By Hawley H.B. No. 3379 77R5625 MXM-F A BILL TO BE ENTITLED 1-1 AN ACT 1-2 relating to the regulation of floating cabins; providing penalties. 1-3 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS: 1-4 SECTION 1. Title 4, Parks and Wildlife Code, is amended by 1-5 adding Chapter 32 to read as follows: 1-6 CHAPTER 32. FLOATING CABINS 1-7 SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS 1-8 Sec. 32.001. DEFINITION. In this chapter, "floating cabin" 1-9 means a structure capable of floating in water that is used for 1-10 habitation or shelter but is not primarily used for transportation. 1-11 The term does not include a commercial barge or similar vessel. 1-12 Sec. 32.002. APPLICABILITY. This chapter applies only to 1-13 floating cabins located in the salt water of this state. 1-14 Sec. 32.003. RULES. The commission may adopt rules to 1-15 implement this chapter. 1-16 (Sections 32.004-32.050 reserved for expansion) 1-17 SUBCHAPTER B. REGULATION OF FLOATING CABINS 1-18 Sec. 32.051. GENERAL PROHIBITION ON FLOATING CABINS. (a) 1-19 Except as provided by Section 32.061 or 32.062, a person may not 1-20 own, inhabit, or use a floating cabin after February 28, 2002, 1-21 unless the person who owns the cabin holds a permit for that cabin 1-22 issued under this chapter. 1-23 (b) The department may not issue an initial permit for a 1-24 floating cabin on or after March 1, 2002. 2-1 Sec. 32.052. ELIGIBILITY FOR PERMIT. (a) A person may apply 2-2 for a floating cabin permit if: 2-3 (1) the applicant has owned the floating cabin for at 2-4 least six consecutive months immediately preceding the date on 2-5 which the application is submitted; 2-6 (2) the floating cabin has been permanently moored at 2-7 the same location for at least six consecutive months immediately 2-8 preceding the date on which the application is submitted, except 2-9 for any temporary removal necessary for repairs; 2-10 (3) the floating cabin is capable of floating during 2-11 high tide; and 2-12 (4) the location of the cabin, as determined by 2-13 commission rule, does not interfere with navigation or recreational 2-14 uses for the area or create environmental problems. 2-15 (b) For purposes of Subsections (a)(2) and (4), the 2-16 commission by rule shall define temporary removal and shall 2-17 establish standards for determining whether a floating cabin 2-18 interferes with navigation or recreational uses or creates 2-19 environmental problems. 2-20 Sec. 32.053. APPLICATION FOR PERMIT. (a) An applicant must 2-21 apply for a permit on a form prescribed by the department. The 2-22 department shall issue a floating cabin permit to an applicant who: 2-23 (1) meets the eligibility requirements of Section 2-24 32.052; 2-25 (2) provides the name, mailing address, and telephone 2-26 number of the applicant; 2-27 (3) describes by a legal survey the exact location of 3-1 the floating cabin in terms of longitude, latitude, degrees, 3-2 minutes, and seconds; 3-3 (4) provides information, as prescribed by commission 3-4 rule, sufficient to identify the floating cabin; 3-5 (5) provides the department with any other information 3-6 that the department reasonably requires; and 3-7 (6) pays the required permit fee. 3-8 (b) The applicant must sign the application under penalty of 3-9 perjury. 3-10 Sec. 32.054. TERM OF PERMIT. A floating cabin permit issued 3-11 under this chapter is valid for one year. 3-12 Sec. 32.055. PERMIT RENEWAL. To renew a floating cabin 3-13 permit, a permit holder must apply in the manner prescribed by 3-14 commission rule and pay the permit renewal fee. 3-15 Sec. 32.056. ANNUAL PERMIT FEE. (a) The commission may 3-16 adopt annual permit fees in amounts reflecting the cost of 3-17 administering this chapter. 3-18 (b) The amount of the annual permit fee for a floating cabin 3-19 permit is $600 or an amount set by the commission. 3-20 Sec. 32.057. IDENTIFICATION OF FLOATING CABIN. The 3-21 commission by rule shall adopt standards used to identify floating 3-22 cabins that receive a permit under this chapter. These 3-23 identification standards may include reflective tape, light, or 3-24 paint on the bow, stern, and sides of the vessel. 3-25 Sec. 32.058. SAFETY. The commission shall adopt health and 3-26 safety rules for floating cabins, including rules relating to: 3-27 (1) power requirements; 4-1 (2) sanitation; 4-2 (3) equipment used to extinguish fires; 4-3 (4) life jackets; and 4-4 (5) warning devices, including whistles. 4-5 Sec. 32.059. MOORING. The floating cabin must be permanently 4-6 moored to a steel spud or anchored in a manner that allows the 4-7 cabin, while floating, to rotate 360 degrees around the anchor or 4-8 spud. 4-9 Sec. 32.060. RELOCATION OF FLOATING CABIN. A person who 4-10 holds a permit for a floating cabin may relocate the floating 4-11 cabin, subject to department approval. The commission by rule 4-12 shall specify criteria for relocation, including consideration of 4-13 the: 4-14 (1) existence of other permit holders in the new area; 4-15 (2) protection of the environment; 4-16 (3) effect of the relocation on navigation; and 4-17 (4) extent to which a relocation will interfere with 4-18 any recreational uses of the new area. 4-19 Sec. 32.061. REPLACEMENT OF FLOATING CABIN. (a) The holder 4-20 of a permit for a floating cabin may replace the floating cabin if 4-21 the replacement cabin does not exceed 40 feet in overall length, 20 4-22 feet in width, and 12 feet in height. 4-23 (b) Not later than 60 days after the date of the 4-24 replacement, the permit holder shall file, on a form prescribed by 4-25 the department, a description of the replacement cabin. 4-26 Sec. 32.062. TRANSFER OF PERMIT. (a) The holder of a permit 4-27 for a floating cabin may in writing transfer the permit to a new 5-1 owner of the floating cabin. Not later than the 60th day after the 5-2 date of transfer, the new owner shall: 5-3 (1) provide to the department the name, mailing 5-4 address, and telephone number of the new owner; 5-5 (2) provide the department with any other information 5-6 that the department reasonably requires; and 5-7 (3) pay a $600 transfer fee. 5-8 (b) The new owner must sign the information provided to the 5-9 department under Subsections (a)(1) and (2) under penalty of 5-10 perjury. 5-11 (Sections 32.063-32.100 reserved for expansion) 5-12 SUBCHAPTER C. ENFORCEMENT AND PENALTIES 5-13 Sec. 32.101. DISCIPLINARY ACTION. The department may suspend 5-14 or revoke a person's floating cabin permit or place the permit 5-15 holder on probation for a violation of this chapter, including a 5-16 violation described by Section 32.102. Chapter 2001, Government 5-17 Code, applies to a proceeding to suspend or revoke a permit under 5-18 this chapter. 5-19 Sec. 32.102. PERMIT REVOCATION FOR CHANGE IN STATUS OF 5-20 FLOATING CABIN; HEARING. (a) The department shall revoke a permit 5-21 as provided by this section if the floating cabin: 5-22 (1) becomes incapable of floating; or 5-23 (2) becomes partially submerged and rests on a bay 5-24 bottom or shoreline for four consecutive months or more. 5-25 (b) At the hearing on the revocation, the permit holder may 5-26 object to the revocation and show good cause why the permit should 5-27 not be revoked. Good cause includes: 6-1 (1) force majeure, including a hurricane or tropical 6-2 storm; or 6-3 (2) any other reasons that the commission adopts by 6-4 rule. 6-5 Sec. 32.103. CIVIL PENALTY. In addition to granting 6-6 injunctive or other relief provided by law, a court may impose a 6-7 civil penalty in the amount of $1,000 for a violation of this 6-8 chapter or a rule adopted under this chapter. 6-9 Sec. 32.104. REMOVAL OF FLOATING CABIN. If a permit is 6-10 revoked or if a person owns, inhabits, or uses a floating cabin for 6-11 which the owner does not hold a permit issued under this chapter, 6-12 the department in writing shall request removal of the floating 6-13 cabin not later than the 90th day after the date the request is 6-14 received by the owner. If the floating cabin, spud, and all 6-15 anchoring devices are not removed in 90 days after the date of the 6-16 request, the owner of the floating cabin is liable for the 6-17 reasonable costs of removal and cleanup of the abandoned floating 6-18 cabin and related materials at that location. 6-19 SECTION 2. (a) This Act takes effect September 1, 2001. 6-20 (b) Not later than December 1, 2001, the Parks and Wildlife 6-21 Commission shall adopt rules necessary to implement Chapter 32, 6-22 Parks and Wildlife Code, as added by this Act. The Parks and 6-23 Wildlife Department shall begin to issue the permit required by 6-24 Section 32.051, Parks and Wildlife Code, as added by this Act, not 6-25 later than December 15, 2001. 6-26 (c) The Parks and Wildlife Department may not enforce a 6-27 prohibition imposed by Chapter 32, Parks and Wildlife Code, as 7-1 added by this Act, before March 1, 2002.