Boat Docks and Austin Boat Dock Permits

 

Construction on, under, or next to the water in Lake Austin, Lady Bird Lake, or Lake Walter E. Long may require specific reviews and permits (§25-2-1171). Examples of typical construction projects include:

boat docks
boat slips
boat lifts
docks
floating docks
islands
bulkheads
wharfs
piers
stationary platforms
shoreline access
other similar structures

 

What you will find on this page:


 

What can I do...

Without a Permit

  • Paint
  • Stain
  • Limited Landscaping
  • Place Furniture
  • Limited Lighting
 

With an Approved Site Plan Exemption

  • Simple dock re-decking
  • Repair of the existing structure with a building permit
  • Maintenance of existing structure with a building permit
  • Work that does not require a variance or approval from a city board or commission.
  • Repair an existing legally constructed bulkhead if the repair does not exceed 25% of the bulkhead or portion of a bulkhead, and if no repair to the bulkhead was done without a site plan in the previous three (3) years.

Exemption Resources

 

With an Approved Site Plan Permit

  • Any changes to a structure
  • Any new construction
  • Replacing parts of a structure, including load-bearing beams, walls, piers, or pilings
  • Adding new walls
  • Any demolition of the existing structure
  • Adding or expanding the existing footprint of the dock or shoreline access
  • Place anything underwater elevation

Site Plan Permit Resources

 

How to Apply

step 1  Determine what you need

Review the What can I do chart to determine if you need a permit, site plan exemption, or a site plan permit.

 

step 2  Apply for Site Plan Exemption or Site Plan Permit

Site Plan Exemptions
  1. Complete the Site Plan Exemption Application (PDF) and
  2. Submit through the Land Development Information Services Site Plan Exemption Intake Form
Site Plan Permits
  1. Complete the Residential New Construction and Addition Permit Application (PDF) and
  2. Submit through Land Use Review Intake

 

step 3  Apply for a Building Permit

Residential Boat Docks - Requires an approved site plan
  1. Complete the General Permit Application (PDF) and
  2. Submit through Building and Trade Contractor Services
Commercial Boat Docks - Requires an approved site plan
  1. Complete the Commercial Building Application (PDF) and
  2. Submit through Commercial Plan Review
Registering a Boat Dock

The City of Austin's Boat Dock Registration Program aims to improve boat dock visibility for public safety personnel on the lake when responding to emergency calls for service. This program was established in response to Austin City Council Resolution No. 20130829-078, adopted on August 29, 2013. 
 


 

City Ordinance No. 20140626-113 requires proper addressing of boat dock structures on Lake Austin, Lady Bird Lake, and Lake Walter E. Long (§ 25-2-1180). The registration program's phased implementation launched on July 16, 2018.


How to Register:

Please complete the below steps to submit your application to the City of Austin's Boat Dock Registration Program.

step 1   Download

 
Download and complete the Boat Dock Registration form (PDF).
 

step 2   Attach

 
Attach photos for proof of proper addressing. The registration form should include recent photos of the boat dock showing the address visible from the center line of the channel. If photos are not included, an inspector will be notified to perform an addressing inspection. 
 

step 3   Submit

 
Submit the registration form and photos via:
  • Mail

    Send USPS Certified Mail/Return Receipt Requested to:

    City of Austin
    Attn: DSD Environmental Inspections
    P.O. Box 1088
    Austin, TX 78767
     
  • Walk-In

    The registration form may be submitted in person at:

    City of Austin Permitting and Development Center
    6310 Wilhelmina Delco Dr. 
    Austin, TX 78752

    * This is not a mailing address. Registrations mailed to this address will be returned. 
     
  • Online

    The registration form may be emailed (with photo attachments) to boatdockinspections@austintexas.gov . 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Visit the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) or download a Fact Sheet for more information on boat dock registration.

Please note that this registration does not supersede any city permitting requirements.
Addressing a Boat Dock

City Ordinance No. 20140626-113 requires proper addressing of boat dock structures on Lake Austin, Lady Bird Lake, and Lake Walter E. Long (§ 25-2-1180). 

Boat Dock Site Plan Exemption Resources
Boat Dock Site Plan Permit Resources
Contact

For questions about boat dock & bulkhead environmental regulations, please contact DSDEnvironmentalReview@austintexas.gov

For complaints and inspections, contact environmental.inspections@austintexas.gov.