In an interesting summertime beach decision the Texas Supreme Court held that the “recharacterization of private property as public [does not] constitute a compensable taking under Article I, Section 17(a) of the Texas Constitution.” This case involved Porreto Beach in Galveston, Texas where visitors paid for parking and other amenities, such as umbrellas and chairs, but not the beach. It was undisputed that the State owns the coastal land submerged by the Gulf of Mexico including the “wet beach” (technically, the mean higher high tide line). The “dry beach” is the area which may be privately owned. The decision did not alter these definitions, but merely dealt with the recharacterization of property. To read the full opinion, click here: http://www.supreme.courts.state.tx.us/historical/2014/jul/120483.pdf
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