|(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
(A) posted on the General Land Office's (GLO) Internet
(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
(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,
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(A) result in increased flooding to the site or adjacent
(B) aggravate erosion;
(C) result in adverse effects to dune hydrology;
(D) increase the vulnerability to washouts or blowouts;
(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.