Effective Sept. 1, 2007, SB1867, by Sen. Zaffirini and Rep. Guillen, expands the subdivision regulation authority of most Texas counties. Prior to this legislation, the authority to adopt certain subdivision regulations in Subchapter E, Chapter 232, Local Government Code, was limited to certain urban counties. Section 6 of SB1867 repealed this population bracket. Therefore, the authority granted by Subchapter E is now available to all Texas counties.
The additional authority includes rules and regulations:
To promote the health, safety, morals, or general welfare of the county and the safe, orderly and healthful development of the unincorporated area. However, these rules may not regulate:
the use of a building;
the bulk, height, or number of buildings;
the size of a building; or
the number of residential units per acre.
To require right of way for a major thoroughfare of not more than 120 feet;
To require minimum lot frontages on existing county roads;
To establish reasonable building and set-back lines;
To contract with a developer to participate in construction of public improvements, including buildings;
To require utility connections within a subdivision; and
To require certification of all infrastructure, improvements, or utilities by a registered surveyor or professional engineer.
This legislation also authorizes regulations to require water storage fire suppression systems in any subdivision not served by a fire hydrant equipped water system. Finally, the bill simplifies the re-plat process to correct errors in the original plat.
While this authority is cumulative of and in addition to existing authority, the present exemptions to platting requirements also continue to apply. This legislation provides additional options for counties to provide for orderly, efficient development in the unincorporated area of the county.
For more information, please call me at 1-800-733-0699.
Jim Allison, General Counsel