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RULE §13.1Leases

(a) Lease fee. The appropriate filing fee will be determined by §13.18 of this title (relating to Fees for Surface Leases for Certain Facilities), except for commercial leases. The General Land Office will charge commercial lease applicants a fee to offset the costs of evaluating the lease proposals. The fee shall be 1.5% of the fair market value of the property being leased, determined at the time the lease is executed. The commissioner may waive all or a part of this fee.

(b) Awards. After study and investigation of the application for suitability of the purpose for the lease, surrounding ownership of the tract, access, water availability, improvements by any prior lessee, and management by any current lessee, the commissioner may award the lease to the highest responsible bidder.

(c) Soil and water conservation plans. In the interest of sound land management practices, lessee may be required to implement a soil and water conservation plan. The plan is to be developed between lessor, lessee, and may include the USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service and/or Soil and Water Conservation Districts, or other entities approved by the Lessor. Lessee shall comply with the following procedures adopted by the General Land Office for submission and approval of the plan.

  (1) After entering into a surface lease with the General Land Office, lessee will prepare a natural resources plan to meet the needs of the leased tract. The term of the plan shall coincide with the term of the contract. Failure to timely submit the soil and water conservation plan as outlined below will subject the lease to forfeiture.

  (2) The preliminary plan should be submitted to the appropriate field office of the General Land Office, which shall then forward the plan to the General Land Office in Austin. The preliminary plan shall be submitted for approval within a reasonable amount of time, and in any event, no later than six months from the time lessee entered into the lease agreement. Submission of the plan to the appropriate field office shall constitute filing for the purposes of this paragraph.

  (3) The General Land Office shall notify lessee in writing at the earliest possible time of approval or rejection.

  (4) If the plan or any part thereof is not approved, lessee will be notified by letter stating the specific reasons. Lessee will be required to follow the same procedure and resubmit a modified plan to the appropriate field office. The modified plan shall be submitted within a reasonable period of time from notice of rejection, and in no event later than four weeks from the date of the notice.

  (5) Once a plan has been approved, lessee will be required to comply with the timetables and schedules set out in the plan document.

(d) Uses. Lessee shall use the leased premises for purposes stated in the lease only. Any other use of the leased premises is unauthorized and shall subject the lease to forfeiture at the discretion of the commissioner.

(e) Fine for unlawful use. If a person without authority or right cuts or removes any mineral, guayule, or lechuguilla from land that belongs to the permanent school fund, a fine will be imposed against the person by the General Land Office in an amount that is equal to the value of the substance that was cut or removed and will subject the lease to forfeiture at the option of the lessor.

(f) Refunds. Refunds may be issued in cases of mistake, overcharge, or for other good cause. If a lessee abandons or surrenders a lease, a refund will not be issued unless the commissioner agrees to rescind the lease.

Source Note: The provisions of this §13.1 adopted to be effective January 1, 1976; amended to be effective September 14, 1983, 8 TexReg 3416; amended to be effective September 16, 1986, 11 TexReg 3862; amended to be effective December 10, 1987, 12 TexReg 4474; amended to be effective May 26, 1992, 17 TexReg 3473; amended to be effective December 9, 2009, 34 TexReg 8778; amended to be effective February 16, 2011, 36 TexReg 844

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