<<Prev Rule

Texas Administrative Code

Next Rule>>
TITLE 31NATURAL RESOURCES AND CONSERVATION
PART 1GENERAL LAND OFFICE
CHAPTER 15COASTAL AREA PLANNING
SUBCHAPTER AMANAGEMENT OF THE BEACH/DUNE SYSTEM
RULE §15.13Disaster Recovery Orders

(a) Purpose. This section provides procedures for the commissioner to adopt a disaster recovery order with temporary standards for stabilization and repair of structures and dune restoration during a period of recovery following a declared or natural disaster and to assist local governments in restoring beach access and dune protection.

(b) Applicability. This section applies only to a local government with a local dune protection and beach access plan within a coastal county that has been included in a disaster declaration made by the governor under §418.014, Texas Government Code or in which a natural disaster has occurred, as determined by the commissioner.

(c) Disaster recovery orders. The commissioner may issue a disaster recovery order pursuant to this section to authorize temporary standards for stabilization and repair of structures, dune restoration, and other minimum measures needed to mitigate for adverse effects to the public beach, public access points, and dune areas caused by a damaging declared or natural disaster. The temporary standards authorized by this section shall be effective for a period of two years from the date of the issuance of disaster recovery order by the commissioner, unless a shorter period of recovery is specified in the order.

  (1) The disaster recovery order shall identify the nature of the disaster, the name of the disaster and the time and location of landfall (if applicable), any coastal county or counties to which the order applies, the date of issuance, and the expiration date. The order is effective upon issuance by the commissioner.

  (2) Notice of the order issued under this section shall be:

    (A) posted on the General Land Office's (GLO) Internet website;

    (B) published by the GLO as a miscellaneous document in the Texas Register; and

    (C) sent to the governing body of a local government to which the order applies.

(d) Conflict. The provisions of this section supplement the Beach/Dune Rules (§§15.1 - 15.12 of this title). However, if there is a conflict between this section and the provisions of the Beach/Dune Rules, this section applies.

(e) Definitions. In addition to the definitions contained in §15.2 of this title (relating to Definitions), the following words and terms, as used in this section, shall have the following meanings:

  (1) Beach debris--Anything that is not native to the beach and beach/dune system, as described in §15.11(b) of this title (relating to Repairs to Certain Houses Located Seaward of the Boundary of the Public Beach).

  (2) Boundary of the public beach--The landward edge of the public beach, as described in §15.3(b) of this title (relating to Administration). For purposes of this section, the commissioner may provide local governments with a temporary standard that includes a demarcation of the landward boundary of the public beach based on the standards set forth in Texas Natural Resources Code Ch. 61 when issuing beachfront construction certificates and dune protection permits in locations where the line of vegetation has been severely damaged by the disaster that precipitated the recovery order.

  (3) Coastal county--Any Texas county with a Gulf-facing beach within its boundaries.

  (4) Declared disaster--An event declared to be a disaster by the governor under §418.014, Texas Government Code.

  (5) Habitable--The condition of a premises, as described in §15.11(b) of this title.

  (6) House--A single or multi-family structure, as described in §15.11(b) of this title.

  (7) Natural disaster--An event or force of nature that has catastrophic consequences, including, but not limited to, tropical storms, hurricanes, extreme high tides, tsunamis, earthquakes, tornadoes, and floods.

  (8) Recovery dune restoration--Those response measures that must be undertaken during a recovery period to construct a dune, repair a damaged dune, or stabilize an existing dune in order to minimize further threat or damage to coastal residents, structures and littoral property.

  (9) Recovery period--A period of time commencing with the issuance of a disaster recovery order under this section and ending with the expiration of the order, during which temporary standards for stabilization and repair of structures and dune restoration are in effect.

  (10) Recovery repair--Those actions that must be undertaken to render a structure habitable or to prevent further damage during the recovery period. The term "recovery repair" does not include reconnecting a house to utilities such as sewer, water, and electricity. Reconnection to such utilities may only be made in accordance with other applicable law or local ordinances.

  (11) Recovery stabilization--Those actions that must be undertaken to stabilize a residential structure that is subject to collapse or substantial further damage as a result of erosion or undermining caused by waves or currents of water exceeding normally anticipated cyclical levels during a period of recovery from a disaster.

  (12) Restoration Area--With respect to a dune restoration project on the public beach, an area extending to the line of vegetation as delineated by the commissioner in an order under this subsection or an order issued under §15.12(e) of this title (relating to Temporary Orders Issued by the Land Commissioner).

  (13) Shoreline protection project repairs--Those response measures that must be undertaken during a period of recovery from a disaster to repair an existing shoreline protection project to a condition that affords protection from subsequent storms or tidal events or prevents accelerated damage to littoral property.

(f) Recovery repair and recovery stabilization of structures on the public beach.

  (1) A local government may issue a certificate or permit in accordance with this section for recovery repair and recovery stabilization of a structure that encroaches or may encroach on the public beach to the extent necessary to prevent an immediate threat to public health, safety, and welfare.

  (2) A local government may authorize construction of an enclosed space with breakaway or louvered walls at ground level that is consistent with the local dune protection and beach access plan and National Flood Insurance Program, if the foundation of the structure is intact.

  (3) A local government may grant authorization in accordance with this section for recovery repair of a residential structure that encroaches or may encroach on the public beach, but only if the structure is an eligible house under §15.11 of this title and is not subject to a pending enforcement action under this subchapter, the Open Beaches Act (Texas Natural Resources Code, Chapter 61), or the Dune Protection Act (Texas Natural Resources Code, Chapter 63). An enforcement action includes the filing of a suit in district court, the referral of a matter for enforcement to the attorney general or other public prosecutor, the initiation of an enforcement action by the commissioner, or the issuance of a citation by a local government for a violation of its dune protection and beach access plan.

  (4) A local government may authorize the placement of beach-quality sand underneath the footprint of an eligible house and in the area up to a distance of not more than five feet from the structure's footprint where necessary to prevent further erosion due to wind or water. The beach-quality sand must remain loose and cannot be placed in bags.

  (5) Clay or sandy clay may be placed to fill voids under the footprint of a residential structure seaward of the line of vegetation and beyond the footprint to the extent necessary to restore a natural angle of repose up to a distance of not more than five feet from the structure's footprint; provided, however, that clay or sandy clay used for this purpose must be covered with beach quality sand, where practicable, to a depth of at least 12 inches. Such actions are authorized in situations where protection of the land immediately seaward of a structure is required to prevent foreseeable undermining of habitable structures in the event of such erosion.

  (6) A local government may authorize the use of clay or sandy clay to fill voids in order to protect public infrastructure; provided, however, that clay or sandy clay sand used for this purpose must be covered with beach quality sand, where practicable, to a depth of at least 12 inches.

  (7) Beach-quality sand, clay, or sandy clay must not be placed seaward of mean high tide without the consent of the commissioner.

(g) Authorized recovery dune restoration.

  (1) A local government may issue a certificate or permit for persons to construct clay core dunes and dunes created solely with beach quality sand landward of the public beach and seaward of the boundary of the public beach in the restoration area. A local government shall ensure that the restoration area shall follow the natural meander or migration of the post-storm boundary of the public beach. A local government may issue permits and certification to allow the restoration of dunes on the public beach only under the following conditions:

    (A) Restored dunes may be located farther seaward than the restoration area only to the limited extent necessary to minimize further damage to coastal residents and littoral property, provided such dunes shall not substantially restrict or interfere with the public use of the beach at normal high tide.

    (B) A local government shall not allow any person to restore dunes, even within the restoration area, if such dunes would effectively prohibit access to or use of the public beach at normal high tide.

  (2) Under no circumstances may sand or other materials be placed below mean high tide without the consent of the commissioner.

(h) Authorized methods and materials for recovery dune restoration. A local government may allow the following methods or materials for recovery dune restoration:

  (1) Dune restoration methods or materials allowed in §15.7(e)(6) of this title (relating to Local Government Management of the Public Beach);

  (2) Clay core dunes; provided, that clay or sandy clay used for this purpose must be covered with beach-quality sand, to a depth of at least 24 inches, and such sand cover must be maintained; provided, if clay is exposed, it must be recovered with sand to maintain the minimum 24-inch cover or removed; and

  (3) Recovery dunes constructed under this section must not:

    (A) result in increased flooding to the site or adjacent property;

    (B) aggravate erosion;

    (C) result in adverse effects to dune hydrology;

    (D) increase the vulnerability to washouts or blowouts; or

    (E) interfere with the public's access to the beach at normal high tide.

  (4) A local government shall require persons using vegetation to restore dunes to use indigenous dune vegetation.

(i) Review of dune protection line. A local government having the authority to set the dune protection line shall review the dune protection line within one year from the date of the disaster recovery order issued under this section rather than 90 days required under §15.3(k) of this title. All other requirements of §15.3(k) of this title shall apply.

(j) Authorized beach access and dune protection measures.

  (1) In areas within 200 feet of the line of vegetation in an eroding area, the local government may:

    (A) use the landward toe of a restored dune for determining the area in which the use of fibercrete is allowed unless natural dunes form further landward. In eroding areas where there is no dune or the dune has been obliterated by the disaster that precipitated the order, the provisions of §15.6(f)(5) of this title (relating to Concurrent Dune Protection and Beachfront Construction Standards) apply until a restored dune has been established in the area as determined by a local government.

    (B) allow construction underneath, outside, or around the house that includes fibercrete or other materials necessary to restore reasonable access to a house for disabled persons; provided that such access existed prior to the disaster that is the subject of an order under this section. This provision also applies to a house that has become located on the beach or where there is no dune.

  (2) A local government may provide temporary access to beaches from off-beach parking areas by directing the public to the nearest existing pathways to minimize the effects on dunes and dune vegetation until dunes and walkovers are re-established or rebuilt. Temporary pathways shall be conspicuously marked as beach access paths.

  (3) A local government may, without a plan amendment, temporarily close beach access points damaged beyond repair or temporarily blocked by emergency shore protection projects to prevent damage to infrastructure. In order to comply with this rule a local government must notify the commissioner in writing of the temporary closure of such damaged beach access point within 10 calendar days and specify the duration of the closure. The local government must ensure that the period of limited beach access in that area does not exceed the duration of the disaster recovery order and must submit to the commissioner a timeline for amending the local plan or a remedy to restore access no later than six months prior to the expiration of the disaster recovery order issued under this section.

Cont'd...

Next Page

Link to Texas Secretary of State Home Page | link to Texas Register home page | link to Texas Administrative Code home page | link to Open Meetings home page