By:  Lindsay                                          S.B. No. 1573
                                A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 1-1                                   AN ACT
 1-2     relating to the regulation of floating cabins; providing penalties.
 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.  DEFINITIONS.  In this chapter:
 1-9                 (1)  "Coastal water" means those waters east and south
1-10     of the coastal waters boundary established in 31 T.A.C. Section
1-11     65.3(10).
1-12                 (2)  "Floating cabin" means a structure securely moored
1-13     in the coastal water of this state used for habitation or shelter
1-14     and not routinely used for transportation.  The term includes all
1-15     mooring lines, anchors, anchor lines, spuds, and pilings and any
1-16     other tethering devices.  The term does not include a structure
1-17     permitted by the General Land Office under Chapter 33, Natural
1-18     Resources Code.
1-19           Sec. 32.002.  APPLICABILITY TO COASTAL WATER.  This chapter
1-20     applies only to floating cabins moored in coastal water.
1-21           Sec. 32.003.  APPLICABILITY OF OTHER LAW.  Chapter 33,
1-22     Natural Resources Code, does not apply to a floating cabin
1-23     regulated under this chapter.
1-24           Sec. 32.004.  EXEMPTION.  Subchapter B does not apply to a
1-25     floating cabin owned by a state agency.
 2-1           Sec. 32.005.  RULES.  The commission may adopt rules to
 2-2     implement this chapter.
 2-3           Sec. 32.006.  NONAPPLICABILITY OF CHAPTER 2001, GOVERNMENT
 2-4     CODE.  The contested case provisions of the Administrative
 2-5     Procedure Act (Sections 2001.051-2001.178, Government Code) do not
 2-6     apply to this chapter.
 2-7               (Sections 32.007-32.050 reserved for expansion
 2-9           Sec. 32.051.  PERMIT REQUIRED.  A person may not own,
2-10     maintain, or use a floating cabin in the public coastal water of
2-11     this state unless a permit has been issued under this chapter for
2-12     the floating cabin.
2-13           Sec. 32.052.  ELIGIBILITY FOR PERMIT.  A person may apply for
2-14     a floating cabin permit if:
2-15                 (1)  the person owns the floating cabin;
2-16                 (2)  the floating cabin floats at high tide;
2-17                 (3)  the owner owned the floating cabin on June 1,
2-18     2001; and
2-19                 (4)  the floating cabin has been moored at the same
2-20     location from June 1, 2001, until August 31, 2001, except for any
2-21     removal that was:
2-22                       (A)  necessary for repairs; and
2-23                       (B)  for not more than 30 consecutive days.
2-24           Sec. 32.053.  APPLICATION FOR PERMIT.  (a)  An applicant must
2-25     apply for a permit on a form prescribed by the department.  The
2-26     department shall issue a floating cabin permit to an applicant who:
 3-1                 (1)  meets the eligibility requirements of Section
 3-2     32.052;
 3-3                 (2)  provides the name, mailing address, and telephone
 3-4     number of the applicant;
 3-5                 (3)  describes the exact location of the floating cabin
 3-6     in terms of longitude, latitude, degrees, minutes, and seconds as
 3-7     determined by the global positioning system;
 3-8                 (4)  describes the height, length, and width of the
 3-9     floating cabin;
3-10                 (5)  provides the department with a color photograph
3-11     with a full view of the floating cabin;
3-12                 (6)  pays a fee of $2,500 or a lesser amount set by the
3-13     commission; and
3-14                 (7)  provides the department with any other information
3-15     that the department reasonably requires.
3-16           (b)  The applicant and each owner of the floating cabin must
3-17     sign the application under penalty of perjury.
3-18           (c)  The department shall remit all fees collected under this
3-19     section to the comptroller for deposit to the credit of the
3-20     floating cabins cleanup account in the general revenue fund.  Money
3-21     in the account may be used only for the cleanup of illegal or
3-22     abandoned floating cabins and related debris in the coastal water.
3-23           Sec. 32.054.  TERM OF PERMIT.  A floating cabin permit issued
3-24     under this chapter has a term of one year.
3-25           Sec. 32.055.  ORIGINAL PERMIT AND PERMIT RENEWAL FEE.
3-26     (a)  An original application for permit under Section 32.053 must
 4-1     be accompanied by a permit application fee of $600 or an amount set
 4-2     by the commission, whichever is higher.
 4-3           (b)  To renew a floating cabin permit, a permit holder must
 4-4     apply in the manner prescribed by commission rule and pay a permit
 4-5     renewal fee of $600 or an amount set by the commission, whichever
 4-6     is higher.
 4-7           (c)  The department may refuse to issue or transfer an
 4-8     original or renewal license, permit, or tag if the permittee has:
 4-9                 (1)  been finally convicted of a violation of Section
4-10     32.154;
4-11                 (2)  failed to comply with a notice issued under
4-12     Section 32.154; or
4-13                 (3)  failed to pay a civil penalty assessed under
4-14     Section 32.154.
4-15           (d)  The department shall remit all fees collected under this
4-16     section to the comptroller for deposit to the credit of the game,
4-17     fish, and water safety account in the general revenue fund.
4-18           Sec. 32.056.  LOCATION OF PERMIT; INSPECTION ALLOWED.  A
4-19     permit holder shall keep a copy of the permit in the floating cabin
4-20     and available for inspection by the department.
4-21           Sec. 32.057.  TRANSFER OF PERMIT.  (a)  A permit holder may
4-22     in writing transfer the permit to a person related in the third
4-23     degree by consanguinity or affinity, as determined under Chapter
4-24     573, Government Code.
4-25           (b)  A permit holder may transfer the permit by will, but
4-26     only if the heir is a person who in the absence of the will would
 5-1     be entitled to all or part of the deceased's property.  A permit
 5-2     may transfer by operation of law if the permit holder dies
 5-3     intestate.
 5-4           (c)  Not later than the 60th day after the date of transfer,
 5-5     the new permit holder shall provide to the department:
 5-6                 (1)  the name, mailing address, and telephone number of
 5-7     the new permit holder; and
 5-8                 (2)  any other information the department reasonably
 5-9     requires.
5-10           (d)  The new permit holder must sign the information provided
5-11     to the department under Subsection (c) under penalty of perjury.
5-12           (e)  A permit holder may not transfer a permit to a person
5-13     who has been convicted of an offense or assessed a civil penalty
5-14     for a violation of this chapter.
5-15           Sec. 32.058.  PURCHASE PROGRAM; PERMIT EXPIRES.  (a)  The
5-16     commission by rule may establish a program to purchase a floating
5-17     cabin for which a permit has been issued.
5-18           (b)  On transfer of ownership under this section, the permit
5-19     issued for the floating cabin expires.
5-20           (c)  The owner of a floating cabin is not required to sell
5-21     the cabin to the department under this section.
5-22           (d)  The floating cabin purchase account is created as a
5-23     separate account in the general revenue fund.  The account consists
5-24     of money deposited to the account under this section, including
5-25     interest on that money.  The department may accept grants and gifts
5-26     of money or materials from private or public sources to be applied
 6-1     to the floating cabin purchase account.  Money in the floating
 6-2     cabin purchase account may be used only for the purposes of this
 6-3     section.  Section 403.095, Government Code, does not apply to the
 6-4     account.
 6-5           (e)  Money from the game, fish, and water safety account may
 6-6     not be used to purchase a floating cabin under this section.
 6-7               (Sections 32.059-32.100 reserved for expansion
 6-9           Sec. 32.101.  IDENTIFICATION OF FLOATING CABIN.  (a)  A
6-10     floating cabin must be marked and identified by numbers, reflective
6-11     tape, paint, or other means as the commission may by rule require.
6-12           (b)  From sunset to sunrise, a floating cabin shall exhibit
6-13     at least one white light that is visible from a 360-degree angle.
6-14           (c)  This section applies to each owner of a floating cabin.
6-15           Sec. 32.102.  RELOCATION OF FLOATING CABIN.  A permit holder
6-16     may relocate the floating cabin, subject to department approval.
6-17     The commission may by rule specify criteria for allowing
6-18     relocation.
6-19           Sec. 32.103.  REPLACEMENT OF FLOATING CABIN.  The permit
6-20     holder may replace the floating cabin if:
6-21                 (1)  the replacement cabin does not exceed the height,
6-22     length, or width of the original cabin; and
6-23                 (2)  the department approves the replacement.
6-24           Sec. 32.104.  INCREASE IN SIZE OF CABIN PROHIBITED.  A person
6-25     may not increase the height, length, or width of a floating cabin.
6-26           Sec. 32.105.  SANITATION DEVICE.  (a)  A floating cabin shall
 7-1     be equipped with a portable marine sanitation device capable of
 7-2     holding and retaining human body waste.
 7-3           (b)  Each owner of a floating cabin is liable for a violation
 7-4     of this section.
 7-5           Sec. 32.106.  SEWAGE DISCHARGE PROHIBITED.  A person may not
 7-6     discharge human body waste, treated or untreated, from a floating
 7-7     cabin into or adjacent to coastal water or state land.
 7-9     PROHIBITED.  (a)  A floating cabin may not be located in a state
7-10     park, wildlife refuge, wildlife sanctuary, or coastal preserve.
7-11           (b)  Each owner of a floating cabin is liable for a violation
7-12     of this section.
7-13           Sec. 32.108.  OTHER PROHIBITED CONDUCT.  An owner of a
7-14     floating cabin may not allow the cabin to:
7-15                 (1)  obstruct navigation;
7-16                 (2)  damage an oyster reef, serpulid reef, seagrass
7-17     bed, or other environmentally sensitive area; or
7-18                 (3)  rest on a bottom or shoreline at high tide.
7-19               (Sections 32.109-32.150 reserved for expansion
7-21           Sec. 32.151.  DISCIPLINARY ACTION.  The department may
7-22     suspend or revoke a person's floating cabin permit or place the
7-23     permit holder on probation for a violation of this chapter.
7-24           Sec. 32.152.   CIVIL ACTIONS ALLOWED; CIVIL PENALTY.
7-25     (a)  The department may bring an action for damages, injunctive
7-26     relief, and any other appropriate civil relief for a violation of
 8-1     this chapter, except for Section 32.106.
 8-2           (b)  A court shall award the department attorney's fees if
 8-3     the department prevails in a suit filed under this section.
 8-4           (c)  Each owner of the floating cabin is jointly and
 8-5     severally liable for a violation under this section.
 8-6           Sec. 32.153.  CRIMINAL PENALTIES.  (a)  A person commits an
 8-7     offense if the person violates:
 8-8                 (1)  Section 32.051;
 8-9                 (2)  Section 32.053(b);
8-10                 (3)  Section 32.056;
8-11                 (4)  Section 32.057(d);
8-12                 (5)  Section 32.101;
8-13                 (6)  Section 32.104;
8-14                 (7)  Section 32.105;
8-15                 (8)  Section 32.106;
8-16                 (9)  Section 32.107; or
8-17                 (10)  Section 32.108.
8-18           (b)  Except as provided by Subsection (c) or (d), an offense
8-19     under Subsection (a) is a Class C Parks and Wildlife Code
8-20     misdemeanor.
8-21           (c)  If it is shown on the trial of an offense under this
8-22     section that the defendant was previously convicted under this
8-23     section, the offense is a Class B Parks and Wildlife Code
8-24     misdemeanor.
8-25           (d)  If it is shown on the trial of an offense under this
8-26     section that the defendant was previously convicted two or more
 9-1     times under this section, the offense is a Class A Parks and
 9-2     Wildlife Code misdemeanor.
 9-3           (e)  Each day of a violation under this section is a separate
 9-4     offense.
 9-6     CIVIL PENALTY; INJUNCTIVE RELIEF.  (a)  If a person owns a floating
 9-7     cabin that does not meet the criteria for issuance of an original
 9-8     permit under this chapter or if a permittee violates a provision of
 9-9     Section 32.104, 32.107, or 32.108, the department may by written
9-10     notice require the removal of the floating cabin from the coastal
9-11     water not later than the 90th day after the date of notice.
9-12           (b)  A person commits an offense if the person does not
9-13     remove the floating cabin during the period provided by Subsection
9-14     (a).  An offense under this subsection is a Class A Parks and
9-15     Wildlife Code misdemeanor.
9-16           (c)  The department may assess a civil penalty for a
9-17     violation of Subsection (a) of $1,000 for each day after the notice
9-18     period that the owner fails to remove the floating cabin.  Each
9-19     owner is jointly and severally liable for the civil penalty and the
9-20     reasonable costs of removal and cleanup of the floating cabin and
9-21     related materials at that location.
9-22           (d)  If a person does not remove the floating cabin during
9-23     the period provided by Subsection (a), the department or a person
9-24     or entity authorized by the department may remove and dispose of
9-25     the floating cabin and any associated personal property in any
9-26     manner without further notice.
 10-1          (e)  Notice under this section is valid if:
 10-2                (1)  a person who owns a floating cabin has held a
 10-3    permit issued under this chapter and the notice is sent by
 10-4    certified letter from the department to the owner at the last
 10-5    address supplied to the department under this chapter; or
 10-6                (2)  the notice is affixed to the floating cabin.
 10-7          (f)  The department is not liable to a person for the value
 10-8    of a floating cabin, or any personal property associated with the
 10-9    cabin, removed under this section.
10-10          Sec. 32.155.  VENUE.  The department may file any suit under
10-11    this chapter in Travis County or the county in which the floating
10-12    cabin that is the subject of the suit is located.
10-13          SECTION 2.  (a)  Not later than February 1, 2002, the Parks
10-14    and Wildlife Commission shall adopt rules necessary to implement
10-15    Chapter 32, Parks and Wildlife Code, as added by this Act.  The
10-16    Parks and Wildlife Department shall begin to issue the permit
10-17    required by Section 32.051, Parks and Wildlife Code, not later than
10-18    March 1, 2002.
10-19          (b)  The Parks and Wildlife Department may not enforce a
10-20    prohibition or other requirement imposed by Chapter 32, Parks and
10-21    Wildlife Code, as added by this Act, before February 1, 2002.
10-22          (c)  Section 32.153, Parks and Wildlife Code, as added by
10-23    this Act, applies only to an offense committed on or after
10-24    February 1, 2002.
10-25          SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
10-26    a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
 11-1    provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
 11-2    Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
 11-3    Act takes effect September 1, 2001.