TX NATURAL RESOURCES CODE

SUBTITLE B. SURVEYS AND SURVEYORS

CHAPTER 33. MANAGEMENT OF COASTAL PUBLIC LAND

SUBCHAPTER D. RIGHTS IN COASTAL PUBLIC LAND


§ 33.101. APPLICATION TO ACQUIRE RIGHTS IN COASTAL PUBLIC LAND.
     Any person who desires to acquire rights in the surface
      estate in any coastal public land shall make application to the board in writing in the form prescribed by the board.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2387, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 33.102. CONTENTS OF APPLICATION.
     The application to acquire rights in coastal public land shall include:
          (1) an adequate legal description of the land in which the rights are sought;
          (2) a statement of the rights sought;
          (3) a statement of the purpose or purposes for which the land is to be used;
          (4) a description of the nature and extent of the improvements, if any, which will be made on the land;
          (5) an estimate of the time within which any improvements to be made will be completed; and
          (6) any additional information the board considers necessary, including, in the case of any application for approval of construction, modification, repair, or removal of a structure, a description of all plans for any filling, dumping, dredging, or excavating to be done.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2387, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 33.103. INTERESTS WHICH MAY BE GRANTED BY THE BOARD.
     (a) The board may grant the following interests in coastal
      public land for the indicated purposes:
          (1) leases for public purposes;
          (2) easements for purposes connected with:
               (A) ownership of littoral property; or
               (B) the operation of a facility operated by an existing channel and dock corporation that was issued articles of incorporation under Chapters 13 and 14, Title 32, Revised Statutes;
          (3) permits authorizing limited continued use of previously unauthorized structures on coastal public land not connected with ownership of littoral property; and
          (4) channel easements to the holder of any surface or mineral interest in coastal public land for purposes necessary or appropriate to the use of the interests.
     (b) The board may not grant any interest in land within 2,500 feet of a military base unless the commissioner or the commissioner's designee, after consultation with appropriate military authorities, determines that the grant will not adversely affect the mission of the military base.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2387, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 923, § 1, eff. Aug. 26, 1985; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 149, § 12, eff. May 27, 2003.

§ 33.104. PROCESSING APPLICATION.
     (a) On receiving an application, the board may circulate it for review and comment to the member agencies of the Interagency Natural Resources Council or its successor.
     (b) The board shall determine whether the proposed application should be granted not less than 30 days nor more than 90 days after the application is received.
     (c) If the application is granted, the board shall determine the reasonable term, conditions, and consideration for the grant and may consummate the transaction.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2388, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 33.105. PERSONS TO WHOM LAND MAY BE LEASED.
     The board may lease coastal public land to:
          (1) the Parks and Wildlife Department or to any eligible city or county for public recreational purposes;
          (2) the Parks and Wildlife Department for management of estuarine preserves;
          (3) any nonprofit, tax-exempt environmental organization approved by the board for the purpose of managing a wildlife refuge; and
          (4) any scientific or educational organization or institution for conducting scientific research.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2388, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 33.106. POLICIES, PROVISIONS, AND CONDITIONS OF LEASES.
     In addition to policies generally applicable under this
      chapter, leases granted under this subchapter shall be subject to the policies, provisions, and conditions stated in Sections 33.107 through 33.110 of this code.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2388, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 33.107. PROTECTION OF RIGHTS.
     The littoral rights of the adjacent upland owner shall be protected in a lease.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2388, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 33.108. RIGHTS OF THE PUBLIC.
     Members of the public may not be excluded from coastal public land leased for public recreational purposes or from an estuarine preserve.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2388, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 33.109. COUNTIES AND CITIES ELIGIBLE TO LEASE COASTAL PUBLIC LAND.
     (a) A county is eligible to apply for a lease of
      coastal public land inside the county and outside the boundaries of any incorporated city, town, or village for public recreational purposes.
     (b) An incorporated city, town, or village is eligible to lease coastal public land within its corporate boundaries for public recreational purposes.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2388, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 33.110. CONTRACTS AND FRANCHISES.
     (a) With the approval of the board, a lessee granted a lease for public recreational purposes may enter into contracts and franchise agreements to promote public recreation.
     (b) No contract or franchise agreement may authorize any commercial activity within 300 feet of privately owned littoral property without the written consent of the littoral owner of the property.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2388, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 33.111. GRANTING EASEMENTS.
     (a) The board may grant easement rights to the owner of adjacent littoral property authorizing the placement or location of a structure on coastal public land for purposes connected with the ownership of littoral property.
     (b) The board may grant easement rights to construct channels, wharves, docks, and marinas to an existing corporation that was issued articles of incorporation under Chapters 13 and 14, Title 32, Revised Statutes.
     (c) Notwithstanding any provision in its charter or articles of incorporation to the contrary, a corporation described in Subsection (b) of this section may only obtain the use of or acquire property from the state as provided by that subsection.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2389, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 923, § 2, eff. Aug. 26, 1985.

§ 33.112. FAILURE TO OBTAIN AN EASEMENT.
     (a) Any owner of littoral property or any person acting under the owner of littoral property who for purposes connected with the ownership of the littoral property shall construct or fix or place on coastal public land any structure without first obtaining an easement from the land office is subject to a civil penalty of not more than $200.
     (b) Each day the structure remains on or is affixed to coastal public land constitutes a separate offense.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2389, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 33.113. INTERPRETATION OF EASEMENT GRANT.
     The grant of an easement under Section 33.111 of this code and the waiver under Section 33.115 of this code shall not be construed as recognition of a right existing in the littoral owner incident to the ownership of littoral property.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2389, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 33.114. POLICIES, PROVISIONS, AND CONDITIONS OF EASEMENTS.
     In addition to the policies, provisions, and
      conditions generally applicable in this chapter, each grant of an easement is subject to the policies, provisions, and conditions of Sections 33.115 and 33.117 of this code.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2389, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 33.115. PIERS.
     (a) Without obtaining an easement from the board, the owner of littoral property may construct a pier on adjacent coastal public land if the pier:
          (1) is not used for commercial purposes;
          (2) is 115 feet or less in length and 25 feet or less in width; and
          (3) requires no filling or dredging.
     (b) In addition to the provisions of Subsection (a), the board may adopt rules with limitations and requirements that are consistent with the policies stated in Section 33.001 of this code that allow an owner of littoral property to construct a pier with associated appurtenances on adjacent coastal public land without first obtaining an easement from the board.
     (c) The location and dimensions of the pier and description of any associated appurtenances must be registered with the board in the manner provided in this chapter.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2389, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 366, § 1, eff. May 26, 2001; Acts 2005, 79th Leg., ch. 58, § 1, eff. May 17, 2005.

§ 33.116. FAILURE TO REGISTER PIER.
     Any owner of littoral property who fails to register the location and dimensions of the pier which is authorized to be constructed under Section 33.115 of this code is subject to a civil penalty of not more than $200.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2389, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 33.117. PUBLIC POLICY OF STATE TO BE CONSIDERED.
     In administering Sections 33.111 through 33.115 of this code, the board shall consider the public policy of the state that the orderly use of privately owned littoral property in a manner consistent with the public policy of the state will not be impaired.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2389, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 33.118. SINGLE PERMIT.
     If the activity for which the easement is sought requires the littoral owner to seek one or more permits from any other agency or department of state government, the board may agree with the agency or department to issue a single document incorporating all rights and privileges of the applicant.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2389, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 33.119. ISSUANCE OF PERMITS.
     The board may issue permits authorizing limited continued use of previously unauthorized structures on coastal public land if the use is sought by one who is claiming an interest in the structure but is not incident to the ownership of littoral property.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2390, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 33.120. FAILURE TO OBTAIN A PERMIT.
     A person who maintains, uses, or repairs any structure for which a permit is required under Section 33.119 of this code without first obtaining a permit from the board is subject to a civil penalty of not less than $50 nor more than $1,000.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2390, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 33.121. UNAUTHORIZED STRUCTURES.
     Any person who constructs, fixes, or places on coastal public land any unauthorized structure for purposes not connected with ownership of littoral property is subject to a civil penalty of not less than $50 nor more than $1,000.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2390, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 33.122. EXCEPTION TO PERMIT REQUIREMENT.
     No permit may be required for structures, excavations, or other similar structures as long as they are located wholly on the private littoral upland, even though the activities may result in the area being inundated by public water.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2390, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 33.123. POLICIES, PROVISIONS, AND CONDITIONS OF PERMITS.
     In addition to the policies, provisions, and conditions
      generally applicable in this chapter, each grant of a permit is subject to the policies, provisions, and conditions of Sections 33.120 through 33.122 and 33.124 through 33.126 of this code.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2390, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 33.124. PERMITS PROHIBITED FOR CERTAIN STRUCTURES.
     The board may not grant a permit which authorizes the continued use of a structure located within 1,000 feet of privately owned littoral residential property, without written consent of the littoral owner.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2390, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Amended by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., ch. 42, § 1, eff. May 13, 2005.

§ 33.125. AUTOMATIC REVOCATION AND TERMINATION OF A PERMIT.
     A permit that authorizes the continued use of a previously
      unauthorized structure on coastal public land is considered automatically revoked and terminated if the coastal public land on which the structure is located is:
          (1) subsequently leased for public purposes;
          (2) exchanged for littoral property under this chapter; or
          (3) conveyed to a navigation district as provided by law.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2390, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 33.126. TERMINATION OF PERMIT BY BOARD.
     Each permit shall provide that if the terms of the permit are broken, the permit may be terminated at the option of the board.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2390, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 33.127. TERMS AND RENEWAL OF PERMITS.
     Permits may be issued for a period of not more than five years and may be renewed at the discretion of the board.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2391, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 33.128. USE OF PREVIOUSLY UNAUTHORIZED STRUCTURES.
     Previously unauthorized structures for which permits
      are obtained may be used only for noncommercial, recreational purposes.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2391, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 33.129. PROHIBITIONS ON THE GRANT OF PERMITS.
     The board may not grant an application for a permit which would violate the public policy of this state as expressed in this chapter and may not grant a permit for any structure not in existence on August 27, 1973.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2391, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 33.130. REPAIRS AND REBUILDING.
     If a structure for which a permit is issued is severely damaged or destroyed by any means, no major repairs or rebuilding may be undertaken by the permit holder without the approval of the board.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2391, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 33.131. STRUCTURES AS PROPERTY OF THE STATE.
     A structure presently existing or to be constructed in the future for which a permit is required under Section 33.119 of this code is the property of the state. Any construction, maintenance, or use of the structure other than as provided in this subchapter is declared to be a nuisance per se and is expressly prohibited.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2391, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 991, § 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

§ 33.132. REGISTRATION BY BOARD.
     (a) The registration by the board on or before December 31, 1973, of a structure located in whole or in part on coastal public land on August 27, 1973, and claimed by the person submitting it for registration as an incident of the ownership of littoral property shall not be construed as evidence of the acquiescence of the state in the claim by the owner.
     (b) Failure of the owner to register the structure estops the owner from making any further claim of right against the state in the structure and renders the structure a nuisance per se subject to abatement by the state at the expense of the littoral owner.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2391, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 33.133. REMEDIES CUMULATIVE.
     Remedies provided in this subchapter are cumulative of all other remedies which may be applicable, including those remedies arising from the power of a court to enforce its jurisdiction and its judgments.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2391, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 33.134. USE AND DEVELOPMENT OF LAND BY LITTORAL OWNER.
     None of the provisions of this chapter shall prevent the
      littoral owner of property from developing or otherwise using his property in a lawful manner, and this chapter shall not be construed to confer on the board the authority to regulate, control, or restrict the use or development of the property.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2391, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 33.135. NOTICE TO PURCHASER OR GRANTEE OF COASTAL AREA PROPERTY.
     (a) A person who sells, transfers, or conveys an
      interest other than a mineral, leasehold, or security interest in real property adjoining and abutting the tidally influenced waters of the state must include the following notice as a part of a written executory contract for the sale, transfer, or conveyance:
          "(1) The real property described in and subject to this contract adjoins and shares a common boundary with the tidally influenced submerged lands of the state. The boundary is subject to change and can be determined accurately only by a survey on the ground made by a licensed state land surveyor in accordance with the original grant from the sovereign. The owner of the property described in this contract may gain or lose portions of the tract because of changes in the boundary. "NOTICE REGARDING COASTAL AREA PROPERTY
          "(2) The seller, transferor, or grantor has no knowledge of any prior fill as it relates to the property described in and subject to this contract.
          "(3) State law prohibits the use, encumbrance, construction, or placing of any structure in, on, or over state-owned submerged lands below the applicable tide line, without proper permission.
          "(4) The purchaser or grantee is hereby advised to seek the advice of an attorney or other qualified person as to the legal nature and effect of the facts set forth in this notice on the property described in and subject to this contract. Information regarding the location of the applicable tide line as to the property described in and subject to this contract may be obtained from the surveying division of the General Land Office in Austin."
     (b) If property described under Subsection (a) of this section is sold, transferred, or conveyed without an executory contract for conveyance, a written statement containing the notice prescribed by that subsection must be delivered to the grantee for execution and acknowledgement of receipt before the conveyance is recorded.
     (c) Failure to include the statement in an executory contract for conveyance shall be grounds for the purchaser to terminate such contract, and upon termination any earnest money shall be returned to the party making the deposit.
     (d) Failure to provide this statement prior to closing, either in the executory contract for conveyance or in a separate written statement, shall constitute a deceptive act under Section 17.46, Business & Commerce Code.
     (e) This section or the action of any party subject to this section does not diminish or modify the beach access and use rights of the public as acquired by statute or under common law.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 991, § 11, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

§ 33.136. PROPERTY RIGHTS:
     PRESERVATION OF LITTORAL RIGHTS. (a) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, a person may not undertake an action on or immediately landward of a public beach or submerged land, including state mineral lands, relating to erosion response that will cause or contribute to shoreline alteration before the person has conducted and filed a coastal boundary survey in the same manner as the survey of public land required by Chapter 21 and any applicable rule of the commissioner and has obtained any required lease or other instrument from the commissioner or board, as applicable. A person is not required to obtain a lease or other instrument from the commissioner or board if the action is confined to land owned by a navigation district or municipality. On filing of the survey, the shoreline depicted on the survey is a fixed line for the purpose of locating a shoreline boundary, subject to movement landward of that line. A coastal boundary survey conducted under this section may not be filed until the commissioner gives notice of approval under Subsection (c).
     (b) The survey must contain the following statement: "NOTICE: This survey was performed in accordance with Section 33.136, Natural Resources Code, for the purpose of evidencing the location of the shoreline in the area depicted in this survey as that shoreline existed before commencement of erosion response activity, as required by Chapter 33, Natural Resources Code. The line depicted on this survey fixes the shoreline for the purpose of locating a shoreline boundary, subject to movement landward as provided by Section 33.136, Natural Resources Code."
     (c) Within 30 days after the date the commissioner approves a coastal boundary survey under this section, the commissioner shall provide notice of that approval by:
          (1) publication in the Texas Register;
          (2) publication for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the county or counties in which the land depicted in the survey is located; and
          (3) filing a copy of the approval in the archives and records division of the land office.
     (d) A person who claims title to permanent school fund land as a result of accretion, reliction, or avulsion in the coastal zone on or after September 1, 1999, must, in order to prevail in the claim, prove that:
          (1) a change in the shoreline has occurred;
          (2) the change did not occur as a result of the claimant's actions, the action of any predecessor in title, the action of any grantee, assignee, licensee, or person authorized by the claimant to use the claimant's land, or an erosion response activity; and
          (3) the claimant is entitled to benefit from the change.
     (e) An upland owner who, because of erosion response activity undertaken by the commissioner, ceases to hold title to land that extends to the shoreline as altered by the erosion response activity is entitled to continue to exercise all littoral rights possessed by that owner before the date the erosion response activity commenced, including rights of ingress, egress, boating, bathing, and fishing.
     (f) In this section, "erosion response" means an action intended to address coastal erosion, mitigate the effect of coastal erosion, or maintain or enhance beach stability or width. The term includes:
          (1) beach nourishment;
          (2) sediment management;
          (3) beneficial use of dredged material;
          (4) construction of breakwaters;
          (5) dune creation or enhancement; and
          (6) revegetation.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 938, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 508, § 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.