BILL ANALYSIS S.B. 1704 By: Shapiro Natural Resources 5-10-95 Committee Report (Amended) BACKGROUND Currently, 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. Current law also 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 As proposed, S.B. 1704 provides for the review and approval of certain permits by the state, a municipality, or other local governmental agencies. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the committee's opinion that this bill does not grant any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, institution, or agency. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Chapter 481I, Government Code, as follows: Sec. 481.142. DEFINITIONS. Redefines "project" and "regulatory agency." Sec. 481.143. UNIFORMITY OF REQUIREMENTS. Requires the approval, disapproval, or conditional approval of an application for a permit to be considered by each regulatory agency solely on the basis of any orders, regulations, ordinances, rules, expiration dates, or other duly adopted requirements in effect at the time the application is filed. Requires all permits required for the project to be considered to be a single series of permits. Provides that preliminary plans and related subdivision plats, site plans, and all other development permits are considered collectively to be one series of permits. Prohibits a regulatory agency, once an application for a project has been filed, from shortening the duration of any permit required for the project. Makes conforming changes. (b) Requires this subchapter to apply to all projects in progress on or commenced after the effective date of this subchapter and requires the duly adopted requirements in effect at the time the original application for the first permit for the project was filed to control. Requires this subchapter to be enforceable solely through declaratory, mandamus, or injunctive relief. (c) Provides that this section does not apply to: (4) permits for the construction of certain buildings or structures intended for human occupancy or habitation, 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) regulations for 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) Requires a permit holder to 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, without otherwise forfeiting any rights under this section. (e) Provides that the provisions of this section relating to the expiration date or 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 state agency with respect to the enforcement of rules or implementation of programs or plans which are funded or mandated by the federal government under the federal Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. Section 1451 et seq.) and its subsequent amendments; (2) limit or otherwise affect the authority of a state or local regulatory agency to implement or enforce statutory standards or state agency rules applicable to the coastal zone; or (3) apply to certain actions issued or undertaken by a state regulatory agency in connection with federal funding or federal programs relating to the coastal zone. 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 Chapter 481I, Government Code. SECTION 4. Emergency clause. Effective date: upon passage.