S.B. 1704
By: Shapiro (Kuempel)
May 18, 1995
Committee Report (Unamended)


Under current law, the review and approval of an application for a
permit by a regulatory agency shall be considered by each
regulatory agency on the basis of any orders, regulations,
ordinances, or requirements in effect at the time the original
application for the permit was filed.  Additionally, current law
provides that if a series of permits is required to complete a
project, then the rules and requirements in effect when the first
permit is filed shall be the basis for review and approval of all
subsequent permits for the project.  In the case of real estate
development, there has been some confusion as to what constitutes
a project and what constitutes a series of permits under the
current law.  Additionally, there is some question as to whether or
not health and safety regulations may be changed after a permit for
a real estate project has been filed. 


To clarify the existing law with regard to the uniformity of
requirements for the approval of permits related to real estate


It is the committee's opinion that this bill does not expressly
grant any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer,
department, agency or institution.


SECTION 1  Amends Subchapter I, Chapter 481, Government Code, as

           Sec. 481.141.  LEGISLATIVE FINDING AND INTENT.  Sets out
           legislative findings and intent.

           Sec. 481.142.  DEFINITIONS.  Amends the definition of
           "project" to mean an endeavor over which a regulatory
           agency exerts its jurisdiction and for which one or more
           permits are required to initiate or continue the
           endeavor.  Also amends the definition of "regulatory
           agency" to include a board, commission, or governing
           body of a political subdivision in its capacity of
           processing, approving, or issuing permits. 

           Sec. 481.143.  UNIFORMITY OF REQUIREMENTS.  (a)  Amends
           this section to include rules and expiration dates in
           the list of requirements that are considered by each
           regulatory agency at the time the original permit for
           a project is filed.  This section is also amended to
           clarify that preliminary plans and related subdivision
           plats, site plans, and all other development permits for
           land covered by such preliminary plans or subdivision
           plats are considered collectively to be one series of
           permits and that once an application for a project has
           been filed, a regulatory agency shall not shorten the
           duration of any permit required for the project.

           (b)  Amended to clarify that Subchapter I applies to all
           projects in progress on or commenced after the effective
           date of Subchapter I, Government Code, as originally
           enacted by Acts 1987, 70th Legislature.  The amendment
           includes the provision that the subchapter shall be
           enforceable solely through declaratory, mandamus, or
           injunctive relief. 

           (c)  Expands the list of what this section does not
           apply to.  This section is amended to state that Section
           481.143 is not applicable to the following:

               (4)  permits for the construction of buildings or
               structures intended for human occupancy or
               habitation that are issued pursuant to laws,
               ordinances, procedures, rules or regulations
               adopting solely the provisions of uniform building,
               fire, electrical, plumbing or mechanical codes
               promulgated by a recognized code organization, or
               local amendments to any such codes enacted solely
               to address eminent threats of destruction of
               property or injury to persons unless such permits
               are less than two years old.

               (5)  municipal zoning regulations that do not
               affect lot size, lot dimensions, lot coverage, or
               building size.

               (6)  regulations for the location of adult-oriented

               (7)  state or local laws, including city or county
               ordinances, rules, regulations or other
               requirements, affecting colonias;

               (8)  fees lawfully imposed in conjunction with
               development permits;

               (9)  regulations for annexation;

               (10) regulations for utility connections;

               (11) regulations to prevent imminent destruction of
               property or injury to persons; or

               (12) construction standards for public works
               located on public lands and easements.

           (d) Amended to clarify that a permit holder shall
           have the right to take advantage of procedural changes
           to the laws, rules, regulations, or ordinances of a
           regulatory agency which enhance or protect the project
           including, without limitation, changes which lengthen
           the effective life of the permit after the date on which
           application for the permit was made.

           (e) Provisions of this section relating to the
           expiration date of a permit or to the duration of a
           permit do not apply in the case of a permit issued by
           the Railroad Commission of Texas which did not have an
           expiration date or a specific duration when originally

SECTION 2  Provides that nothing in this Act shall be construed to:
           (1) limit or otherwise affect the authority of a
           municipality, a county, another political subdivision,
           the state, or an agency of the state with respect to the
           implementation or enforcement on an ordinance, a rule
           or statutory standard of a program, plan, or ordinance
           that was adopted under the federal Coastal Zone
           Management Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. Section 1451 et seq.)
           or its subsequent amendments or Subtitle E, Title 2,
           Natural Resources Code; or (2) apply to a permit, order,
           rule regulation, or other action issued, adopted, or
           undertaken by a municipality, a county, another
           political subdivision, the state, or an agency of the
           state in connection with the federal Coastal Zone
           Management Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. Section 1451 et seq.)
           or its subsequent amendments or Subtitle E, Title 2,
           Natural Resources Code.

SECTION 3  Provides that nothing in this Act shall be construed to
           diminish or impair the rights or remedies of any person
           or entity under a final judgment rendered by, or in any
           pending litigation brought in, any court concerning an
           interpretation of the provisions of Subchapter I,
           Chapter 481, Government Code.

SECTION 4  Emergency clause.
           Effective upon passage.


S.B. 1704 was considered by the committe in a formal meeting on May
18, 1995. 

The bill was reported favorably without amendment, with the
recommendation that it do pass and be printed, by a record vote of
7 ayes, 0 nays, 0 pnv, 2 absent.