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TITLE 31NATURAL RESOURCES AND CONSERVATION
PART 4SCHOOL LAND BOARD
CHAPTER 155LAND RESOURCES
SUBCHAPTER ACOASTAL PUBLIC LANDS
RULE §155.9Special Bay Area Guidelines-Clear Lake

(a) General. These special guidelines are designed for the purpose of providing a development policy for dealing with the cumulative impacts of the recreational use of Clear Lake.

(b) Definition. For the purpose of these sections, Clear Lake means all state-owned lands and flats in that water body known as Clear Lake in Galveston and Harris Counties, Texas, and consisting of Tract Nos. 1 and 2, which contain approximately 1,275 acres. These special guidelines do not apply to tributaries to Clear Lake, including Taylor Lake and Mud Lake.

(c) Permissible construction. A littoral owner may construct a pier on pilings, which does not exceed 100 feet in length (from the mean high water line) and 25 feet in width provided:

  (1) no dredging or filling is required for construction;

  (2) the pier is not used for commercial purposes; and

  (3) no conditions exist which necessitate restriction of the length of the pier.

(d) Verification and notice. A littoral owner desiring to construct a pier, dock, or other structure extending more than 100 feet out into the lake or wider than 25 feet must submit with the easement application verification that the appropriate city council and county commissioners court have been notified of the project. In addition, a public notice including a description of the proposed project must be published for three consecutive days in two daily newspapers: the newspaper with the largest circulation in the Clear Lake area and a local paper. The notice must contain a request for comments, stating that comments should be submitted to the General Land Office within 20 days after publication of the notice. The public notice in the local paper must also include a plan of the project. The public notice in the newspaper with the largest circulation must state where a plan of the proposed project is available for review or may be obtained by interested persons. A copy of the notice and the names of the papers in which it will be published must be submitted to the General Land Office for approval prior to publication.

(e) Limitation beyond 300 feet. No piers, docks, or other structures extending more than 300 feet (from the mean high water line) out into Clear Lake will be permitted except under extremely unusual circumstances when public benefit can be shown. Any project to extend over 100 feet should be discussed with the General Land Office before project plans are completed. Structures approaching 300 feet in length are less likely to be approved.

(f) Design requirements. A pier or dock shall be designed to extend into and over coastal public lands and waters following a line projected perpendicular to the line of the shore unless such a design would obstruct navigation or would unreasonably interfere with the use or enjoyment of the adjoining littoral owner's lakefront.

(g) Performance bond for large structures. A grantee constructing a large structure in Clear Lake, such as a marina, will be required to post a performance bond or negotiate some other method sufficient to remove the structure in the event that it is abandoned or becomes a public nuisance or safety hazard due to damage or dilapidation.

(h) Removal of derelict structures. Any applicant authorized to construct a new pier, dock, or other structure in Clear Lake will be required to remove derelict piers, pilings, and other man-made navigation obstructions in Clear Lake adjacent to the new structure provided no dredging or filling is required to accomplish such removal.

(i) Dredge spoil. Deposition of dredge spoil or any other material in Clear Lake will not be permitted.

(j) Coordination with other agencies. The General Land Office will coordinate its evaluation of easement applications with other agencies having jurisdiction in and around Clear Lake.

(k) Prohibited activities. Activities proposed in Clear Lake wetlands shall be conducted in the following manner except under extremely unusual circumstances when public benefit can be shown:

  (1) dredging in vegetated wetlands will be prohibited;

  (2) dredging in nonvegetated wetlands less than three feet in depth (measured from mean low water) will be prohibited;

  (3) dredging within 25 feet of a shoreline or structure will not be permitted;

  (4) access channels to basins or inland canals constructed in nonwetland areas and not exceeding 50 feet in width and approximately 6 feet in depth (measured from mean low water) will be permitted as an exception to paragraphs (1)-(3) of this subsection; and

  (5) piers on pilings may be constructed over wetland areas, but boat slips and other such facilities or structures will not be permitted within 10 feet of the shore (mean low water line).

(l) Sanitation. In addition to the facilities required by state and federal regulations for proper handling of waste, refuse, and petroleum products, applicants proposing to construct marina facilities will be required to provide pumpout facilities to service marine sanitation holding tanks if adequate treatment of those wastes can be arranged with the local sewage treatment facilities.

(m) Design and construction standards. The following design and construction standards will be used for the listed structures proposed to be built in Clear Lake.

  (1) Bulkheads.

    (A) The top of the bulkhead should be constructed at an elevation of no less than three feet above the mean high tide line.

    (B) Bulkheads with fill behind them should be constructed as closely as possible to the existing shoreline and shoreward of tidal wetlands.

  (2) Piers, nonmarina.

    (A) The top of a nonmarina pier should be at an elevation of four feet or more above the mean low water line.

    (B) Under no circumstances shall a pier or dock extend into the lake from a point on the shore less than 10 feet from the adjacent littoral owner's property line unless it is to be jointly used by both littoral owners.

  (3) Piers, marinas.

    (A) The top elevation of piers and walkways associated with a marina should be at an elevation of four feet or more above the mean low water line.

    (B) A marina shall not extend into the lake from a point on shore less than 25 feet from the adjacent littoral owner's property line unless it is to be jointly used by both littoral owners.

  (4) Access channels and boat basins.

    (A) Dredging of access channels in the open lake should be conducted at a minimum distance of 25 feet from all structures, unless approved by the littoral owner, to prevent undercutting or sloughing of those structures.

    (B) In order to provide better circulation, dredged access channels and associated boat basins should be of a uniform depth or become gradually shallower proceeding from the parent body of water to the inland-most portion of the development.


Source Note: The provisions of this §155.9 adopted to be effective April 13, 1979, 4 TexReg 1106; amended to be effective December 30, 1982, 7 TexReg 4422.

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