S.B. No. 1704
                                        AN ACT
    1-1  relating to the review and approval of certain permits by the
    1-2  state, a municipality, or other local governmental agencies.
    1-4        SECTION 1.  Subchapter I, Chapter 481, Government Code, is
    1-5  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 one or more
    2-3  permits are <a permit is> required to initiate or continue <before
    2-4  initiation of> the endeavor.
    2-5              (4)  "Regulatory agency" means an agency, bureau,
    2-6  department, division, or commission of the state or any department,
    2-7  <or other> agency, board, commission, or governing body of a
    2-8  political subdivision in its capacity of processing, approving, or
    2-9  issuing  <that processes and issues> permits.
   2-10        Sec. 481.143.  Uniformity of Requirements.  (a) The approval,
   2-11  disapproval, or conditional approval of an application for a permit
   2-12  shall be considered by each regulatory agency solely on the basis
   2-13  of any orders, regulations, ordinances, rules, expiration dates, or
   2-14  other duly adopted requirements in effect at the time the original
   2-15  application for the permit is filed.  If a series of permits is
   2-16  required for a project, the orders, regulations, ordinances, rules,
   2-17  expiration dates, or other duly adopted requirements in effect at
   2-18  the time the original application for the first permit in that
   2-19  series is filed shall be the sole basis for consideration of all
   2-20  subsequent permits required for the completion of the project, and
   2-21  all permits required for the project shall be considered to be a
   2-22  single series of permits.  Preliminary plans and related
   2-23  subdivision plats, site plans, and all other development permits
   2-24  for land covered by such preliminary plans or subdivision plats are
   2-25  considered collectively to be one series of permits.  Once an
    3-1  application for a project has been filed, a regulatory agency shall
    3-2  not shorten the duration of any permit required for the project.
    3-3        (b)  This subchapter shall apply to all projects in progress
    3-4  on or commenced after the effective date of this subchapter as
    3-5  originally enacted by Section 1, Chapter 374, Acts of the 70th
    3-6  Legislature, Regular Session, 1987, and the duly adopted
    3-7  requirements in effect at the time the original application for the
    3-8  first permit for the project was filed shall control.  This
    3-9  subchapter shall be enforceable solely through declaratory,
   3-10  mandamus, or injunctive relief.
   3-11        (c)  This section does not apply to:
   3-12              (1)  permits or licenses issued in connection with any
   3-13  form of gaming or gambling;
   3-14              (2)  permits or licenses issued under Title 2, Tax
   3-15  Code; <or>
   3-16              (3)  permits or orders issued under programs for which
   3-17  a state regulatory agency has received authorization, delegation,
   3-18  or approval from the federal government to implement an equivalent
   3-19  state program in lieu of or as part of the federal program;
   3-20              (4)  permits for the construction of buildings or
   3-21  structures intended for human occupancy or habitation that are
   3-22  issued pursuant to laws, ordinances, procedures, rules, or
   3-23  regulations adopting solely the provisions of uniform building,
   3-24  fire, electrical, plumbing, or mechanical codes promulgated by a
   3-25  recognized national code organization or local amendments to any
    4-1  such codes enacted solely to address imminent threats of
    4-2  destruction of property or injury to persons, unless such permits
    4-3  are less than two years old;
    4-4              (5)  municipal zoning regulations that do not affect
    4-5  lot size, lot dimensions, lot coverage, or building size;
    4-6              (6)  regulations for the location of adult-oriented
    4-7  businesses;
    4-8              (7)  state or local laws, including city or county
    4-9  ordinances, rules, regulations, or other requirements, affecting
   4-10  colonias;
   4-11              (8)  fees lawfully imposed in conjunction with
   4-12  development permits;
   4-13              (9)  regulations for annexation;
   4-14              (10)  regulations for utility connections;
   4-15              (11)  regulations to prevent imminent destruction of
   4-16  property or injury to persons; or
   4-17              (12)  construction standards for public works located
   4-18  on public lands and easements.
   4-19        (d)  Notwithstanding any provision of this section to the
   4-20  contrary, a permit holder shall have the right to take advantage of
   4-21  procedural changes to the laws, rules, regulations, or ordinances
   4-22  of a regulatory agency which enhance or protect the project
   4-23  including, without limitation, changes which lengthen the effective
   4-24  life of the permit after the date on which application for the
   4-25  permit was made, without otherwise forfeiting any rights under this
    5-1  section.
    5-2        (e)  The provisions of this section relating to the
    5-3  expiration date of a permit or to the duration of a permit do not
    5-4  apply in the case of a permit issued by the Railroad Commission of
    5-5  Texas which did not have an expiration date or a specific duration
    5-6  when originally issued.
    5-7        SECTION 2.  Nothing in this Act shall be construed to:
    5-8              (1)  limit or otherwise affect the authority of a
    5-9  municipality, a county, another political subdivision, the state,
   5-10  or an agency of the state, with respect to the implementation or
   5-11  enforcement of an ordinance, a rule, or a statutory standard of a
   5-12  program, plan, or ordinance that was adopted under the federal
   5-13  Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. Section 1451 et
   5-14  seq.) or its subsequent amendments or Subtitle E, Title 2, Natural
   5-15  Resources Code; or
   5-16              (2)  apply to a permit, order, rule, regulation, or
   5-17  other action issued, adopted, or undertaken by a municipality, a
   5-18  county, another political subdivision, the state, or an agency of
   5-19  the state in connection with the federal Coastal Zone Management
   5-20  Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. Section 1451 et seq.) or its subsequent
   5-21  amendments or Subtitle E, Title 2, Natural Resources Code.
   5-22        SECTION 3.  Nothing in this Act shall be construed to
   5-23  diminish or impair the rights or remedies of any person or entity
   5-24  under a final judgment rendered by, or in any pending litigation
   5-25  brought in, any court concerning an interpretation of the
    6-1  provisions of Subchapter I, Chapter 481, Government Code.
    6-2        SECTION 4.  The importance of this legislation and the
    6-3  crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an
    6-4  emergency and an imperative public necessity that the
    6-5  constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several
    6-6  days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended,
    6-7  and that this Act take effect and be in force from and after its
    6-8  passage, and it is so enacted.