Complete coverage of the 83rd session of the Texas Legislature.

Legislature Amends Texas Open Beaches

Monday, May 27, 2013  |  Updated 11:24 AM CDT
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Legislature Amends Texas Open Beaches

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The Texas Land Commissioner will have new discretion for making decisions regarding public beaches in a bill on its to the governor's office.

Lawmakers voted on Sunday to allow the commissioner to wait for three years after a hurricane before making a ruling on where public beaches end and private property begins.

In Texas all beaches are public property up to the vegetation line. But hurricanes and storms often move the vegetation line. The Texas Supreme Court recently ruled that a property owner can retain rights to land past the vegetation line following a storm.

The bill by Democratic Rep. Craig Eiland of Galveston would allow the land commissioner to wait three years to see where the vegetation grows back before making a ruling on the property line.

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