H.B. No. 1001
1-1 AN ACT
1-2 relating to the regulation of subdivisions in economically
1-3 distressed areas and the delivery of water and sewer services to
1-4 economically distressed subdivisions; providing civil and criminal
1-6 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
1-7 SECTION 1. LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS. The legislature finds
1-9 (1) economically distressed subdivisions commonly
1-10 called "colonias" are found throughout the affected counties;
1-11 (2) in recent years, the number of people living in
1-12 these economically distressed subdivisions in the affected counties
1-13 has increased;
1-14 (3) due to the implementation of the North American
1-15 Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the General Agreement on Tariffs and
1-16 Trade (GATT), other economic incentives, and the increasingly
1-17 robust economic development along the Texas-Mexico border, the
1-18 population in economically distressed subdivisions in the affected
1-19 counties will continue to increase;
1-20 (4) the residents of the economically distressed
1-21 subdivisions in the affected counties constitute an unusually
1-22 mobile population, moving to all parts of the state and beyond the
1-23 state to seek employment;
2-1 (5) these conditions allow unscrupulous individuals,
2-2 through the use of executory contracts, to take advantage of the
2-3 residents of economically distressed subdivisions by charging
2-4 usurious rates of interest as well as allowing unbridled discretion
2-5 to evict;
2-6 (6) the vast majority of housing units in these
2-7 economically distressed subdivisions lack an adequate potable water
2-8 supply and concomitant wastewater or sewer services;
2-9 (7) the lack of an adequate potable water supply and
2-10 concomitant wastewater or sewer services creates a serious and
2-11 unacceptable health hazard from third world illnesses for the
2-12 residents of the economically distressed subdivisions in the
2-13 affected counties;
2-14 (8) many of the housing units in these economically
2-15 distressed subdivisions are located in isolated rural segments in
2-16 the affected counties where the land is inexpensive, located in
2-17 floodplains, and subject to flooding after rains, leading to the
2-18 overflow of pit privies and thus to the spreading of bacteria onto
2-19 the land and into the water table;
2-20 (9) the location, proliferation, and conditions in
2-21 these economically distressed subdivisions pose a clear and
2-22 substantial threat to the environment of the border region, as well
2-23 as to all Texas;
2-24 (10) the lack of an adequate potable water supply and
2-25 concomitant wastewater or sewer services, coupled with the location
3-1 of these subdivisions, erodes the economic stability of the
3-2 affected counties, which are dependent upon a healthy public and a
3-3 safe environment;
3-4 (11) the lack of an adequate potable water supply and
3-5 concomitant wastewater or sewer services erodes the economic
3-6 stability of the affected counties, which is required for the
3-7 mutual development of trade, transportation, and commerce,
3-8 affecting not only the border region, but all regions of the state
3-9 where the trade, transportation, and commerce reach;
3-10 (12) the health risk created along the border in the
3-11 affected counties, the expected increase in population during the
3-12 next decade, and the mobility of the residents of these
3-13 economically distressed subdivisions, coupled with the fact that
3-14 the trade, transportation, and commerce along the border is the
3-15 most intense in the United States, create the very substantial risk
3-16 of third world epidemics spreading to the residents of this state
3-17 and beyond;
3-18 (13) unless adequate remedial steps are taken
3-19 immediately to alleviate the health risks to all Texans that are
3-20 caused by the lack of basic services in the affected counties, the
3-21 costs of containing an epidemic will be astronomical; and
3-22 (14) the need to address this public health and safety
3-23 hazard is a compelling crisis that must be addressed through this
3-25 SECTION 2. Sections 232.001 through 232.010, Local
4-1 Government Code, are designated as Subchapter A of Chapter 232,
4-2 Local Government Code, and Chapter 232 is amended by adding a
4-3 heading to Subchapter A to read as follows:
4-4 SUBCHAPTER A. SUBDIVISION PLATTING REQUIREMENTS IN GENERAL
4-5 SECTION 3. Section 232.0015, Local Government Code, is
4-6 amended to read as follows:
4-7 Sec. 232.0015. EXCEPTIONS <
EXCEPTION> TO PLAT REQUIREMENT< :
4-8 COUNTY DETERMINATION>. (a) To determine whether specific
4-9 divisions of land are required to be platted, a county may define
4-10 and classify the divisions. A county need not require platting for
4-11 every division of land otherwise within the scope of this
4-12 subchapter < chapter>.
4-13 (b) This subchapter does not apply to a subdivision of land
4-14 to which Subchapter B applies.
4-15 SECTION 4. Chapter 232, Local Government Code, is amended by
4-16 adding Subchapter B to read as follows:
4-17 SUBCHAPTER B. SUBDIVISION PLATTING REQUIREMENTS IN
4-18 ECONOMICALLY DISTRESSED COUNTIES
4-19 Sec. 232.021. DEFINITIONS. In this subchapter:
4-20 (1) "Affected county" means a county:
4-21 (A) that has a per capita income that averaged
4-22 25 percent below the state average for the most recent three
4-23 consecutive years for which statistics are available and an
4-24 unemployment rate that averaged 25 percent above the state average
4-25 for the most recent three consecutive years for which statistics
5-1 are available; and
5-2 (B) any part of which is within 50 miles of an
5-3 international border.
5-4 (2) "Board" means the Texas Water Development Board.
5-5 (3) "Common promotional plan" means any plan or scheme
5-6 of operation undertaken by a single subdivider or a group of
5-7 subdividers acting in concert, either personally or through an
5-8 agent, to offer for sale or lease lots when the land is:
5-9 (A) contiguous or part of the same area of land;
5-11 (B) known, designated, or advertised as a common
5-12 unit or by a common name.
5-13 (4) "Executive administrator" means the executive
5-14 administrator of the Texas Water Development Board.
5-15 (5) "Floodplain" means any area in the 100-year
5-16 floodplain that is susceptible to being inundated by water from any
5-17 source and that is identified by the Federal Emergency Management
5-18 Agency under the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C.
5-19 Sections 4001 through 4127).
5-20 (6) "Lease" includes an offer to lease.
5-21 (7) "Lot" means a parcel into which land that is
5-22 intended for residential use is divided.
5-23 (8) "Minimum state standards" means the minimum
5-24 standards set out for:
5-25 (A) adequate drinking water by or under Section
6-1 16.343(b)(1), Water Code;
6-2 (B) adequate sewer facilities by or under
6-3 Section 16.343(c)(1), Water Code; or
6-4 (C) the treatment, disposal, and management of
6-5 solid waste by or under Chapters 361 and 364, Health and Safety
6-7 (9) "Plat" means a map, chart, survey, plan, or replat
6-8 containing a description of the subdivided land with ties to
6-9 permanent landmarks or monuments.
6-10 (10) "Sell" includes an offer to sell.
6-11 (11) "Sewer," "sewer services," or "sewer facilities"
6-12 means treatment works as defined by Section 17.001, Water Code, or
6-13 individual, on-site, or cluster treatment systems such as septic
6-14 tanks and includes drainage facilities and other improvements for
6-15 proper functioning of septic tank systems.
6-16 (12) "Subdivide" means to divide the surface area of
6-17 land into lots intended primarily for residential use.
6-18 (13) "Subdivider" means an individual, firm,
6-19 corporation, or other legal entity that owns any interest in land
6-20 and that directly or indirectly subdivides land into lots as part
6-21 of a common promotional plan in the ordinary course of business.
6-22 (14) "Subdivision" means an area of land that has been
6-23 subdivided into lots for sale or lease.
6-24 (15) "Utility" means a person, including a legal
6-25 entity or political subdivision, that provides the services of:
7-1 (A) an electric utility, as defined by Section
7-2 3(c)(1), Public Utility Regulatory Act (Article 1446c, Vernon's
7-3 Texas Civil Statutes);
7-4 (B) a gas utility, as defined by Section 1.03,
7-5 Gas Utility Regulatory Act (Article 1446e, Vernon's Texas Civil
7-6 Statutes); and
7-7 (C) a water and sewer utility, as defined by
7-8 Section 13.002, Water Code.
7-9 Sec. 232.022. APPLICABILITY. (a) This subchapter applies
7-10 only to land that is subdivided into four or more lots that are
7-11 intended primarily for residential use in the jurisdiction of an
7-12 affected county. A lot is presumed to be intended for residential
7-13 use if the lot is five acres or less. This subchapter does not
7-14 apply if the subdivision is incident to the conveyance of the land
7-15 as a gift.
7-16 (b) For purposes of this section, land is considered to be
7-17 in the jurisdiction of a county if the land is located in the
7-18 county, outside the corporate limits of municipalities, and outside
7-19 the extraterritorial jurisdiction of municipalities, as determined
7-20 under Chapter 42.
7-21 Sec. 232.023. PLAT REQUIRED. (a) A subdivider of land in
7-22 an affected county must have a plat of the subdivision prepared. A
7-23 subdivision of a tract under this subsection includes a subdivision
7-24 of real property by any method of conveyance, including a contract
7-25 for deed, oral contract, contract of sale, or other type of
8-1 executory contract, regardless of whether the subdivision is made
8-2 by using a metes and bounds description.
8-3 (b) A plat required under this section must:
8-4 (1) be certified by a surveyor or engineer registered
8-5 to practice in this state;
8-6 (2) define the subdivision by metes and bounds;
8-7 (3) locate the subdivision with respect to an original
8-8 corner of the original survey of which it is a part;
8-9 (4) describe each lot, number each lot in progression,
8-10 and give the dimensions of each lot;
8-11 (5) state the dimensions of and accurately describe
8-12 each lot, street, alley, square, park, or other part of the tract
8-13 intended to be dedicated to public use or for the use of purchasers
8-14 or owners of lots fronting on or adjacent to the street, alley,
8-15 square, park, or other part;
8-16 (6) include or have attached a document containing a
8-17 description in English and Spanish of the water and sewer
8-18 facilities and roadways and easements dedicated for the provision
8-19 of water and sewer facilities that will be constructed or installed
8-20 to service the subdivision and a statement specifying the date by
8-21 which the facilities will be fully operable;
8-22 (7) have attached a document prepared by an engineer
8-23 registered to practice in this state certifying that the water and
8-24 sewer service facilities proposed under Subdivision (6) are in
8-25 compliance with the model rules adopted under Section 16.343, Water
9-1 Code, and a certified estimate of the cost to install water and
9-2 sewer service facilities;
9-3 (8) provide for drainage in the subdivision to:
9-4 (A) avoid concentration of storm drainage water
9-5 from each lot to adjacent lots;
9-6 (B) provide positive drainage away from all
9-7 buildings; and
9-8 (C) coordinate individual lot drainage with the
9-9 general storm drainage pattern for the area;
9-10 (9) include a description of the drainage requirements
9-11 as provided in Subdivision (8);
9-12 (10) identify the topography of the area;
9-13 (11) include a certification by a surveyor or engineer
9-14 registered to practice in this state describing any area of the
9-15 subdivision that is in a floodplain or stating that no area is in a
9-16 floodplain; and
9-17 (12) include certification that the subdivider has
9-18 complied with the requirements of Section 232.032 and that:
9-19 (A) the water quality and connections to the
9-20 lots meet, or will meet, the minimum state standards;
9-21 (B) sewer connections to the lots or septic
9-22 tanks meet, or will meet, the minimum requirements of state
9-24 (C) electrical connections provided to the lot
9-25 meet, or will meet, the minimum state standards; and
10-1 (D) gas connections, if available, provided to
10-2 the lot meet, or will meet, the minimum state standards.
10-3 (c) A subdivider may meet the requirements of Subsection
10-4 (b)(12)(B) through the use of a certificate issued by the
10-5 appropriate county or state official having jurisdiction over the
10-6 approval of septic systems stating that lots in the subdivision can
10-7 be adequately and legally served by septic systems.
10-8 (d) The subdivider of the tract must acknowledge the plat by
10-9 signing the plat and attached documents and attest to the veracity
10-10 and completeness of the matters asserted in the attached documents
10-11 and in the plat.
10-12 (e) The plat must be filed and recorded with the county
10-13 clerk of the county in which the tract is located. The plat is
10-14 subject to the filing and recording provisions of Section 12.002,
10-15 Property Code.
10-16 Sec. 232.024. APPROVAL BY COUNTY REQUIRED. (a) A plat
10-17 filed under Section 232.023 is not valid unless the commissioners
10-18 court of the county in which the land is located approves the plat
10-19 by an order entered in the minutes of the court. The commissioners
10-20 court shall refuse to approve a plat if it does not meet the
10-21 requirements prescribed by or under this subchapter or if any bond
10-22 required under this subchapter is not filed with the county clerk.
10-23 (b) If any part of a plat applies to land intended for
10-24 residential housing and any part of that land lies in a floodplain,
10-25 the commissioners court shall not approve the plat unless the plat
11-1 evidences a restrictive covenant as required by this subsection.
11-2 The restrictive covenant shall prohibit the construction of
11-3 residential housing in any area of the subdivision that is in a
11-4 floodplain unless the housing qualifies for insurance under the
11-5 National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. Sections 4001
11-6 through 4127).
11-7 (c) On request, the county clerk shall provide the attorney
11-8 general or the Texas Water Development Board:
11-9 (1) a copy of each plat that is approved under this
11-10 subchapter; or
11-11 (2) the reasons in writing and any documentation that
11-12 support a variance granted under Section 232.042.
11-13 Sec. 232.025. SUBDIVISION REQUIREMENTS. By an order adopted
11-14 and entered in the minutes of the commissioners court, and after a
11-15 notice is published in English and Spanish in a newspaper of
11-16 general circulation in the county, the commissioners court shall
11-17 for each subdivision:
11-18 (1) require a right-of-way on a street or road that
11-19 functions as a main artery in a subdivision, of a width of not less
11-20 than 50 feet or more than 100 feet;
11-21 (2) require a right-of-way on any other street or road
11-22 in a subdivision of not less than 40 feet or more than 70 feet;
11-23 (3) require that the shoulder-to-shoulder width on
11-24 collectors or main arteries within the right-of-way be not less
11-25 than 32 feet or more than 56 feet, and that the
12-1 shoulder-to-shoulder width on any other street or road be not less
12-2 than 25 feet or more than 35 feet;
12-3 (4) adopt, based on the amount and kind of travel over
12-4 each street or road in a subdivision, reasonable specifications
12-5 relating to the construction of each street or road;
12-6 (5) adopt reasonable specifications to provide
12-7 adequate drainage for each street or road in a subdivision in
12-8 accordance with standard engineering practices;
12-9 (6) require that each purchase contract made between a
12-10 subdivider and a purchaser of land in the subdivision contain a
12-11 statement describing how and when water, sewer, electricity, and
12-12 gas services will be made available to the subdivision; and
12-13 (7) require that the subdivider of the tract execute a
12-14 bond in the manner provided by Section 232.027.
12-15 Sec. 232.026. WATER AND SEWER SERVICE EXTENSION. (a) The
12-16 commissioners court may extend, beyond the date specified on the
12-17 plat or on the document attached to the plat, the date by which the
12-18 water and sewer service facilities must be fully operable if the
12-19 commissioners court finds the extension is reasonable and not
12-20 contrary to the public interest.
12-21 (b) The commissioners court may not grant an extension under
12-22 Subsection (a) if it would allow an occupied residence to be
12-23 without water or sewer services.
12-24 (c) If the commissioners court provides an extension, the
12-25 commissioners court shall notify the attorney general of the
13-1 extension and the reason for the extension. The attorney general
13-2 shall notify all other state agencies having enforcement power over
13-3 subdivisions in affected counties of the extension.
13-4 Sec. 232.027. BOND REQUIREMENTS. (a) Unless a person has
13-5 completed the installation of all water and sewer service
13-6 facilities required by this subchapter on the date that person
13-7 applies for final approval of a plat under Section 232.024, the
13-8 commissioners court shall require the subdivider of the tract to
13-9 execute and maintain in effect a bond or, in the alternative, a
13-10 person may make a cash deposit in an amount the commissioners court
13-11 determines will ensure compliance with this subchapter. A person
13-12 may not meet the requirements of this subsection through the use of
13-13 a letter of credit unless that letter of credit is irrevocable and
13-14 issued by an institution guaranteed by the FDIC. The subdivider
13-15 must comply with the requirement before subdividing the tract.
13-16 (b) The bond must be conditioned on the construction or
13-17 installation of water and sewer service facilities that will be in
13-18 compliance with the model rules adopted under Section 16.343, Water
13-20 Sec. 232.028. CERTIFICATION REGARDING COMPLIANCE WITH PLAT
13-21 REQUIREMENTS. (a) On the approval of a plat by the commissioners
13-22 court, the commissioners court shall issue to the person applying
13-23 for the approval a certificate stating that the plat has been
13-24 reviewed and approved by the commissioners court.
13-25 (b) On the written request of a subdivider, an owner or
14-1 resident of a lot in a subdivision, or an entity that provides a
14-2 utility service, the commissioners court shall make the following
14-3 determinations regarding the land in which the entity or
14-4 commissioners court is interested that is located within the
14-5 jurisdiction of the county:
14-6 (1) whether a plat has been prepared and whether it
14-7 has been reviewed and approved by the commissioners court;
14-8 (2) whether water service facilities have been
14-9 constructed or installed to service the subdivision under Section
14-10 232.023 and are fully operable;
14-11 (3) whether sewer service facilities have been
14-12 constructed or installed to service the subdivision under Section
14-13 232.023 and are fully operable, or if septic systems are used,
14-14 whether lots in the subdivision can be adequately and legally
14-15 served by septic systems under Section 232.023; and
14-16 (4) whether electrical and gas facilities, if
14-17 available, have been constructed or installed to service the
14-18 subdivision under Section 232.023.
14-19 (c) The request made under Subsection (b) must identify the
14-20 land that is the subject of the request.
14-21 (d) Whenever a request is made under Subsection (b), the
14-22 commissioners court shall issue the requesting party a written
14-23 certification of its determinations under that subsection.
14-24 (e) The commissioners court shall make its determinations
14-25 within 20 days after the date it receives the request under
15-1 Subsection (b) and shall issue the certificate, if appropriate,
15-2 within 10 days after the date the determinations are made.
15-3 (f) The commissioners court may adopt rules it considers
15-4 necessary to administer its duties under this section.
15-5 Sec. 232.029. CONNECTION OF UTILITIES. (a) Except as
15-6 provided by Section 232.037(c), a utility may not serve or connect
15-7 any subdivided land with water or sewer services unless the utility
15-8 receives a certificate issued by the commissioners court under
15-9 Section 232.028(a) or receives a determination from the
15-10 commissioners court under Section 232.028(b)(1) that the plat has
15-11 been reviewed and approved by the commissioners court.
15-12 (b) Except as provided by Section 232.037(c), a utility may
15-13 not serve or connect any subdivided land with electricity or gas
15-14 unless the entity receives a determination from the county
15-15 commissioners court under Section 232.028(b)(2) that adequate water
15-16 and sewer services have been installed to service the subdivision.
15-17 (c) The prohibition established by this section shall not
15-18 prohibit an electric or gas utility from providing electric or gas
15-19 utility connection or service to a lot being sold, conveyed, or
15-20 purchased through a contract for deed or executory contract or
15-21 other device by a subdivider prior to July 1, 1995, which is
15-22 located within a subdivision where the utility has previously
15-23 established service and was subdivided by a plat approved prior to
15-24 September 1, 1989.
15-25 Sec. 232.030. SUBDIVISION REGULATION; COUNTY AUTHORITY. (a)
16-1 The commissioners court for each county shall adopt and enforce the
16-2 model rules developed under Section 16.343, Water Code.
16-3 (b) Except as provided by Section 16.350(d), Water Code, or
16-4 Section 232.042, the commissioners court may not grant a variance
16-5 or adopt regulations that waive any requirements of this
16-7 (c) The commissioners court shall adopt regulations setting
16-8 forth requirements for:
16-9 (1) potable water sufficient in quality and quantity
16-10 to meet minimum state standards;
16-11 (2) solid waste disposal meeting minimum state
16-12 standards and rules adopted by the county under Chapter 364, Health
16-13 and Safety Code;
16-14 (3) sufficient and adequate roads that satisfy the
16-15 standards adopted by the county;
16-16 (4) sewer facilities meeting minimum state standards;
16-17 (5) electric service and gas service; and
16-18 (6) standards for flood management meeting the minimum
16-19 standards set forth by the Federal Emergency Management Agency
16-20 under the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. Sections
16-21 4001 through 4127).
16-22 (d) In adopting regulations under Subsection (c)(2), the
16-23 commissioners court may allow one or more commercial providers to
16-24 provide solid waste disposal services as an alternative to having
16-25 the service provided by the county.
17-1 Sec. 232.031. REQUIREMENTS PRIOR TO SALE OR LEASE. (a) A
17-2 subdivider may not sell or lease land in a subdivision first
17-3 platted or replatted after July 1, 1995, unless the subdivision
17-4 plat is approved by the commissioners court in accordance with
17-5 Section 232.024.
17-6 (b) Not later than the 30th day after the date a lot is
17-7 sold, a subdivider shall record with the county clerk all sales
17-8 contracts, including the attached disclosure statement required by
17-9 Section 232.033, leases, and any other documents that convey an
17-10 interest in the subdivided land.
17-11 (c) A document filed under Subsection (b) is a public
17-13 Sec. 232.032. SERVICES PROVIDED BY SUBDIVIDER. A subdivider
17-14 having an approved plat for a subdivision shall:
17-15 (1) furnish a certified letter from the utility
17-16 provider stating that water is available to the subdivision
17-17 sufficient in quality and quantity to meet minimum state standards
17-18 required by Section 16.343, Water Code, and consistent with the
17-19 certification in the letter, and that water of that quality and
17-20 quantity will be made available to the point of delivery to all
17-21 lots in the subdivision;
17-22 (2) furnish sewage treatment facilities that meet
17-23 minimum state standards to fulfill the wastewater requirements of
17-24 the subdivision or furnish certification by the appropriate county
17-25 or state official having jurisdiction over the approval of the
18-1 septic systems indicating that lots in the subdivision can be
18-2 adequately and legally served by septic systems as provided under
18-3 Chapter 366, Health and Safety Code;
18-4 (3) furnish roads satisfying minimum standards as
18-5 adopted by the county;
18-6 (4) furnish adequate drainage meeting standard
18-7 engineering practices; and
18-8 (5) make a reasonable effort to have electric utility
18-9 service and gas utility service installed by a utility.
18-10 Sec. 232.033. ADVERTISING STANDARDS AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS
18-11 BEFORE SALE; OFFENSE. (a) Brochures, publications, and
18-12 advertising of any form relating to subdivided land:
18-13 (1) may not contain any misrepresentation; and
18-14 (2) except for a for-sale sign posted on the property
18-15 that is no larger than three feet by three feet, must accurately
18-16 describe the availability of water and sewer service facilities and
18-17 electric and gas utilities.
18-18 (b) The subdivider shall provide a copy in Spanish of all
18-19 written documents relating to the sale of subdivided land under an
18-20 executory contract, including the contract, disclosure notice, and
18-21 annual statement required by this section and a notice of default
18-22 required by Subchapter D, Chapter 5, Property Code, if:
18-23 (1) negotiations that precede the execution of the
18-24 executory contract are conducted primarily in Spanish; or
18-25 (2) the purchaser requests the written documents to be
19-1 provided in Spanish.
19-2 (c) Before an executory contract is signed by the purchaser,
19-3 the subdivider shall provide the purchaser with a written notice,
19-4 which must be attached to the executory contract, informing the
19-5 purchaser of the condition of the property that must, at a minimum,
19-6 be executed by the subdivider and purchaser, be acknowledged, and
19-7 read substantially similar to the following:
19-9 IF ANY OF THE ITEMS BELOW HAVE NOT BEEN
19-10 CHECKED, YOU MAY NOT BE ABLE TO LIVE ON THE
19-12 CONCERNING THE PROPERTY AT (street address or legal
19-13 description and city)
19-14 THIS DOCUMENT STATES THE TRUE FACTS ABOUT THE LAND YOU ARE
19-15 CONSIDERING PURCHASING.
19-16 CHECK OFF THE ITEMS THAT ARE TRUE:
19-17 ___ The property is in a recorded subdivision.
19-18 ___ The property has water service that provides potable
19-20 ___ The property has sewer service or a septic system.
19-21 ___ The property has electric service.
19-22 ___ The property is not in a flood-prone area.
19-23 ___ The roads are paved.
19-24 ___ No person other than the subdivider:
19-25 (1) owns the property;
20-1 (2) has a claim of ownership to the property; or
20-2 (3) has an interest in the property.
20-3 ___ No person has a lien filed against the property.
20-4 ___ There are no back taxes owed on the property.
20-6 SELLER ADVISES PURCHASER TO:
20-7 (1) OBTAIN A TITLE ABSTRACT OR TITLE
20-8 COMMITMENT REVIEWED BY AN ATTORNEY BEFORE
20-9 SIGNING A CONTRACT OF THIS TYPE; AND
20-10 (2) PURCHASE AN OWNER'S POLICY OF TITLE
20-11 INSURANCE COVERING THE PROPERTY.
20-13 (Date) (Signature of Subdivider)
20-15 (Date) (Signature of Purchaser)
20-16 (d) The subdivider shall provide any purchaser who is sold a
20-17 lot under an executory contract with an annual statement in January
20-18 of each year for the term of the executory contract. If the
20-19 subdivider mails the statement to the purchaser, the statement must
20-20 be postmarked not later than January 31.
20-21 (e) The statement under Subsection (d) must include the
20-22 following information:
20-23 (1) the amount paid under the contract;
20-24 (2) the remaining amount owed under the contract;
20-25 (3) the annual interest rate charged under the
21-1 contract during the preceding 12-month period; and
21-2 (4) the number of payments remaining under the
21-4 (f) If the subdivider fails to comply with Subsections (d)
21-5 and (e), the purchaser may:
21-6 (1) notify the subdivider that the purchaser has not
21-7 received the statement and will deduct 15 percent of each monthly
21-8 payment due until the statement is received; and
21-9 (2) not earlier than the 25th day after the date the
21-10 purchaser provides the subdivider notice under this subsection,
21-11 deduct 15 percent of each monthly payment due until the statement
21-12 is received by the purchaser.
21-13 (g) A purchaser who makes a deduction under Subsection (f)
21-14 is not required to reimburse the subdivider for the amount
21-16 (h) A person who is a seller of lots in a subdivision, or a
21-17 subdivider or an agent of a seller or subdivider, commits an
21-18 offense if the person knowingly authorizes or assists in the
21-19 publication, advertising, distribution, or circulation of any
21-20 statement or representation that the person knows is false
21-21 concerning any subdivided land offered for sale or lease. An
21-22 offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.
21-23 Sec. 232.034. CONFLICT OF INTEREST; PENALTY. (a) In this
21-24 section, "subdivided tract" means a tract of land, as a whole, that
21-25 is subdivided into tracts or lots. The term does not mean an
22-1 individual lot in a subdivided tract of land.
22-2 (b) A person has an interest in a subdivided tract if the
22-4 (1) has an equitable or legal ownership interest in
22-5 the tract;
22-6 (2) acts as a developer of the tract;
22-7 (3) owns voting stock or shares of a business entity
22-9 (A) has an equitable or legal ownership interest
22-10 in the tract; or
22-11 (B) acts as a developer of the tract; or
22-12 (4) receives in a calendar year money or any thing of
22-13 value from a business entity described by Subdivision (3).
22-14 (c) A person also is considered to have an interest in a
22-15 subdivided tract if the person is related in the second degree by
22-16 consanguinity or affinity, as determined under Chapter 573,
22-17 Government Code, to a person who, under Subsection (b), has an
22-18 interest in the tract.
22-19 (d) If a member of the commissioners court has an interest
22-20 in a subdivided tract, the member shall file, before a vote or
22-21 decision regarding the approval of a plat for the tract, an
22-22 affidavit with the county clerk stating the nature and extent of
22-23 the interest and shall abstain from further participation in the
22-24 matter. The affidavit must be filed with the county clerk.
22-25 (e) A member of the commissioners court of a county commits
23-1 an offense if the member violates Subsection (d). An offense under
23-2 this subsection is a Class A misdemeanor.
23-3 (f) The finding by a court of a violation of this section
23-4 does not render voidable an action of the commissioners court
23-5 unless the measure would not have passed the commissioners court
23-6 but for the vote of the member who violated this section.
23-7 (g) A conviction under Subsection (e) constitutes official
23-8 misconduct by the member and is grounds for removal from office.
23-9 Sec. 232.035. CIVIL PENALTIES. (a) A subdivider or an
23-10 agent of a subdivider may not cause, suffer, allow, or permit a lot
23-11 to be sold in a subdivision if the subdivision has not been platted
23-12 as required by this subchapter.
23-13 (b) Notwithstanding any other remedy at law or equity, a
23-14 subdivider or an agent of a subdivider may not cause, suffer,
23-15 allow, or permit any part of a subdivision in an affected county
23-16 over which the subdivider or an agent of the subdivider has
23-17 control, or a right of ingress and egress, to become a public
23-18 health nuisance as defined by Section 341.011, Health and Safety
23-20 (c) A subdivider who fails to provide, in the time and
23-21 manner described in the plat, for the construction or installation
23-22 of water or sewer service facilities described on the plat or on
23-23 the document attached to the plat or who otherwise violates this
23-24 subchapter or a rule or requirement adopted by the commissioners
23-25 court under this subchapter is subject to a civil penalty of not
24-1 less than $500 or more than $1,000 for each violation and for each
24-2 day of a continuing violation but not to exceed $5,000 each day and
24-3 shall also pay court costs, investigative costs, and attorney's
24-4 fees for the governmental entity bringing the suit.
24-5 (d) Except as provided by Subsection (e), a person who
24-6 violates Subsection (a) or (b) is subject to a civil penalty of not
24-7 less than $10,000 or more than $15,000 for each lot conveyed or
24-8 each subdivision that becomes a nuisance. The person must also pay
24-9 court costs, investigative costs, and attorney's fees for the
24-10 governmental entity bringing the suit.
24-11 (e) A person who violates Subsection (b) is not subject to a
24-12 fine under Subsection (d) if the person corrects the nuisance not
24-13 later than the 30th day after the date the person receives notice
24-14 from the attorney general or a local health authority of the
24-16 (f) Venue for an action under this section is in a district
24-17 court of Travis County, a district court in the county in which the
24-18 defendant resides, or a district court in the county in which the
24-19 violation or threat of violation occurs.
24-20 Sec. 232.036. CRIMINAL PENALTIES. (a) A subdivider commits
24-21 an offense if the subdivider knowingly fails to file a plat
24-22 required by this subchapter. An offense under this subsection is a
24-23 Class A misdemeanor.
24-24 (b) A subdivider who owns a subdivision commits an offense
24-25 if the subdivider knowingly fails to timely provide for the
25-1 construction or installation of water or sewer service as required
25-2 by Section 232.032 or fails to make a reasonable effort to have
25-3 electric utility service and gas utility service installed by a
25-4 utility as required by Section 232.032. An offense under this
25-5 subsection is a Class A misdemeanor.
25-6 (c) If it is shown at the trial of an offense under
25-7 Subsection (a) that the defendant caused five or more residences in
25-8 the subdivision to be inhabited, the offense is a state jail
25-10 (d) A subdivider commits an offense if the subdivider allows
25-11 the conveyance of a lot in the subdivision without the appropriate
25-12 water and sewer utilities as required by Section 232.032 or without
25-13 having made a reasonable effort to have electric utility service
25-14 and gas utility service installed by a utility as required by
25-15 Section 232.032. An offense under this section is a Class A
25-16 misdemeanor. Each lot conveyed constitutes a separate offense.
25-17 (e) Venue for prosecution for a violation under this section
25-18 is in the county in which any element of the violation is alleged
25-19 to have occurred or in Travis County.
25-20 Sec. 232.037. ENFORCEMENT. (a) The attorney general, or
25-21 the district attorney, criminal district attorney, county attorney
25-22 with felony responsibilities, or county attorney of an affected
25-23 county may take any action necessary in a court of competent
25-24 jurisdiction on behalf of the state or on behalf of residents to:
25-25 (1) enjoin the violation or threatened violation of
26-1 the model rules adopted under Section 16.343, Water Code;
26-2 (2) enjoin the violation or threatened violation of a
26-3 requirement of this subchapter or a rule adopted by the
26-4 commissioners court under this subchapter;
26-5 (3) recover civil or criminal penalties, attorney's
26-6 fees, litigation costs, and investigation costs; and
26-7 (4) require platting or replatting under Section
26-9 (b) The attorney general, at the request of the district or
26-10 county attorney with jurisdiction, may conduct a criminal
26-11 prosecution under Section 232.033(h) or 232.036.
26-12 (c) During the pendency of any enforcement action brought,
26-13 any resident of the affected subdivision, or the attorney general,
26-14 district attorney, or county attorney on behalf of a resident, may
26-15 file a motion against the provider of utilities to halt termination
26-16 of pre-existing utility services. The services may not be
26-17 terminated if the court makes an affirmative finding after hearing
26-18 the motion that termination poses a threat to public health,
26-19 safety, or welfare of the residents.
26-20 Sec. 232.038. SUIT BY PRIVATE PERSON IN ECONOMICALLY
26-21 DISTRESSED AREA. A person who has purchased or is purchasing a lot
26-22 after July 1, 1995, in a subdivision for residential purposes that
26-23 does not have water and sewer services as required by this
26-24 subchapter and is located in an economically distressed area, as
26-25 defined by Section 17.921, Water Code, in an affected county, from
27-1 a subdivider, may bring suit in the district court in which the
27-2 property is located or in a district court in Travis County to:
27-3 (1) declare the sale of the property void and require
27-4 the subdivider to return the purchase price of the property; and
27-5 (2) recover from the subdivider:
27-6 (A) the market value of any permanent
27-7 improvements the person placed on the property;
27-8 (B) actual expenses incurred as a direct result
27-9 of the failure to provide adequate water and sewer facilities;
27-10 (C) court costs; and
27-11 (D) reasonable attorney's fees.
27-12 Sec. 232.039. CANCELLATION OF SUBDIVISION. (a) A
27-13 subdivider of land in an affected county may apply to the
27-14 commissioners court to cancel all or part of the subdivision in the
27-15 manner provided by Section 232.008 after notice and hearing as
27-16 provided by this section.
27-17 (b) A resident of a subdivision for which the subdivider has
27-18 applied for cancellation under Subsection (a) has the same rights
27-19 as a purchaser of land under Section 232.008.
27-20 (c) The notice required by Section 232.008(c) must also be
27-21 published in Spanish in the newspaper of highest circulation and in
27-22 a Spanish-language newspaper in the county if available.
27-23 (d) Not later than the 14th day before the date of the
27-24 hearing, the county chief appraiser shall by regular and certified
27-25 mail provide notice containing the information described by Section
28-1 232.008(c) to:
28-2 (1) each person who pays property taxes in the
28-3 subdivision, as determined by the most recent tax roll; and
28-4 (2) each person with an interest in the property.
28-5 (e) The commissioners court may require a subdivider to
28-6 provide the court with the name and last known address of each
28-7 person with an interest in the property. For purposes of this
28-8 subsection, a person residing on a lot purchased through an
28-9 executory contract has an interest in the property.
28-10 (f) A person who fails to provide information requested
28-11 under Subsection (e) before the 31st day after the date the request
28-12 is made is liable to the state for a penalty of $500 for each week
28-13 the person fails to provide the information.
28-14 (g) The commissioners court may cancel a subdivision only
28-15 after a public hearing. At the hearing, the commissioners court
28-16 shall permit any interested person to be heard. At the conclusion
28-17 of the hearing, the commissioners court shall adopt an order on
28-18 whether to cancel the subdivision.
28-19 Sec. 232.040. REPLATTING. (a) A subdivision plat must
28-20 accurately reflect the subdivision as it develops. If there is
28-21 any change, either by the intentional act of the subdivider or by
28-22 the forces of nature, including changes in the size or dimension of
28-23 lots or the direction or condition of the roads, a plat must be
28-24 revised in accordance with Section 232.041.
28-25 (b) Except as provided by Subsection (c), a lot in a
29-1 subdivision may not be sold if the lot lacks water and sewer
29-2 services as required by this subchapter unless the lot is platted
29-3 or replatted as required by this subchapter. A subdivider or agent
29-4 of a subdivider may not transfer a lot through an executory
29-5 contract or other similar conveyance to evade the requirements of
29-6 this subchapter. The prohibition in this subsection includes the
29-7 sale of a lot:
29-8 (1) by a subdivider who regains possession of a lot
29-9 previously exempt under Subsection (c) through the exercise of a
29-10 remedy described in Section 5.061, Property Code; or
29-11 (2) for which it is shown at a proceeding brought in
29-12 the district court in which the property is located that the sale
29-13 of a lot otherwise exempt under Subsection (c) was made for the
29-14 purpose of evading the requirements of this subchapter.
29-15 (c) Subsection (b) does not apply if a seller other than a
29-16 subdivider or agent of a subdivider:
29-17 (1) resides on the lot; or
29-18 (2) purchases the lot through a contract for deed.
29-19 (d) The attorney general or a district or county attorney
29-20 with jurisdiction may bring a proceeding under Subsection (b).
29-21 (e) Existing utility services to a subdivision that must be
29-22 platted or replatted under this section may not be terminated under
29-23 Section 232.029.
29-24 Sec. 232.041. REVISION OF PLAT. (a) A person who has
29-25 subdivided land that is subject to the subdivision controls of the
30-1 county in which the land is located may apply in writing to the
30-2 commissioners court of the county for permission to revise the
30-3 subdivision plat filed for record with the county clerk.
30-4 (b) After the application is filed with the commissioners
30-5 court, the court shall publish a notice of the application in a
30-6 newspaper of general circulation in the county. The notice must
30-7 include a statement of the time and place at which the court will
30-8 meet to consider the application and to hear protests to the
30-9 revision of the plat. The notice must be published at least three
30-10 times during the period that begins on the 30th day and ends on the
30-11 seventh day before the date of the meeting. If all or part of the
30-12 subdivided tract has been sold to nondeveloper owners, the court
30-13 shall also give notice to each of those owners by certified or
30-14 registered mail, return receipt requested, at the owner's address
30-15 in the subdivided tract.
30-16 (c) During a regular term of the commissioners court, the
30-17 court shall adopt an order to permit the revision of the
30-18 subdivision plat if it is shown to the court that:
30-19 (1) the revision will not interfere with the
30-20 established rights of any owner of a part of the subdivided land;
30-22 (2) each owner whose rights may be interfered with has
30-23 agreed to the revision.
30-24 (d) If the commissioners court permits a person to revise a
30-25 subdivision plat, the person may make the revision by filing for
31-1 record with the county clerk a revised plat or part of a plat that
31-2 indicates the changes made to the original plat.
31-3 Sec. 232.042. VARIANCES. (a) On request of a subdivider or
31-4 resident purchaser, the commissioners court may grant a delay or a
31-5 variance from compliance with Section 232.040 as provided by this
31-7 (b) The commissioners court may grant a delay of two years
31-8 if the reason for the delay is to install utilities. A person may
31-9 apply for one renewal of a delay under this subsection. To obtain
31-10 an initial delay under this subsection, a subdivider must:
31-11 (1) identify the affected utility providers;
31-12 (2) provide the terms and conditions on which service
31-13 may be provided; and
31-14 (3) provide a certified letter from each utility
31-15 provider stating that it has the right to serve the area and it
31-16 will serve the area.
31-17 (c) The commissioners court may grant a delay or a variance
31-18 for a reason other than a reason described by Subsection (b) if it
31-19 is shown that compliance would be impractical or would be contrary
31-20 to the health and safety of residents of the subdivision. The
31-21 commissioners court must issue written findings stating the reasons
31-22 why compliance is impractical.
31-23 (d) A delay or a variance granted by the commissioners court
31-24 is valid only if the commissioners court notifies the attorney
31-25 general of the delay or variance and the reasons for the delay or
32-1 variance not later than the 30th day after the date the
32-2 commissioners court grants the delay or variance.
32-3 (e) Until approved water and sewer services are made
32-4 available to the subdivision, the subdivider of land for which a
32-5 delay is granted under this section must provide at no cost to
32-7 (1) 25 gallons of potable water a day for each
32-8 resident and a suitable container for storing the water; and
32-9 (2) suitable temporary sanitary wastewater disposal
32-11 SECTION 5. Subchapter B, Chapter 412, Local Government Code,
32-12 is amended by adding Section 412.015 to read as follows:
32-13 Sec. 412.015. COUNTY WATER AND SEWER UTILITY. An affected
32-14 county, as defined by Section 16.341, Water Code, may own, operate,
32-15 or maintain a water or sewer utility in the same manner as a
32-16 municipality under Chapter 402.
32-17 SECTION 6. Section 13.002, Water Code, is amended by
32-18 amending Subdivision (23) and adding Subdivision (26) to read as
32-20 (23) "Water and sewer utility," "public utility," or
32-21 "utility" means any person, corporation, cooperative corporation,
32-22 affected county, or any combination of these persons or entities,
32-23 other than a municipal corporation, water supply or sewer service
32-24 corporation, or a political subdivision of the state, except an
32-25 affected county, or their lessees, trustees, and receivers, owning
33-1 or operating for compensation in this state equipment or facilities
33-2 for the transmission, storage, distribution, sale, or provision of
33-3 potable water to the public or for the resale of potable water to
33-4 the public for any use or for the collection, transportation,
33-5 treatment, or disposal of sewage or other operation of a sewage
33-6 disposal service for the public, other than equipment or facilities
33-7 owned and operated for either purpose by a municipality or other
33-8 political subdivision of this state or a water supply or sewer
33-9 service corporation, but does not include any person or corporation
33-10 not otherwise a public utility that furnishes the services or
33-11 commodity only to itself or its employees or tenants as an incident
33-12 of that employee service or tenancy when that service or commodity
33-13 is not resold to or used by others.
33-14 (26) "Affected county" has the meaning assigned by
33-15 Section 232.021, Local Government Code.
33-16 SECTION 7. Section 13.043, Water Code, is amended by
33-17 amending Subsections (b), (c), (f), and (g) and adding Subsection
33-18 (k) to read as follows:
33-19 (b) Ratepayers of the following entities may appeal the
33-20 decision of the governing body of the entity affecting their water,
33-21 drainage, or sewer rates to the commission:
33-22 (1) a nonprofit water supply or sewer service
33-23 corporation created and operating under Chapter 76, Acts of the
33-24 43rd Legislature, 1st Called Session, 1933 (Article 1434a, Vernon's
33-25 Texas Civil Statutes);
34-1 (2) a utility under the jurisdiction of a municipality
34-2 inside the corporate limits of the municipality;
34-3 (3) a municipally owned utility, if the ratepayers
34-4 reside outside the corporate limits of the municipality; < and>
34-5 (4) a district or authority created under Article III,
34-6 Section 52, or Article XVI, Section 59, of the Texas Constitution
34-7 that provides water or sewer service to household users; and
34-8 (5) a utility owned by an affected county, if the
34-9 ratepayer's rates are actually or may be adversely affected. For
34-10 the purposes of this section ratepayers who reside outside the
34-11 boundaries of the district or authority shall be considered a
34-12 separate class from ratepayers who reside inside those boundaries.
34-13 (c) An appeal under Subsection (b) of this section must be
34-14 initiated by filing a petition for review with the commission and
34-15 the entity providing service within 90 days after the effective day
34-16 of the rate change or, if appealing under Subdivision (b)(2) or (5)
34-17 of this section, within 90 days after the date on which the
34-18 governing body of the municipality or affected county makes a final
34-19 decision. The petition must be signed by the lesser of 10,000 or 10
34-20 percent of those ratepayers whose rates have been changed and who
34-21 are eligible to appeal under Subsection (b) of this section.
34-22 (f) A retail public utility that receives water or sewer
34-23 service from another retail public utility or political subdivision
34-24 of the state, including an affected county, may appeal to the
34-25 commission a decision of the provider of water or sewer service
35-1 affecting the amount paid for water or sewer service. An appeal
35-2 under this subsection must be initiated within 90 days after the
35-3 date of notice of the decision is received from the provider of
35-4 water or sewer service by the filing of a petition by the retail
35-5 public utility.
35-6 (g) An applicant for service from an affected county or a
35-7 water supply or sewer service corporation may appeal to the
35-8 commission a decision of the county or water supply or sewer
35-9 service corporation affecting the amount to be paid to obtain
35-10 service in addition to the regular membership or tap fees. If the
35-11 commission finds the amount charged to be unreasonable, it shall
35-12 establish the fee to be paid for that applicant. An appeal under
35-13 this subsection must be initiated within 90 days after the date
35-14 written notice is provided to the applicant or member of the
35-15 decision of an affected county or water supply or sewer service
35-16 corporation < corporation's decision> relating to the applicant's
35-17 initial request for that service.
35-18 (k) Not later than the 30th day after the date of a final
35-19 decision on a rate change, the commissioners court of an affected
35-20 county shall provide written notice to each ratepayer eligible to
35-21 appeal. The notice must include the effective date of the new
35-22 rates, the new rates, and the location where additional information
35-23 on rates may be obtained.
35-24 SECTION 8. The heading to Subchapter D, Chapter 13, Water
35-25 Code, is amended to read as follows:
36-1 SUBCHAPTER D. MUNICIPALITIES AND COUNTIES
36-2 SECTION 9. Section 13.084, Water Code, is amended to read as
36-4 Sec. 13.084. AUTHORITY OF GOVERNING BODY; COST
36-5 REIMBURSEMENT. The governing body of any municipality or the
36-6 commissioners court of an affected county shall have the right to
36-7 select and engage rate consultants, accountants, auditors,
36-8 attorneys, engineers, or any combination of these experts to
36-9 conduct investigations, present evidence, advise and represent the
36-10 governing body, and assist with litigation on water and sewer
36-11 utility ratemaking proceedings. The water and sewer utility
36-12 engaged in those proceedings shall be required to reimburse the
36-13 governing body or the commissioners court for the reasonable costs
36-14 of those services and shall be allowed to recover those expenses
36-15 through its rates with interest during the period of recovery.
36-16 SECTION 10. Section 13.085, Water Code, is amended to read
36-17 as follows:
36-18 Sec. 13.085. ASSISTANCE BY COMMISSION. On request, the
36-19 commission may advise and assist municipalities and affected
36-20 counties in connection with questions and proceedings arising under
36-21 this chapter. This assistance may include aid to municipalities or
36-22 an affected county in connection with matters pending before the
36-23 commission, the courts, < or> the governing body of any
36-24 municipality, or the commissioners court of an affected county,
36-25 including making members of the staff available to them as
37-1 witnesses and otherwise providing evidence.
37-2 SECTION 11. Section 13.139(a), Water Code, is amended to
37-3 read as follows:
37-4 (a) Every retail public utility that possesses or is
37-5 required to possess a certificate of public convenience and
37-6 necessity and every district and affected county that furnishes
37-7 retail water or sewer utility service, shall furnish the service,
37-8 instrumentalities, and facilities as are safe, adequate, efficient,
37-9 and reasonable.
37-10 SECTION 12. Section 13.141, Water Code, is amended to read
37-11 as follows:
37-12 Sec. 13.141. BILLING FOR SERVICE TO STATE. A utility,
37-13 utility owned by an affected county, or municipally owned utility
37-14 may not bill or otherwise require the state or a state agency or
37-15 institution to pay for service before the service is rendered.
37-16 SECTION 13. Section 13.181, Water Code, is amended to read
37-17 as follows:
37-18 Sec. 13.181. POWER TO ENSURE COMPLIANCE; RATE REGULATION.
37-19 Subject to this chapter, the commission has all authority and power
37-20 of the state to ensure compliance with the obligations of utilities
37-21 under this chapter. For this purpose the regulatory authority may
37-22 fix and regulate rates of utilities, including rules and
37-23 regulations for determining the classification of customers and
37-24 services and for determining the applicability of rates. A rule or
37-25 order of the regulatory authority may not conflict with the rulings
38-1 of any federal regulatory body. Except Section 13.192, this
38-2 subchapter shall apply only to a utility and shall not be applied
38-3 to municipalities, counties, districts, or water supply or sewer
38-4 service corporations. The commission may adopt rules which
38-5 authorize a utility which is permitted under Section 13.242(c) to
38-6 provide service without a certificate of public convenience and
38-7 necessity to request or implement a rate increase and operate
38-8 according to rules, regulations, and standards of service other
38-9 than those otherwise required under this chapter provided that
38-10 rates are just and reasonable for customers and the utility and
38-11 that service is safe, adequate, efficient, and reasonable.
38-12 SECTION 14. Section 13.242(a), Water Code, is amended to
38-13 read as follows:
38-14 (a) Unless otherwise specified, a utility, a utility
38-15 operated by an affected county, or a water supply or sewer service
38-16 corporation may not in any way render retail water or sewer utility
38-17 service directly or indirectly to the public without first having
38-18 obtained from the commission a certificate that the present or
38-19 future public convenience and necessity will require that
38-20 installation, operation, or extension, and except as otherwise
38-21 provided by this subchapter, a retail public utility may not
38-22 furnish, make available, render, or extend retail water or sewer
38-23 utility service to any area to which retail water or sewer utility
38-24 service is being lawfully furnished by another retail public
38-25 utility without first having obtained a certificate of public
39-1 convenience and necessity that includes the area in which the
39-2 consuming facility is located.
39-3 SECTION 15. Sections 16.343(a) and (g), Water Code, are
39-4 amended to read as follows:
39-5 (a) The Texas Natural Resource Conservation < Water>
39-6 Commission and the Texas Department of Health shall, in conjunction
39-7 with the board and after consultation with the attorney general,
39-8 prepare model rules to assure that minimum standards for safe and
39-9 sanitary water supply and sewer services in residential areas of
39-10 political subdivisions, including rules of any state agency
39-11 relating to septic tanks and other waste disposal systems, are met.
39-12 (g) Before filing an application for funds for facility
39-13 engineering under Section 15.407 of this code or financial
39-14 assistance under Subchapter K, Chapter 17, of this code, a
39-15 political subdivision must adopt the model rules pursuant to this
39-16 section or, in the case of a district or nonprofit water supply
39-17 corporation, must be located in a city or county that has adopted
39-18 such rules. An affected county may not receive funds under either
39-19 Section 15.407 of this code or Subchapter K, Chapter 17, of this
39-20 code unless the county adopts and enforces the model rules.
39-21 SECTION 16. Section 16.349, Water Code, is amended by
39-22 amending Subsection (b) and adding Subsection (c) to read as
39-24 (b) Except as provided by Subsection (c), the < The> amount
39-25 charged under Subsection (a) of this section may be equal to or
40-1 less than the rates paid for water supply and sewer services by
40-2 residents of the political subdivision < and without regard to
40-3 whether the economically distressed area is located in the
40-4 boundaries of the political subdivision>.
40-5 (c) A political subdivision holding a certificate of
40-6 convenience and necessity described by Section 13.242, that extends
40-7 service to an economically distressed area outside the boundaries
40-8 of the political subdivision, may not charge the residents of the
40-9 area rates that exceed the lesser of:
40-10 (1) the cost of providing service to the area; or
40-11 (2) the rates charged other residents of the political
40-12 subdivision plus 15 percent.
40-13 SECTION 17. Section 16.352, Water Code, is amended to read
40-14 as follows:
40-15 Sec. 16.352. ENFORCEMENT OF RULES. (a) A person who
40-16 violates a rule adopted by a county or municipality pursuant to
40-17 Section 16.343 of this code is subject to a civil penalty of not
40-18 less than $1,000 < $50> nor more than $10,000 < $1,000> for each
40-19 violation and for each day of a continuing violation but not in
40-20 excess of $50,000 < $5,000> per day.
40-21 (b) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly or
40-22 intentionally violates a rule adopted under this subchapter
40-23 < pursuant to Section 16.343 of this code by a county or a
40-25 (c) An offense under Subsection (b) of this section is a
41-1 Class A < B> misdemeanor.
41-2 (d) Venue for prosecution of an offense under Subsection (b)
41-3 is in a county in which any element of the offense is alleged to
41-4 have occurred or in Travis County.
41-5 SECTION 18. Section 16.353, Water Code, is amended to read
41-6 as follows:
41-7 Sec. 16.353. INJUNCTION. In addition to other remedies, the
41-8 attorney general or< ,> the county or district attorney of the
41-9 county in which the violation occurred is< , or other local
41-10 officials are> authorized to apply to the district court for and
41-11 the court in its discretion may grant the state or political
41-12 subdivision, without bond or other undertaking, any injunction that
41-13 the facts may warrant including temporary restraining orders,
41-14 temporary injunctions after notice and hearing, and permanent
41-15 injunctions enjoining a violation of the rules.
41-16 SECTION 19. Subchapter J, Chapter 16, Water Code, is amended
41-17 by adding Section 16.356 to read as follows:
41-18 Sec. 16.356. VENUE. A suit under this subchapter for
41-19 injunctive relief or for the recovery of a civil penalty may be
41-20 brought in a district court in:
41-21 (1) the county in which the defendant resides;
41-22 (2) the county in which the alleged violation or
41-23 threat of violation occurs; or
41-24 (3) Travis County.
41-25 SECTION 20. Section 17.921(1), Water Code, is amended to
42-1 read as follows:
42-2 (1) "Economically distressed area" means an area in
42-4 (A) water supply or sewer services are
42-5 inadequate to meet minimal needs of residential users as defined by
42-6 board rules;
42-7 (B) financial resources are inadequate to
42-8 provide water supply or sewer services that will satisfy those
42-9 needs; and
42-10 (C) the percentage < 80 percent> of the dwellings
42-11 occupied on June 1, 1989, to be served by financial assistance
42-12 under this subchapter was at least:
42-13 (i) 80 percent; or
42-14 (ii) 50 percent, if the services provided
42-15 by financial assistance under this subchapter can be provided by
42-16 common or regional facilities in a cost-effective manner in
42-17 conjunction with service provided to an economically distressed
42-18 area as determined under the other provisions of this subdivision
42-19 < were occupied on June 1, 1989>.
42-20 SECTION 21. Section 17.933, Water Code, is amended by adding
42-21 Subsection (g) to read as follows:
42-22 (g) The amount of financial assistance provided by the board
42-23 to a political subdivision for service to areas defined in Section
42-24 17.921(1)(C)(ii) for which repayment is not required is 50 percent
42-25 of the state bond proceeds used for the design and construction of
43-1 the service.
43-2 SECTION 22. Subchapter K, Chapter 17, Water Code, is amended
43-3 by adding Section 17.936 to read as follows:
43-4 Sec. 17.936. RECOVERY OF ECONOMICALLY DISTRESSED AREA IMPACT
43-5 FEES. (a) It is the intent of the legislature that a private
43-6 developer not unduly benefit from the expenditure by the state of
43-7 public funds on infrastructure for public benefit.
43-8 (b) In this section:
43-9 (1) "Capital improvement costs" includes:
43-10 (A) the construction contract price;
43-11 (B) surveying and engineering fees;
43-12 (C) land acquisition costs, including land
43-13 purchases, court awards and costs, attorney's fees, and expert
43-14 witness fees;
43-15 (D) fees actually paid or contracted to be paid
43-16 to an independent, qualified engineer or financial consultant who
43-18 (i) preparing or updating the capital
43-19 improvements plan; and
43-20 (ii) not an employee of the subdivision;
43-22 (E) projected interest charges and other finance
43-23 costs that are used for the payment of principal and interest on
43-24 bonds, notes, or other obligations issued by or on behalf of the
43-25 political subdivision to finance the capital improvements plan and
44-1 that are not used to reimburse bond funds expended for facilities
44-2 that are not identified in the capital improvements plan of the
44-4 (2) "Economically distressed areas program impact
44-5 fees" means the pro rata share of the capital improvement costs
44-6 attributable to each lot in an economically distressed area.
44-7 (c) This section applies only to property located in:
44-8 (1) the unincorporated area of an affected county, as
44-9 defined by Section 16.341; and
44-10 (2) an economically distressed area, as defined by
44-11 Section 16.341.
44-12 (d) The provider of water or wastewater utility service to
44-13 an economically distressed area may recover from a developer or
44-14 owner of an undeveloped lot economically distressed areas program
44-15 impact fees as provided by rules adopted by the board.
44-16 SECTION 23. Section 26.001, Water Code, effective until
44-17 delegation of NPDES permit authority, is amended by adding
44-18 Subdivision (20) to read as follows:
44-19 (20) "Affected county" has the meaning assigned by
44-20 Section 232.021, Local Government Code.
44-21 SECTION 24. Section 26.001, Water Code, effective upon
44-22 delegation of NPDES permit authority, is amended by adding
44-23 Subdivision (26) to read as follows:
44-24 (26) "Affected county" has the meaning assigned by
44-25 Section 232.021, Local Government Code.
45-1 SECTION 25. Section 26.123, Water Code, effective until
45-2 delegation of NPDES permit authority, is amended by adding
45-3 Subsection (f) to read as follows:
45-4 (f) If the attorney general determines that a subdivider, as
45-5 defined by Section 232.021, Local Government Code, of land in an
45-6 affected county has violated or is threatening to violate a
45-7 provision of this chapter, or a rule adopted by the commission
45-8 under this chapter, the executive director on the request of the
45-9 attorney general shall conduct an investigation of the alleged
45-10 violation. The executive director shall consult with the attorney
45-11 general during the investigation to determine appropriate remedial
45-13 SECTION 26. Section 26.123, Water Code, effective upon
45-14 delegation of NPDES permit authority, is amended by adding
45-15 Subsection (j) to read as follows:
45-16 (j) If the attorney general determines that a subdivider, as
45-17 defined by Section 232.021, Local Government Code, of land in an
45-18 affected county has violated or is threatening to violate a
45-19 provision of this chapter, or a rule adopted by the commission
45-20 under this chapter, the executive director on the request of the
45-21 attorney general shall conduct an investigation of the alleged
45-22 violation. The executive director shall consult with the attorney
45-23 general during the investigation to determine appropriate remedial
45-25 SECTION 27. Section 26.124, Water Code, is amended by adding
46-1 Subsection (c) to read as follows:
46-2 (c) If the attorney general determines that a violation of
46-3 Section 26.121 or a rule adopted under that section has occurred or
46-4 is about to occur in an affected county, the attorney general may
46-5 institute a civil suit in district court for injunctive relief or
46-6 civil penalties against the person who has or is about to commit a
46-8 SECTION 28. Subchapter E, Chapter 2306, Government Code, is
46-9 amended by adding Section 2306.0985 to read as follows:
46-10 Sec. 2306.0985. RECOVERY OF FUNDS FROM CERTAIN SUBDIVISIONS.
46-11 (a) It is the intent of the legislature that a private developer
46-12 not unduly benefit from the expenditure by the state of public
46-13 funds on infrastructure for public benefit.
46-14 (b) This section applies only to property located in:
46-15 (1) the unincorporated area of an affected county, as
46-16 defined by Section 16.341, Water Code; and
46-17 (2) an economically distressed area, as defined by
46-18 Section 16.341, Water Code.
46-19 (c) As a condition for the receipt of state funds, and to
46-20 the extent permitted by law, federal funds, the department may
46-21 require a political entity with authority to tax and place a lien
46-22 on property to place a lien or assessment on property that benefits
46-23 from the expenditure of state or federal funds for water,
46-24 wastewater, or drainage improvements affecting the property. The
46-25 lien or assessment may not exceed an amount equal to the cost of
47-1 making the improvements as those costs relate to the property. The
47-2 lien or assessment expires 10 years after the date the improvements
47-3 are completed.
47-4 (d) If property subject to a lien or assessment under
47-5 Subsection (c) is sold, the seller must pay to the political entity
47-6 from the proceeds of the sale an amount equal to the value of the
47-7 lien or assessment. This subsection does not apply if:
47-8 (1) the reason for the sale is:
47-9 (A) the disposition of the estate following the
47-10 death of the owner of the property; or
47-11 (B) the owner because of physical condition must
47-12 reside in a continuous care facility and no longer resides on the
47-13 property; or
47-14 (2) the owner of the property is a person of low or
47-15 moderate income.
47-16 (e) If property subject to a lien or assessment under
47-17 Subsection (c) is repossessed by the holder of a note or a contract
47-18 for deed, the holder must pay to the political entity an amount
47-19 equal to the value of the lien or assessment before taking
47-20 possession of the property.
47-21 (f) Subject to rules adopted by the department, a political
47-22 entity shall collect payments made under this section and remit the
47-23 funds for deposit in the treasury to the credit of a special
47-24 account in the general revenue fund that may be appropriated only
47-25 to the department for use in administering a program under Section
48-2 (g) After public notice and comment, the department shall
48-3 adopt rules to administer this section. The department may provide
48-4 by rule for the reduction or waiver of a fee authorized by this
48-6 SECTION 29. The following sections of the Local Government
48-7 Code are repealed: Sections 232.001(f), 232.0035, 232.0036,
48-8 232.0046, 232.0047, and 232.0049.
48-9 SECTION 30. (a) The changes in law made in Sections 4 and
48-10 17 of this Act relating to criminal offenses apply only to an
48-11 offense committed on or after the effective date of this Act. For
48-12 purposes of this subsection, an offense is committed before the
48-13 effective date of this Act if any element of the offense occurs
48-14 before that date. An offense committed before the effective date
48-15 of this Act is governed by the law in effect when the offense was
48-16 committed, and the former law is continued in effect for this
48-18 (b) The changes in law made in Sections 4 and 17 of this Act
48-19 relating to civil penalties apply only to a violation that occurs
48-20 on or after the effective date of this Act. For purposes of this
48-21 subsection, a violation is committed before the effective date of
48-22 this Act if any element of the violation occurs before that date.
48-23 A violation committed before the effective date of this Act is
48-24 governed by the law in effect when the violation occurred, and the
48-25 former law is continued in effect for this purpose.
49-1 SECTION 31. This Act does not exempt the deliberations of a
49-2 political subdivision from the requirements of Chapter 551,
49-3 Government Code.
49-4 SECTION 32. Counties must comply with the requirements of
49-5 this Act by July 1, 1995. Section 232.033, Local Government Code,
49-6 as added by this Act, relating to advertising standards, is
49-7 effective on July 1, 1995.
49-8 SECTION 33. The importance of this legislation and the
49-9 crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an
49-10 emergency and an imperative public necessity that the
49-11 constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several
49-12 days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended,
49-13 and that this Act take effect and be in force from and after its
49-14 passage, and it is so enacted.