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Summary: HB 3459 would make changes to current laws concerning Texas’ beaches. If passed, HB 3459 would allow the Texas Land Office to establish the line of vegetation as the new boundary for an easement.
Analysis: Easements, by law, are created either when an individual dedicates their land voluntarily to be used as an easement or through continuous public use over an extended period of time. In the event of a hurricane or a meteorological event, the line of vegetation can change drastically, even moving all the way to the front steps of an individual’s home. HB 3469, by connecting an easement and the line of vegetation, would allow the Land Office to take private property without just compensation. This is unconstitutional. An easement must be created by a voluntary dedication or continuous public use. A storm cannot move an easement overnight. HB 3459 would go against the Texas Open Beaches Act of 1959 that has protected both public beaches and personal property for decades. Linking an easement with the location of the line of vegetation is harmful to personal property rights.