Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 3039
By: Seaman
Land & Resource Management


Areas along the Texas coast are subject to erosion.    In 1999, the 76th
Legislature created the coastal response account to assist communities in
areas of the state experiencing the highest levels of erosion. However,
when private property is eroded, the landowner cannot restore that property
to its original boundaries.  Once land becomes submerged,  it becomes
state-owned land.   House Bill 3039 sets forth provisions relating to the
restoration by a beachfront owner of private property affected by coastal


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking
authority is expressly delegated to the General Land Office in SECTION 2
(Section 33.613, Natural Resources Code) and SECTION 3 of this bill. 


House Bill 3039 amends the Natural Resources Code to authorize the owner of
property immediately landward of a public beach or submerged land,
including state mineral lands, that has been affected by coastal erosion to
restore the affected land to its original boundaries as evidenced in a
residential subdivision plat for residential lots of one acre or less filed
in the real property records of each county in which the affected land is
located.  The bill authorizes the owner to use only private resources and
money for the restoration of affected land.  The bill provides that after
restoration the owner owns the restored land in fee simple, subject to the
common law rights of the public in public beaches and the rights of a
public school land lessee holding a lease on the property on the date the
Act takes effect.  The bill authorizes the owner, in accordance with
General Land Office (GLO) rules, to build bulkheads on the restored land to
prevent further erosion of that land.  The bill requires a chief of an
appraisal district to include on the applicable tax rolls, in the year
after restoration, the restored land and any bulkhead built on the restored

The bill requires the GLO to adopt reasonable rules, not later than
December 1, 2001, to govern  the restoration of affected land.   The bill
prohibits state money from being used to restore affected land.  The bill
applies only to land that on December 31, 1955, was privately owned and not
submerged or owned by the School Land Board and fronts on a bay and not the
Gulf of Mexico. 


September 1, 2001.