|(a) Local government certification of beachfront construction.
This section provides the standards local governments shall follow
when preparing that portion of the dune protection and beach access
plan specifically related to issuing or conditioning beachfront construction
(1) In general, within its jurisdiction, a local government
shall not allow diminution of the size of public beaches and shall
preserve and enhance public access between public beaches and public
roads lying landward. A local government certification shall consist
of one of two affirmative findings: an affirmative finding by a local
government that the proposed construction is consistent with the beach
access portion of a local government's dune protection and beach access
plan and does not encroach upon the public beach, nor does it interfere
with, or otherwise restrict, the public's right to use and have access
to and from the public beach; or an affirmative finding that the proposed
construction is inconsistent with the beach access portion of a local
government's dune protection and beach access plan. The beach access
portion of the local government's dune protection and beach access
plan shall provide that beachfront construction will not adversely
affect or allow encroachments upon the public beach or interfere with
or otherwise impair the public's right to use and have access to and
from the public beach.
(2) No person shall initiate or perform construction
in violation of Texas Natural Resources Code, §61.013 or this
(b) Prohibition of certification. Local governments
shall not issue a certificate authorizing beachfront construction
if the local government determines that the construction:
(1) reduces the size of the public beach in any manner;
(2) closes or otherwise impairs any existing public
beach access point unless the local government simultaneously provides
or requires the permittee to provide equivalent or better public access;
(3) includes a proposal to construct a concrete slab
or other impervious surfaces within 200 feet of the line of vegetation
or within the eroding area boundary (if such a boundary is established
in the local beach/dune plan), whichever distance is greater. Local
governments may authorize construction of a concrete slab or other
impervious surfaces beneath the footprint of a habitable structure
elevated on pilings provided the concrete slab or impervious surface
will not extend beyond the footprint of the structure and will not
be structurally attached to the building's foundation. Local governments
shall not authorize the construction, outside the footprint of a habitable
structure, of a concrete slab or other impervious surface whose area
exceeds 5.0% of the footprint of the habitable structure. Permeable
materials such as brick pavers, limestone, or gravel may be used to
construct driveways or parking areas.
(c) Encroachments on public beaches.
(1) Prohibition of construction on the public beach.
Except as provided in §15.11 (relating to Repairs to Certain
Houses Located Seaward of the Boundary of the Public Beach), a local
government is prohibited from issuing a certificate authorizing any
person to undertake any construction on the public beach or any construction
that encroaches in whole or in part on the public beach. This prohibition
does not prevent the approval of man-made vegetated mounds and dune
walkovers under a properly issued dune protection permit and beachfront
construction certificate. Any issuance or approval of a permit, certificate,
or any other instrument contrary to this subsection is void.
(2) Construction landward of the public beach. Except
as provided in §15.11, local governments shall not issue any
beachfront construction certificate authorizing construction landward
of the public beach that functionally supports or depends on, or is
otherwise related to, proposed or existing structures that encroach
on the public beach, regardless of whether the encroaching structure
is on land that was previously landward of the public beach.
(d) Dedication of new beach access points.
(1) Pursuant to the authority provided in the Open
Beaches Act, §61.015(g), and as a condition of beachfront construction
certification as to consistency with a local government's plan, a
local government shall require a permittee to dedicate to the public
new public beach access or parking area(s), where necessary, for consistency
with the beach access and use, vehicular control, or beach user fee
provisions of the pertinent state-approved dune protection and beach
access plan. Such provisions shall incorporate the standards for pedestrian
and vehicular access established in §15.7 of this title (relating
to Local Government Management of the Public Beach).
(2) A local government shall require a permittee to
dedicate an access area if it issues a certificate allowing a permittee
to conduct activities which will impair access to and from the beach
in any manner. Such a dedicated access area shall provide access equivalent
to or better than the access impaired by the permittee's activity
and shall be consistent with the pertinent provisions regarding beach
access and use, vehicular controls.
|Source Note: The provisions of this §15.5 adopted to be effective February 17, 1993, 18 TexReg 661; amended to be effective April 16, 1996, 21 TexReg 3004; amended to be effective February 28, 2000, 25 TexReg 1713; amended to be effective October 21, 2003, 28 TexReg 9075; amended to be effective August 30, 2006, 31 TexReg 6777; amended to be effective May 8, 2023, 48 TexReg 2343