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RULE §15.3Administration

construction within the geographic scope of this subchapter.

(q) Compliance with the Open Beaches Act and exemptions from local government plan requirements.

  (1) Local government dune protection and beach access plans shall not include the following areas, which are exempt from regulation by local governments:

    (A) national park areas, national wildlife refuges, or other designated national natural areas;

    (B) state park areas, state wildlife refuges, or other designated state natural areas; and

    (C) beaches on islands and peninsulas not accessible by public road or ferry facility for as long as that condition exists.

  (2) The Open Beaches Act applies to state and national park and wildlife management areas located on islands or peninsulas, regardless of whether the park is accessible by public road or ferry, as provided for in Texas Natural Resources Code, §61.0211.

(r) State-owned or public land not exempt from local government plans. Local government plans shall apply to all state-owned or public land other than parks and refuges, as provided for in Texas Natural Resources Code, §61.022 and §63.015, subject to the provisions of the Texas Natural Resources Code, §§31.161 and 31.167.

(s) Acts prohibited without a dune protection permit or beachfront construction certificate. An activity requiring a dune protection permit may typically also require a beachfront construction certificate and vice versa. Local governments shall, whenever possible, issue permits and certificates concurrently when an activity requires both. In their dune protection and beach access plans, local governments may combine the dune protection permit and the beachfront construction certificate into a single permit or a two-part permit; however, they are not required to do so.

  (1) Acts prohibited without a dune protection permit. Unless a dune protection permit is properly issued by a local government authorizing the conduct, no person shall:

    (A) damage, destroy, or remove a sand dune or a portion of a sand dune seaward of a dune protection line or within a critical dune area; or

    (B) kill, destroy, or remove in any manner any vegetation growing on a sand dune seaward of a dune protection line or within a critical dune area.

  (2) Activities exempt from dune protection permit requirements. Pursuant to the Dune Protection Act, §63.052, the following activities are exempt from the requirement for a dune protection permit, but are subject to the requirements of the Open Beaches Act and the rules promulgated under the Open Beaches Act. Where local governments have separate authority to regulate the following activities, persons shall comply with the local laws as well. The activities exempt from the dune protection permit requirements are:

    (A) exploration for and production of oil and gas and reasonable and necessary activities directly related to such exploration and production, including construction and maintenance of production and gathering facilities located in a critical dune area which serve wells located outside of a critical dune area, provided that such facilities are located no farther than two miles from the well being served;

    (B) grazing livestock and reasonable and necessary activities directly related to grazing; and

    (C) recreational activities as defined in §15.2 of this title other than operation of a recreational vehicle.

  (3) Acts prohibited without a beachfront construction certificate. No person shall cause, engage in, or allow construction on land adjacent to and landward of public beaches and lying in the area either up to the first public road generally parallel to the public beach or to any closer public road not parallel to the beach, or to within 1,000 feet of mean high tide, whichever is greater, that affects or may affect public use of and access to and from public beaches unless the construction is properly certified by the appropriate local government as consistent with its local plan, this subchapter, and the Open Beaches Act.

  (4) No person shall violate Texas Natural Resources Code Chapter 61 and 63, these rules, the requirements of a local government plan, or the terms of a certificate or permit issued pursuant to this chapter.

  (5) Dune protection permit and beachfront construction certificate application requirements. Local governments shall require that all permit and certificate applicants fully disclose in the application all items and information necessary for the local government to make a determination regarding a permit or certificate. Local governments may require more information, but they shall require that applicants for dune protection permits and beachfront construction certificates provide, at a minimum, the following items and information.

    (A) Dune protection permit application requirements for large- and small-scale construction. For all proposed construction, local governments shall require applicants to submit the following items and information:

      (i) the name, address, phone number, and, if applicable, electronic mail address of the applicant, and the name of the property owner, if different from the applicant;

      (ii) a complete legal description of the tract and a statement of its size in acres or square feet;

      (iii) a description of the proposed structures, the number of structures, and whether the structures are amenities or habitable structures;

      (iv) the number of parking spaces;

      (v) the approximate percentage of existing and finished open spaces (those areas completely free of structures);

      (vi) the floor plan and elevation view of the structure proposed to be constructed or expanded;

      (vii) the approximate duration of the construction;

      (viii) a description (including location) of any existing dune walkovers and walkways, and design plans and elevation views for any proposed walkways or dune walkovers on the tract;

      (ix) a grading and layout plan identifying all existing and proposed elevations (in reference to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data), existing contours of the project area (including the location of dunes and swales), and proposed contours for final grade;

      (x) current color photographs of the site which clearly show the current location of the vegetation line and the existing dunes on and immediately adjacent to the tract;

      (xi) a description of the effects of the proposed activity on the beach/dune system which cannot be avoided should the proposed activity be permitted, including, but not limited to, damage to dune vegetation, alteration of dune size and shape, and changes to dune hydrology;

      (xii) a comprehensive mitigation plan which conforms with the requirements in §15.4 of this title (relating to Dune Protection Standards) and §15.7 of this title (relating to Local Government Management of the Public Beach) which, at a minimum, includes a detailed description of the methods which will be used to avoid, minimize, mitigate, and/or compensate for any adverse effects on dunes or dune vegetation;

      (xiii) where a mitigation plan is required, the contact information for all landowners immediately adjacent to the tract and affirmation by the applicant that the adjacent landowners will be provided with notice of the hearing at least 10 days prior to the hearing on the application;

      (xiv) proof of the applicant's financial capability acceptable to the local government to mitigate or compensate for adverse effects on dunes and dune vegetation;

      (xv) an accurate map, site plan, survey, or plat of the site identifying:

        (I) the site by its legal description, including, where applicable, the subdivision, block, and lot;

        (II) the location of the property lines and a notation of the legal description of adjoining tracts;

        (III) the location of the dune protection line, the line of vegetation, proposed and existing structures, and the project area of the proposed construction on the tract;

        (IV) proposed roadways and driveways and proposed landscaping activities on the tract;

        (V) the location of any retaining walls, seawalls or any other erosion response structures on the tract and on the properties immediately adjacent to the tract and within 100 feet of the common property line; and

        (VI) if known, the location and extent of any man-made vegetated mounds, restored dunes, fill activities, or any other pre-existing human modifications on the tract.

    (B) Certificate application requirements for large- and small-scale construction. For all proposed construction, local governments shall require applicants to submit the following items and information:


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