Section 9-15-56

Application for beach project; issuance of permit.

(a) Upon application by a coastal municipality, the Commissioner of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, acting through the Lands Division of the department, shall issue a permit for the construction and maintenance of a beach project by the coastal municipality under the authority of Article 11 of Chapter 47 of Title 11, provided all of the requirements of this section shall have been satisfied.

(b) The application for a beach project shall contain, at a minimum, all of the following:

(1) A detailed description of the location, dimensions, and design features of the proposed beach project.

(2) A copy of the survey, map, metes and bounds description, or plane coordinate references adopted by the governing body of the coastal municipality as identifying the location of the mean high tide line and the locations of the limits of the landward and seaward extensions of the proposed beach project relative to both the mean high tide line and the construction control line, if any, established by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, the coastal municipality, or both, for the area in which the proposed beach project is to be located.

(3) Adequate engineering, geological, and other scientific data concerning shoreline topography, shoreline stability, and the potential impact of the proposed beach project on the beach-dune system.

(4) A description of the quantities of sand from the public water bottoms of the State of Alabama, spoil sand from state-owned spoil sites, and spoil sand otherwise owned by the state, if any, required for the construction of the proposed project, an identification of the site or sites from which sand is proposed to be obtained from public water bottoms, state-owned spoil sites, or spoil sites containing state-owned sand for the proposed beach project, an identification of the method or methods by which sand is proposed to be relocated from public water bottoms or spoil sites to the proposed beach project, and adequate engineering data concerning the type and quantities of sand available at the site or sites from which sand is proposed to be removed.

(5) Any other supporting information or technical analysis as may be reasonably required for the commissioner to evaluate the design of the proposed beach project and its impact on the beach-dune system.

(c) The commissioner, in conjunction with the Director of the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, shall schedule and conduct an information or public meeting or a public hearing on the application proposed for a beach project at a location within the county where the beach project is to be located in whole or in part. Notice of the meeting or hearing shall be given by publication in a daily or weekly newspaper of general circulation within the county where the proposed beach project is to be located in whole or in part at least 30 days before the meeting or hearing. Copies of the notice of the meeting or hearing shall also be provided to the United States Army Corps of Engineers, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Marine Fisheries Service.

(d) If all of the requirements of this section have been satisfied and if all necessary licenses, permits, and approvals of any and all state and federal agencies having jurisdiction have been obtained, the commissioner shall issue a permit for the proposed beach project, with or without the imposition of additional requirements, conditions, or limitations. The commissioner shall not issue a permit for a proposed beach project unless the Director of the Alabama Department of Environmental Management has issued a certificate of compliance or a notice of the determination that the proposed beach project is not subject to the Alabama Coastal Area Management Program. No permit shall be issued if the commissioner finds that the beach project as proposed cannot be established and maintained without a materially adverse impact on adjacent or abutting riparian or littoral landowners, on the public water bottoms, or on the fish, shellfish, and wildlife resources of the state. Unless conducted with the consent of abutting landowners, beach projects as defined in Section 11-47-250 shall only be permitted along beaches which have suffered the loss of a significant percentage of beachfront depth as a result of historically demostrable beach recessional trends, or as a result of natural storm damage erosion of pre-storm beachfront depth, or both, with significant damage to public or private structures likely to occur if the beach project is not undertaken. Beach projects shall not be permitted on beaches with no substantial erosion as a result of a demonstrated recessional trend or storm damage as herein defined.

(e) If the commissioner determines that the location of the mean high tide line as identified in the application is incorrect, the issuance of the permit shall be conditioned on the amendment of the application and the design of the proposed beach project to reflect the correct identification of the mean high tide line as determined by the commissioner. The issuance of a permit by the commissioner for a proposed beach project shall constitute a ratification and confirmation on behalf of the state of the location of the mean high tide line as identified in the application for the proposed beach project as approved. Upon the issuance of the permit, the governing body of the coastal municipality shall cause to be recorded with the office of the judge of probate in the county or counties within which the beach project is to be located a certified copy of the survey, map, metes and bounds description, or plane coordinate references identified in the approved application as identifying the location of the mean high tide line within the area on which the beach project is to be located.

(Act 2000-676, p. 1365, §1.)