81R9548 JTS-F
  By: Bohac H.B. No. 3065
  relating to municipal registration of vacant buildings; providing a
         SECTION 1.  Chapter 214, Local Government Code, is amended
  by adding Subchapter H to read as follows:
         Sec. 214.231.  DEFINITIONS. In this subchapter:
               (1)  "Building" means any enclosed structure designed
  for use as a habitation or for a commercial use, including engaging
  in trade or manufacture.
               (2)  "Owner" means the person that owns the real
  property on which a building is situated, according to:
                     (A)  the real property records of the county in
  which the property is located; or
                     (B)  the records of the appraisal district in
  which the property is located.
               (3)  "Unit" means an enclosed area designed:
                     (A)  for habitation by a single family; or
                     (B)  for a commercial use, including engaging in
  trade or manufacture, by a tenant.
         Sec. 214.232.  PRESUMPTION OF VACANCY. A building is
  presumed to be vacant under this subchapter if:
               (1)  all lawful residential, commercial, recreational,
  charitable, or construction activity at the building has ceased, or
  reasonably appears to have ceased, for more than 150 days; or
               (2)  the building contains more than three units, 75
  percent or more of which have not been used lawfully, or reasonably
  appear not to have been used lawfully, for more than 150 days.
         Sec. 214.233.  REGISTRATION.  (a)  A municipality by
  ordinance may require the owner of a vacant building to register the
  building by filing a completed registration form with a designated
  municipal official not later than the later of the 30th day after
  the date:
               (1)  the building becomes vacant; or
               (2)  the person becomes the owner of the building.
         (b)  A municipality, in the ordinance adopted under this
  subchapter, may exempt certain classifications of buildings as
  determined reasonable and appropriate by the governing body of the
         Sec. 214.234.  EXPIRATION AND RENEWAL.  (a)  The ordinance
  may provide that a registration under this subchapter:
               (1)  expires automatically on the first anniversary of
  the date the owner filed a registration form under Section 214.233;
               (2)  must be renewed on or before the 30th day before
  the date the registration expires, unless the building is no longer
         (b)  The ordinance may prohibit an owner from renewing a
  registration under this subchapter if a citation issued by the
  municipality relating to a condition of the building alleged by the
  municipality to constitute a violation of an ordinance, code, or
  other law has not been paid in full, dismissed, or otherwise legally
         Sec. 214.235.  FORM. A designated municipal official shall
  adopt a form for registration under this subchapter, which may
               (1)  the legibly printed name of the owner or the
  owner's authorized agent and a notarized signature attesting on
  personal knowledge and under oath to the accuracy of:
                     (A)  all statements on the registration form; and
                     (B)  any documents submitted with the form;
               (2)  the disclosure of any information reasonably
  necessary for the municipality to minimize the threat to health,
  safety, and welfare that a vacant building may present to the
  public, which may include:
                     (A)  a legal description of the real property on
  which the building is situated;
                     (B)  the physical address of the building;
                     (C)  the name, mailing address, physical address,
  and telephone number of the owner of the building; and
                     (D)  the name, mailing address, physical address
  in this state, and telephone number of a natural person at least 21
  years of age authorized by the owner of the building as the owner's
  agent for the receipt of notices from the municipality pertaining
  to the building and for the receipt of process;
               (3)  a statement that the building is secured to
  prevent unauthorized entry, with a brief description of the means
  by which the building has been secured;
               (4)  a statement that one or more signs have been posted
  at the entrance to the building, reasonably likely to come to the
  attention of intruders, stating that unauthorized entry is
  forbidden; and
               (5)  a certificate issued by an insurance company
  authorized by the Texas Department of Insurance to transact
  business in this state evidencing a liability insurance policy
  covering the building in an amount required under Section 214.236.
         Sec. 214.236.  INSURANCE REQUIREMENT.  An ordinance may
  require an owner to insure a vacant building registered under this
  subchapter in an amount:
               (1)  not less than $250,000 for a building containing
  more than 2 but fewer than 20 units designed for habitation; or
               (2)  not less than $500,000 for any other building.
         Sec. 214.237.  FEE.  An ordinance may require the payment of
  a fee, not to exceed $250, for a registration or renewal under this
  ordinance may require an owner to supplement or amend a
  registration under this subchapter not later than the 30th day
  after the date the owner knows or reasonably should know that a
  statement on the building's current registration form, or on any
  document submitted with the building's current registration form,
  is incomplete or otherwise inaccurate.
         Sec. 214.239.  OFFENSE.  (a)  The owner of a vacant building
  commits an offense if the owner violates an ordinance adopted under
  this section.
         (b)  An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor.
         (c)  Each day the violation continues constitutes a separate
         (d)  Section 3.04(a), Penal Code, does not apply to two or
  more offenses under this section that are consolidated or joined
  for trial under Section 3.02, Penal Code, if each of the offenses
               (1)  for the violation of an ordinance adopted under
  this section;
               (2)  punishable by fine only; and
               (3)  tried in a municipal court, regardless of whether
  the court is a municipal court of record.
         SECTION 2.  This Act takes effect January 1, 2010.