State Sen. Mayes Middleton last week introduced an amended beach bill after backlash over an initial one opponents said would erode rights in Texas’ Open Beaches Act, but the new language didn’t quell objections.

B. Scott McLendon: 409-683-5241;


(13) comments

Nick Saum

Middleton already damaged the trust voters placed in him with the first bill, “fixing” it with new language isn’t going to do anything…except show that he hopes voters can be tricked into believing the bill (and it’s motive) has been substantially changed when it has not.

Charlene Adams

We should be worried!! The new version does basically the same thing as SB 434 in that it removes the determination of the public easement from the commissioner with this section:

“(c) The determination of the location of the line of vegetation by the commissioner as provided by Section 61.0171 does not constitute prima facie evidence of the landward boundary of the area subject to the public easement.”

We do not need Mayes Middleton messing with our public right to access the beaches, period!

Don Schlessinger

I hope mayes middleton is reading this. No matter what your spin meisters say, you have lost the trust of many of the voters who put you in office. Here's one that will never trust you again.

Rusty Schroeder

West End beach access will be gone before you know it. Wish we could just go back in time, before the bollards and imaginary turtles.

Richard Moore

I do not understand how constituents can tolerate the lack of communication on the part of the author of this legislation - when it is clear that the public is unclear about the intentions of the legislation! That is really being discourteous to all in his district.

Bill Broussard

For those of you who may be interested in open beaches and bills designed to privatize them, a similar instrument was filed and almost passes in 2013. It was HB 1560 and was almost as clever as these. In the 2013 version the legislators were to certify the land that still had some claim to it ( like empty white sand where a structure used to stand but was wiped out by storms—-such structures and ownership exists well into the water on the west end) as private the the state would lease that sand from the property owner in preparation for the Ike dike to be built and absolve the owners from any and all liability. Yep, one of the best kept secrets on the west end is that much of what you and I would call beach was once and is privately owned and owners can retain their ownership of sand by paying our taxing district about $8.00 a year. The downside is that similar to all property owners, those sand owners have the same legal liability as homeowners do but they don’t want you to know they are uninsured. This 2013 scheme failed mainly because Mr Patterson went straight to the committee and said the general land office would not stand for a static easement even if it were to be leased by the state. It the ruse was pretty clever, no? This current bill operates in effect pretty much like that bill did in 2013. It gets the state to define what an easement is and dissolves the chance for a moving easement

You might also want to know that Jerry Mohn was a big supporter of HB 1560 and its miraculous benefits were attested to the committee by Marie Robb. Yep, the same Marie Robb who’s been escorting Middleton around the west end over the past two years. It’s all smoke and mirrors folks just like the 2013 effort was.

The one thing you can count on is that beachfront property owners like MrZeller and his editorial are very much like Wyle Coyote: no matter how often they get blown up, they arise again in a few years with a new Acme Scheme and make another run at capturing the statutory roadrunner

Rusty Schroeder

Thank You Mr. Broussard for the reminder of the past, good 'ol Jerry Mohn.

Harvey Rice

This is Jackie Cole. Jerry Mohn has been openly opposing SB434.

Bill Broussard

Jackie. That’s good to know cause he was a big supporter of the 2013 HB. Thanks for the input

George Laiacona

If the Open Beaches Act is in question, then lets amend it to make ALL Texas beaches Public only; no matter how much space they take up

Robin Ferrary

ALL beaches in Texas are public. There are no private beaches and the last time I checked, anyone can walk or ride a bike from one end of Galveston Island to the other (Gulf side only, of course). There are no barriers - I know that may come as a shock to all of you who comment but don't actually go to the beach. I also find it laughable that you pick on some guy who lives in Bermuda Beach, that he wants to prevent beach access in front of his house - should know, in Bermuda Beach, the beach front homes actually have a road between them and the beach, so that isn't going to happen. Oh and beach lot owners, have no rights. The City of Galveston just proved that by expanding the beach parking lot at Bermuda Beach onto several of those privately owned beach lots. You should also know that there are very few homes on the Island that are close to the wet sand, and some of those are in grave disrepair. Not good for the Island and dangerous for beachgoers. Those owners should be allowed to maintain and fix their damaged properties and that is what the proposed bill will allow them to do.

Bill Broussard

Robin. I was incorrect. It’s Spanish grant not Bermuda beach. I know in pirates one front home eroded to wet sand. The solution they used was they cut their house ( it was a str) in half to have it on the dry beach property. Erosion has an adverse impact on beach goers and homeowners alike.

Robin Ferrary

Bill. Thanks for clarifying. However, Spanish Grant is the same as Bermuda Beach. All beachfront homes have a road between them and the gulf, so no one in that neighborhood could build a fence on the beach. Because SG neighborhood is an arc shape, a few homes have their side yards facing the gulf, but only one is even close to the dunes. The man you all don't agree with, does not own that property. The issue I have with these comments is that you all sound like beachfront homeowners are waging war against the public's ability to access the beach - which is overtly misleading and untrue. Anyone who goes to the beach can see that.

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