Articles and White Papers
White Paper: A New Paradigm for Texas Beaches
The decision to turn newspaper articles into a white paper was made by the authors to present more in-depth information than can be contained in a 500-word newspaper article. The Severance v Patterson court case was a complicated one. The decision by the Texas Supreme Court was difficult for the layman to understand. The implications on beach management were unclear.
But everyone was weighing in on one side or the other, and it was clear to the authors that information and clarification were required. If legislators were going to be craft meaningful legislation, they would need information.
The authors are extremely grateful to everyone who supported this effort and who are acknowledged at the beginning of the document. We did not put this information together alone.
House Bill 3459, sponsored by Rep Craig Eiland, passed and was signed into law shortly before the end of the regular 2013 legislative session. The law creates a moratorium of up to three years after a hurricane/storm for the beach to grow back before identifying where the public easement would then exist, and is an effort to balance respect for private property with public access.
We will see how the legislation plays out in balancing public and private property interests on Texas beaches.