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. 1-3 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. 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 2-8 SUBCHAPTER B. PERMITS FOR FLOATING CABINS 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 6-8 SUBCHAPTER C. REQUIREMENTS AND PROHIBITED CONDUCT 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. 7-8 Sec. 32.107. LOCATION OF FLOATING CABIN IN CERTAIN SITES 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 7-20 SUBCHAPTER D. ENFORCEMENT AND PENALTIES 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. 9-5 Sec. 32.154. REMOVAL OF FLOATING CABIN; CRIMINAL PENALTY; 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.