TX NATURAL RESOURCES CODE

SUBTITLE B. SURVEYS AND SURVEYORS

CHAPTER 61. USE AND MAINTENANCE OF PUBLIC BEACHES

SUBCHAPTER D. COUNTY REGULATION OF PUBLIC USE OF BEACHES



§ 61.121. DEFINITION.
     In this subchapter, "beach" shall have the same definition as provided in Section 61.012 of this code.

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

§ 61.122. COUNTY REGULATORY AUTHORITY.
     (a) The commissioners court of a county bordering on the Gulf of Mexico or its tidewater limits, by order, may regulate motor vehicle traffic on any beach within the boundaries of the county, including prohibiting motor vehicle traffic on any natural or man-made sand dune or other form of shoreline protection, and may prohibit the littering of the beach and may define the term "littering."
     (b) The commissioners court of a county bordering the Gulf of Mexico or its tidewaters, by order, may regulate the possession of animals on the beach within its boundaries, including but not limited to prohibiting animals to run at large on said beach.
     (c) The commissioners court of a county bordering the Gulf of Mexico or its tidewaters, by order, may regulate swimming in passes leading to and from the Gulf of Mexico, located within its boundaries, including but not limited to prohibiting swimming in said passes and posting signs notifying persons of such regulation or prohibition.
     (d) The commissioners court of a county bordering on the Gulf of Mexico or its tidewater limits, by order, may prohibit the use and possession of all glass containers and products on a beach in the unincorporated area of the county. The commissioners court shall not prohibit any one or several glass products to the exclusion of any others.
     (e) Regulation under Subsection (a) of this section that prohibits vehicles from an area of public beach is subject to Section 61.022 of this code.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2484, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Amended by Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 775, ch. 341, § 1, eff. Aug. 27, 1979; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 295, § 16, eff. June 7, 1991; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 164, § 2, 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2001;

Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 243, § 1, eff. May 22, 2001.

§ 61.123. NOTICE OF HEARING.
     (a) Before the commissioners court adopts an order under Section 61.122 of this code, it must publish notice of the intention to adopt the order in at least one newspaper with general circulation in the county.
     (b) The notice shall state the time and place of the public hearing on the proposed order and that interested persons may obtain copies of the proposed order from the commissioners court.

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

§ 61.124. COPIES OF ORDER.
     The commissioners court shall make copies of the proposed order available to interested persons.

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

§ 61.125. PUBLIC HEARING.
     (a) Not less than one month but more than two weeks after notice is published, the commissioners court shall conduct a hearing at the time and place stated in the notice.
     (b) At the hearing, the commissioners shall allow all interested persons to express their views on the proposed order.

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

§ 61.126. TRAFFIC REGULATIONS.
     If the order includes a traffic regulation, the order shall provide for signs that are designed and posted in compliance with the current provisions of the Texas Manual on Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways, stating the applicable speed limit, parking requirement, or that vehicles are prohibited.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2485, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 61.127. CRIMINAL PENALTIES.
     In any order adopted under this subchapter, the commissioners court may adopt the following criminal penalties for violation of the order:
          (1) for a first conviction, a fine of not less than $50; nor more than $100;
          (2) for a second conviction, a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $200;
          (3) for any subsequent convictions after the second conviction, a fine of not less than $200 nor more than $1,000 or confinement in the county jail for not more than 60 days, or both.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2485, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 585, § 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

§ 61.128. ORDER PREVAILS OVER STATE LAW.
     If an order adopted under this subchapter conflicts with the general law of the state, the order shall control over the state law, and in cases of violation, prosecution may be maintained only under the order.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2485, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 61.129. ORDINANCE PREVAILS OVER ORDER AND STATE LAW.
     (a) Except as provided in Section 61.022 of this code, this
      subchapter does not limit the power of an incorporated city, town, or village bordering on the Gulf of Mexico or any adjacent body of water to regulate motor vehicle traffic and prohibit littering on any beach within its corporate limits.
     (b) If these regulatory ordinances are adopted by a city, town, or village and the ordinance conflicts with the general law of the state or with an order of the commissioners court adopted under this subchapter, and the ordinance is consistent with policies and rules under Section 61.011 of this code, the ordinance shall control over the state law and the order, and in cases of violation, prosecution may be maintained only under the ordinance.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2485, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 295, § 17, eff. June 7, 1991.

§ 61.130. RIGHTS OF THE PUBLIC.
     The right of the public to use the public beaches defined in this subchapter is inviolate and is subject only to orders adopted by a commissioners court under this subchapter and to ordinances enacted by an incorporated city, town, or village.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2485, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 61.131. EFFECT OF SUBCHAPTER ON DEFINITION OF PUBLIC BEACH.
     None of the provisions of this subchapter shall reduce,
      limit, construct, or vitiate the definition of public beaches which has been defined from time immemorial in law and custom.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2485, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.