The following information can be used to answer questions concerning the permitting of Floating Cabins as required by Senate Bill 1573:
Floating Cabin Permits
- Effective Sept. 1, 2001, it is a violation to own, maintain or use a floating cabin in coastal water that is not permitted by Texas Parks and Wildlife.
- "Coastal Water" relating to floating cabin permits is defined in 31 TAC Sec. 65.3(15).
- "Floating Cabin" is defined as 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.
- The attachment of an outboard motor and registration with TPW as a vessel does not remove the requirement for a floating cabin permit if the cabin cannot be used or is not routinely used for transportation.
- Each floating cabin for which an original permit is applied for must be a structure that provides for habitation or shelter. The dimensions of the cabin cannot be altered to exceed the length, width or height of the original as stated on the original application. (A "temporary" floating cabin built to meet the deadline of Aug. 31, 2001 cannot be enlarged in length, width or height at a later date)
- To be eligible for a permit to place a floating cabin in coastal water, the owner(s) must make application and submit required fees to Texas Parks and Wildlife (Austin only) on or before Aug. 31, 2001. Failure to submit by this date will result in permit denial regardless of length of time in use or reasons for not submitting application.
- A $1500 refundable clean-up fee and a $300 application fee are required with the application. The $1500 clean-up fee is only refundable upon removal of the cabin from coastal water and surrender of the permit.
- Application will require the length, width, and height of the floating cabin and a color photograph of the front and side view.
- Application will also require the location of the cabin as determined by GPS reading in terms of longitude, latitude, degrees, minutes, and seconds. The cabin can only be moved from the original location after approval by TPW.
- Floating cabin requirements
- Floating cabin cannot be located in a state park, state wildlife refuge, state wildlife sanctuary, or state coastal preserve.
- The owner of a floating cabin cannot allow the cabin to obstruct navigation, damage an oyster reef, serpulid reef, or seagrass bed or rest on the bottom or shoreline at high tide.
- A floating cabin may be rebuilt, repaired or replaced by the owner but cannot increase in size as originally permitted.
- A floating cabin permit may be transferred with written notice to TPW and payment of a $300 transfer fee.
- A floating cabin must be equipped with a portable marine sanitation device.
- A floating cabin must exhibit a white light visible 360 degrees from sunset to sunrise.
- Failure to remove a cabin from coastal water after notice can result in a criminal fine and/or civil penalty of up to $1000 per day.
- Additional rules to be presented to the TPW Commission at the November public meeting:
- Marking and identification requirements for floating cabins
- Procedures for the replacement of floating cabins
- Procedures for the relocation of floating cabins
- Procedures for permit buyback program
For more information contact Austin Law Enforcement at (512) 389-4624.