By: Shapiro S.B. No. 1704
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
1-1 relating to the review and approval of certain permits by the
1-2 state, a municipality, or other local governmental agencies.
1-3 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
1-4 SECTION 1. Subchapter I, Chapter 481, Government Code, is
1-5 amended to read as follows:
1-6 Sec. 481.141. Legislative Finding and Intent. (a) The
1-7 legislature finds that current administrative practices often
1-8 result in unnecessary governmental regulatory delays that inhibit
1-9 the economic development of the state.
1-10 (b) The legislature desires to establish requirements
1-11 relating to the processing and issuance of permits and approvals by
1-12 governmental regulatory agencies in order to alleviate bureaucratic
1-13 obstacles to economic development.
1-14 Sec. 481.142. Definitions. In this subchapter:
1-15 (1) "Political subdivision" means a political
1-16 subdivision of the state, including a county, a school district, or
1-17 a municipality.
1-18 (2) "Permit" means a license, certificate, approval,
1-19 registration, consent, permit, or other form of authorization
1-20 required by law, rule, regulation, or ordinance that must be
1-21 obtained by a person in order to perform an action or initiate a
1-22 project for which the permit is sought.
1-23 (3) "Project" means an endeavor over which a
2-1 regulatory agency exerts its jurisdiction and for which one or more
2-2 permits are <
a permit is> required to initiate or continue < before
2-3 initiation of> the endeavor.
2-4 (4) "Regulatory agency" means an agency, bureau,
2-5 department, division, or commission of the state or any department,
2-6 < or other> agency, board, commission or governing body of a
2-7 political subdivision in its capacity of processing, approving, or
2-8 issuing < that processes and issues> permits.
2-9 Sec. 481.143. Uniformity of Requirements. (a) The approval,
2-10 disapproval, or conditional approval of an application for a permit
2-11 shall be considered by each regulatory agency solely on the basis
2-12 of any orders, regulations, ordinances, rules, expiration dates, or
2-13 other duly adopted requirements in effect at the time the original
2-14 application for the permit is filed. If a series of permits is
2-15 required for a project, the orders, regulations, ordinances, rules,
2-16 expiration dates, or other duly adopted requirements in effect at
2-17 the time the original application for the first permit in that
2-18 series is filed shall be the sole basis for consideration of all
2-19 subsequent permits required for the completion of the project, and
2-20 all permits required for the project shall be considered to be a
2-21 single series of permits. Preliminary plans and related
2-22 subdivision plats, site plans and all other development permits for
2-23 land covered by such preliminary plans or subdivision plats are
2-24 considered collectively to be one series of permits. Once an
2-25 application for a project has been filed, a regulatory agency shall
3-1 not shorten the duration of any permit required for the project.
3-2 (b) This subchapter shall apply to all projects in progress
3-3 on or commenced after the effective date of this subchapter of the
3-4 Government Code as originally enacted by Acts 1987, 70th
3-5 Legislature, Chapter 374, Section 1, and the duly adopted
3-6 requirements in effect at the time the original application for the
3-7 first permit for the project was filed shall control. This
3-8 subchapter shall be enforceable solely through declaratory,
3-9 mandamus, or injunctive relief.
3-10 (c) < (b)> This section does not apply to:
3-11 (1) permits or licenses issued in connection with any
3-12 form of gaming or gambling;
3-13 (2) permits or licenses issued under Title 2, Tax
3-14 Code; < or>
3-15 (3) permits or orders issued under programs for which
3-16 a state regulatory agency has received authorization, delegation,
3-17 or approval from the federal government to implement an equivalent
3-18 state program in lieu of or as part of the federal program;< .>
3-19 (4) permits for the construction of buildings or
3-20 structures intended for human occupancy or habitation that are
3-21 issued pursuant to laws, ordinances, procedures, rules or
3-22 regulations adopting solely the provisions of uniform building,
3-23 fire, electrical, plumbing or mechanical codes promulgated by a
3-24 recognized national code organization, or local amendments to any
3-25 such codes enacted solely to address imminent threats of
4-1 destruction of property or injury to persons, unless such permits
4-2 are less than two years old;
4-3 (5) municipal zoning regulations that do not affect
4-4 lot size, lot dimensions, lot coverage, or building size;
4-5 (6) regulations for the location of adult-oriented
4-7 (7) regulations for colonias;
4-8 (8) fees lawfully imposed in conjunction with
4-9 development permits;
4-10 (9) regulations for annexation;
4-11 (10) regulations for utility connections;
4-12 (11) regulations to prevent imminent destruction of
4-13 property or injury to person; or
4-14 (12) construction standards for public works located
4-15 on public lands and easements.
4-16 (d) Notwithstanding any provision of this section to the
4-17 contrary, a permit holder shall have the right to take advantage of
4-18 procedural changes to the laws, rules, regulations or ordinances of
4-19 a regulatory agency which enhance or protect the project including,
4-20 without limitation, changes which lengthen the effective life of
4-21 the permit after the date on which application for the permit was
4-22 made, without otherwise forfeiting any rights under this section.
4-23 SECTION 2. Nothing in this Act shall be construed to: (1)
4-24 limit or otherwise affect the authority of a state agency with
4-25 respect to the enforcement of rules or implementation of programs
5-1 or plans which are funded or mandated by the federal government
5-2 under the federal Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C.
5-3 Section 1451 et seq.) and its subsequent amendments; (2) limit or
5-4 otherwise affect the authority of a state or local regulatory
5-5 agency to implement or enforce statutory standards or state agency
5-6 rules applicable to the coastal zone; or (3) apply to permits,
5-7 orders, rules, regulations, or other actions issued or undertaken
5-8 by a state regulatory agency in connection with federal funding or
5-9 federal programs relating to the coastal zone.
5-10 SECTION 3. Nothing in this Act shall be construed to
5-11 diminish or impair the rights or remedies of any person or entity
5-12 under a final judgment rendered by, or in any pending litigation
5-13 brought in, any court concerning an interpretation of the
5-14 provisions of Subchapter I, Chapter 481, Government Code.
5-15 SECTION 4. The importance of this legislation and the
5-16 crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an
5-17 emergency and an imperative public necessity that the
5-18 constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several
5-19 days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended,
5-20 and that this Act take effect and be in force from and after its
5-21 passage, and it is so enacted.