BILL ANALYSIS S.B. 1704 By: Shapiro (Kuempel) May 18, 1995 Committee Report (Unamended) BACKGROUND 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. PURPOSE To clarify the existing law with regard to the uniformity of requirements for the approval of permits related to real estate development. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY 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 BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1 Amends Subchapter I, Chapter 481, Government Code, as follows: 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 businesses; (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 issued. 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. SUMMARY OF COMMITTEE ACTION 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.