House committee mulls expanding Open Beaches Act

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The Associated Press

Posted on March 25, 2013 at 10:37 AM

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Lawmakers in the Texas House are set to discuss a proposed constitutional amendment clearly defining the boundaries of public beaches and holding them in a public trust.

The amendment by Dallas Democratic Rep. Harold Dutton comes with a companion public beaches bill. That legislation would become impervious to future court challenges should the amendment be added to the Texas Constitution.

Both will be discussed during Tuesday’s Land and Resource Management Committee meeting.

They are in response to a 2010 Texas Supreme Court ruling on the Open Beaches Act. It found that if an act of nature erodes a beach, the landowner’s right to the remaining property isn’t diminished by state law—even if it is now part of the beach.

The Supreme Court reaffirmed its decision last year.

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