Parks and wildlife code




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PARKS AND WILDLIFE CODE

TITLE 4. WATER SAFETY

CHAPTER 32. FLOATING CABINS

SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS



Sec. 32.001.  DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:

(1)  "Coastal water" means those waters east and south of the coastal waters boundary established in 31 T.A.C. Section 65.3(10).

(2)  "Floating cabin" means a structure securely moored in the coastal water of this state used for habitation or shelter and not routinely used for transportation. The term includes all mooring lines, anchors, anchor lines, spuds, and pilings and any other tethering devices. The term does not include a structure permitted by the General Land Office under Chapter 33, Natural Resources Code.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1273, Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2001.

Sec. 32.002.  APPLICABILITY TO COASTAL WATER. This chapter applies only to floating cabins moored in coastal water.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1273, Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2001.

Sec. 32.003.  APPLICABILITY OF OTHER LAW. Chapter 33, Natural Resources Code, does not apply to a floating cabin regulated under this chapter.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1273, Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2001.

Sec. 32.004.  EXEMPTION. Subchapter B does not apply to a floating cabin owned by a state agency.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1273, Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2001.

Sec. 32.005.  RULES. The commission may adopt rules to implement this chapter.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1273, Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2001.

Sec. 32.006.  NONAPPLICABILITY OF CHAPTER 2001, GOVERNMENT CODE. The contested case provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (Sections 2001.051-2001.178, Government Code) do not apply to this chapter.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1273, Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2001.

SUBCHAPTER B. PERMITS FOR FLOATING CABINS



Sec. 32.051.  PERMIT REQUIRED. A person may not own, maintain, or use a floating cabin in the public coastal water of this state unless a permit has been issued under this chapter for the floating cabin.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1273, Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2001.

Sec. 32.052.  ELIGIBILITY FOR PERMIT. A person may apply for a floating cabin permit if:

(1)  the person owns the floating cabin;

(2)  the floating cabin floats at high tide; and

(3)  the owner owned and moored the floating cabin before August 31, 2001.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1273, Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2001.



Sec. 32.053.  APPLICATION FOR PERMIT; REFUND. (a) An applicant must apply for a permit on a form prescribed by the department. The department shall issue a floating cabin permit to an applicant who:

(1)  meets the eligibility requirements of Section 32.052;

(2)  provides the name, mailing address, and telephone number of the applicant;

(3)  describes the exact location of the floating cabin in terms of longitude, latitude, degrees, minutes, and seconds as determined by the global positioning system;

(4)  describes the height, length, and width of the floating cabin;

(5)  provides the department with a color photograph with a full view of the floating cabin;

(6)  not later than August 31, 2001, pays a fee of $1,500 or a lesser amount set by the commission; and

(7)  provides the department with any other information that the department reasonably requires.

(b)  The applicant and each owner of the floating cabin must sign the application under penalty of perjury.

(c)  The department shall remit all fees collected under this section to the comptroller for deposit to the credit of the floating cabins cleanup account in the general revenue fund. Money in the account may be used only for the cleanup of illegal or abandoned floating cabins and related debris in the coastal water.

(d)  If the permit holder elects to retire the permit, the department shall refund the fee under this section on confirmation of proper removal of the floating cabin.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1273, Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2001.

Sec. 32.054.  TERM OF PERMIT. A floating cabin permit issued under this chapter has a term of one year.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1273, Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2001.

Sec. 32.055.  ORIGINAL PERMIT AND PERMIT RENEWAL FEE. (a) An original application for permit under Section 32.053 must be accompanied by a permit application fee of $300.

(b)  To renew a floating cabin permit, a permit holder must apply in the manner prescribed by commission rule and pay a permit renewal fee of $300.

(c)  The department may refuse to issue or transfer an original or renewal license, permit, or tag if the permittee has:

(1)  been finally convicted of a violation of Section 32.154;

(2)  failed to comply with a notice issued under Section 32.154; or

(3)  failed to pay a civil penalty assessed under Section 32.154.

(d)  The department shall remit all fees collected under this section to the comptroller for deposit to the credit of the game, fish, and water safety account in the general revenue fund.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1273, Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2001.

Sec. 32.056.  LOCATION OF PERMIT; INSPECTION ALLOWED. A permit holder shall keep a copy of the permit in the floating cabin and available for inspection by the department on request.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1273, Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2001.

Sec. 32.057.  TRANSFER OF PERMIT. (a) A permit holder may in writing transfer the permit to a new owner of the floating cabin.

(b)  Not later than the 60th day after the date of transfer, the new permit holder shall provide to the department:

(1)  the name, mailing address, and telephone number of the new permit holder;

(2)  any other information the department reasonably requires; and

(3)  a $300 transfer fee.

(c)  In the event that the permit holder consists of more than one person, the withdrawal of persons from ownership shall not, on renewal, be considered a transfer to the remaining owner or owners for purpose of payment of the transfer fee.

(d)  The new permit holder must sign the information provided to the department under Subsection (b) under penalty of perjury.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1273, Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2001.

Sec. 32.058.  PURCHASE PROGRAM; PERMIT EXPIRES. (a) The commission by rule may establish a program to purchase a floating cabin for which a permit has been issued.

(b)  On transfer of ownership under this section, the permit issued for the floating cabin expires.

(c)  The owner of a floating cabin is not required to sell the cabin to the department under this section.

(d)  The floating cabin purchase account is created as a separate account in the general revenue fund. The account consists of money deposited to the account under this section, including interest on that money. The department may accept grants and gifts of money or materials from private or public sources to be applied to the floating cabin purchase account. Money in the floating cabin purchase account may be used only for the purposes of this section. Section 403.095, Government Code, does not apply to the account.

(e)  Money from the game, fish, and water safety account may not be used to purchase a floating cabin under this section.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1273, Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2001.

SUBCHAPTER C. REQUIREMENTS AND PROHIBITED CONDUCT



Sec. 32.101.  IDENTIFICATION OF FLOATING CABIN. (a) A floating cabin must be marked and identified by numbers, reflective tape, paint, or other means as the commission may by rule require.

(b)  From sunset to sunrise, a floating cabin shall exhibit at least one white light that is visible from a 360-degree angle.

(c)  This section applies to each owner of a floating cabin.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1273, Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2001.

Sec. 32.102.  RELOCATION OF FLOATING CABIN. A permit holder may relocate the floating cabin, subject to department approval, and the commission shall by rule specify criteria for allowing relocation.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1273, Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2001.

Sec. 32.103.  REPLACEMENT OF FLOATING CABIN. The permit holder may replace the floating cabin if:

(1)  the replacement cabin does not exceed the height, length, or width of the original cabin; and

(2)  the department approves the replacement.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1273, Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2001.

Sec. 32.104.  INCREASE IN SIZE OF CABIN PROHIBITED. A person may not increase the height, length, or width of a floating cabin.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1273, Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2001.

Sec. 32.105.  SANITATION DEVICE. (a) A floating cabin shall be equipped with a portable marine sanitation device capable of holding and retaining human body waste.

(b)  Each owner of a floating cabin is liable for a violation of this section.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1273, Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2001.



Sec. 32.106.  SEWAGE DISCHARGE PROHIBITED. A person may not discharge human body waste, treated or untreated, from a floating cabin into or adjacent to coastal water or state land.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1273, Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2001.

Sec. 32.107.  LOCATION OF FLOATING CABIN IN CERTAIN SITES PROHIBITED. (a) A floating cabin may not be located in a state park, state wildlife refuge, state wildlife sanctuary, or state coastal preserve.

(b)  Each owner of a floating cabin is liable for a violation of this section.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1273, Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2001.



Sec. 32.108.  OTHER PROHIBITED CONDUCT. An owner of a floating cabin may not allow the cabin to:

(1)  obstruct navigation;

(2)  damage an oyster reef, serpulid reef, or seagrass bed; or

(3)  rest on a bottom or shoreline at high tide.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1273, Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2001.



SUBCHAPTER D. ENFORCEMENT AND PENALTIES



Sec. 32.151.  DISCIPLINARY ACTION. The department may suspend or revoke a person's floating cabin permit or place the permit holder on probation for a violation of this chapter.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1273, Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2001.

Sec. 32.152.  CIVIL ACTIONS ALLOWED; CIVIL PENALTY. (a) The department may bring an action for damages, injunctive relief, and any other appropriate civil relief for a violation of this chapter, except for Section 32.106.

(b)  A court shall award the department attorney's fees if the department prevails in a suit filed under this section.

(c)  Each owner of the floating cabin is jointly and severally liable for a violation under this section.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1273, Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2001.

Sec. 32.153.  CRIMINAL PENALTIES. (a) A person commits an offense if the person violates:

(1)  Section 32.051;

(2)  Section 32.053(b);

(3)  Section 32.056;

(4)  Section 32.057(d);

(5)  Section 32.101;

(6)  Section 32.104;

(7)  Section 32.105;

(8)  Section 32.106;

(9)  Section 32.107; or

(10)  Section 32.108.

(b)  Except as provided by Subsection (c), an offense under Subsection (a) is a Class C Parks and Wildlife Code misdemeanor.

(c)  Except for a violation of Section 32.101(b), if it is shown on the trial of an offense under this section that the defendant was previously convicted two or more times under this section, the offense is a Class B Parks and Wildlife Code misdemeanor, except that the offense is not punishable by confinement in jail.

(d)  Each day of a violation under this section is a separate offense.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1273, Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2001.



Sec. 32.154.  REMOVAL OF FLOATING CABIN; CRIMINAL PENALTY; CIVIL PENALTY; HEARING. (a) If a person owns a floating cabin that does not meet the criteria for issuance of an original permit under this chapter or if an owner violates a provision of Section 32.104, 32.107, or 32.108, the department may by written notice require the removal of the floating cabin from the coastal water not later than the 90th day after the date of notice. The owner may, not later than 30 days after receipt of notice of removal, object to the revocation and show good cause why the permit should not be revoked. Good cause includes:

(1)  force majeure, including a hurricane or tropical storm;

(2)  circumstances resulting in a change of criteria for reasons not attributable to the actions of the owner; or

(3)  any other reasons that the department adopts by rule.

(b)  A person commits an offense if the person does not remove the floating cabin during the period provided by Subsection (a) or such extended period as may be prescribed by department rule. An offense under this subsection is a Class B Parks and Wildlife Code misdemeanor, except that the offense is not punishable by confinement in jail.

(c)  The department may assess a civil penalty for a violation of Subsection (a) of not more than $1,000 for each day after the notice period that the owner fails to remove the floating cabin. Each owner is jointly and severally liable for the civil penalty and the reasonable costs of removal and cleanup of the floating cabin and related materials at that location.

(d)  If a person does not remove the floating cabin during the period provided by Subsection (a), the department or a person or entity authorized by the department may remove and dispose of the floating cabin and any associated personal property in any manner without further notice.

(e)  Notice under this section is valid if:

(1)  a person who owns a floating cabin has held a permit issued under this chapter and the notice is sent by certified letter from the department to the owner at the last address supplied to the department under this chapter; or

(2)  as to a floating cabin that has not been identified and for which the owner has not been issued a permit, the notice is affixed to the floating cabin.

(f)  The department is not liable to a person for the value of a floating cabin, or any personal property associated with the cabin, removed under this section.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1273, Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2001.

Sec. 32.155.  VENUE. The department may file any suit under this chapter in Travis County or the county in which the floating cabin that is the subject of the suit is located.



Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1273, Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2001.



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