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The "Texas Open Beaches Act" and Hurricane Ike

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posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 09:19 AM
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The "Texas Open Beaches Act" and Hurricane Ike


www.cnn.com

...A 1959 law known as the Texas Open Beaches Act. Under the law, the strip of beach between the average high-tide line and the average low-tide line is considered public property, and it is illegal to build anything there.

Over the years, the state has repeatedly invoked the law to seize houses in cases where a storm eroded a beach so badly that a home was suddenly sitting on public property. The aftermath of Ike could see the biggest such use of the law in Texas history.
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 09:19 AM
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(excerpt from the "Texas Open Beaches Act")

61.013. "It is an offense against the public policy of this state for any person to create, erect, or construct any obstruction, barrier, or restraint that will interfere with the free and unrestricted right of the public, individually and collectively, lawfully and legally to enter or to leave any public beach or to use any public beach or any larger area abutting on or contiguous to a public beach if the public has acquired a right of use or easement to or over the area by prescription, dedication, or has retained a right by virtue of continuous right in the public."...

"No person may display or cause to be displayed on or adjacent to any public beach any sign, marker, or warning, or make or cause to be made any written or oral communication which states that the public beach is private property or represent in any other manner that the public does not have the right of access to the public beach as guaranteed by this subchapter."...

...
"The attorney general shall strictly and vigorously enforce the prohibition against encroachments on and interferences with the public beach easement. The attorney general shall develop and publicize an enforcement policy to prevent and remove any encroachments and interferences on the public beach. The land office may assist the attorney general in enforcing this subchapter."...

www.texasopenbeaches.org...

to be honest, i'm really not sure what i think of this. to me it just seems like the government's overstepping their boundaries once again, and taking yet more rights away from their citizens.



"I don't like it one bit," said Phillip Curtis, 58, a Dallas contractor who owns two homes -- a $350,000 vacation home and a $200,000 rental -- on Galveston Island's Jamaica Beach. "I think the state should allow us to try to save the houses. I don't appreciate the state telling people, `Now it belongs to us.' It breaks your heart."




The former state senator who wrote the law had little sympathy.

"We're talking about damn fools that have built houses on the edge of the sea for as long as man could remember and against every advice anyone has given," A.R. "Babe" Schwartz said.


this is just another example of the disgusting, careless behavior our government is demonstrating against their people. i think those people whose homes were destroyed should be cared for, at least somewhat, by the government - i mean afterall, it was from a natural disaster. however, i don't expect them to help at all, as i'm not surprised by their actions, or lack thereof. it just seems like they're doing anything possible to get out of helping the victims...

on the other hand, i actually know exactly where the government's coming from in this case - personally, i'd never buy a home on the beach because i know there are at least a few hurricanes every year, and i don't have the money to rebuild or repurchase. some people, however, have lots of money and can afford beach homes. i'm sure they realize the consequences of living on the beach, and understand that it's their own fault for moving there - they got what's coming to them.

it's not the wisest decision to move onto a beach, but as Americans, i'd like to think we have the right to do so, and i'd also like to think there's a government that cares enough to back up our rights and freedoms in times of uncontrollable disasters in our land. it's about bonding together and helping each other, not discriminating against others because they took a chance of living in a beautiful home with a nice view, in an unstable area.

what's everyone think of this? does anyone have any additional information about this Act? is there anyone from Texas on ATS affected by this???

www.cnn.com
(visit the link for the full news article)

[edit on 19-9-2008 by adrenochrome]



posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 10:10 AM
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ok, just got a chance to edit and update the OP... i'm still trying to figure out what to make of this story, as i'm still on the fence with this one...

does anyone have any details? is there a bigger reason or hidden agenda as to why the government is using this law? what do they plan on doing with all their newly acquired land??



posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 11:35 AM
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Those whose homes were destroyed can collect insurance. But it is unclear whether those whose undamaged homes are condemned under the Texas law will get any compensation, from the state or anyone else. Land Office spokesman Jim Suydam said the agency used to offer people up to $50,000 to move, but he didn't know if that fund still exists.

Rebuilding the eaten-away beaches does not appear to be an option. [A.R. "Babe"] Schwartz said that the Gulf of Mexico does not deposit sand on Galveston Island and other nearby beaches, and that trucking in huge amounts of sand would not work, because storms would just wash it away within a year or two.

The law was enacted when there were far fewer houses on the Texas coast. In fact, there are lot more houses on the coast now than there were in 1983, during Hurricane Alicia, the last time the law was invoked against large numbers of homeowners. Many of the beach homes on Galveston and other nearby beaches are second homes, many of them rather modest.

Schwartz said the area's homeowners should not be surprised.

"Every one of them was warned of that in their earnest money contract, in the deed they received, in the title policy they bought," he said. "And whether you like it or not, neither the Constitution of the United States nor the state of Texas nor any law permits you to have a structure on state-owned property that's subject to the flow of the tide."

...

"No one has ever succesfully ever beaten the state when the state comes after you under the Open Beaches Act," said Charles Irvine, a Houston coastal law attorney. "But everyone still tries to think up innovative arguments."

www.usatoday.com...

...should they just lay back and accept it?!


[edit on 19-9-2008 by adrenochrome]



posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 12:00 PM
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reply to post by adrenochrome
 


it is not "newly acquired land" it is simply previous public land (the area between mean high and mean low tide) that has shifted.



posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 06:21 PM
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Hey Adreno ....good thread.

I personally believe that Agenda 21 is about to come full steam ahead .
We talked about this on Valhalls thread ...on the other post about Galveston ...
check it out www.abovetopsecret.com...
...I also found a biodiversity map that shows most of the Texas coast ...
Here it is RED shows little to no human use (In other words they want no one living there if at all possible)
www.wasserauto.de...


I am really glad you started this post ..it was posted in that other thread but for sure needed to stand on its own .Hope you will keep us all up date on this ..
I flagged it so I can keep an eye on it lol ..

Thanks Adreno

[edit on 19-9-2008 by Simplynoone]



posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 06:55 PM
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As you can see this has been in effect for nearly 50 years. People have lost there spot on the beach before.

I believe that the reasoning is that the beach should be open to access by everyone. A house (private property) would block access. Maybe a search of history will tell by seeing who pushed for the law change.

But until the last storm there were private piers out in the gulf. I suppose they were grandfathered in but I do not know for sure. The Balinese room has been there since the 40s. Not sure about the age of the 61st and 91st street fishing piers.



posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 07:04 PM
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I found a bit of background on the Texas Open Beaches Act


Historically Texans drove along the beach for miles, and in some cases the beach was used as a roadway between coastal communities; therefore, driving and parking along the beach developed into a cultural phenomenon which is still popular today. In truly Texas fashion, the impetus of the OBA had roots in the oil industry involving disputes over mineral right ownership. Beachfront and bay-front landowners contested the common law property boundary that established the line of vegetation as the state lands boundary. The Luttes vs. State Supreme Court ruling changed the boundary between beachfront private property and state owned submerged lands to the Mean High Tide Line. Once this ruling was made, beachfront landowners began onstructing fences and barriers to restrict vehicular access on the beach, and consequently the public responded

It is estimated that the population will nearly double to 43 million in the next 50 years, according to Texas Water Development Board’s 2007 State Water Plan.
with discontent. The state legislature took action in a special session by enacting the
OBA in 1959. The OBA merely defined the public’s common law rights, and did not
give the public ownership nor did it create rights in private property, but rather it
described the existing rights for public easement across private land. Littoral owners actually hold title to the dry beach above Mean High Tide (MHT), but if the public historically used and accessed the beach then they maintained that right of access

OBA History Link



In Texas — and, to varying degrees, in other states — the beach is essentially a park.

Public vs. Private

As former Texas legislator A. R. "Babe" Schwartz puts it, "You can't go out and build a house on a state park." And, he adds, you can't keep a house on a state park even if the house was there first and the park moved under it.

Schwartz is an author of the Texas Open Beaches Act, a 50-year-old law that declares the beach a public way.

"If you've got any piece of your structure on what is state land," he says, "then you're not entitled to keep it there."

Link




[edit on 9/19/2008 by roadgravel]



posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 07:40 PM
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i almost can't believe what i'm reading here..



The Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office (GLO) is tasked under the Texas Open Beaches Act (OBA), (found in Chapter 61, Natural Resources Code), with protecting the public’s common law beach easement, from the line of vegetation seaward to the line of mean low water. The fact that erosion and storm events have caused structures to lie on the public beach has created a situation where the interests of the property owners conflict with the public’s right to access and use the beach. The problem of houses ending up on the public beach because of erosion and weather events poses a difficult issue for the commissioner of the GLO. Many, if not all, such houses were built behind the line of vegetation, but the forces of nature moved the beach landward, leaving the houses on the beach. The OBA provides for mandatory disclosure concerning the real risk that coastal property may end up on the beach and be subject to removal. However, many property owners claim that they did not read the disclaimer or did not pay attention to it because it was one of many legal documents provided to them at closing. In order for purchasers of real property near the beach to rationally assess the high risk that the property may end up on the beach, additional disclosures made prior to closing might raise this issue before the mortgage is arranged and the transfer of title is imminent.

www.legis.state.tx.us...

wow. this is starting to sound more and more like a typical lawful government scam. they're saying that the homeowner is responsible for their house being on the beach, which the natural disaster put there, and in the process infringes on the "public's right" to beach access. now, i'm the "public", and if i saw someone's home on the beach after a storm, not only would i feel sorry for the homeowner, but i'd also feel slightly compelled to start helping them clean up. i certainly wouldn't be complaining that someone has violated my "rights"...




The Commissioner of the GLO also enforces the Dune Protection Act (DPA), (found Chapter 63, Natural Resources Code). The DPA authorizes the GLO and coastal local governments to regulate and prohibit activities that would adversely affect dunes and dune vegetation seaward of the local government’s established dune protection.


so let me get this straight - when citizens affect the dunes in any way, we get in trouble. when a natural disater hits and affects the dunes in any way, therefore affecting the homeowners property, the homeowner still has to pay for it??!


i'm sick and tired of our (mis)leaders doing what they think is "best" for us. ...just another way for them to take advantage of the sheep i suppose


www.legis.state.tx.us...

why doesn't our government want to help us anymore with natural disasters??? don't we keep the wolves fat enough as it is?!


not only are these poor homeowners having to pay for their damages and find a new home, but now they're also in violation of the law! can our ravenous rulers add any more salt to the wounds? are they that inhuman?!

[edit on 19-9-2008 by adrenochrome]



posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 08:14 PM
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Oh boy I bet those people are not gonna be to happy about this .
There is so much going on right now and with the economy in such a mess and people so broke .....this aint gonna be pretty when its all said and done .



posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 08:38 PM
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It will be interesting to see how many properties are affected. In some places the first row of houses at the water were destroyed so it is a moot point.

It seems obvious that over time houses would inhibit travel over large areas of beach. I would hate to loose my house and property but it means people can use the beach. Maybe it is the price a person pays for having the benefit of that real estate position for years. A big risk with a big payout for some period of time (beach front).



[edit on 9/19/2008 by roadgravel]



posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 08:45 PM
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Good point Road ..and I am sure that most of them were paid for a hundred times over with the money they got from renting them out .( I know they got some of my money in last few years lol) ....I am pretty sure they can just write most of them off at the end of the year and be happy with what they have already made off of them in the past .

Dang I loved going there in October and Nov .....
It was always so nice and peaceful that time of year with no one around .
I dont think they will be open for business again though for quite awhile now.



posted on Sep, 20 2008 @ 06:08 AM
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I have always wanted to own beach front property I was an avid surfer for about 4 years (never got that good beyond having a smoke with the dolphins) but I love the ocean.

But as i figured it...this would happen or a tidal wave would swallow me up or cloverfield would come stomp on me... something (it's the kind of luck I have)

But this is ridiculous, I kind of can almost see why they would want beach access open, but the reality is people just screw up the beach anyway, If I go to the beach I try and get away from urban areas or go to a private beach even if I have to park a mile away and walk it

Public Beach is spelled H E P A T I T I S in most places as I see it, so while private beaches keep the public out, I'd still rather at least make friends with someone that has a house on the beach than go to a public beach anyway

As an example when I was 6 in Rockaway Beach in Queens NY, I found these cool plastic tubes and was playing with them and then my G-d Brother ran over and told me..."Hey those are douches"

This is a sad but true story (they actually work great for making squiggly sand spires on a castle)

So do we want all beaches open to the public NO Ever see Coney Island lately? YIIIKES

Another example of governemnt gone awry

Great post



posted on Sep, 20 2008 @ 10:12 AM
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reply to post by roadgravel
 


i'd really like to know who's gonna be getting all the money they make from all these fines and whatnot. also, what exactly is that money going to be used for? i gotta hunch it's not all gonna be used for rebuilding, or helping the victims...


[edit on 20-9-2008 by adrenochrome]



posted on Sep, 20 2008 @ 01:34 PM
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reply to post by Simplynoone
 


i remember seeing these signs just about everywhere around Galveston...



is this actually proof that local law enforcement is promoting illegal activity??? all beaches are public according to this Act, right? will the local police come down and send me on my way or fine me for "trespassing" on the beach, or will the state be on my side?

what does everyone think would happen in this scenario?



posted on Sep, 20 2008 @ 01:37 PM
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eh I'm not really sure where the conspiracy is here

if someone has bought a house on an eroding piece of coastline, and eventually the house ends up being on the beach, well, I'm pretty sure, pretty soon, it's gonna end up being under water.

End result is the same, bye bye house



posted on Sep, 20 2008 @ 03:26 PM
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Originally posted by adrenochrome
reply to post by roadgravel
 


i'd really like to know who's gonna be getting all the money they make from all these fines and whatnot. also, what exactly is that money going to be used for?

'The bureaucracy is expanding to fulfuill the needs of the expanding bureaucracy. Not only this, but governments are now grabbing land to give to contractors for building malls, and other 'public interest' projects. Further, they are also STEALING a lot of land, by literally planting, oh say- one marijuana plant on your acre, or 20 acres. Then they send themselves an anonymous tip that the drug they just planted is there, and they sieze the property, and the owner has no rights to fight it in court. Done deal. End of story. End of justice. End of democracy. This is occuring all over the US now, it is not just a 'possibility'. Maybe if you post some conspiracy blogs that expose and offend them, they will go after you. Can and do.



posted on Sep, 20 2008 @ 03:35 PM
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Originally posted by adrenochrome
reply to post by Simplynoone
 


i remember seeing these signs just about everywhere around Galveston...



is this actually proof that local law enforcement is promoting illegal activity??? all beaches are public according to this Act, right? will the local police come down and send me on my way or fine me for "trespassing" on the beach, or will the state be on my side?

what does everyone think would happen in this scenario?


I think that sign is put up by the association for the tenants property, It does not look to be of a city sign with no specific city ordinance number from the city, so illegal sign. IMO



posted on Sep, 24 2008 @ 11:49 AM
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Originally posted by maintainright
eh I'm not really sure where the conspiracy is here

if someone has bought a house on an eroding piece of coastline, and eventually the house ends up being on the beach, well, I'm pretty sure, pretty soon, it's gonna end up being under water.

End result is the same, bye bye house



well as far as i understand, the end result would not only be "bye bye house", but also the government is relying on and exploiting the hurricane to profit off of it, at the victim's expense. they're pulling any trick they can to control us in every aspect... just another pathetic display of power on their part! real men don't need power to enjoy and appreciate life - only the weak do...



posted on Sep, 29 2008 @ 06:02 PM
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i just came across this clever little introductory article...

www.csc.noaa.gov...





i do plan on keeping this thread up to date as long as i keep finding important information about "one of the most misunderstood Texas laws"...


keep checking back for updates!


EDIT: i just realized this is the same info "roadgravel" posted previously, but i provided the full .pdf document, with images included


[edit on 29-9-2008 by adrenochrome]



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