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RULE §155.1General Provisions

(a) Policy. The surface estate in the coastal public lands of this state constitutes an important and valuable asset dedicated to the permanent school fund and to all people of Texas. Such estate shall be managed as follows.

  (1) The natural resources of the surface estate in coastal public lands shall be preserved. Such resources shall be construed to include the natural aesthetic values of those areas and the value of such areas in their natural state for the protection and nurture of all types of marine life and wildlife.

  (2) Uses which the public at large may enjoy and in which they may participate shall take priority over those uses which are limited to fewer individuals.

  (3) The public interest in navigation in the intracoastal waters shall be protected.

  (4) Unauthorized use of coastal public lands shall be prevented.

  (5) Utilization and development of the surface estate in such lands shall not be allowed unless the public interest as expressed in the Coastal Public Lands Management Act is not significantly impaired thereby.

  (6) The surface estate in coastal public lands shall not be alienated except by the granting of leaseholds and lesser interests therein.

  (7) Vested rights in land shall be protected subject to the paramount authority of the state in the exercise of such rights; and the orderly use of littoral property in a manner consistent with the public policy of this state shall not be impaired.

  (8) The economic benefits of leases, easements, and other grants of interests in the surface estate of coastal public lands shall be weighed against the need to protect and preserve the resources of coastal public lands.

  (9) Rights to use the surface estate of coastal public lands shall not unduly prevent or interfere in any way with the board's management or administration of coastal public lands or the board's authority to grant other rights to coastal public land.

  (10) The General Land Office (GLO), may at any time, inspect any structure located on coastal public land.

  (11) If shoreline alteration is proposed, a coastal boundary survey, as defined in Texas Natural Resources Code §33.136, and field notes shall be required.

  (12) The board may modify or waive the requirements of any rule or fee set forth herein if such action would be in the public's best interest as determined by the board.

(b) Scope of rules. These rules set forth the practice and procedure for administration by the board in granting a lease, easement, permit, and the registration of a structure on coastal public lands. All grants of interest are subject to these rules and regulations. The board may grant the following interest in coastal public lands for the indicated purposes:

  (1) leases for public purposes;

  (2) easements for purposes connected with ownership of littoral property:

  (3) permits authorizing limited continued use of heretofore unauthorized structures on coastal public lands, not connected with ownership of littoral property;

  (4) channel easements to the holder of any surface or mineral interests in coastal public lands, for purposes necessary or appropriate to the use of such interests; and

  (5) any other interest in coastal public land for any purpose that the board determines is in the best interest of the state.

(c) If a Department of the Army Corps of Engineers permit is required for a proposed project, the board may postpone a decision on the application pending receipt of comments on the work described in the Corps of Engineers public notice.

(d) Definitions. The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

  (1) Adjacent littoral property--The property that is contiguous to and borders the coastal public land upon which the property interest is sought.

  (2) Alignment Bulkheads--Proposed bulkheads which align with an adjacent, preexisting bulkhead, or bulkheads.

  (3) Appraised market value of adjacent littoral property--Fair market value of the unimproved adjacent littoral property as determined by the appropriate tax appraisal district.

  (4) Basin--A structure used for a commercial or industrial activity that consists of the area of the land encumbered and any fixtures attached thereto. This definition includes the construction and maintenance of marinas, piers, walkways, docks, dolphins, and wharves and any and all dredged area associated therewith.

  (5) Basin formula--The amount of encumbered state land multiplied by the appraised market value of the adjacent littoral property multiplied by the submerged land discount multiplied by the return on investment.

  (6) Board--The School Land Board of Texas.

  (7) Boathouse--A garage-like enclosed structure built over water for the purpose of storing watercraft. Boathouses are suitable for long-term storage and may contain lifts, winches, or other ancillary docking mechanisms.

  (8) Boatlift--A covered or uncovered boat slip with winch or pulley devices, used for lifting watercraft out of the water; suitable for long-term storage. The covering structure may not enclose the slip.

  (9) Boat ramp--An inclined structure extending from the adjacent property or pier into state owned submerged land for the purpose of launching and retrieving boats. Typically constructed of concrete or wood.

  (10) Boat-skid--A ramp-like device, typically using 2 pieces of wood, used to place watercraft in or remove watercraft from the water.

  (11) Boat slip--An encumbered area of water (covered or uncovered but not enclosed), formed by adjacent finger piers or pilings, into which a watercraft is moored or stored. Most suitable for short-term storage.

  (12) Breakwater--A structure of timber, cement, or other material, either fixed or floating, designed to protect beaches, bay shorelines, and harbor areas from wave action.

  (13) Bulkhead--Structures of timber, steel, concrete, rock, or similar substance erected parallel to the shoreline for erosion control purposes.

  (14) Coastal area--Refers to the geographic area comprising all the counties of Texas having any tidewater shoreline including that portion of the continental bed and waters of the Gulf of Mexico within the jurisdiction of the State of Texas.

  (15) Coastal natural resource area--As defined by Texas Natural Resource Code §33.203(1).

  (16) Coastal public lands--All or any portion of the state-owned submerged lands, the waters overlying those lands, and all state-owned islands in coastal area.

  (17) Commercial activity--Activity undertaken by a lessee or any other person with or without consent, which is designed to enhance or accommodate a venture associated with a revenue generating activity. This definition excludes industrial activity, but includes residential uses other than those included in the definition of residential use, Category III if there is revenue generating activity conducted on the premises.

  (18) Commissioner--The commissioner of the GLO.

  (19) Covered second level--A permanently covered (partially or fully) second story associated with a boathouse or boatlift. Excludes enclosure of a second story, which is strictly prohibited.

  (20) Dilapidated or derelict structure--Any structure which has deteriorated to an unsafe and/or unusable condition due to neglect, misuse, or which has been made inhabitable by vandalism or natural forces, or which or has been abandoned either through neglect or misuse.

  (21) Dredged area--An area that has been made deeper by the removal or relocation of sediments; dredged areas are considered to be structures on state-owned submerged land. When dredged areas are evaluated for permitting purposes, placement of dredged material must be addressed.

  (22) Dredged material--The sediments that have been removed from a dredged area; initial dredging of an area often produces usable material and maintenance dredging typically produces unconsolidated material that must dry before possible use.

  (23) Dredging--The moving of soil, sand, gravel, shell or other materials from its natural setting, including propwashing, and thereby artificially altering the water depth, e.g., channels, basins, etc.

  (24) Encumbered state land--The amount of state coastal public land encumbered by the permitted activity and is expressed in number of square feet.

  (25) Evaluation fee--A one-time fee assessed upon the granting of a commercial instrument. In the case of multiple-purpose easement applications, only one evaluation fee will be assessed.

  (26) Fill--The placement of materials on coastal public lands for the purpose of changing the elevation of a water body or to create emergent land.

  (27) Fill area--A structure, excluding riprap, concrete stairs, breakwaters, jetties, and groins that permanently and fully encumbers, and entirely displaces, the water covering the coastal public land. The construction and maintenance of associated bulkheads is considered part of the fill area.

  (28) Fill formula--Encumbered state land multiplied by the appraised market value of adjacent littoral property multiplied by the return on investment.

  (29) Homeowners association--An association whose individual members, by virtue of holding full and exclusive title to the adjacent littoral property area specifically defined in an easement application, are entitled, as a group, to the privileges of an easement that may be granted by the State of Texas for use of coastal public land.

  (30) Industrial activity--A use of coastal public land which involves one or more of the following:

    (A) processing, manufacturing, or handling materials or products predominantly from extracted or raw materials;

    (B) storage, manufacturing, or materials handling processes that involve flammable or explosive materials; or

    (C) storage, manufacturing, or materials handling processes that involve hazardous or commonly recognized offensive conditions.

  (31) Island--Any body of land surrounded by the waters of a salt water lake, bay, inlet, estuary, or inland body of water within the tidewater limits of this state and shall include man-made islands resulting from dredging of other operations. An island may be coastal public land.

  (32) Jetties and groins--Structures of rock, concrete, steel, or other material built perpendicular to the shoreline and are designed to modify or control sediment movement along a shore.

  (33) Littoral owner--The owner or leaseholder of any public or private upland bordered by or contiguous to coastal public lands.

  (34) Maintenance dredging--Re-dredging an authorized channel to a previously authorized depth. The same limitations and conditions that applied to the initial dredging will apply to the maintenance dredging.

  (35) Marina--A combination of docks or piers floating or constructed on pilings, extending onto or over coastal public lands, which is used for purposes of storing or docking boats, watercraft, shrimp boats, and similar structures and is available to the public and charges are made for any of its services, and which do not constitute wharves, docks, or piers as defined in this section.

  (36) Mineral interest holder--Holder of a state mineral lease who plans to dredge on coastal public land outside the state leasehold tract to obtain access to the state leasehold tract.

  (37) Mitigation sequence--The series of steps which must be taken to prevent or reduce impacts to sensitive habitat while planning or evaluating a project.

  (38) New dredged area--An excavated area which is not under current permit with the GLO. The new dredged area rate is charged for the first year, and the fee for maintaining the dredged area is charged for each subsequent year of the easement term.

  (39) Oversized personal watercraft slip--A personal watercraft slip that exceeds 120 square feet in overall area.

  (40) Person--Any individual, firm, partnership, association, corporation (public or private, profit or nonprofit), trust, or political subdivision or agency of the state.

  (41) Personal watercraft--A small boat or other craft for water transportation or recreation typically made for use/occupancy by no more than two people at one time.

  (42) Personal watercraft slip--A small area designed for the docking and/or storage of personal watercraft; includes boat slips and boat skids; limited to a maximum of 120 square feet.

  (43) Pier and dock--Structures of timber or other material built onto or over coastal public lands which are used for fishing and recreational boating purposes.

  (44) Private non-profit use--A private activity which does not contemplate the generation of any revenue.

  (45) Public activity--Activity which is performed in the public interest, as defined by the board, and is not designed to enhance or accommodate a profit-making venture, nor is it primarily associated with a revenue generating activity.


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