Law:Title 4. Development And Improvement. Subtitle C. Development, Improvement, And Management from Chapter 3802. Westchase District (Texas)

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Subtitle C. Development, Improvement, And Management

Contents

Chapter 3802. Westchase District

Subchapter A. General Provisions

Section  3802.001.  Definitions.

In this chapter:

(1)  "Board" means the board of directors of the district.

(2)  "District" means the Westchase District.

Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1277, Sec. 1, eff. April 1, 2005.



Section  3802.002.  Westchase District.

A special district in Harris County known as the "Westchase District" is a governmental agency and political subdivision of this state.

Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1277, Sec. 1, eff. April 1, 2005.



Section  3802.003.  Purpose; Declaration Of Intent.

(a) The creation of the district is essential to accomplish the purposes of Sections 52 and 52-a, Article III, and Section 59, Article XVI, Texas Constitution, and other public purposes stated in this chapter. By creating the district and in authorizing Harris County, the City of Houston, and other political subdivisions to contract with the district, the legislature has established a program to accomplish the public purposes set out in Section 52-a, Article III, Texas Constitution.

(b)  The creation of the district is necessary to promote, develop, encourage, and maintain employment, commerce, transportation, housing, tourism, recreation, the arts, entertainment, economic development, safety, and the public welfare in the Westchase area of Harris County.

(c)  This chapter and the creation of the district may not be interpreted to relieve Harris County or the City of Houston from providing the level of services provided as of August 28, 1995, to the area in the district or to release the county or the city from the obligations of each entity to provide services to that area. The district is created to supplement and not to supplant the county or city services provided in the area in the district.

Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1277, Sec. 1, eff. April 1, 2005.



Section  3802.004.  Findings Of Benefit And Public Purpose.

(a) The district is created to serve a public use and benefit.

(b)  All land and other property included in the district will benefit from the improvements and services to be provided by the district under powers conferred by Sections 52 and 52-a, Article III, and Section 59, Article XVI, Texas Constitution, and other powers granted under this chapter.

(c)  The creation of the district is in the public interest and is essential to:

(1)  further the public purposes of developing and diversifying the economy of the state;

(2)  eliminate unemployment and underemployment; and

(3)  develop or expand transportation and commerce.

(d)  The district will:

(1)  promote the health, safety, and general welfare of residents, employers, employees, visitors, and consumers in the district, and of the public;

(2)  provide needed funding for the Westchase area to preserve, maintain, and enhance the economic health and vitality of the area as a community and business center; and

(3)  promote the health, safety, welfare, and enjoyment of the public by providing pedestrian ways and by landscaping and developing certain areas in the district, which are necessary for the restoration, preservation, and enhancement of scenic and aesthetic beauty.

(e)  Pedestrian ways along or across a street, whether at grade or above or below the surface, and street lighting, street landscaping, and street art objects are parts of and necessary components of a street and are considered to be a street or road improvement.

(f)  The district will not act as the agent or instrumentality of any private interest even though the district will benefit many private interests as well as the public.

Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1277, Sec. 1, eff. April 1, 2005.



Section 3802.0045.  Parking.

A parking improvement is considered to be a street or road improvement.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 865, Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.



Section  3802.005.  District Territory.

(a) The district is composed of the territory described by Section 23.04(b), Chapter 165, Acts of the 75th Legislature, Regular Session, 1997, enacting former Section 376.044, Local Government Code, as that territory may have been modified under:

(1)  Subchapter J, Chapter 49, Water Code; or

(2)  other law.

(b)  The boundaries and field notes of the district contained in Section 23.04(b), Chapter 165, Acts of the 75th Legislature, Regular Session, 1997, enacting former Section 376.044, Local Government Code, form a closure. A mistake in the field notes or in copying the field notes in the legislative process does not affect in any way:

(1)  the district's organization, existence, and validity;

(2)  the district's right to issue any type of bond, including a refunding bond, for a purpose for which the district is created or to pay the principal of and interest on the bond;

(3)  the district's right to impose and collect an assessment or tax; or

(4)  the legality or operation of the district or the board.

Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1277, Sec. 1, eff. April 1, 2005.



Section 3802.0055.  Eligibility For Inclusion In Special Zones.

All or any part of the area of the district is eligible to be included in:

(1)  a tax increment reinvestment zone created by a municipality under Chapter 311, Tax Code;

(2)  a tax abatement reinvestment zone created by a municipality under Chapter 312, Tax Code; or

(3)  an enterprise zone created by a municipality under Chapter 2303, Government Code.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 865, Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.



Section  3802.006.  Applicability Of Other Law.

Except as otherwise provided by this chapter, Chapter 375, Local Government Code, applies to the district.

Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1277, Sec. 1, eff. April 1, 2005.



Section  3802.007.  Liberal Construction Of Chapter.

This chapter shall be liberally construed in conformity with the findings and purposes stated in this chapter.

Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1277, Sec. 1, eff. April 1, 2005.



Section 3802.008.  Tort Liability.

The district is a governmental unit under Chapter 101, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, and the operations of the district are essential government functions and are not proprietary functions for any purpose, including the application of Chapter 101, Civil Practice and Remedies Code.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 865, Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.



Subchapter B. Board Of Directors

Section 3802.051.  Board Of Directors; Terms.

(a) The district is governed by a board of 17 directors who serve staggered terms of four years, with eight or nine directors' terms expiring June 1 of each odd-numbered year.

(b)  The board by resolution may change the number of voting directors on the board, but only if the board determines that the change is in the best interest of the district.  The board may not consist of fewer than nine or more than 30 voting directors.

Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1277, Sec. 1, eff. April 1, 2005.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 865, Sec. 2, eff. June 19, 2009.



Section  3802.052.  Appointment Of Directors.

(a) The mayor and members of the governing body of the City of Houston shall appoint directors from persons recommended by the board.

(b)  The mayor and members of the governing body of the City of Houston shall consider for appointment as directors persons representing the following interests:

(1)  owners of multifamily rental housing with at least 200 rental units;

(2)  lessees of office space of at least 30,000 square feet of rentable area;

(3)  owners of office facilities with at least 500 employees or a taxable value in excess of $10 million;

(4)  owners of multitenant office buildings;

(5)  owners of multitenant retail property or major retail tenants;

(6)  owners of temporary lodging facilities with on-site food service;

(7)  owners of undeveloped property with a contiguous area of at least five acres; and

(8)  any other person qualified to serve on the board as provided by Section 375.063, Local Government Code, to represent the district at large.

Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1277, Sec. 1, eff. April 1, 2005.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 728, Sec. 18.002(a), eff. September 1, 2005.



Section  3802.053.  Ex Officio Directors.

The board may appoint nonvoting ex officio directors to serve on the board.

Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1277, Sec. 1, eff. April 1, 2005.



Section 3802.054.  Quorum.

For purposes of determining whether a quorum of the board is present, the following are not counted:

(1)  a board position vacant for any reason, including death, resignation, or disqualification;

(2)  a director who is abstaining from participation in a vote because of a conflict of interest; or

(3)  a nonvoting director.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 865, Sec. 3, eff. June 19, 2009.



Subchapter C. Powers And Duties

Section 3802.101.  District Powers.

The district has:

(1)  all powers necessary to accomplish the purposes for which the district was created;

(2)  the rights, powers, privileges, authority, and functions of a district created under Chapter 375, Local Government Code; and

(3)  the powers given to a corporation under Chapter 505, Local Government Code, and the power to own, operate, acquire, construct, lease, improve, and maintain projects described by that chapter.

Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1277, Sec. 1, eff. April 1, 2005.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 885, Sec. 3.31, eff. April 1, 2009.



Section 3802.102.  Nonprofit Corporation.

(a) The board by resolution may authorize the creation of a nonprofit corporation to assist and act for the district in implementing a project or providing a service authorized by this chapter.

(b)  The nonprofit corporation:

(1)  has each power of and is considered for all purposes to be a local government corporation created under Chapter 431, Transportation Code; and

(2)  may implement any project and provide any service authorized by this chapter.

(c)  The board shall appoint the board of directors of the nonprofit corporation.  The board of directors of the nonprofit corporation shall serve in the same manner as, for the same term as, and on the same conditions as the board of directors of a local government corporation created under Chapter 431, Transportation Code.

(d)  The nonprofit corporation may be dissolved as provided by Chapter 431, Transportation Code, for a corporation created under that chapter.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 865, Sec. 5, eff. June 19, 2009.



Section  3802.103.  Contracts; Grants.

(a) To protect the public interest, the district may contract with Harris County or the City of Houston for the county or the city to provide law enforcement services in the district for a fee.

(b)  Harris County, the City of Houston, or another political subdivision of this state, without further authorization, may contract with the district to implement a project of the district or assist the district in providing the services authorized under this chapter. A contract under this subsection may:

(1)  be for a period on which the parties agree;

(2)  include terms on which the parties agree;

(3)  be payable from taxes or any other source of revenue that may be available for that project or service; or

(4)  provide terms under which taxes or other revenue collected at a district project or from a person using or purchasing a commodity or service at a district project may be paid or rebated to the district.

(c)  The district may enter into a contract, lease, or other agreement with or make or accept a grant or loan to or from any person, including:

(1)  the United States;

(2)  this state or a state agency;

(3)  any political subdivision of this state; and

(4)  a public or private corporation, including a nonprofit corporation created by the board under other law.

(d)  The district may perform all acts necessary for the full exercise of the powers vested in the district on terms and for the period the board determines advisable.

(e)  The implementation of a project is a governmental function or service for the purposes of Chapter 791, Government Code.

Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1277, Sec. 1, eff. April 1, 2005.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 865, Sec. 4, eff. June 19, 2009.



Section  3802.104.  Competitive Bidding.

The district may enter into a contract for more than $10,000 for services, improvements, or the purchase of property, including materials, machinery, equipment, and supplies, only as provided by Subchapter K, Chapter 375, Local Government Code.

Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1277, Sec. 1, eff. April 1, 2005.



Section 3802.1045.  Membership In Charitable Organizations.

The district may join and pay dues to an organization that:

(1)  is exempt from federal income taxation under Section 501(a), Internal Revenue Code of 1986, by being listed as an exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3), (4), or (6) of that code; and

(2)  performs a service or provides an activity consistent with the furtherance of a district purpose.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 865, Sec. 5, eff. June 19, 2009.



Section  3802.105.  Approval Of Certain Improvement Projects.

The district must obtain the City of Houston's approval of the plans and specifications of any district improvement project related to the use of land owned by the City of Houston, an easement granted by the City of Houston, or a right-of-way of a street, road, or highway.

Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1277, Sec. 1, eff. April 1, 2005.



Section 3802.106.  No Eminent Domain Power.

The district may not exercise the power of eminent domain.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 684, Sec. 2, eff. June 17, 2005.



Section 3802.107.  Conference And Convocation Centers.

The district may finance, acquire, lease as a lessor or lessee, construct, improve, operate, or maintain conference and convocation centers and supporting facilities.  The district may enter into a long-term operating agreement with any person for the center or facility.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 728, Sec. 18.002(b), eff. September 1, 2005.

Renumbered from Special District Local Laws Code, Section 3802.106 by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 865, Sec. 6, eff. June 19, 2009.



Subchapter D. Financial Provisions

Section  3802.151.  Petition Required For Financing Services And Improvements.

The board may not finance a service or an improvement project under this chapter unless a written petition requesting that service or improvement has been filed with the board. The petition must be signed by:

(1)  the owners of a majority of the assessed value of real property in the district according to the most recent certified tax appraisal roll for Harris County; or

(2)  at least 50 owners of property in the district, if more than 50 persons own property in the district according to the most recent certified tax appraisal roll for Harris County.

Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1277, Sec. 1, eff. April 1, 2005.



Section  3802.152.  Disbursements And Transfers Of Money.

The board by resolution shall establish the number of directors' signatures and the procedure required for a disbursement or transfer of the district's money.

Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1277, Sec. 1, eff. April 1, 2005.



Section  3802.153.  Authority To Impose Ad Valorem Taxes, Assessments, And Impact Fees.

The district may impose an ad valorem tax, assessment, or impact fee as provided by Chapter 375, Local Government Code, to provide an improvement or service for a project or activity the district may acquire, construct, improve, or provide under this chapter.

Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1277, Sec. 1, eff. April 1, 2005.



Section  3802.154.  Maintenance Tax.

(a) If authorized at an election held in accordance with Section 3802.159, the district may impose an annual ad valorem tax on taxable property in the district to:

(1)  maintain and operate the district and the improvements constructed or acquired by the district; or

(2)  provide services to industrial or commercial businesses, residents, or property owners.

(b)  The board shall determine the tax rate.

Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1277, Sec. 1, eff. April 1, 2005.



Section  3802.155.  Assessments; Liens For Assessments.

(a) The board by resolution may impose and collect an assessment for any purpose authorized by this chapter.

(b)  An assessment, a reassessment, or an assessment resulting from an addition to or correction of the assessment roll by the district, penalties and interest on an assessment or reassessment, an expense of collection, and reasonable attorney's fees incurred by the district:

(1)  are a first and prior lien against the property assessed;

(2)  are superior to any other lien or claim other than a lien or claim for county, school district, or municipal ad valorem taxes; and

(3)  are the personal liability of and a charge against the owners of the property even if the owners are not named in the assessment proceeding.

(c)  The lien is effective from the date of the board's resolution imposing the assessment until the date the assessment is paid. The board may enforce the lien in the same manner that the board may enforce an ad valorem tax lien against real property.

(d)  The board may correct, add to, or delete assessments from its assessment rolls after notice and hearing as provided by Subchapter F, Chapter 375, Local Government Code.

Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1277, Sec. 1, eff. April 1, 2005.



Section  3802.156.  Tax And Assessment Abatements.

Without additional procedures, the district may grant, consistent with Chapter 312, Tax Code, an abatement for a tax or assessment owed to the district.

Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1277, Sec. 1, eff. April 1, 2005.



Section  3802.157.  Property Exempt From Assessment And Impact Fees.

The district may not impose an assessment or impact fee on the property, equipment, or facilities of:

(1)  an electric utility, as defined by Section 31.002, Utilities Code; or

(2)  a public utility, as defined by Section 51.002, Utilities Code.

Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1277, Sec. 1, eff. April 1, 2005.



Section 3802.1575.  Use Of Electrical Or Optical Lines.

(a) The district may impose an assessment to pay the cost of:

(1)  burying or removing electrical power lines, telephone lines, cable or fiber-optic lines, or any other type of electrical or optical line;

(2)  removing poles and any elevated lines using the poles; and

(3)  reconnecting the lines described by Subdivision (2) to the buildings or other improvements to which the lines were connected.

(b)  The assessment under Subsection (a) shall not be imposed on the property, including the equipment, rights-of-way, easements, facilities, or improvements, of a telecommunications provider as defined by Section 51.002, Utilities Code, or a cable service provider or video service provider as defined by Section 66.002, Utilities Code, unless the property is used as office space.

(c)  The district may acquire, operate, or charge fees for the use of the district conduits for:

(1)  another person's:

(A)  telecommunications network;

(B)  fiber-optic cable; or

(C)  electronic transmission line; or

(2)  any other type of transmission line or supporting facility.

(d)  The district may not require a person to use a district conduit.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 865, Sec. 7, eff. June 19, 2009.



Section  3802.158.  Obligations; Approval By City Of Houston.

(a) The district may issue bonds or other obligations payable in whole or in part from ad valorem taxes, assessments, impact fees, revenue, grants, or other money of the district, or any combination of those sources of money, to pay for any authorized purpose of the district.

(b)  In exercising the district's borrowing power, the district may issue a bond or other obligation in the form of a bond, note, certificate of participation or other instrument evidencing a proportionate interest in payments to be made by the district, or other type of obligation.

(c)  Except as provided by Subsection (d), the district must obtain the approval of the City of Houston:

(1)  for the issuance of a bond for each improvement project; and

(2)  of the plans and specifications of the improvement project to be financed by the bond.

(d)  If the district obtains the approval of the City of Houston of a capital improvements budget for a specified period not to exceed five years, the district may finance the capital improvements and issue bonds specified in the budget without further approval from the City of Houston.

Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1277, Sec. 1, eff. April 1, 2005.



Section  3802.159.  Elections Regarding Taxes Or Bonds.

(a) In addition to the elections required under Subchapter L, Chapter 375, Local Government Code, the district must hold an election in the manner provided by that subchapter to obtain voter approval before the district may:

(1)  impose a maintenance tax; or

(2)  issue a bond payable from ad valorem taxes or assessments.

(b)  The board may submit multiple purposes in a single proposition at an election.

(c)  The board may not call an election under this chapter unless a written petition requesting an election has been filed with the board. The petition must be signed by:

(1)  the owners of a majority of the assessed value of real property in the district according to the most recent certified tax appraisal roll for Harris County; or

(2)  at least 50 persons who own property in the district, if there are more than 50 persons who own property in the district according to the most recent certified tax appraisal roll for Harris County.

Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1277, Sec. 1, eff. April 1, 2005.



Section  3802.160.  Sales And Use Tax Prohibited.

The district may not impose a sales and use tax.

Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1277, Sec. 1, eff. April 1, 2005.



Subchapter E. Dissolution

Section  3802.201.  Dissolution Of District With Outstanding Debt.

Despite this section and Section 375.264, Local Government Code, the district may be dissolved as provided by Subchapter M, Chapter 375, Local Government Code, if the district has debt. If the district has debt when it is dissolved, the district shall remain in existence solely for the purpose of discharging its bonds or other obligations according to their terms.

Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1277, Sec. 1, eff. April 1, 2005.


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