Bill Text: TX HB1719 | 2021-2022 | 87th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to development regulations in Fort Bend County near the Brazos River; creating a criminal offense.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2021-04-06 - Left pending in committee [HB1719 Detail]

Download: Texas-2021-HB1719-Introduced.html
  87R6381 MP-D
 
  By: Reynolds H.B. No. 1719
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to development regulations in Fort Bend County near the
  Brazos River; creating a criminal offense.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Chapter 231, Local Government Code, is amended
  by adding Subchapter N to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER N. ZONING AROUND THE BRAZOS RIVER IN FORT BEND COUNTY
         Sec. 231.301.  LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS; PURPOSE. (a) The
  legislature finds that:
               (1)  the area that surrounds the Brazos River in Fort
  Bend County:
                     (A)  is frequented for recreational purposes by
  residents from every part of the state; and
                     (B)  is critical for the bays and estuaries in the
  Gulf of Mexico;
               (2)  orderly development and use of the area is of
  concern to the entire state; and
               (3)  buildings in the area that are frequented for
  resort or recreational purposes tend to become congested and tend
  to be used in ways that interfere with the proper use of the area as
  a place of recreation to the detriment of the public health, safety,
  morals, and general welfare.
         (b)  The powers granted under this subchapter are for the
  purpose of:
               (1)  promoting the public health, safety, peace,
  morals, and general welfare;
               (2)  encouraging tourism and recreation; and
               (3)  safeguarding and preventing the pollution of the
  state's water resources.
         Sec. 231.302.  AREAS SUBJECT TO REGULATION. This subchapter
  applies only to the unincorporated areas of Fort Bend County within
  500 feet of the Brazos River.
         Sec. 231.303.  DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS GENERALLY. The
  commissioners court of Fort Bend County may regulate:
               (1)  the percentage of a lot that may be occupied or
  developed;
               (2)  population density;
               (3)  the size and location of buildings; and
               (4)  the location, design, construction, extension,
  and size of streets and roads.
         Sec. 231.304.  RELATIONSHIP TO COUNTY AND MUNICIPAL PLANS.
  Development regulations must be:
               (1)  adopted in accordance with a county plan for
  growth and development of the county; and
               (2)  coordinated with the comprehensive plans of
  municipalities located in the county.
         Sec. 231.305.  DISTRICTS. (a) The commissioners court may
  divide the unincorporated area of the county into districts of a
  number, shape, and size the court considers best for carrying out
  this subchapter.
         (b)  Development regulations may vary from district to
  district.
         Sec. 231.306.  PROCEDURE GOVERNING ADOPTION OF REGULATIONS
  AND DISTRICT BOUNDARIES. (a) A development regulation adopted
  under this subchapter is not effective until it is adopted by the
  commissioners court after a public hearing. Before the 15th day
  before the date of the hearing, the commissioners court must
  publish notice of the hearing in a newspaper of general circulation
  in the county.
         (b)  The commissioners court may establish or amend a
  development regulation only by an order passed by a majority vote of
  the full membership of the court.
         Sec. 231.307.  DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION. (a)  The
  commissioners court may appoint a development commission to assist
  in the implementation and enforcement of development regulations
  adopted under this subchapter.
         (b)  The development commission must consist of an ex officio
  chair who must be a public official in Fort Bend County and four
  additional members.
         (c)  The development commission is advisory only and may
  recommend appropriate development regulations for the county.
         (d)  The members of the development commission are subject to
  the same requirements relating to conflicts of interest that are
  applicable to the commissioners court under Chapter 171.
         Sec. 231.308.  SPECIAL EXCEPTION. (a) A person aggrieved by
  a regulation adopted under this subchapter may petition the
  commissioners court for a special exception to the regulation.
         (b)  The commissioners court may grant a special exception to
  the regulation if the person who petitioned under Subsection (a)
  demonstrates that the requested exception adequately protects the
  public health, safety, or general welfare.
         (c)  The commissioners court shall adopt procedures
  governing applications, notice, hearings, and other matters
  relating to the grant of a special exception.
         Sec. 231.309.  ENFORCEMENT; CRIMINAL PENALTY. (a) The
  commissioners court may adopt orders to enforce this subchapter or
  an order or regulation adopted under this subchapter.
         (b)  A person commits an offense if the person violates an
  order or regulation adopted under this subchapter. An offense
  under this subsection is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not
  less than $500 or more than $1,000. Each day that a violation
  occurs constitutes a separate offense.
         Sec. 231.310.  COOPERATION WITH MUNICIPALITIES. The
  commissioners court by order may enter into agreements with any
  municipality located in the county to assist in the implementation
  and enforcement of development regulations adopted under this
  subchapter.
         Sec. 231.311.  CONFLICT WITH OTHER LAWS. If a development
  regulation adopted under this subchapter imposes higher standards
  than those required under another statute or local order or
  regulation, the regulation adopted under this subchapter controls.
  If the other statute or local order or regulation imposes higher
  standards, that statute, order, or regulation controls.
         SECTION 2.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2021.
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