So when Hurricane Rita hit the beaches in Galveston, tearing them up one side and down the other, eroding the coastline to the extent that beach front private property became public lands according to the Open Beaches Act, people got distraught. They even tried to plant salt grass on the beaches to reclaim their property.
Grass that promptly died because they were too close to the ocean.
So they filed suit to regain their property, this despite the fact that it is right in there on their deeds that there could be no guarantee that the property that they bought would remain in their hands. It seems that there are rules you follow, and rules that you can ignore.
It’s Texas, after all.
So today the Texas State Supreme Court – nine Republican justices, ruled that these unfortunate property owners were perfectly correct in objecting to the loss of property, and awarded them their original property lines, lines that now extend onto public beaches.
The thing is this: the barrier island system on the Gulf Coast is slowly receding. Has been since the end of the Ice Age 10 thousand years ago. As sea level has risen, as it continues to do courtesy of the man-made greenhouse effect, the beaches on our barrier island system have receded. Soon, these property owners will come to realize that there are two definitions to the concept of a house being “under water.”
In short, what the Supreme Court just did was to codify into law the habit of selling land to people sight unseen as they did in the 1920’s in the Florida land boom. Land that was literally, under water.