The Texas Open Beaches Act is under threat

June 17, 2009 | Environment

Texas Open Beaches Act

The Texas Open Beaches Act has been a star example of beach management since it was first enacted in 1959, providing for free and unrestricted use of the state's beaches and shores.

Unfortunately this forward-thinking law is under constant threat by those who would take the public's rights away. This is one of those times, and we need your help.

Late in the night on May 31st, Rep. Wayne Christian interjected wording from his previously rejected HB4025, which was an attempt to circumvent the TX Open Beaches Act, into HB770, a bill that would have allowed homestead exemption to continue for primary residences that were destroyed in a hurricane until the owner built somewhere else.  

Christian has severely compromised this bill by adding wording that would bar the Texas Attorney General or any other entity from filing suit for the removal of a damaged or destroyed structure that found itself on the public beach after a "meteorological event" and allow them to rebuild that structure on the public beach.

This bill, like HB4025, now essentially overturns the Texas Open Beaches Act and will be detrimental to the access to and use of Texas public Beaches.

Unfortunately, unlike HB4025, this bill was filed right at the end of the 81st Texas Legislative Session and went directly to Governor Rick Perry's desk to await his action.  He can do one of three things at this point.  Governor Perry can either veto the bill outright, sign it into law or take no action and after 21 days the bill will become law anyway.

Source: Surfrider Foundation

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