Pursuant to the authority granted in §51.127 of the Texas Water Code, the following provisions apply to On-Water Facilities, including but not limited to: docks, piers, platforms, and stationary inflatable devices which are 10 feet or more in length/width.
a. Installation of On-Water Facilities and Permit Application Process
The privilege of installing an On-Water Facility is not an inherent right with the control or ownership of waterfront property. No facility shall be situated in, on, or over the waters of the lakes or on BRA land without the appropriate BRA permit. Any such facility without the appropriate BRA permit shall be subject to immediate removal at the owner’s expense. A permit or contractual relationship shall be obtained from the appropriate Area Project Manager prior to construction, modification, or transfer of any on-water facility in, on, or over the Lakes. Applications for permits shall be made on forms provided by the BRA. The BRA exercises the right to grant or deny On- Water Facility Permits as deemed appropriate in the sole discretion of the BRA.
b. Requirements for On-Water Facilities
The On-Water Facility owner is responsible for the safety and structural soundness of any On-Water Facility placed on or over the Lakes. BRA approvals and/or inspections relating to On-Water Facilities shall not constitute a warrant of the functionality, structural integrity, safety, workmanship, materials, or water worthiness of any On-Water Facility. All On-Water Facilities must meet the following requirements:
(1) All On-Water Facilities must be constructed and maintained in a structurally sound manner which does not create a safety hazard or environmental concern.
(2) On-Water Facilities may not be situated in a manner that unreasonably interferes or obstructs access to other permitted facilities or neighboring properties.
(3) There shall be no more than one On-Water Facility on any one shoreline lot.
(4) On-Water Facilities shall not extend more than one-third of the distance between opposite shorelines of any area of the Lakes where the distance between the shorelines is less than 300 feet.
(5) Lake level fluctuation shall not constitute a basis for extending On-water facilities further into the Lakes.
(6) In narrow sections of the Lakes where the distance between opposite shorelines is 120 feet or less, a clear channel, at least 40 feet in width, shall be maintained between the facilities on opposite shorelines, with the location of such channel being as nearly as practicable over the deepest portion of that section of the Lake.
(7) A scaled drawing showing the location and dimensions of the proposed facility must be included in the application. In addition, if property boundaries are uncertain, a property survey may be required.
(8) Applicant must own or lease the land adjoining the Lake at the location of the proposed facility and provide to the BRA, at the time of permit application, documentation establishing the ownership or leasehold interest in the property.
(9) The On-Water Facility identification number, furnished by the BRA, must be posted conspicuously on all On-Water Facilities.
(10) Buoyancy for all floating facilities shall be provided by polystyrene, multiple air filled internal compartments, or a similar flotation material that is encapsulated in an approved rustproof, non-corrosive, UV resistant shell that is a minimum of 0.15 inches in thickness (such as, high impact polyethylene).
(11) Barrels, pontoons, drums or other improvised equipment shall not be used for flotation.
(12) Amber reflectors must be installed on all sides of facilities at no greater than 20-foot intervals. Those portions of on-water facilities extending farther than 100 feet into the Lakes shall be illuminated during hours of darkness in such a manner as to make such facilities visible to boat traffic on the Lakes without the lights themselves impairing the vision of boaters.
(13) On-Water Facilities may not be more than one story; however, On-Water Facilities may include a gabled or flat roof that can be used as a sun deck. Sun Decks located on the roof of an On-Water Facility may include a covering for shade; however, coverings may not be used as a third-story.
(14) On-Water Facilities may be built with side and back walls; however, there must be a Lake-side entrance into the On-Water Facility that is fully open and subject to visible inspection by BRA personnel from a Watercraft at all times.
(15) A storage closet, no larger than 40 square feet, will be allowed for an On- Water Facility, provided that the storage closet is included in the approved design. (One storage closet per Commercial/condominium/home-owners association On-Water Facility slip or Residential On-Water Facility.)
(16) Living quarters, kitchens (any space adapted to cook or prepare food), plumbing, sinks, bathing facilities or toilet facilities are not allowed in or on facilities permitted on the Lakes.
c. The BRA reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to further restrict On-Water Facilities on BRA Lakes if placement of the On-Water Facility: creates a hazard to navigation; results in a nuisance; impairs the BRA’s ability to operate and maintain the Lake; or interferes with or restricts access to adjacent properties or On-Water Facilities.
d. Additional Residential On-Water Facility Requirements
(1) All Residential On-Water Facilities will generally be located as close to the center-most part of the water frontage as possible.
(2) The area for all Residential On-Water Facilities (including areas for Watercraft slips or storage) shall not exceed 2,000 square feet in total. Walkways to the On-Water Facilities, 6 feet or less in width, may be constructed and shall not be included in the calculation of the total area for Residential On-Water Facilities.
(3) Residential On-Water Facilities, previously permitted to exceed 2,000 square feet, may re-build or replace the facility with a structure of the same square footage. All other facility specifications apply.
(4) Personal water craft may be stored on the sides of a permitted Residential On-Water Facility; however, Watercraft storage shall be managed in a manner that does not create an unreasonable hazard or overcrowding.
(5) Residential On-water facilities shall not extend further than 100 feet into the Lake from the shoreline.
(6) BRA may, in its sole discretion, permit a Residential On-Water Facility to extend beyond 100 feet into the Lake from the shoreline, utilizing the following criteria:
a. Sufficient water depth based on water available at historical average lake elevation;
b. Distance into lake of adjacent docks on either side;
c. Clear channel requirements (40 feet minimum) and/or hazards to boater navigation;
d. Location of walkway on lot; and,
e. Dock size and configuration.
However, in no event shall a residential On-Water Facility extend further than 200 feet from the shoreline of any Lake.
(7) Privately operated fuel/oil dispensing systems are prohibited. Automatic shut- off valves are required for pre-existing systems.
e. Additional Requirements for Commercial On-Water Facilities
(1) Due to the unique nature of Commercial On-Water Facilities, such facilities shall be evaluated on a case by case and BRA reserves the right to establish appropriate restrictions, limitations and requirements.
(2) Commercial On-Water Facilities with slips greater than 26 feet in length must provide, at a minimum, one sewage pump-out facility.
(3) The design of a Commercial On-Water Facility must be signed and sealed by a professional engineer/architect licensed to do business in the State of Texas.
f. Other On-Water Facilities or Structures
Other structures such as duck blinds, casting targets, slalom courses, shall not be erected on the Lakes except by written permission of the BRA.
g. All facilities must comply with any and all additional requirements of federal, state, and local laws.
h. Floating habitable structures are prohibited on BRA owned, operated, or managed lakes. Houseboats or other watercraft with overnight accommodations that are designed for navigation are excluded from this prohibition.
i. Pre-Existing On-Water Facilities
Except as provided in Subsection 8d.(3), On-Water Facilities in place prior to October 27, 2014, shall be allowed to remain in their present location and configuration until such time as substantive repairs on the On-Water Facility become necessary. A substantive repair is any repair which:
(1) Requires removal of the On-Water Facility from the Lake (vertically or horizontally);
(2) Is due to deterioration to the point of becoming a safety hazard;
(3) Is due to an environmental hazard;
(4) Results in the replacement or rebuilding of sidewalls; or
(5) Results in the addition, replacement, or upgrading of the electrical wiring system.
Voluntary replacement of non-encapsulated flotation that does not involve or require the repair, replacement or upgrading of existing structures (other than the substructure supporting the encapsulated flotation) shall not be considered a substantive repair and shall not require additional upgrade of the On-Water Facility.