The Texas General Land Office issues commercial leases and easements for coastal projects that produce revenue from the private use of state-owned submerged land. Commercial coastal easements (LC) are generally issued for commercial projects on coastal public land when the applicant has an ownership interest in the adjacent uplands (TNRC§33). Coastal surface leases (SL) are generally issued for all other commercial projects on state-owned submerged land.
Commercial projects can include marinas, restaurants, restaurant patios, boardwalks, fishing piers, breakwaters, docks and wharves, dredged channels, and similar projects. The encumbrance of state-owned submerged land is authorized for these activities through the General Land Office leases and easements referenced above. In most instances, the operator owns the structures and leases the submerged land from the General Land Office.
Structures extending onto submerged land for residential use are authorized through the General Land Office (TNRC§33). Structures typically consist of a pier and associated components, such as a boat lift, landing, or fish cleaning table. In many cases, authorization for these structures is obtained through the Coastal Field Offices.
Single family residential structures that meet the qualifications for a Structure Registration only require a one time application fee of $25.00 for the life of the structure, with no annual rent. The General Land Office also administers the US Army Corps of Engineers Permit in conjunction with the Structure Registration, greatly reducing the amount of time and coordination needed to obtain authorization for a proposed residential pier.
The General Land Office also issues easements for piers and structures on state land associated with Home Owner Association’s (HOA) and Vacation Rental Properties.
Cabin Permits (PC) are issued pursuant to Texas Natural Resources Code (TNRC) §33.103(3) authorizing the use of recreational state-owned cabins on coastal public land. Prior to legislative approval of the Coastal Public Lands Management Act (CPLMA) in 1973, numerous unauthorized shacks or "cabins" were constructed by trappers, commercial fishermen, and others throughout the bays and estuaries of the Texas Gulf Coast. A provision contained in the CPLMA authorized the GLO to allow continued use of these cabins-for recreational purposes only-through the issuance of a GLO contract and payment of appropriate fees.
By statute, the cabins are considered state-owned structures and the contract authorizes use of the site, not ownership in the structure, for a term of five years. The recipient of a Cabin Permit is required to comply with all terms and conditions of the contract. Violation of the contract terms or failure to pay the required fees may result in delinquent penalties and/or termination of the contract and removal of any personal property at the cabin site. The cabin itself, however, remains the property of the state and may be permitted to another interested party.
Obtaining a Cabin Permit from the GLO does not exempt the applicant from complying with all other applicable local, state, and/or federal permitting requirements.