Coastal Resources Division

In an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, City Hall is currently not accepting walk-in customer traffic.

You can submit building permit applications and code enforcement complaints online through the ePortal,

The Planning and Coastal Resources Divisions will accept applications via email. For the time being, fence, swimming pool, and roof permit applications will also be accepted via email.

We are available by phone and email during regular business hours, 8:00am to 5:00pm, Monday thru Friday.

Please be advised that Development Services is operating with reduced staff and some employees may not have access to their phones. For immediate assistance, we encourage you to email the Planning Counter at

Coastal Resources Division

The Coastal Resources Division performs a variety of administrative, policy and technical work around the current and long range planning programs related to coastal resources. Duties include overseeing the implementation and management of the City of Galveston’s Coastal Management Plan; evaluate federal and state land use law and impacts on local plans and ordinances related to the relationship between private property for the equity and sustainability of natural resource use; and gathering, interpreting and preparing data for studies. Reports and recommends to City Council, Planning Commission and stakeholder groups.

Hurricane Laura/Tropical Storm Beta - Emergency Repairs

The Emergency Rules adopted by the Texas General Land Office October 2, 2020, in response to Tropical Storm Beta, were adopted and effect for 120 days, or until January 29, 2021. These rules are no longer in effect.

Please see the Beachfront Construction Certificate/Dune Protection Permit application process described below for any proposed repairs or improvements.

Beachfront Construction

Construction activities proposed within 1,000 feet of the mean high tide line of the Gulf of Mexico require a Beachfront Construction Certificate/Dune Protection Permit before the work can begin.

Contact the Coastal Resources Division Staff at for questions about the application process.

Application Forms

Beachfront Construction Certificate/Dune Protection Permit Application (PDF)

Annual Beach Maintenance Permit Application (PDF)

City of Galveston Dune Protection and Beach Access Plan

Click here to download a copy of the Certified plan: Ordinance-16-003 - City of Galveston Dune Protection and Beach Access Plan

Erosion Response Plan (ERP)

On April 12, 2012, City Council adopted the Erosion Response Plan (ERP) as an appendix to the City’s Dune Protection and Beach Access Plan.

Purpose of ERP

  • Reduce public expenditures for erosion and storm damage losses to public and private property, including public beaches;
  • Ensure the health and stability of existing dune systems and dune vegetation;
  • Encourage the natural recovery of dunes and beaches following storm-induced erosion;
  • Provide for the establishment of new dunes through restoration projects; and
  • Allow for the landward migration of beaches and dunes due to erosion.

Link to download the ERP: 

Updates to the Plan (DRAFT)

At their regular meeting on January 24, 2019, City Council adopted Ordinance 19-012, which is a draft of the City of Galveston Dune Protection and Beach Access Plan.

The purpose of this draft is to:

  • Consolidate and reconcile the City’s existing local ordinances that pertain to beachfront construction and dune protection regulations, definitions of terms, and the City’s Erosion Response Plan.
  • Incorporate a 2015 update to state law regarding dune mitigation was also included in the draft (see 31 TAC Rule §15.4).
  • Incorporate a proposed new beach user fee schedule for parking along Seawall Boulevard in Seawall Beach Urban Park.

City Council also directed staff to submit this draft to the Texas General Land Office (GLO) for their review and consideration of certification. Staff submitted the draft to the GLO on February 12, 2019 and are pending approval from the state.

Link to download:

City of Galveston Dune Protection and Beach Access Plan (DRAFT) (PDF)

Beach Access and Dune Protection Plan Review Ad Hoc Committee

City Council adopted Resolution 18-024 (PDF) on May 24, 2018, establishing the Beach Access and Dune Protection Plan Review Committee.

The mission of this committee is to review the City’s Beach Access and Dune Protection Plan and to provide recommendations of possible amendments to the plan to the Planning Commission and City Council.

Ad Hoc Committee Website

More information about the Ad Hoc Committee can be found here: Beach & Ad Hoc Committee

Annual Beach Surveys

The City of Galveston and Galveston Park Board of Trustees has partnered on a project to collect topographic and bathymetric data of the shoreline on Galveston Island on an annual basis.

This project provides datasets for permits required for annual beach maintenance activities along the Island’s beachfront, for mapping and maintaining a record of the City’s Dune Protection Line in accordance with the Texas Administrative Code (31 TAC Rule § 15.3), and to document pre and post-storm beach conditions for potential FEMA assistance after tropical storms.

Lessons learned from earlier years in the project have resulted in a more refined scope of services, which has resulted in a lower cost for the services to provide the same project deliverables.

This project is funded by a cost-share agreement between the City of Galveston, the Industrial Development Corporation (4B Sales Tax), and the Galveston Park Board of Trustees.


Construction on the Texas Gulf Coast

Frequently Asked Questions Guide from the Texas General Land Office (link to FAQ)

Texas Beach Accessibility Guide

A guide from the Texas General Land Office on vehicular beach access, pedestrian beach access, accessible parking, signage & beach amenities, and other beach access topics. (Link to Guide)

Coastal Dunes: Dune Protection and Improvement Manual for the Texas Gulf Coast

A guide from the Texas General Land Office on topics such as the Texas beaches and dunes, dune construction/improvement/repair, dune walkovers, beach access and drainage. (Link to Guide)

Coastal Construction Manual, Fourth Edition

A two-volume publication that provides a comprehensive approach to planning, siting, designing, constructing, and maintaining homes in the coastal environment.

Volume I (link) provides information about hazard identification, siting decisions, regulatory requirements, economic implications, and risk management.

Volume II (link) contains in-depth descriptions of design, construction, and maintenance practices that, when followed, will increase the durability of residential buildings in the harsh coastal environment and reduce economic losses associated with coastal natural disasters.

BEG Shoreline Change Map 

An interactive map prepared by the Bureau of Economic Geology that illustrates trends in shoreline change along the Texas Gulf Coast, from the 1930’s to 2012. (Link to Interactive Map)

A link to the full report of the study can be found here (link).

Homeowner’s Handbook to Prepare for Coastal Natural Hazards

A handbook for property owners along the Gulf coast to increase awareness of coastal hazards and promote resiliency. Prepared by partners of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance. (Link to Handbook)

National Wetlands Inventory

An interactive map prepared by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of wetland resources in the United States. (Link to Interactive Map)