B of this chapter.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2480, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 61.063. DEFINITIONS.
     In this subchapter:
          (1) "Clean and maintain" means the collection and removal of litter and debris and the supervision and elimination of sanitary and safety conditions that would pose a threat to personal health or safety if not removed or otherwise corrected and includes the employment of lifeguards, beach patrols, and litter patrols.
          (2) "Land office" means the General Land Office.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2480, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 114, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

§ 61.064. APPLICATION OF SUBCHAPTER.
     This subchapter applies to incorporated cities, towns, and villages that are located or border on the Gulf of Mexico and to all counties that are located or border on the Gulf of Mexico if the city, town, or village or county that makes application for funds under this subchapter has within its boundaries public beaches.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2481, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Amended by Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 366, ch. 163, § 1, eff. Aug. 27, 1979.

§ 61.065. DUTY OF CITIES.
     (a) It is the duty and responsibility of the governing body of any incorporated city, town, or village located or bordering on the Gulf of Mexico to clean and maintain the condition of all public beaches within the corporate boundaries.
     (b) The duty to clean and maintain the condition of public beaches does not extend to any public beach within the corporate boundaries that is owned by the county in which it is located.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2481, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 61.066. DUTY OF COUNTY.
     It is the duty and responsibility of the commissioners court of any county located or bordering on the Gulf of Mexico to clean and maintain the condition of all public beaches located inside the county but outside the boundaries of any incorporated city located or bordering on the Gulf of Mexico and all public beaches owned by the county and located inside the boundaries of an incorporated city, town, or village.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2481, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 61.067. DUTY OF STATE.
     (a) It is the duty and responsibility of the state to clean and maintain the condition of all public beaches located within state parks designated by the department.
     (b) The land office shall consult with the department in adopting rules and procedures for cleaning beaches in state parks and areas adjacent to state parks.
     (c) The land office shall expand the Adopt-A-Beach program to the greatest extent feasible to enhance the performance of its duties under this subchapter.
     (d) The land office may use any cash, gifts, grants, donations, or in-kind contributions that it receives from a public or private entity through the administration of the Adopt-A-Beach program to assist a municipality, a county, or the department in performing any duty imposed on the city, county, or department by this subchapter.
     (e) The land office may adopt rules reasonably necessary to perform its duties under this subchapter.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2481, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 114, § 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., 1st C.S., ch. 3, § 7.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

§ 61.068. APPLICATION REQUIREMENT.
     A city or county that seeks state funds under this subchapter to clean the public beaches must submit an application to the land office.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2481, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 114, § 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

§ 61.069. CONTENTS OF APPLICATION.
     To be approved, the application must provide:
          (1) for the administration or supervision of the public beaches of the city or county by a beach park board of trustees, county parks board, commissioners court, or other administrative body that the legislature may from time to time authorize, and provide that the board or agency will have adequate authority to administer an effective program of keeping clean the public beaches within its jurisdiction;
          (2) for the receipt by the city or county treasurer or other officer exercising similar functions, if there is no city or county treasurer, of all funds paid to the city or county under this subchapter and provide for the proper safeguarding of the funds by the officer, provide that the funds will be spent solely for the purposes for which they are paid, and provide for the repayment by the city or county of any funds lost or diverted from the purposes for which paid;
          (3) that the governing body of the city or county will make reports as to amounts and categories of expenditures that the land office may from time to time require;
          (4) that entrance to all public beaches under the jurisdiction of the governing body of the city or county is free of charge; and
          (5) for the establishment, maintenance, and administration of at least one beach park by the city or county which meets the minimum requirements of size and facilities available to the public as determined by the land office.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2481, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 114, § 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

§ 61.070. PARKING AND USE FEES.
     Subsection (4), Section 61.069 of this code shall not be construed to prohibit the assessment of a reasonable fee for off-beach parking or for the use of facilities provided for the use and convenience of the public.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2482, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 61.071. COMPLIANCE BEFORE APPROVAL.
     The land office shall not approve any application that fails to meet the conditions specified in Section 61.069 of this code.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2482, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 114, § 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

§ 61.072. STATE FUNDS.
     The land office shall pay to each city or county that has an application approved under Sections 61.068 through 61.070 of this code from appropriations that are made available the state share for cleaning and maintenance of public beaches.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2482, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 114, § 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

§ 61.073. CONDITIONS FOR PAYMENTS.
     No payments shall be made under this subchapter until the land office finds that:
          (1) there will be available in the budget of the city or county not less than $20,000 to clean and maintain public beaches within its jurisdiction for the state fiscal year for which reimbursement is sought; and
          (2) there will be available in the budget of the city or county for the purpose of cleaning and maintaining the public beaches within its jurisdiction for the state fiscal year for which reimbursement is sought an amount not less than the total amount spent by the city or county to clean the beaches in the state fiscal year ending August 31, 1969.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2482, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 114, § 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

§ 61.074. SUBMISSION OF PROPOSED EXPENDITURES.
     A city or county that seeks reimbursement under the provisions of this subchapter shall submit to the land office proposed expenditures for cleaning and maintaining the public beaches.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2482, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 114, § 8, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

§ 61.075. FAIR DISTRIBUTION OF FUNDS.
     The land office shall distribute the state share to the cities and counties in a fair and impartial manner and under procedures and accounting methods to be adopted by the land office.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2482, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 114, § 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

§ 61.076. LIMITATION ON STATE SHARE.
     (a) No city or county may receive as its state share an amount that is greater than two-thirds of the amount the city or county spends for the purpose of cleaning and maintaining public beaches within its jurisdiction during the state fiscal year for which reimbursement is sought.
     (b) The land office shall allocate the state share to eligible cities and counties taking into account the frequency with which public beaches within the jurisdiction of the cities and counties are used.
     (c) For purposes of determining the maximum amount of money a municipality may receive under Subsection (a), money received under Section 156.2511, Tax Code:
          (1) is not included in determining the amount the municipality spends to clean and maintain public beaches during the state fiscal year for which reimbursement is sought; and
          (2) is included as part of the state share.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2482, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 114, § 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 454, § 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

§ 61.077. FUNDS FOR ADMINISTRATIVE PURPOSES AND EMERGENCIES.
     (a) The land office may use for administrative
      purposes not more than 10 percent of the appropriated funds for any state fiscal year.
     (b) The land office may withhold a portion of the appropriated funds to maintain a reserve emergency fund to be used for cleaning beaches in the event of a catastrophe, such as an oil spill, an influx of seaweed, or other major interference with public recreational use of public beaches.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2483, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 114, § 11, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

§ 61.078. AUTHORITY TO SPEND COUNTY FUNDS.
     The commissioners court of any county located or bordering on the Gulf of Mexico may spend from any available fund the amount it considers necessary to carry out the responsibilities provided in this subchapter.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2483, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 61.079. NOTICE OF INELIGIBILITY.
     After reasonable notice and opportunity for a hearing to a city or county that is receiving funds under the provisions of this subchapter, if the land office finds that the city or county no longer complies with the requirements of this subchapter, it shall notify the city or county that further payments will not be made until the land office is satisfied that there is no longer any failure to comply.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2483, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 114, § 12, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

§ 61.080. PUBLIC BEACHES IN INELIGIBLE CITY.
     (a) The governing body of any incorporated city located or bordering on the Gulf of Mexico that is not entitled to receive funds under this subchapter may contract with the commissioners court of the county in which the city is located to allow the county to clean the beaches within the corporate limits of the city.
     (b) The city may apply to the land office for rebates of 40 percent of the contract price, and the city is not required to meet the terms and conditions imposed in Section 61.069 of this code unless otherwise provided by law.
     (c) The land office shall make the rebates at the close of each fiscal year on a showing by the city that entrance to all public beaches under the jurisdiction of the city is free of charge.
     (d) This section shall not be construed to prohibit the assessment of a reasonable fee for off-beach parking or the use of facilities provided for the use and convenience of the public.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2483, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 114, § 13, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

§ 61.081. PUBLIC BEACHES IN INELIGIBLE COUNTY.
     (a) The commissioners court of a county that is not entitled to receive funds under this subchapter may contract with the commissioners court of any adjacent county that is entitled to receive funds under this subchapter to allow the adjacent county to clean the public beaches of the ineligible county.
     (b) The contracting county that is not entitled to receive funds under this subchapter may apply to the land office for rebates of 40 percent of the contract price, but the ineligible county is not required to meet the terms and conditions imposed in Section 61.069 of this code.
     (c) The land office shall make the rebates at the close of each state fiscal year on a showing by the ineligible county that entrance to all public beaches under the jurisdiction of the county is free of charge.
     (d) This section shall not be construed to prohibit the assessment of a reasonable fee for off-beach parking or for the use of facilities provided for the use and convenience of the public.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2483, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 114, § 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

§ 61.082. AUTHORITY OF LOCAL GOVERNMENTS.
     (a) The provisions of this subchapter shall not be construed to interfere with local initiative and responsibility in the cleaning, maintenance, and supervision of public beaches.
     (b) The administration of public beaches, the selection of personnel, and the determination of the best uses of the funds insofar as is consistent with the purposes of this subchapter are reserved to the several political subdivisions receiving funds under this subchapter.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2484, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 61.083. EXEMPTIONS FROM SUBCHAPTER.
     None of the provisions of this subchapter apply to any beach area that does not border on the Gulf of Mexico or to any island or peninsula that is not accessible by a public road or common carrier ferry facility as long as that condition exists.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2484, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.