Guiding Principles

The Beach Access and Dune Protection Plan Review Ad Hoc Committee voted to approve the following guiding principles for beach access at their September 11, 2018 meeting.

Beach Access and Dune Protection Plan Review Ad Hoc Committee

Guiding Principles, in accordance with the Open Beaches Act:

  • Free and unrestricted beach access should be available to the citizens of Texas, meeting or exceeding the Open Beaches Act standards.
  • Promote diversity of uses in a safe and sustainable manner.
  • Ensure the integrity and sustainability of the natural system and resources.
  • Respect and recognize the rights of adjacent private property.
  • Meet the General Land Office's accessibility guidelines.
  • Encourage beach patrons to utilize beach access points with amenities.
  • Provide consistent, clear, and adequate signage.


Action Items:

1. Vehicular Access and Parking

  • Explore opportunities, where feasible, to relocate on-beach vehicular access to off-beach parking locations.
  • Locate parking in areas that minimize traffic and safety hazards when locating off-beach parking on neighborhood streets.
  • Meet or exceed the GLO’s accessibility (ADA) guidelines.
  • Meet or exceed the minimum required parking standard for off-beach vehicular parking.
  • Identify specific locations where off-beach paid parking access points are appropriate to fund operation & maintenance of amenities.

2. Signage and Wayfinding.

Consistent location, design, and message on signage at each access point to notify the public of the following:

  • Consistent location and identification of the access points.
  • Parking capacity.
  • Where parking is allowed (and, in some cases, where it is not).
  • Pedestrian path/walkover locations.
  • Accessible/ADA access locations.
  • General beach rules (what is allowed, what is prohibited, reference ordinances, who to call for wildlife, public safety).

3. Improvement of Access Points:

  • Identify locations where access point amenities are appropriate (bathrooms, showers, off-beach parking areas).
  • Identify parking control measures (bollards, sand fences).
  • Consolidate and enhance off-beach parking and access point locations.
  • Preserve and enhance access for the diversity of beach access users: recreational, fishing, surfing, kayaking, and ADA.
  • Minimize on-beach vehicular access on eroding beaches.

Preservation of Natural Resources:

  • Minimize impacts to natural resources where on-beach vehicular access/parking is provided.
  • Utilize pervious surfaces where off-beach parking and amenities are provided.
  • Minimize wind-blown sand from leaving the beach area with effective sand management.
  • Encourage beach access roads and pathways to comply with GLO guidelines (width, angle and elevation).
  • Promote dune walkovers and stabilized mats for pedestrian beach access pathways.
  • Monitor beach access points and amenities to ensure compliance.