Office of House Bill AnalysisS.B. 1174
By: Wentworth
Land & Resource Management


Currently, in Texas, certain areas, such as the Texas Hill Country, have
become popular for development, but have groundwater that cannot support
growth without causing damage to the aquifer.  Often because of the
popularity of the area, buyers purchase property from unscrupulous business
interests without the infrastructure necessary for responsible development.
S.B. 1174 authorizes commissioners courts to require plans for water,
wastewater, storm drainage, and other utilities, in areas designated as
priority groundwater management areas.  


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does
not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state
officer, department, agency, or institution. 


SECTION 1. Amends Chapter 232, Local Government Code, by adding Subchapter
D, as follows: 


Sec.  232.091.  DEFINITIONS.  Defines "floodplain," "lot," "minimum state
standards," "plat," "priority groundwater management area," "sell,"
"sewer," "sewer services," "sewer facilities," "subdivide," "subdivider,"
"subdivision," "utility," and "utility easement." 

Sec.  232.092.  APPLICABILITY.  Provides that this subchapter applies only
to land that is subdivided in the jurisdiction of a county and that is
located in a priority groundwater management area.  Authorizes the
commissioners court of a county to determine, by order, if the county will
apply the provisions of this subchapter to the subdivision of property that
is incident to or the result of the conveyance of the land as a gift
between persons related to each other within the third degree by affinity
or consanguinity.  Sets forth the instances in which land is considered in
the jurisdiction of a county.  Authorizes this subchapter to be applied in
conjunction with Sections 232.003, 232.004, 232.005, 232.008, and 232.009. 

Sec.  232.093.  PLAT REQUIRED.  Requires a subdivider of land located in
the jurisdiction of a county and located in a priority groundwater
management area to have a plat of the subdivision prepared.  Provides that
a subdivision of a tract under this section includes a subdivision of real
property by any method of conveyance, including a contract for deed, oral
contract, contract of sale, or other type of executory contract.  Sets
forth certain requirements for the required plat.  Requires the subdivider
of the tract to acknowledge the plat by signing the plat and attached
documents and attest to the veracity and completeness of the matters
asserted in the attached documents and in the plat.  Requires the plat to
be filed and recorded with the county clerk of the county in which the
tract is located.  Provides that the plat is subject to the filing and
recording provisions of Section 12.002 (Subdivision Plat; Penalty),
Property Code.  

Sec.  232.094.  APPROVAL BY COUNTY REQUIRED.  Provides that a plat filed
under Section 232.093 is not valid unless the commissioners court of the
county in which the land  is located approves the plat by an order entered
in the minutes of the court.  Requires the commissioners court to refuse to
approve the plat if it does not meet the requirements prescribed by or
under this subchapter or if any bond required under this subchapter is not
filed with the county clerk.  Prohibits the commissioners court from
approving the plat if any part of a plat applies to land intended for
residential housing and any part of that land lies in a floodplain, unless
the plat evidences a restrictive covenant as required by this section.
Requires the restrictive covenant to prohibit the construction of
residential housing in any area of the subdivision that is in a floodplain
unless the housing qualifies for insurance under the National Flood
Insurance Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. Section 4001 et seq.). Requires the
commissioners court of a county to make a written determination of the
application of Subsection (b) to the land proposed to be platted, on the
written request of a person requesting a plat under Subsection (b).
Authorizes a commissioners court of a county to adopt any rules necessary
to administer this section. 

SECTION 2. Makes application of this Act prospective to September 1, 1999.
  Effective date: 90 days after adjournment.