By Kuempel                                            H.B. No. 2762
                                 A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
    1-1                                AN ACT
    1-2  relating to the review and approval of certain permits by the
    1-3  state, a municipality, or other local governmental agencies.
    1-5        SECTION 1.  Subchapter I, Chapter 481, Government Code, is
    1-6  amended to read as follows:
    1-7        Sec. 481.141.  Legislative Finding and Intent.  (a) The
    1-8  legislature finds that current administrative practices often
    1-9  result in unnecessary governmental regulatory delays that inhibit
   1-10  the economic development of the state.
   1-11        (b)  The legislature desires to establish requirements
   1-12  relating to the processing and issuance of permits and approvals by
   1-13  governmental regulatory agencies in order to alleviate bureaucratic
   1-14  obstacles to economic development.
   1-15        Sec. 481.142.  Definitions.  In this subchapter:
   1-16              (1)  "Political subdivision" means a political
   1-17  subdivision of the state, including a county, a school district, or
   1-18  a municipality.
   1-19              (2)  "Permit" means a license, certificate, approval,
   1-20  registration, consent, permit, or other form of authorization
   1-21  required by law, rule, regulation, or ordinance that must be
   1-22  obtained by a person in order to perform an action or initiate a
   1-23  project for which the permit is sought.
    2-1              (3)  "Project" means an endeavor over which a
    2-2  regulatory agency exerts its jurisdiction and for which a permit is
    2-3  required before initiation of the endeavor.  Preliminary plans and
    2-4  related subdivision plats, site plans and site development permits
    2-5  connected to such preliminary plan or subdivision plats are
    2-6  considered collectively to be one project, provided that each site
    2-7  plan is submitted to the regulatory agency within three years after
    2-8  the final plat of the subdivision for such site plan is approved.
    2-9  All contiguous property that is under common or affiliated
   2-10  ownership or control and which is subject to one or more
   2-11  applications for subdivision shall be considered to be one project.
   2-12              (4)  "Regulatory agency" means an agency, bureau,
   2-13  department, division, or commission of the state or any department,
   2-14  <or other> agency, board, commission or governing body of a
   2-15  political subdivision in its capacity of processing, approving, or
   2-16  issuing permits <that processes and issues permits>.
   2-17              (5)  "Contiguous" means physically adjacent, but
   2-18  disregarding easements, rights-of-way, roads, stream beds, and
   2-19  public or quasi-public land.
   2-20        Sec. 481.143.  Uniformity of Requirements.  (a) The approval,
   2-21  disapproval, or conditional approval of an application for a permit
   2-22  shall be considered by each regulatory agency solely on the basis
   2-23  of any orders, regulations, ordinances, rules, expiration dates, or
   2-24  other duly adopted requirements in effect at the time the original
   2-25  application for the permit is filed.  If a series of permits is
    3-1  required for a project, and if the project is initiated within two
    3-2  (2) years after the last required permit is approved, the orders,
    3-3  regulations, ordinances, rules, expiration dates, or other
    3-4  requirements in effect at the time the original application for the
    3-5  first permit in that series is filed shall be the sole basis for
    3-6  consideration of all subsequent permits required for the completion
    3-7  of the project<.>  and all permits required for the project shall
    3-8  be considered to be a single series of permits.  Once a permit is
    3-9  approved, a regulatory agency shall not change any expiration dates
   3-10  or duration of the permit.  An application for a permit to amend a
   3-11  previously applied for or approved permit for a project may be
   3-12  filed, and the approval, disapproval or conditional approval of the
   3-13  amendment shall also be considered by each regulatory agency solely
   3-14  on the basis of any orders, regulations, ordinances, rules,
   3-15  expiration dates, or other duly-adopted requirements in effect at
   3-16  the time the original application for the permit for the original
   3-17  project was filed if the purpose of the amendment is to comply with
   3-18  requirements of another regulatory agency having jurisdiction over
   3-19  the project.  The project will be considered to have been initiated
   3-20  if plans are prepared and the ground is broken for the first phase
   3-21  of the project.  The project and subsequent phases must be in a
   3-22  continuous process of completion and completed as soon as
   3-23  reasonably possible, consistent with generally-accepted local
   3-24  standards and practices, provided that the project shall be
   3-25  considered to be in a continuous process of completion during any
    4-1  period in which completion or initiation is interrupted for any
    4-2  reason or circumstance beyond the control of the person to whom the
    4-3  permit was issued as a result of an action taken by a regulatory
    4-4  agency or other governmental entity or agency thereof.
    4-5        (b)  This subchapter shall apply to all projects in progress
    4-6  on or commenced after the effective date of this subchapter of the
    4-7  Government Code as originally enacted by Acts 1987, 70th
    4-8  Legislature, Chapter 374, Section 1, and the duly-adopted
    4-9  requirements in effect at the time the original application for the
   4-10  first permit for the project was filed shall control.
   4-11        <(b)> (c)  This section does not apply to:
   4-12              (1)  permits or licenses issued in connection with any
   4-13  form of gaming or gambling;
   4-14              (2)  permits or licenses issued under Title 2, Tax
   4-15  Code; <or>
   4-16              (3)  permits or orders issued under programs for which
   4-17  a state regulatory agency has received authorization, delegation,
   4-18  or approval from the federal government to implement an equivalent
   4-19  state program in lieu of or as part of the federal program<.>;
   4-20              (4)  permits for the construction of buildings or
   4-21  structures intended for human occupancy or habitation that are
   4-22  issued pursuant to laws, ordinances, procedures, rules or
   4-23  regulations adopting solely the provisions of uniform building,
   4-24  fire, electrical, plumbing or mechanical codes promulgated by the
   4-25  International Conference of Building Officials, the International
    5-1  Fire Code Institute, or the International Association of Plumbing
    5-2  and Mechanical Officials, or local amendments to building, fire,
    5-3  electrical, plumbing or mechanical codes enacted to address
    5-4  imminent threats to health and safety, unless such permits are less
    5-5  than two years old;
    5-6              (5)  permits, orders or regulations issued by local
    5-7  regulatory agencies to comply with federally-mandated or
    5-8  state-mandated programs, statutes, regulations or permits where the
    5-9  local regulatory agency does not have discretion to comply with the
   5-10  federal or state mandate; or
   5-11              (6)  municipal zoning regulations, regulations
   5-12  affecting the location of adult-oriented businesses, or regulations
   5-13  affecting colonias.
   5-14        SECTION 2.  Nothing in this Act shall be construed to:  (1)
   5-15  limit or otherwise affect the authority of a state agency with
   5-16  respect to the enforcement of rules or implementation of programs
   5-17  or plans which are funded or mandated by the federal government
   5-18  under the federal Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C.
   5-19  Section 1451 et seq.) and its subsequent amendments; (2) limit or
   5-20  otherwise affect the authority of a state or local regulatory
   5-21  agency to implement or enforce statutory standards or state agency
   5-22  rules applicable to the coastal zone; or (3) apply to permits,
   5-23  orders, rules, regulations, or other actions issued or undertaken
   5-24  by a state regulatory agency in connection with federal funding or
   5-25  federal programs relating to the coastal zone.
    6-1        SECTION 3.  Nothing in this Act shall be construed to
    6-2  diminish or impair the rights or remedies of any private person or
    6-3  entity under a final judgment rendered by, or in any pending
    6-4  litigation brought in, any court concerning an interpretation of
    6-5  the provisions of Subchapter I, Chapter 481, Government Code.
    6-6        SECTION 4.  The importance of this legislation and the
    6-7  crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an
    6-8  emergency and an imperative public necessity that the
    6-9  constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several
   6-10  days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended,
   6-11  and that this Act take effect and be in force from and after its
   6-12  passage, and it is so enacted.