Ruling today in Pacific Legal Foundation’s case of Severance v. Patterson, the Texas Supreme Court once again rejected the state’s claim that government can gain control of private beachfront land whenever the land loses its vegetation and becomes a dry, sand area. In other words, the court held that the state may not “roll” or impose a “public” beach on private land simply because a storm blows away the vegetation or moves the vegetation line landward. The state must instead prove that the public has lawfully acquired access rights by long occupation of the area.
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