RAPID/Roadmap/3-TX-b

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RAPID

Regulatory and Permitting Information Desktop Toolkit

Texas State Land Access (3-TX-b)

This flowchart illustrates the process of gaining access to certain types of land in Texas apart from the resource lease process. The Texas General Land Office (GLO) issues leases for use of state-owned land. Procedures for obtaining land access leases are governed by the Texas Natural Resources Code.


State Land Access Process

3-TX-b.1 - Does the Developer Need Access Across State Land or Private Land?

The developer must acquire a permit from the state of Texas for access across state land. The GLO may execute grants of easements for rights-of-way or access across, through, and under unsold public school land. TNRC 51.291(a).

Leasing and Easement Guidelines

3-TX-b.2 - Negotiate Access with Private Land Owner

The developer must negotiate an agreement with the surface owner to gain access to private land.

The Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) may declare a tract of land a “qualified subdivision” if in an area of high population. Developers have restricted access to lands declared qualified subdivisions.

According to 16 TAC 3.76 a qualified subdivision is a tract of land not more than 640 acres:

  • That is located in a county with a population over 400,000, or in a county with a population over 140,000 that borders a county with a population over 400,000 or located on a barrier island;
  • That has been subdivided in a manner authorized by law by the surface owners for residential, commercial, or industrial use; and
  • That contains an operations site for each separate 80 acres within the 640-acre tract and provisions for road and pipeline easements to allow use of the operations site.

3-TX-b.3 - Does the Developer Need Access Through a Coastal Zone?

The GLO is responsible for issuing various types of permits, easements and leases on all state-owned coastal lands, including submerged lands in bays and the tidewater limits of coastal lakes, bayous, inlets, streams, estuaries, rivers and creeks. TNRC 51.291(a).


3-TX-b.4 - Application for State Land Use Lease: ME/ROW and Associated Documents

The GLO issues Miscellaneous Easements on state-owned uplands for projects which require a right-of-way on, across, under, or over state-owned lands. These contracts cover various activities such as oil and gas pipelines, subsurface easements, water lines, power lines, communication lines and other uses. Texas GLO website

The developer must complete an Application for New Rights of Way / Miscellaneous Easements form to begin the application process.

If the developer is also required to obtain a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, then both applications should be sent in concurrently to facilitate speedy review.

The application form includes specific instructions regarding maps/plats and certifications.


3-TX-b.5 - Application for State Land Use Lease: Commercial/Multi-Family and Associated Documents

The GLO may grant easement rights to the owner of adjacent littoral property authorizing the placement or location of a structure on coastal public land for purposes connected with the ownership of the littoral property. TNRC 33.111.

The developer must complete an Application for State Land Use Lease: Commercial/Multi-Family to begin the application process.

Developers should submit a completed application with the following:

  • A diagram of the project showing all structures and dimensions;
  • A copy of a tax statement as proof of ownership of littoral property;
  • A vicinity map showing project location;
  • An application fee.

The application form includes specific instructions regarding maps/plats and certifications.


3-TX-b.6 - Review Application Materials

The GLO will review application materials for completeness. When GLO declares application materials complete, a 90-day processing timeline begins. The GLO will finish their assessment of the application materials and present it to the School Land Board within 90 days. Additional information may be required on a case-by-case basis to fully evaluate the impacts to state resources and protection of the public's interest in state lands. Failure to provide all the necessary information may result in cancellation of the application and forfeiture of the application fee.


3-TX-b.7 - Lease/Easement

The developer may not conduct any operations on the land prior to receiving a completed contract from the GLO. The developer is responsible for making any required payments outlined in the contract. Failure by the developer to pay fees or meet other terms of the agreement can result in termination of the contract.




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