Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 984
By: Grusendorf
Land & Resource Management


Historically, nonprofit organizations such as religious entities have been
allowed to build in residential areas on unplatted property.  However, some
cities have recently begun to require owners of property to file a plat in
order to receive a building permit.  This requirement can cause a
significant financial burden for nonprofit organizations and in some cases,
the platting fees for platting the entire property can exceed the value of
the structure to be constructed.  House Bill 984 provides that owners of
tax-exempt religious property do not have to file a plat to receive a
building permit. 


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. 


House Bill 984 amends the Local Government Code to provide that an owner of
an unplatted tract of land that is a tax-exempt religious organization is
not required to prepare a plat to obtain a building permit for developing
the tract.  The bill provides that the owner of the property must comply
with all applicable platting requirements if the property loses its
religious organization exemption from taxation. 

The bill provides that certain provisions regarding the regulation of
property development do not apply to an unplatted tract of land that is
owned by a tax-exempt religious organization.  The bill also provides that
if the property loses its religious organization exemption from taxation,
then regulation of property development provisions begin to apply to the
property on the day after the date on which the exemption is lost. 

H.B. 984 amends the Property Code to authorize a person to file for record
or have a plat recorded in the county clerk's office if the plat is
exempted from approval because it is a tax-exempt religious organization
property.  The bill requires the clerk or deputy to note on the plat that
the property was exempt due to it being owned by a religious organization.
The bill provides that an unapproved plat must be stamped "unapproved plat"
by the county clerk or a deputy of the clerk before it may be filed. 


On passage, or if the Act does not receive the necessary vote, the Act
takes effect September 1, 2001.