Law:Title 7. Regulation Of Land Use, Structures, Businesses, And Related Activities. Subtitle B. County Regulatory Authority from Chapter 232. County Regulation Of Subdivisions (Texas)

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Subtitle B. County Regulatory Authority

Contents

Chapter 232. County Regulation Of Subdivisions

Subchapter A. Subdivision Platting Requirements In General

Section  232.001.  Plat Required.

(a) The owner of a tract of land located outside the limits of a municipality must have a plat of the subdivision prepared if the owner divides the tract into two or more parts to lay out:

(1)  a subdivision of the tract, including an addition;

(2)  lots; or

(3)  streets, alleys, squares, parks, or other parts of the tract intended to be dedicated to public use or for the use of purchasers or owners of lots fronting on or adjacent to the streets, alleys, squares, parks, or other parts.

(a-1)  A division of a tract under Subsection (a) includes a division regardless of whether it is made by using a metes and bounds description in a deed of conveyance or in a contract for a deed, by using a contract of sale or other executory contract to convey, or by using any other method.

(b)  To be recorded, the plat must:

(1)  describe the subdivision by metes and bounds;

(2)  locate the subdivision with respect to an original corner of the original survey of which it is a part; and

(3)  state the dimensions of the subdivision and of each lot, street, alley, square, park, or other part of the tract intended to be dedicated to public use or for the use of purchasers or owners of lots fronting on or adjacent to the street, alley, square, park, or other part.

(c)  The owner or proprietor of the tract or the owner's or proprietor's agent must acknowledge the plat in the manner required for the acknowledgment of deeds.

(d)  The plat must be filed and recorded with the county clerk of the county in which the tract is located.

(e)  The plat is subject to the filing and recording provisions of Section 12.002, Property Code.

(f)  Repealed by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 979, Sec. 29, eff. June 16, 1995.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 624, Sec. 3.05, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 422, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 979, Sec. 29, eff. June 16, 1995; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 129, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  232.0013.  Chapter-wide Provision Relating To Regulation Of Plats And Subdivisions In Extraterritorial Jurisdiction. The

authority of a county under this chapter relating to the regulation of plats or subdivisions in the extraterritorial jurisdiction of a municipality is subject to any applicable limitation prescribed by an agreement under Section 242.001 or by Section 242.002.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 523, Sec. 7, eff. June 20, 2003.



Section  232.0015.  Exceptions To Plat Requirement.

(a) To determine whether specific divisions of land are required to be platted, a county may define and classify the divisions. A county need not require platting for every division of land otherwise within the scope of this subchapter.

(b)  Except as provided by Section 232.0013, this subchapter does not apply to a subdivision of land to which Subchapter B applies.

(c)  A county may not require the owner of a tract of land located outside the limits of a municipality who divides the tract into two or more parts to have a plat of the subdivision prepared if:

(1)  the owner does not lay out a part of the tract described by Section 232.001(a)(3); and

(2)  the land is to be used primarily for agricultural use, as defined by Section 1-d, Article VIII, Texas Constitution, or for farm, ranch, wildlife management, or timber production use within the meaning of Section 1-d-1, Article VIII, Texas Constitution.

(d)  If a tract described by Subsection (c) ceases to be used primarily for agricultural use or for farm, ranch, wildlife management, or timber production use, the platting requirements of this subchapter apply.

(e)  A county may not require the owner of a tract of land located outside the limits of a municipality who divides the tract into four or fewer parts and does not lay out a part of the tract described by Section 232.001(a)(3) to have a plat of the subdivision prepared if each of the lots is to be sold, given, or otherwise transferred to an individual who is related to the owner within the third degree by consanguinity or affinity, as determined under Chapter 573, Government Code. If any lot is sold, given, or otherwise transferred to an individual who is not related to the owner within the third degree by consanguinity or affinity, the platting requirements of this subchapter apply.

(f)  A county may not require the owner of a tract of land located outside the limits of a municipality who divides the tract into two or more parts to have a plat of the subdivision prepared if:

(1)  all of the lots of the subdivision are more than 10 acres in area; and

(2)  the owner does not lay out a part of the tract described by Section 232.001(a)(3).

(g)  A county may not require the owner of a tract of land located outside the limits of a municipality who divides the tract into two or more parts and does not lay out a part of the tract described by Section 232.001(a)(3) to have a plat of the subdivision prepared if all the lots are sold to veterans through the Veterans' Land Board program.

(h)  The provisions of this subchapter shall not apply to a subdivision of any tract of land belonging to the state or any state agency, board, or commission or owned by the permanent school fund or any other dedicated funds of the state unless the subdivision lays out a part of the tract described by Section 232.001(a)(3).

(i)  A county may not require the owner of a tract of land located outside the limits of a municipality who divides the tract into two or more parts to have a plat of the subdivision prepared if:

(1)  the owner of the land is a political subdivision of the state;

(2)  the land is situated in a floodplain; and

(3)  the lots are sold to adjoining landowners.

(j)  A county may not require the owner of a tract of land located outside the limits of a municipality who divides the tract into two parts to have a plat of the subdivision prepared if:

(1)  the owner does not lay out a part of the tract described by Section 232.001(a)(3); and

(2)  one new part is to be retained by the owner, and the other new part is to be transferred to another person who will further subdivide the tract subject to the plat approval requirements of this chapter.

(k)  A county may not require the owner of a tract of land located outside the limits of a municipality who divides the tract into two or more parts to have a plat of the subdivision prepared if:

(1)  the owner does not lay out a part of the tract described by Section 232.001(a)(3); and

(2)  all parts are transferred to persons who owned an undivided interest in the original tract and a plat is filed before any further development of any part of the tract.

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 624, Sec. 3.04, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 979, Sec. 3, eff. June 16, 1995; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 129, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 523, Sec. 8, eff. June 20, 2003.



Section  232.002.  Approval By County Required. (a)

The commissioners court of the county in which the land is located must approve, by an order entered in the minutes of the court, a plat required by Section 232.001. The commissioners court may refuse to approve a plat if it does not meet the requirements prescribed by or under this chapter or if any bond required under this chapter is not filed with the county.

(b)  The commissioners court may not approve a plat unless the plat and other documents have been prepared as required by Section 232.0035, if applicable.

(c)  If no portion of the land subdivided under a plat approved under this section is sold or transferred before January 1 of the 51st year after the year in which the plat was approved, the approval of the plat expires, and the owner must resubmit a plat of the subdivision for approval. A plat resubmitted for approval under this subsection is subject to the requirements prescribed by this chapter at the time the plat is resubmitted.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 624, Sec. 3.04, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 884, Sec. 1, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  232.0021.  Plat Application Fee.

(a) The commissioners court may impose an application fee to cover the cost of the county's review of a subdivision plat and inspection of street, road, and drainage improvements described by the plat.

(b)  The fee may vary based on the number of proposed lots in the subdivision, the acreage described by the plat, the type or extent of proposed street and drainage improvements, or any other reasonable criteria as determined by the commissioners court.

(c)  The owner of the tract to be subdivided must pay the fee at the time directed by the county before the county conducts a review of the plat.

(d)  The fee is subject to refund under Section 232.0025(i).

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 301, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  232.0025.  Timely Approval Of Plats.

(a) The commissioners court of a county or a person designated by the commissioners court shall issue a written list of the documentation and other information that must be submitted with a plat application. The documentation or other information must relate to a requirement authorized under this section or other applicable law. An application submitted to the commissioners court or the person designated by the commissioners court that contains the documents and other information on the list is considered complete.

(b)  If a person submits a plat application to the commissioners court that does not include all of the documentation or other information required by Subsection (a), the commissioners court or the court's designee shall, not later than the 10th business day after the date the commissioners court receives the application, notify the applicant of the missing documents or other information. The commissioners court shall allow an applicant to timely submit the missing documents or other information.

(c)  An application is considered complete when all documentation or other information required by Subsection (a) is received. Acceptance by the commissioners court or the court's designee of a completed plat application with the documentation or other information required by Subsection (a) shall not be construed as approval of the documentation or other information.

(d)  Except as provided by Subsection (f), the commissioners court or the court's designee shall take final action on a plat application, including the resolution of all appeals, not later than the 60th day after the date a completed plat application is received by the commissioners court or the court's designee.

(e)  If the commissioners court or the court's designee disapproves a plat application, the applicant shall be given a complete list of the reasons for the disapproval.

(f)  The 60-day period under Subsection (d):

(1)  may be extended for a reasonable period, if agreed to in writing by the applicant and approved by the commissioners court or the court's designee;

(2)  may be extended 60 additional days if Chapter 2007, Government Code, requires the county to perform a takings impact assessment in connection with a plat application; and

(3)  applies only to a decision wholly within the control of the commissioners court or the court's designee.

(g)  The commissioners court or the court's designee shall make the determination under Subsection (f)(2) of whether the 60-day period will be extended not later than the 20th day after the date a completed plat application is received by the commissioners court or the court's designee.

(h)  The commissioners court or the court's designee may not compel an applicant to waive the time limits contained in this section.

(i)  If the commissioners court or the court's designee fails to take final action on the plat as required by Subsection (d):

(1)  the commissioners court shall refund the greater of the unexpended portion of any plat application fee or deposit or 50 percent of a plat application fee or deposit that has been paid;

(2)  the plat application is granted by operation of law; and

(3)  the applicant may apply to a district court in the county where the tract of land is located for a writ of mandamus to compel the commissioners court to issue documents recognizing the plat's approval.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 129, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  232.003.  Subdivision Requirements.

By an order adopted and entered in the minutes of the commissioners court, and after a notice is published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county, the commissioners court may:

(1)  require a right-of-way on a street or road that functions as a main artery in a subdivision, of a width of not less than 50 feet or more than 100 feet;

(2)  require a right-of-way on any other street or road in a subdivision of not less than 40 feet or more than 70 feet;

(3)  require that the shoulder-to-shoulder width on collectors or main arteries within the right-of-way be not less than 32 feet or more than 56 feet, and that the shoulder-to-shoulder width on any other street or road be not less than 25 feet or more than 35 feet;

(4)  adopt, based on the amount and kind of travel over each street or road in a subdivision, reasonable specifications relating to the construction of each street or road;

(5)  adopt reasonable specifications to provide adequate drainage for each street or road in a subdivision in accordance with standard engineering practices;

(6)  require that each purchase contract made between a subdivider and a purchaser of land in the subdivision contain a statement describing the extent to which water will be made available to the subdivision and, if it will be made available, how and when;

(7)  require that the owner of the tract to be subdivided execute a good and sufficient bond in the manner provided by Section 232.004;

(8)  adopt reasonable specifications that provide for drainage in the subdivision to:

(A)  efficiently manage the flow of stormwater runoff in the subdivision; and

(B)  coordinate subdivision drainage with the general storm drainage pattern for the area; and

(9)  require lot and block monumentation to be set by a registered professional surveyor before recordation of the plat.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1, Sec. 54(b), eff. Aug. 28, 1989; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 624, Sec. 3.04, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 129, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  232.0031.  Standard For Roads In Subdivision.

A county may not impose under Section 232.003 a higher standard for streets or roads in a subdivision than the county imposes on itself for the construction of streets or roads with a similar type and amount of traffic.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 129, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  232.0032.  Additional Requirements: Use Of Groundwater.

(a) If a person submits a plat for the subdivision of a tract of land for which the source of the water supply intended for the subdivision is groundwater under that land, the commissioners court of a county by order may require the plat application to have attached to it a statement that:

(1)  is prepared by an engineer licensed to practice in this state or a geoscientist licensed to practice in this state; and

(2)  certifies that adequate groundwater is available for the subdivision.

(b)  The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality by rule shall establish the appropriate form and content of a certification to be attached to a plat application under this section.

(c)  The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, in consultation with the Texas Water Development Board, by rule shall require a person who submits a plat under Subsection (a) to transmit to the Texas Water Development Board and any groundwater conservation district that includes in the district's boundaries any part of the subdivision information that would be useful in:

(1)  performing groundwater conservation district activities;

(2)  conducting regional water planning;

(3)  maintaining the state's groundwater database; or

(4)  conducting studies for the state related to groundwater.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 460, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 99, Sec. 2(b), eff. Sept. 1, 2001. Renumbered from Sec. 232.0031 by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 21.001(85), eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 515, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1430, Sec. 2.30, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section 232.0033.  Additional Requirements: Future Transportation Corridors.

(a) This section applies to each county in the state.  The requirements provided by this section are in addition to the other requirements of this chapter.

(b)  If all or part of a subdivision for which a plat is required under this chapter is located within a future transportation corridor identified in an agreement under Section 201.619, Transportation Code:

(1)  the commissioners court of a county in which the land is located:

(A)  may refuse to approve the plat for recordation unless the plat states that the subdivision is located within the area of the alignment of a transportation project as shown in the final environmental decision document that is applicable to the future transportation corridor; and

(B)  may refuse to approve the plat for recordation if all or part of the subdivision is located within the area of the alignment of a transportation project as shown in the final environmental decision document that is applicable to the future transportation corridor; and

(2)  each purchase contract or lease between the subdivider and a purchaser or lessee of land in the subdivision must contain a conspicuous statement that the land is located within the area of the alignment of a transportation project as shown in the final environmental decision document that is applicable to the future transportation corridor.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1040, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section  232.004.  Bond Requirements. If

the commissioners court requires the owner of the tract to execute a bond, the owner must do so before subdividing the tract unless an alternative financial guarantee is provided under Section 232.0045. The bond must:

(1)  be payable to the county judge of the county in which the subdivision will be located or to the judge's successors in office;

(2)  be in an amount determined by the commissioners court to be adequate to ensure proper construction of the roads and streets in and drainage requirements for the subdivision, but not to exceed the estimated cost of construction of the roads, streets, and drainage requirements;

(3)  be executed with sureties as may be approved by the court;

(4)  be executed by a company authorized to do business as a surety in this state if the court requires a surety bond executed by a corporate surety; and

(5)  be conditioned that the roads and streets and the drainage requirements for the subdivision will be constructed:

(A)  in accordance with the specifications adopted by the court; and

(B)  within a reasonable time set by the court.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1, Sec. 54(b), eff. Aug. 28, 1989; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 129, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  232.0045.  Financial Guarantee In Lieu Of Bond.

(a) In lieu of the bond an owner may deposit cash, a letter of credit issued by a federally insured financial institution, or other acceptable financial guarantee.

(b)  If a letter of credit is used, it must:

(1)  list as the sole beneficiary the county judge of the county in which the subdivision is located; and

(2)  be conditioned that the owner of the tract of land to be subdivided will construct any roads or streets in the subdivision:

(A)  in accordance with the specifications adopted by the commissioners court; and

(B)  within a reasonable time set by the court.

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1, Sec. 54(b), eff. Aug. 28, 1989.



Section  232.0048.  Conflict Of Interest; Penalty.

(a) In this section, "subdivided tract" means a tract of land, as a whole, that is subdivided. The term does not mean an individual lot in a subdivided tract of land.

(b)  A person has a substantial interest in a subdivided tract if the person:

(1)  has an equitable or legal ownership interest in the tract with a fair market value of $2,500 or more;

(2)  acts as a developer of the tract;

(3)  owns 10 percent or more of the voting stock or shares of or owns either 10 percent or more or $5,000 or more of the fair market value of a business entity that:

(A)  has an equitable or legal ownership interest in the tract with a fair market value of $2,500 or more; or

(B)  acts as a developer of the tract; or

(4)  receives in a calendar year funds from a business entity described by Subdivision (3) that exceed 10 percent of the person's gross income for the previous year.

(c)  A person also is considered to have a substantial interest in a subdivided tract if the person is related in the first degree by consanguinity or affinity, as determined under Chapter 573, Government Code, to another person who, under Subsection (b), has a substantial interest in the tract.

(d)  If a member of the commissioners court of a county has a substantial interest in a subdivided tract, the member shall file, before a vote or decision regarding the approval of a plat for the tract, an affidavit stating the nature and extent of the interest and shall abstain from further participation in the matter. The affidavit must be filed with the county clerk.

(e)  A member of the commissioners court of a county commits an offense if the member violates Subsection (d). An offense under this subsection is a Class A misdemeanor.

(f)  The finding by a court of a violation of this section does not render voidable an action of the commissioners court unless the measure would not have passed the commissioners court without the vote of the member who violated this section.

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 624, Sec. 3.04, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 561, Sec. 39, eff. Aug. 26, 1991; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 5.95(27), eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  232.005.  Enforcement In General; Penalty.

(a) At the request of the commissioners court, the county attorney or other prosecuting attorney for the county may file an action in a court of competent jurisdiction to:

(1)  enjoin the violation or threatened violation of a requirement established by, or adopted by the commissioners court under a preceding section of this chapter; or

(2)  recover damages in an amount adequate for the county to undertake any construction or other activity necessary to bring about compliance with a requirement established by, or adopted by the commissioners court under a preceding section of this chapter.

(b)  A person commits an offense if the person knowingly or intentionally violates a requirement established by, or adopted by the commissioners court under a preceding section of this chapter. An offense under this subsection is a Class B misdemeanor. This subsection does not apply to a violation for which a criminal penalty is prescribed by Section 232.0048.

(c)  A requirement that was established by or adopted under Chapter 436, Acts of the 55th Legislature, Regular Session, 1957 (Article 6626a, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes), or Chapter 151, Acts of the 52nd Legislature, Regular Session, 1951 (Article 2372k, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes), before September 1, 1983, and that, after that date, continues to apply to a subdivision of land is enforceable under Subsection (a). A knowing or intentional violation of the requirement is an offense under Subsection (b).

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1, Sec. 54(c), eff. Aug. 28, 1989; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 624, Sec. 3.04, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  232.006.  Exceptions For Populous Counties Or Contiguous Counties.

(a) This section applies to a county:

(1)  that has a population of more than 3.3 million or is contiguous with a county that has a population of more than 3.3 million; and

(2)  in which the commissioners court by order elects to operate under this section.

(b)  If a county elects to operate under this section, Section 232.005 does not apply to the county. The sections of this chapter preceding Section 232.005 do apply to the county in the same manner that they apply to other counties except that:

(1)  they apply only to tracts of land located outside municipalities and the extraterritorial jurisdiction of municipalities, as determined under Chapter 42;

(2)  the commissioners court of the county, instead of having the powers granted by Sections 232.003(2) and (3), may:

(A)  require a right-of-way on a street or road that does not function as a main artery in the subdivision of not less than 40 feet or more than 50 feet; and

(B)  require that the street cut on a main artery within the right-of-way be not less than 30 feet or more than 45 feet, and that the street cut on any other street or road within the right-of-way be not less than 25 feet or more than 35 feet; and

(3)  Section 232.004(5)(B) does not apply to the county.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 624, Sec. 3.06, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 669, Sec. 76, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  232.007.  Manufactured Home Rental Communities.

(a) In this section:

(1)  "Manufactured home rental community" means a plot or tract of land that is separated into two or more spaces or lots that are rented, leased, or offered for rent or lease, for a term of less than 60 months without a purchase option, for the installation of manufactured homes for use and occupancy as residences.

(2)  "Business day" means a day other than a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday recognized by this state.

(b)  A manufactured home rental community is not a subdivision, and Sections 232.001-232.006 do not apply to the community.

(c)  After a public hearing and after notice is published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county, the commissioners court of a county, by order adopted and entered in the minutes of the commissioners court, may establish minimum infrastructure standards for manufactured home rental communities located in the county outside the limits of a municipality. The minimum standards may include only:

(1)  reasonable specifications to provide adequate drainage in accordance with standard engineering practices, including specifying necessary drainage culverts and identifying areas included in the 100-year flood plain;

(2)  reasonable specifications for providing an adequate public or community water supply, including specifying the location of supply lines, in accordance with Subchapter C, Chapter 341, Health and Safety Code;

(3)  reasonable requirements for providing access to sanitary sewer lines, including specifying the location of sanitary sewer lines, or providing adequate on-site sewage facilities in accordance with Chapter 366, Health and Safety Code;

(4)  a requirement for the preparation of a survey identifying the proposed manufactured home rental community boundaries and any significant features of the community, including the proposed location of manufactured home rental community spaces, utility easements, and dedications of rights-of-way; and

(5)  reasonable specifications for streets or roads in the manufactured rental home community to provide ingress and egress access for fire and emergency vehicles.

(d)  The commissioners court may not adopt minimum infrastructure standards that are more stringent than requirements adopted by the commissioners court for subdivisions. The commissioners court may only adopt minimum infrastructure standards for ingress and egress access by fire and emergency vehicles that are reasonably necessary.

(e)  If the commissioners court adopts minimum infrastructure standards for manufactured home rental communities, the owner of land located outside the limits of a municipality who intends to use the land for a manufactured home rental community must have an infrastructure development plan prepared that complies with the minimum infrastructure standards adopted by the commissioners court under Subsection (c).

(f)  Not later than the 60th day after the date the owner of a proposed manufactured home rental community submits an infrastructure development plan for approval, the county engineer or another person designated by the commissioners court shall approve or reject the plan in writing. If the plan is rejected, the written rejection must specify the reasons for the rejection and the actions required for approval of the plan. The failure to reject a plan within the period prescribed by this subsection constitutes approval of the plan.

(g)  Construction of a proposed manufactured home rental community may not begin before the date the county engineer or another person designated by the commissioners court approves the infrastructure development plan. The commissioners court may require inspection of the infrastructure during or on completion of its construction. If a final inspection is required, the final inspection must be completed not later than the second business day after the date the commissioners court or the person designated by the commissioners court receives a written confirmation from the owner that the construction of the infrastructure is complete. If the inspector determines that the infrastructure complies with the infrastructure development plan, the commissioners court shall issue a certificate of compliance not later than the fifth business day after the date the final inspection is completed. If a final inspection is not required, the commissioners court shall issue a certificate of compliance not later than the fifth business day after the date the commissioners court or the person designated by the commissioners court receives written certification from the owner that construction of the infrastructure has been completed in compliance with the infrastructure development plan.

(h)  A utility may not provide utility services, including water, sewer, gas, and electric services, to a manufactured home rental community subject to an infrastructure development plan or to a manufactured home in the community unless the owner provides the utility with a copy of the certificate of compliance issued under Subsection (g). This subsection applies only to:

(1)  a municipality that provides utility services;

(2)  a municipally owned or municipally operated utility that provides utility services;

(3)  a public utility that provides utility services;

(4)  a nonprofit water supply or sewer service corporation organized and operating under Chapter 67, Water Code, that provides utility services;

(5)  a county that provides utility services; and

(6)  a special district or authority created by state law that provides utility services.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 153, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1999.



Section  232.008.  Cancellation Of Subdivision.

(a) This section applies only to real property located outside municipalities and the extraterritorial jurisdiction of municipalities, as determined under Chapter 42.

(b)  A person owning real property in this state that has been subdivided into lots and blocks or into small subdivisions may apply to the commissioners court of the county in which the property is located for permission to cancel all or part of the subdivision, including a dedicated easement or roadway, to reestablish the property as acreage tracts as it existed before the subdivision. If, on the application, it is shown that the cancellation of all or part of the subdivision does not interfere with the established rights of any purchaser who owns any part of the subdivision, or it is shown that the purchaser agrees to the cancellation, the commissioners court by order shall authorize the owner of the subdivision to file an instrument canceling the subdivision in whole or in part. The instrument must describe the subdivision or the part of it that is canceled. The court shall enter the order in its minutes. After the cancellation instrument is filed and recorded in the deed records of the county, the county tax assessor-collector shall assess the property as if it had never been subdivided.

(c)  The commissioners court shall publish notice of an application for cancellation. The notice must be published in a newspaper, published in the English language, in the county for at least three weeks before the date on which action is taken on the application. The court shall take action on an application at a regular term. The published notice must direct any person who is interested in the property and who wishes to protest the proposed cancellation to appear at the time specified in the notice.

(d)  If delinquent taxes are owed on the subdivided tract for any preceding year, and if the application to cancel the subdivision is granted as provided by this section, the owner of the tract may pay the delinquent taxes on an acreage basis as if the tract had not been subdivided. For the purpose of assessing the tract for a preceding year, the county tax assessor-collector shall back assess the tract on an acreage basis.

(e)  On application for cancellation of a subdivision or any phase or identifiable part of a subdivision, including a dedicated easement or roadway, by the owners of 75 percent of the property included in the subdivision, phase, or identifiable part, the commissioners court by order shall authorize the cancellation in the manner and after notice and a hearing as provided by Subsections (b) and (c). However, if the owners of at least 10 percent of the property affected by the proposed cancellation file written objections to the cancellation with the court, the grant of an order of cancellation is at the discretion of the court.

(f)  To maintain an action to enjoin the cancellation or closing of a roadway or easement in a subdivision, a person must own a lot or part of the subdivision that:

(1)  abuts directly on the part of the roadway or easement to be canceled or closed; or

(2)  is connected by the part of the roadway or easement to be canceled or closed, by the most direct feasible route, to:

(A)  the nearest remaining public highway, county road, or access road to the public highway or county road; or

(B)  any uncanceled common amenity of the subdivision.

(g)  A person who appears before the commissioners court to protest the cancellation of all or part of a subdivision may maintain an action for damages against the person applying for the cancellation and may recover as damages an amount not to exceed the amount of the person's original purchase price for property in the canceled subdivision or part of the subdivision. The person must bring the action within one year after the date of the entry of the commissioners court's order granting the cancellation.

(h)  The commissioners court may deny a cancellation under this section if the commissioners court determines the cancellation will prevent the proposed interconnection of infrastructure to pending or existing development.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 129, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section 232.0083.  Cancellation Of Certain Subdivision Plats If Existing Plat Obsolete.

(a) This section applies only to a subdivision for which:

(1)  a plat has been filed for 75 years or more;

(2)  the most recent plat describes at least a portion of the property as acreage tracts;

(3)  a previous plat described at least a portion of the property as lots and blocks; and

(4)  the county tax assessor-collector lists the property in the subdivision on the tax rolls based on the description in the previous plat and assesses taxes on the basis of that description.

(b)  A person owning real property in the subdivision may apply to the commissioners court of the county in which the property is located for permission to cancel an existing subdivision plat in whole or part and to reestablish the property using lots and blocks descriptions that, to the extent practicable, are consistent with the previous subdivision plat.

(c)  After notice and hearing, the commissioners court may order the cancellation of the existing subdivision plat and the reestablishment of the property in accordance with the application submitted under Subsection (b) if the court finds that:

(1)  the cancellation and reestablishment does not interfere with the established rights of:

(A)  any owner of a part of the subdivision; or

(B)  a utility company with a right to use a public easement in the subdivision; or

(2)  each owner or utility whose rights may be interfered with has agreed to the cancellation and reestablishment.

(d)  The commissioners court shall publish notice of an application for the cancellation and reestablishment.  The notice must be published at least three weeks before the date on which action is taken on the application and must direct any person who is interested in the property and who wishes to protest the proposed cancellation and reestablishment to appear at the time specified in the notice.  The notice must be published in a newspaper that has general circulation in the county.

(e)  If the commissioners court authorizes the cancellation and reestablishment, the court by order shall authorize the person making the application under this section to record an instrument showing the cancellation and reestablishment.  The court shall enter the order in its minutes.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 460, Sec. 1, eff. June 16, 2007.



Section  232.0085.  Cancellation Of Certain Subdivisions If Land Remains Undeveloped.

(a) This section applies only to real property located:

(1)  outside municipalities and the extraterritorial jurisdiction of municipalities, as determined under Chapter 42; and

(2)  in an affected county, as defined by Section 16.341, Water Code, that has adopted the model rules developed under Section 16.343, Water Code, and is located along an international border.

(b)  The commissioners court of a county may cancel, after notice and a hearing as required by this section, a subdivision for which the plat was filed and approved before September 1, 1989, if:

(1)  the development of or the making of improvements in the subdivision was not begun before the effective date of this section; and

(2)  the commissioners court by resolution has made a finding that the land in question is likely to be developed as a colonia.

(c)  The commissioners court must publish notice of a proposal to cancel a subdivision under this section and the time and place of the required hearing in a newspaper of general circulation in the county for at least 21 days immediately before the date a cancellation order is adopted under this section. The county tax assessor-collector shall, not later than the 14th day before the date of the hearing, deposit with the United States Postal Service a similar notice addressed to each owner of land in the subdivision, as determined by the most recent county tax roll.

(d)  At the hearing, the commissioners court shall permit any interested person to be heard. At the conclusion of the hearing, the court shall adopt an order on whether to cancel the subdivision. The commissioners court may adopt an order canceling a subdivision if the court determines the cancellation is in the best interest of the public. The court may not adopt an order canceling a subdivision if:

(1)  the cancellation interferes with the established rights of a person who is a nondeveloper owner and owns any part of the subdivision, unless the person agrees to the cancellation; or

(2)  the owner of the entire subdivision is able to show that:

(A)  the owner of the subdivision is able to comply with the minimum state standards and model political subdivision rules developed under Section 16.343, Water Code, including any bonding requirements; or

(B)  the land was developed or improved within the period described by Subsection (b).

(e)  The commissioners court shall file the cancellation order for recording in the deed records of the county. After the cancellation order is filed and recorded, the property shall be treated as if it had never been subdivided, and the county chief appraiser shall assess the property accordingly. Any liens against the property shall remain against the property as it was previously subdivided.

(f)  In this section:

(1)  "Development" means the making, installing, or constructing of buildings and improvements.

(2)  "Improvements" means water supply, treatment, and distribution facilities; wastewater collection and treatment facilities; and other utility facilities. The term does not include roadway facilities.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 277, Sec. 2, eff. June 5, 1995.



Section  232.009.  Revision Of Plat.

(a) This section applies only to real property located outside municipalities and the extraterritorial jurisdiction of municipalities with a population of 1.5 million or more, as determined under Chapter 42.

(b)  A person who owns real property in a tract that has been subdivided and that is subject to the subdivision controls of the county in which the property is located may apply in writing to the commissioners court of the county for permission to revise the subdivision plat that applies to the property and that is filed for record with the county clerk.

(c)  After the application is filed with the commissioners court, the court shall publish a notice of the application in a newspaper of general circulation in the county. The notice must include a statement of the time and place at which the court will meet to consider the application and to hear protests to the revision of the plat. The notice must be published at least three times during the period that begins on the 30th day and ends on the seventh day before the date of the meeting. Except as provided by Subsection (f), if all or part of the subdivided tract has been sold to nondeveloper owners, the court shall also give notice to each of those owners by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, at the owner's address in the subdivided tract.

(d)  During a regular term of the commissioners court, the court shall adopt an order to permit the revision of the subdivision plat if it is shown to the court that:

(1)  the revision will not interfere with the established rights of any owner of a part of the subdivided land; or

(2)  each owner whose rights may be interfered with has agreed to the revision.

(e)  If the commissioners court permits a person to revise a subdivision plat, the person may make the revision by filing for record with the county clerk a revised plat or part of a plat that indicates the changes made to the original plat.

(f)  The commissioners court is not required to give notice by mail under Subsection (c) if the plat revision only combines existing tracts.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 345, Sec. 6, eff. Aug. 28, 1989; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 129, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 523, Sec. 9, eff. June 20, 2003.



Section  232.0095.  Alternative Procedures For Plat Revision.

(a) This section applies only to real property located outside municipalities and outside the extraterritorial jurisdiction, as determined under Chapter 42, of municipalities with a population of 1.5 million or more.

(b)  As an alternative to the provisions in Section 232.009 governing the revision of plats, a county by order may adopt the provisions in Sections 212.013, 212.014, 212.015, and 212.016 governing plat vacations, replatting, and plat amendment.  A county that adopts the provisions in those sections may approve a plat vacation, a replat, and an amending plat in the same manner and under the same conditions, including the notice and hearing requirements, as a municipal authority responsible for approving plats under those sections.

(c)  Instead of the purpose described by Section 212.016(a)(10), an amended plat may be approved and issued by the county to make necessary changes to the preceding plat to create six or fewer lots in the subdivision or a part of the subdivision covered by the preceding plat if:

(1)  the changes do not affect applicable county regulations, including zoning regulations if the county has authority to adopt zoning regulations; and

(2)  the changes do not attempt to amend or remove any covenants or restrictions.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 523, Sec. 10, eff. June 20, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 762, Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2007.



Section  232.010.  Exception To Plat Requirement: County Determination.

A commissioners court of the county may allow conveyance of portions of one or more previously platted lots by metes and bounds description without revising the plat.

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 345, Sec. 7, eff. Aug. 28, 1989.



Section 232.011.  Amending Plat.

(a) The commissioners court may approve and issue an amending plat, if the amending plat is signed by the applicants and filed for one or more of the following purposes:

(1)  to correct an error in a course or distance shown on the preceding plat;

(2)  to add a course or distance that was omitted on the preceding plat;

(3)  to correct an error in a real property description shown on the preceding plat;

(4)  to show the location or character of a monument that has been changed in location or character or that is shown incorrectly as to location or character on the preceding plat;

(5)  to correct any other type of scrivener or clerical error or omission of the previously approved plat, including lot numbers, acreage, street names, and identification of adjacent recorded plats; or

(6)  to correct an error in courses and distances of lot lines between two adjacent lots if:

(A)  both lot owners join in the application for amending the plat;

(B)  neither lot is abolished;

(C)  the amendment does not attempt to remove recorded covenants or restrictions; and

(D)  the amendment does not have a material adverse effect on the property rights of the other owners of the property that is the subject of the plat.

(b)  The amending plat controls over the preceding plat without the vacation, revision, or cancellation of the preceding plat.

(c)  Notice, a hearing, and the approval of other lot owners are not required for the filing, recording, or approval of an amending plat.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1390, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.



Subchapter B. Subdivision Platting Requirements In County Near International Border

Section  232.021.  Definitions.

In this subchapter:

(1)  "Board" means the Texas Water Development Board.

(2)  "Common promotional plan" means any plan or scheme of operation undertaken by a single subdivider or a group of subdividers acting in concert, either personally or through an agent, to offer for sale or lease lots when the land is:

(A)  contiguous or part of the same area of land; or

(B)  known, designated, or advertised as a common unit or by a common name.

(3)  "Executive administrator" means the executive administrator of the Texas Water Development Board.

(4)  "Floodplain" means any area in the 100-year floodplain that is susceptible to being inundated by water from any source or that is identified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency under the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. Sections 4001 through 4127).

(5)  "Lease" includes an offer to lease.

(6)  "Lot" means a parcel into which land that is intended for residential use is divided.

(6-a)  "Lot of record" means:

(A)  a lot, the boundaries of which were established by a plat recorded in the office of the county clerk before September 1, 1989, that has not been subdivided after September 1, 1989; or

(B)  a lot, the boundaries of which were established by a metes and bounds description in a deed of conveyance, a contract of sale, or other executory contract to convey real property that has been legally executed and recorded in the office of the county clerk before September 1, 1989, that has not been subdivided after September 1, 1989.

(7)  "Minimum state standards" means the minimum standards set out for:

(A)  adequate drinking water by or under Section 16.343(b)(1), Water Code;

(B)  adequate sewer facilities by or under Section 16.343(c)(1), Water Code; or

(C)  the treatment, disposal, and management of solid waste by or under Chapters 361 and 364, Health and Safety Code.

(8)  "Plat" means a map, chart, survey, plan, or replat containing a description of the subdivided land with ties to permanent landmarks or monuments.

(9)  "Sell" includes an offer to sell.

(10)  "Sewer," "sewer services," or "sewer facilities" means treatment works as defined by Section 17.001, Water Code, or individual, on-site, or cluster treatment systems such as septic tanks and includes drainage facilities and other improvements for proper functioning of septic tank systems.

(11)  "Subdivide" means to divide the surface area of land into lots intended primarily for residential use.

(12)  "Subdivider" means an individual, firm, corporation, or other legal entity that directly or indirectly subdivides land into lots for sale or lease as part of a common promotional plan in the ordinary course of business.

(13)  "Subdivision" means an area of land that has been subdivided into lots for sale or lease.

(14)  "Utility" means a person, including a legal entity or political subdivision, that provides the services of:

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

(B)  a gas utility, as defined by Section 101.003, Utilities Code; and

(C)  a water and sewer utility, as defined by Section 13.002, Water Code.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 979, Sec. 4, eff. June 16, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 18.35, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 404, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1239, Sec. 2, eff. June 19, 2009.



Section  232.022.  Applicability.

(a) This subchapter applies only to:

(1)  a county any part of which is located within 50 miles of an international border; or

(2)  a county:

(A)  any part of which is located within 100 miles of an international border;

(B)  that contains the majority of the area of a municipality with a population of more than 250,000; and

(C)  to which Subdivision (1) does not apply.

(b)  This subchapter applies only to land that is subdivided into two or more lots that are intended primarily for residential use in the jurisdiction of the county. A lot is presumed to be intended for residential use if the lot is five acres or less. This subchapter does not apply if the subdivision is incident to the conveyance of the land as a gift between persons related to each other within the third degree by affinity or consanguinity, as determined under Chapter 573, Government Code.

(c)  Except as provided by Subsection (c-1), for purposes of this section, land is considered to be in the jurisdiction of a county if the land is located in the county and outside the corporate limits of municipalities.

(c-1)  Land in a municipality's extraterritorial jurisdiction is not considered to be in the jurisdiction of a county for purposes of this section if the municipality and the county have entered into a written agreement under Section 242.001 that authorizes the municipality to regulate subdivision plats and approve related permits in the municipality's extraterritorial jurisdiction.

(d)  This subchapter does not apply if each of the lots of the subdivision is 10 or more acres.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 979, Sec. 4, eff. June 16, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 376, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 404, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 737, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 708, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section  232.023.  Plat Required.

(a) A subdivider of land must have a plat of the subdivision prepared. A subdivision of a tract under this subsection includes a subdivision of real property by any method of conveyance, including a contract for deed, oral contract, contract of sale, or other type of executory contract, regardless of whether the subdivision is made by using a metes and bounds description.

(b)  A plat required under this section must:

(1)  be certified by a surveyor or engineer registered to practice in this state;

(2)  define the subdivision by metes and bounds;

(3)  locate the subdivision with respect to an original corner of the original survey of which it is a part;

(4)  describe each lot, number each lot in progression, and give the dimensions of each lot;

(5)  state the dimensions of and accurately describe each lot, street, alley, square, park, or other part of the tract intended to be dedicated to public use or for the use of purchasers or owners of lots fronting on or adjacent to the street, alley, square, park, or other part;

(6)  include or have attached a document containing a description in English and Spanish of the water and sewer facilities and roadways and easements dedicated for the provision of water and sewer facilities that will be constructed or installed to service the subdivision and a statement specifying the date by which the facilities will be fully operable;

(7)  have attached a document prepared by an engineer registered to practice in this state certifying that the water and sewer service facilities proposed under Subdivision (6) are in compliance with the model rules adopted under Section 16.343, Water Code, and a certified estimate of the cost to install water and sewer service facilities;

(8)  provide for drainage in the subdivision to:

(A)  avoid concentration of storm drainage water from each lot to adjacent lots;

(B)  provide positive drainage away from all buildings; and

(C)  coordinate individual lot drainage with the general storm drainage pattern for the area;

(9)  include a description of the drainage requirements as provided in Subdivision (8);

(10)  identify the topography of the area;

(11)  include a certification by a surveyor or engineer registered to practice in this state describing any area of the subdivision that is in a floodplain or stating that no area is in a floodplain; and

(12)  include certification that the subdivider has complied with the requirements of Section 232.032 and that:

(A)  the water quality and connections to the lots meet, or will meet, the minimum state standards;

(B)  sewer connections to the lots or septic tanks meet, or will meet, the minimum requirements of state standards;

(C)  electrical connections provided to the lot meet, or will meet, the minimum state standards; and

(D)  gas connections, if available, provided to the lot meet, or will meet, the minimum state standards.

(c)  A subdivider may meet the requirements of Subsection (b)(12)(B) through the use of a certificate issued by the appropriate county or state official having jurisdiction over the approval of septic systems stating that lots in the subdivision can be adequately and legally served by septic systems.

(d)  The subdivider of the tract must acknowledge the plat by signing the plat and attached documents and attest to the veracity and completeness of the matters asserted in the attached documents and in the plat.

(e)  The plat must be filed and recorded with the county clerk of the county in which the tract is located. The plat is subject to the filing and recording provisions of Section 12.002, Property Code.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 979, Sec. 4, eff. June 16, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 404, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  232.024.  Approval By County Required.

(a) A plat filed under Section 232.023 is not valid unless the commissioners court of the county in which the land is located approves the plat by an order entered in the minutes of the court. The commissioners court shall refuse to approve a plat if it does not meet the requirements prescribed by or under this subchapter or if any bond required under this subchapter is not filed with the county clerk.

(b)  If any part of a plat applies to land intended for residential housing and any part of that land lies in a floodplain, the commissioners court shall not approve the plat unless:

(1)  the subdivision is developed in compliance with the minimum requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program and local regulations or orders adopted under Section 16.315, Water Code; and

(2)  the plat evidences a restrictive covenant prohibiting the construction of residential housing in any area of the subdivision that is in a floodplain unless the housing is developed in compliance with the minimum requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program and local regulations or orders adopted under Section 16.315, Water Code.

(c)  On request, the county clerk shall provide the attorney general or the Texas Water Development Board:

(1)  a copy of each plat that is approved under this subchapter; or

(2)  the reasons in writing and any documentation that support a variance granted under Section 232.042.

(d)  The commissioners court of the county in which the land is located may establish a planning commission as provided by Subchapter D. The planning commission, including its findings and decisions, is subject to the same provisions applicable to the commissioners court under this subchapter, including Section 232.034 relating to conflicts of interest.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 979, Sec. 4, eff. June 16, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 404, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1239, Sec. 3, eff. June 19, 2009.



Section  232.025.  Subdivision Requirements.

By an order adopted and entered in the minutes of the commissioners court, and after a notice is published in English and Spanish in a newspaper of general circulation in the county, the commissioners court shall for each subdivision:

(1)  require a right-of-way on a street or road that functions as a main artery in a subdivision, of a width of not less than 50 feet or more than 100 feet;

(2)  require a right-of-way on any other street or road in a subdivision of not less than 40 feet or more than 70 feet;

(3)  require that the shoulder-to-shoulder width on collectors or main arteries within the right-of-way be not less than 32 feet or more than 56 feet, and that the shoulder-to-shoulder width on any other street or road be not less than 25 feet or more than 35 feet;

(4)  adopt, based on the amount and kind of travel over each street or road in a subdivision, reasonable specifications relating to the construction of each street or road;

(5)  adopt reasonable specifications to provide adequate drainage for each street or road in a subdivision in accordance with standard engineering practices;

(6)  require that each purchase contract made between a subdivider and a purchaser of land in the subdivision contain a statement describing how and when water, sewer, electricity, and gas services will be made available to the subdivision; and

(7)  require that the subdivider of the tract execute a bond in the manner provided by Section 232.027.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 979, Sec. 4, eff. June 16 1995.



Section  232.026.  Water And Sewer Service Extension.

(a) The commissioners court may extend, beyond the date specified on the plat or on the document attached to the plat, the date by which the water and sewer service facilities must be fully operable if the commissioners court finds the extension is reasonable and not contrary to the public interest.

(b)  The commissioners court may not grant an extension under Subsection (a) if it would allow an occupied residence to be without water or sewer services.

(c)  If the commissioners court provides an extension, the commissioners court shall notify the attorney general of the extension and the reason for the extension. The attorney general shall notify all other state agencies having enforcement power over subdivisions of the extension.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 979, Sec. 4, eff. June 16, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 404, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  232.027.  Bond Requirements.

(a) Unless a person has completed the installation of all water and sewer service facilities required by this subchapter on the date that person applies for final approval of a plat under Section 232.024, the commissioners court shall require the subdivider of the tract to execute and maintain in effect a bond or, in the alternative, a person may make a cash deposit in an amount the commissioners court determines will ensure compliance with this subchapter. A person may not meet the requirements of this subsection through the use of a letter of credit unless that letter of credit is irrevocable and issued by an institution guaranteed by the FDIC. The subdivider must comply with the requirement before subdividing the tract.

(b)  The bond must be conditioned on the construction or installation of water and sewer service facilities that will be in compliance with the model rules adopted under Section 16.343, Water Code.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 979, Sec. 4, eff. June 16, 1995.



Section  232.028.  Certification Regarding Compliance With Plat Requirements.

(a) On the approval of a plat by the commissioners court, the commissioners court shall issue to the person applying for the approval a certificate stating that the plat has been reviewed and approved by the commissioners court.

(b)  On the commissioners court's own motion or on the written request of a subdivider, an owner or resident of a lot in a subdivision, or an entity that provides a utility service, the commissioners court shall make the following determinations regarding the land in which the entity or commissioners court is interested that is located within the jurisdiction of the county:

(1)  whether a plat has been prepared and whether it has been reviewed and approved by the commissioners court;

(2)  whether water service facilities have been constructed or installed to service the lot or subdivision under Section 232.023 and are fully operable;

(3)  whether sewer service facilities have been constructed or installed to service the lot or subdivision under Section 232.023 and are fully operable, or if septic systems are used, whether the lot is served by a permitted on-site sewage facility or lots in the subdivision can be adequately and legally served by septic systems under Section 232.023; and

(4)  whether electrical and gas facilities, if available, have been constructed or installed to service the lot or subdivision under Section 232.023.

(c)  The request made under Subsection (b) must identify the land that is the subject of the request.

(d)  Whenever a request is made under Subsection (b), the commissioners court shall issue the requesting party a written certification of its determinations under that subsection.

(e)  The commissioners court shall make its determinations within 20 days after the date it receives the request under Subsection (b) and shall issue the certificate, if appropriate, within 10 days after the date the determinations are made.

(f)  The commissioners court may adopt rules it considers necessary to administer its duties under this section.

(g)  The commissioners court may impose a fee for a certificate issued under this section for a subdivision which is located in the county and not within the limits of a municipality.  The amount of the fee may be the greater of $30 or the amount of the fee imposed by the municipality for a subdivision that is located entirely in the extraterritorial jurisdiction of the municipality for a certificate issued under Section 212.0115.  A person who obtains a certificate under this section is not required to obtain a certificate under Section 212.0115.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 979, Sec. 4, eff. June 16, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 129, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 779, Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 546, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1239, Sec. 4, eff. June 19, 2009.



Section 232.029.  Connection Of Utilities In Counties Within 50 Miles Of International Border.

(a) This section applies only to a county defined under Section 232.022(a)(1).

(a-1)  Except as provided by Subsection (c) or Section 232.037(c), a utility may not serve or connect any subdivided land with water or sewer services unless the utility receives a certificate issued by the commissioners court under Section 232.028(a) or receives a determination from the commissioners court under Section 232.028(b)(1) that the plat has been reviewed and approved by the commissioners court.

(b)  Except as provided by Subsections (c) and (k) or Section 232.037(c), a utility may not serve or connect any subdivided land with electricity or gas unless the entity receives a determination from the county commissioners court under Sections 232.028(b)(2) and (3) that adequate water and sewer services have been installed to service the lot or subdivision.

(c)  An electric, gas, water, or sewer service utility may serve or connect subdivided land with water, sewer, electricity, gas, or other utility service regardless of whether the utility receives a certificate issued by the commissioners court under Section 232.028(a) or receives a determination from the commissioners court under Section 232.028(b) if the utility is provided with a certificate issued by the commissioners court that states that:

(1)  the subdivided land:

(A)  was sold or conveyed by a subdivider by any means of conveyance, including a contract for deed or executory contract:

(i)  before September 1, 1995; or

(ii)  before September 1, 1999, if the subdivided land on August 31, 1999, was located in the extraterritorial jurisdiction of a municipality as determined by Chapter 42;

(B)  has not been subdivided after September 1, 1995, or September 1, 1999, as applicable under Paragraph (A);

(C)  is the site of construction of a residence, evidenced by at least the existence of a completed foundation, that was begun  on or before May 1, 2003; and

(D)  has had adequate sewer services installed to service the lot or dwelling, as determined by an authorized agent responsible for the licensing or permitting of on-site sewage facilities under Chapter 366, Health and Safety Code;

(2)  the subdivided land is a lot of record and has adequate sewer services installed that are fully operable to service the lot or dwelling, as determined by an authorized agent responsible for the licensing or permitting of on-site sewage facilities under Chapter 366, Health and Safety Code; or

(3)  the land was not subdivided after September 1, 1995, and:

(A)  water service is available within 750 feet of the subdivided land; or

(B)  water service is available more than 750 feet from the subdivided land and the extension of water service to the land may be feasible, subject to a final determination by the water service provider.

(d)  A utility may provide utility service to subdivided land described by Subsection (c)(1), (2), or (3) only if the person requesting service:

(1)  is not the land's subdivider or the subdivider's agent; and

(2)  provides to the utility a certificate described by Subsection (c).

(e)  A person requesting service may obtain a certificate under Subsection (c)(1), (2), or (3) only if the person is the owner or purchaser of the subdivided land and provides to the commissioners court documentation containing:

(1)   a copy of the means of conveyance or other documents that show that the land was sold or conveyed by a subdivider before September 1, 1995, or before September 1, 1999, as applicable under Subsection (c);

(2)   a notarized affidavit by that person requesting service under Subsection (c)(1) that states that construction of a residence on the land, evidenced by at least the existence of a completed foundation, was begun  on or before May 1, 2003, and the request for utility connection or service is to connect or serve a residence described by Subsection (c)(1)(C);

(3)   a notarized affidavit by the person requesting service that states that the subdivided land has not been further subdivided after September 1, 1995, or September 1, 1999, as applicable under Subsection (c); and

(4)  evidence that adequate sewer service or facilities have been installed and are fully operable to service the lot or dwelling from an entity described by Section 232.021(14) or the authorized agent responsible for the licensing or permitting of on-site sewage facilities under Chapter 366, Health and Safety Code.

(f)  Repealed by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1239, Sec. 6, eff. June 19, 2009.

(g)  On request, the commissioners court shall provide to the attorney general and any appropriate local, county, or state law enforcement official a copy of any document on which the commissioners court relied in determining the legality of providing service.

(h)  This section may not be construed to abrogate any civil or criminal proceeding or prosecution or to waive any penalty against a subdivider for a violation of a state or local law, regardless of the date on which the violation occurred.

(i)  The prohibition established by this section shall not prohibit a water, sewer, electric, or gas utility from providing water, sewer, electric, or gas utility connection or service to a lot sold, conveyed, or purchased through a contract for deed or executory contract or other device by a subdivider prior to July 1, 1995, or September 1, 1999, if on August 31, 1999, the subdivided land was located in the extraterritorial jurisdiction of a municipality that has adequate sewer services installed that are fully operable to service the lot, as determined by an authorized agent responsible for the licensing or permitting of on-site sewage facilities under Chapter 366, Health and Safety Code, and was subdivided by a plat approved prior to September 1, 1989.

(j)  In this section, "foundation" means the lowest division of a residence, usually consisting of a masonry slab or a pier and beam structure, that is partly or wholly below the surface of the ground and on which the residential structure rests.

(k)  Subject to Subsections (l) and (m), a utility that does not hold a certificate issued by, or has not received a determination from, the commissioners court under Section 232.028 to serve or connect subdivided property with electricity or gas may provide that service to a single-family residential dwelling on that property if:

(1)  the person requesting utility service:

(A)  is the owner and occupant of the residential dwelling; and

(B)  on or before January 1, 2001, owned and occupied the residential dwelling;

(2)  the utility previously provided the utility service on or before January 1, 2001, to the property for the person requesting the service;

(3)  the utility service provided as described by Subdivision (2) was terminated not earlier than five years before the date on which the person requesting utility service submits an application for that service; and

(4)  providing the utility service will not result in:

(A)  an increase in the volume of utility service provided to the property; or

(B)  more than one utility connection for each single-family residential dwelling located on the property.

(l)  A utility may provide service under Subsection (k) only if the person requesting the service provides to the commissioners court documentation that evidences compliance with the requirements of Subsection (k) and that is satisfactory to the commissioners court.

(m)  A utility may not serve or connect subdivided property as described by Subsection (k) if, on or after September 1, 2007, any existing improvements on that property are modified.

 

Text of subsection as added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1239, Sec. 5

 

(n)  Except as provided by Subsection (o), this section does not prohibit a water or sewer utility from providing water or sewer utility connection or service to a residential dwelling that:

(1)  is provided water or wastewater facilities under or in conjunction with a federal or state funding program designed to address inadequate water or wastewater facilities in colonias or to residential lots located in a county described by Section 232.022(a)(1);

(2)  is an existing dwelling identified as an eligible recipient for funding by the funding agency providing adequate water and wastewater facilities or improvements;

(3)  when connected, will comply with the minimum state standards for both water and sewer facilities and as prescribed by the model subdivision rules adopted under Section 16.343, Water Code; and

(4)  is located in a project for which the municipality with jurisdiction over the project or the approval of plats within the project area has approved the improvement project by order, resolution, or interlocal agreement under Chapter 791, Government Code, if applicable.

 

Text of subsection as added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 546, Sec. 2

 

(n)  The commissioners court may impose a fee for a certificate issued under this section for a subdivision which is located in the county and not within the limits of a municipality.  The amount of the fee may be the greater of $30 or the amount of the fee imposed by the municipality for a subdivision that is located entirely in the extraterritorial jurisdiction of the municipality for a certificate issued under Section 212.0115.  A person who obtains a certificate under this section is not required to obtain a certificate under Section 212.0115.

(o)  A utility may not serve any subdivided land with water utility connection or service under Subsection (n) unless the entity receives a determination from the county commissioners court under Section 232.028(b)(3) that adequate sewer services have been installed to service the lot or dwelling.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 979, Sec. 4, eff. June 16, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1062, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 404, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 684, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 708, Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 708, Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1047, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 546, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1239, Sec. 5, eff. June 19, 2009.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1239, Sec. 6, eff. June 19, 2009.



Section 232.0291.  Connection Of Utilities In Certain Counties Within 100 Miles Of International Border.

(a) This section applies only to a county defined under Section 232.022(a)(2).

(b)  Except as provided by Subsection (d) or Section 232.037(c), a utility may not serve or connect any subdivided land with water or sewer services unless the utility receives a certificate issued by the commissioners court under Section 232.028(a) or receives a determination from the commissioners court under Section 232.028(b)(1) that the plat has been reviewed and approved by the commissioners court.

(c)  Except as provided by Subsection (d) or Section 232.037(c), a utility may not serve or connect any subdivided land with electricity or gas unless the entity receives a determination from the county commissioners court under Section 232.028(b)(2) that adequate water and sewer services have been installed to service the subdivision.

(d)  An electric, gas, water, or sewer service utility may serve or connect subdivided land with water, sewer, electricity, gas, or other utility service regardless of whether the utility receives a certificate issued by the commissioners court under Section 232.028(a) or receives a determination from the commissioners court under Section 232.028(b) if the utility is provided with a certificate issued by the commissioners court that states that:

(1)  the subdivided land:

(A)  was sold or conveyed to the person requesting service by any means of conveyance, including a contract for deed or executory contract before September 1, 2005;

(B)  is located in a subdivision in which the utility has previously provided service; and

(C)  is the site of construction of a residence, evidenced by at least the existence of a completed foundation, that was begun on or before September 1, 2005; or

(2)  the subdivided land was not subdivided after September 1, 2005, and:

(A)  water service is available within 750 feet of the subdivided land; or

(B)  water service is available more than 750 feet from the subdivided land and the extension of water service to the land may be feasible, subject to a final determination by the water service provider.

(e)  A utility may provide utility service to subdivided land described by Subsection (d)(1) only if the person requesting service:

(1)  is not the land's subdivider or the subdivider's agent; and

(2)  provides to the utility a certificate described by Subsection (d)(1).

(f)  A person requesting service may obtain a certificate under Subsection (d)(1) only if the person provides to the commissioners court either:

(1)  documentation containing:

(A)  a copy of the means of conveyance or other documents that show that the land was sold or conveyed to the person requesting service before September 1, 2005; and

(B)  a notarized affidavit by that person that states that construction of a residence on the land, evidenced by at least the existence of a completed foundation, was begun on or before September 1, 2005; or

(2)  a notarized affidavit by the person requesting service that states that:

(A)  the property was sold or conveyed to that person before September 1, 2005; and

(B)  construction of a residence on the land, evidenced by at least the existence of a completed foundation, was begun on or before September 1, 2005.

(g)  A person requesting service may obtain a certificate under Subsection (d)(2) only if the person provides to the commissioners court an affidavit that states that the property was not sold or conveyed to that person from a subdivider or the subdivider's agent after September 1, 2005.

(h)  On request, the commissioners court shall provide to the attorney general and any appropriate local, county, or state law enforcement official a copy of any document on which the commissioners court relied in determining the legality of providing service.

(i)  This section may not be construed to abrogate any civil or criminal proceeding or prosecution or to waive any penalty against a subdivider for a violation of a state or local law, regardless of the date on which the violation occurred.

(j)  The prohibition established by this section does not prohibit an electric or gas utility from providing electric or gas utility connection or service to a lot:

(1)  sold, conveyed, or purchased through a contract for deed or executory contract or other device by a subdivider before September 1, 2005;

(2)  located within a subdivision where the utility has previously established service; and

(3)  subdivided by a plat approved before September 1, 1989.

(k)  In this section, "foundation" means the lowest division of a residence, usually consisting of a masonry slab or a pier and beam structure, that is partly or wholly below the surface of the ground and on which the residential structure rests.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 708, Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section  232.030.  Subdivision Regulation; County Authority.

(a) The commissioners court for each county shall adopt and enforce the model rules developed under Section 16.343, Water Code.

(b)  Except as provided by Section 16.350(d), Water Code, or Section 232.042 or 232.043, the commissioners court may not grant a variance or adopt regulations that waive any requirements of this subchapter.

(c)  The commissioners court shall adopt regulations setting forth requirements for:

(1)  potable water sufficient in quality and quantity to meet minimum state standards;

(2)  solid waste disposal meeting minimum state standards and rules adopted by the county under Chapter 364, Health and Safety Code;

(3)  sufficient and adequate roads that satisfy the standards adopted by the county;

(4)  sewer facilities meeting minimum state standards;

(5)  electric service and gas service; and

(6)  standards for flood management meeting the minimum standards set forth by the Federal Emergency Management Agency under the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. Sections 4001 through 4127).

(d)  In adopting regulations under Subsection (c)(2), the commissioners court may allow one or more commercial providers to provide solid waste disposal services as an alternative to having the service provided by the county.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 979, Sec. 4, eff. June 16, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 404, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  232.0305.  County Inspector.

(a) The commissioners court may impose a fee on a subdivider of property under this subchapter for an inspection of the property to ensure compliance with the subdivision regulations adopted under this subchapter, Section 16.343, Water Code, or other law.

(b)  Fees collected under this section may be used only to fund inspections conducted under this section.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 404, Sec. 11, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  232.031.  Requirements Prior To Sale Or Lease. (a)

Except as provided by Subsection (d), a subdivider may not sell or lease land in a subdivision first platted or replatted after July 1, 1995, unless the subdivision plat is approved by the commissioners court in accordance with Section 232.024.

(b)  Not later than the 30th day after the date a lot is sold, a subdivider shall record with the county clerk all sales contracts, including the attached disclosure statement required by Section 232.033, leases, and any other documents that convey an interest in the subdivided land.

(c)  A document filed under Subsection (b) is a public record.

(d)  In a county defined under Section 232.022(a)(2), a subdivider may not sell or lease land in a subdivision first platted or replatted after September 1, 2005, unless the subdivision plat is approved by the commissioners court in accordance with Section 232.024.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 979, Sec. 4, eff. June 16, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 708, Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section  232.032.  Services Provided By Subdivider.

A subdivider having an approved plat for a subdivision shall:

(1)  furnish a certified letter from the utility provider stating that water is available to the subdivision sufficient in quality and quantity to meet minimum state standards required by Section 16.343, Water Code, and consistent with the certification in the letter, and that water of that quality and quantity will be made available to the point of delivery to all lots in the subdivision;

(2)  furnish sewage treatment facilities that meet minimum state standards to fulfill the wastewater requirements of the subdivision or furnish certification by the appropriate county or state official having jurisdiction over the approval of the septic systems indicating that lots in the subdivision can be adequately and legally served by septic systems as provided under Chapter 366, Health and Safety Code;

(3)  furnish roads satisfying minimum standards as adopted by the county;

(4)  furnish adequate drainage meeting standard engineering practices; and

(5)  make a reasonable effort to have electric utility service and gas utility service installed by a utility.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 979, Sec. 4, eff. June 16, 1995.



Section  232.033.  Advertising Standards And Other Requirements Before Sale; Offense.

(a) Brochures, publications, and advertising of any form relating to subdivided land:

(1)  may not contain any misrepresentation; and

(2)  except for a for-sale sign posted on the property that is no larger than three feet by three feet, must accurately describe the availability of water and sewer service facilities and electric and gas utilities.

(b)  The subdivider shall provide a copy in Spanish of all written documents relating to the sale of subdivided land under an executory contract, including the contract, disclosure notice, and annual statement required by this section and a notice of default required by Subchapter D, Chapter 5, Property Code, if:

(1)  negotiations that precede the execution of the executory contract are conducted primarily in Spanish; or

(2)  the purchaser requests the written documents to be provided in Spanish.

(c)  Before an executory contract is signed by the purchaser, the subdivider shall provide the purchaser with a written notice, which must be attached to the executory contract, informing the purchaser of the condition of the property that must, at a minimum, be executed by the subdivider and purchaser, be acknowledged, and read substantially similar to the following:

IF ANY OF THE ITEMS BELOW HAVE NOT BEEN CHECKED, YOU MAY NOT BE ABLE TO LIVE ON THE PROPERTY.

WARNING

CONCERNING THE PROPERTY AT (street address or legal description and municipality)

THIS DOCUMENT STATES THE TRUE FACTS ABOUT THE LAND YOU ARE CONSIDERING PURCHASING.

CHECK OFF THE ITEMS THAT ARE TRUE:

___  The property is in a recorded subdivision.

___  The property has water service that provides potable water.

___  The property has sewer service or a septic system.

___  The property has electric service.

___  The property is not in a flood-prone area.

___  The roads are paved.

___  No person other than the subdivider:

(1)  owns the property;

(2)  has a claim of ownership to the property; or

(3)  has an interest in the property.

___  No person has a lien filed against the property.

___  There are no back taxes owed on the property.

NOTICE

SELLER ADVISES PURCHASER TO:

(1)  OBTAIN A TITLE ABSTRACT OR TITLE COMMITMENT REVIEWED BY AN ATTORNEY BEFORE SIGNING A CONTRACT OF THIS TYPE; AND

(2)  PURCHASE AN OWNER'S POLICY OF TITLE INSURANCE COVERING THE PROPERTY. _____________________________________________(Date)(Signature of Subdivider)_____________________________________________(Date)(Signature of Purchaser) (d)  The subdivider shall provide any purchaser who is sold a lot under an executory contract with an annual statement in January of each year for the term of the executory contract. If the subdivider mails the statement to the purchaser, the statement must be postmarked not later than January 31.

(e)  The statement under Subsection (d) must include the following information:

(1)  the amount paid under the contract;

(2)  the remaining amount owed under the contract;

(3)  the annual interest rate charged under the contract during the preceding 12-month period; and

(4)  the number of payments remaining under the contract.

(f)  If the subdivider fails to comply with Subsections (d) and (e), the purchaser may:

(1)  notify the subdivider that the purchaser has not received the statement and will deduct 15 percent of each monthly payment due until the statement is received; and

(2)  not earlier than the 25th day after the date the purchaser provides the subdivider notice under this subsection, deduct 15 percent of each monthly payment due until the statement is received by the purchaser.

(g)  A purchaser who makes a deduction under Subsection (f) is not required to reimburse the subdivider for the amount deducted.

(h)  A person who is a seller of lots in a subdivision, or a subdivider or an agent of a seller or subdivider, commits an offense if the person knowingly authorizes or assists in the publication, advertising, distribution, or circulation of any statement or representation that the person knows is false concerning any subdivided land offered for sale or lease. An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 979, Sec. 4, eff. July 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 13.17, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  232.034.  Conflict Of Interest; Penalty.

(a) In this section, "subdivided tract" means a tract of land, as a whole, that is subdivided into tracts or lots. The term does not mean an individual lot in a subdivided tract of land.

(b)  A person has an interest in a subdivided tract if the person:

(1)  has an equitable or legal ownership interest in the tract;

(2)  acts as a developer of the tract;

(3)  owns voting stock or shares of a business entity that:

(A)  has an equitable or legal ownership interest in the tract; or

(B)  acts as a developer of the tract; or

(4)  receives in a calendar year money or any thing of value from a business entity described by Subdivision (3).

(c)  A person also is considered to have an interest in a subdivided tract if the person is related in the second degree by consanguinity or affinity, as determined under Chapter 573, Government Code, to a person who, under Subsection (b), has an interest in the tract.

(d)  If a member of the commissioners court has an interest in a subdivided tract, the member shall file, before a vote or decision regarding the approval of a plat for the tract, an affidavit with the county clerk stating the nature and extent of the interest and shall abstain from further participation in the matter. The affidavit must be filed with the county clerk.

(e)  A member of the commissioners court of a county commits an offense if the member violates Subsection (d). An offense under this subsection is a Class A misdemeanor.

(f)  The finding by a court of a violation of this section does not render voidable an action of the commissioners court unless the measure would not have passed the commissioners court but for the vote of the member who violated this section.

(g)  A conviction under Subsection (e) constitutes official misconduct by the member and is grounds for removal from office.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 979, Sec. 4, eff. June 16, 1995.



Section  232.035.  Civil Penalties.

(a) A subdivider or an agent of a subdivider may not cause, suffer, allow, or permit a lot to be sold in a subdivision if the subdivision has not been platted as required by this subchapter.

(b)  Notwithstanding any other remedy at law or equity, a subdivider or an agent of a subdivider may not cause, suffer, allow, or permit any part of a subdivision over which the subdivider or an agent of the subdivider has control, or a right of ingress and egress, to become a public health nuisance as defined by Section 341.011, Health and Safety Code.

(c)  A subdivider who fails to provide, in the time and manner described in the plat, for the construction or installation of water or sewer service facilities described on the plat or on the document attached to the plat or who otherwise violates this subchapter or a rule or requirement adopted by the commissioners court under this subchapter is subject to a civil penalty of not less than $500 or more than $1,000 for each violation and for each day of a continuing violation but not to exceed $5,000 each day and shall also pay court costs, investigative costs, and attorney's fees for the governmental entity bringing the suit.

(d)  Except as provided by Subsection (e), a person who violates Subsection (a) or (b) is subject to a civil penalty of not less than $10,000 or more than $15,000 for each lot conveyed or each subdivision that becomes a nuisance. The person must also pay court costs, investigative costs, and attorney's fees for the governmental entity bringing the suit.

(e)  A person who violates Subsection (b) is not subject to a fine under Subsection (d) if the person corrects the nuisance not later than the 30th day after the date the person receives notice from the attorney general or a local health authority of the nuisance.

(f)  Venue for an action under this section is in a district court of Travis County, a district court in the county in which the defendant resides, or a district court in the county in which the violation or threat of violation occurs.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 979, Sec. 4, eff. June 16, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 404, Sec. 12, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  232.036.  Criminal Penalties.

(a) A subdivider commits an offense if the subdivider knowingly fails to file a plat required by this subchapter. An offense under this subsection is a Class A misdemeanor.

(b)  A subdivider who owns a subdivision commits an offense if the subdivider knowingly fails to timely provide for the construction or installation of water or sewer service as required by Section 232.032 or fails to make a reasonable effort to have electric utility service and gas utility service installed by a utility as required by Section 232.032. An offense under this subsection is a Class A misdemeanor.

(c)  If it is shown at the trial of an offense under Subsection (a) that the defendant caused five or more residences in the subdivision to be inhabited, the offense is a state jail felony.

(d)  A subdivider commits an offense if the subdivider allows the conveyance of a lot in the subdivision without the appropriate water and sewer utilities as required by Section 232.032 or without having made a reasonable effort to have electric utility service and gas utility service installed by a utility as required by Section 232.032. An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor. Each lot conveyed constitutes a separate offense.

(e)  Venue for prosecution for a violation under this section is in the county in which any element of the violation is alleged to have occurred or in Travis County.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 979, Sec. 4, eff. June 16, 1995.



Section  232.037.  Enforcement.

(a) The attorney general, or the district attorney, criminal district attorney, county attorney with felony responsibilities, or county attorney of the county may take any action necessary in a court of competent jurisdiction on behalf of the state or on behalf of residents to:

(1)  enjoin the violation or threatened violation of the model rules adopted under Section 16.343, Water Code;

(2)  enjoin the violation or threatened violation of a requirement of this subchapter or a rule adopted by the commissioners court under this subchapter;

(3)  recover civil or criminal penalties, attorney's fees, litigation costs, and investigation costs; and

(4)  require platting or replatting under Section 232.040.

(b)  The attorney general, at the request of the district or county attorney with jurisdiction, may conduct a criminal prosecution under Section 232.033(h) or 232.036.

(c)  During the pendency of any enforcement action brought, any resident of the affected subdivision, or the attorney general, district attorney, or county attorney on behalf of a resident, may file a motion against the provider of utilities to halt termination of pre-existing utility services. The services may not be terminated if the court makes an affirmative finding after hearing the motion that termination poses a threat to public health, safety, or welfare of the residents.

(d)  This subchapter is subject to the applicable enforcement provisions prescribed by Sections 16.352, 16.353, 16.354, and 16.3545, Water Code.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 979, Sec. 4, eff. June 16, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 404, Sec. 13, 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section 232.038.  Suit By Private Person In Economically Distressed Area.

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a person who has purchased or is purchasing a lot after July 1, 1995, in a subdivision for residential purposes that does not have water and sewer services as required by this subchapter and is located in an economically distressed area, as defined by Section 17.921, Water Code, from a subdivider, may bring suit in the district court in which the property is located or in a district court in Travis County to:

(1)  declare the sale of the property void, require the subdivider to return the purchase price of the property, and recover from the subdivider:

(A)  the market value of any permanent improvements the person placed on the property;

(B)  actual expenses incurred as a direct result of the failure to provide adequate water and sewer facilities;

(C)  court costs; and

(D)  reasonable attorney's fees; or

(2)  enjoin a violation or threatened violation of Section 232.032, require the subdivider to plat or replat under Section 232.040, and recover from the subdivider:

(A)  actual expenses incurred as a direct result of the failure to provide adequate water and sewer facilities;

(B)  court costs; and

(C)  reasonable attorney's fees.

(b)  If the lot is located in a county defined under Section 232.022(a)(2), a person may only bring suit under Subsection (a) if the person purchased or is purchasing the lot after September 1, 2005.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 979, Sec. 4, eff. June 16, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 404, Sec. 15, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 708, Sec. 7, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1380, Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2007.



Section  232.039.  Cancellation Of Subdivision.

(a) A subdivider of land may apply to the commissioners court to cancel all or part of the subdivision in the manner provided by Section 232.008 after notice and hearing as provided by this section.

(b)  A resident of a subdivision for which the subdivider has applied for cancellation under Subsection (a) has the same rights as a purchaser of land under Section 232.008.

(c)  The notice required by Section 232.008(c) must also be published in Spanish in the newspaper of highest circulation and in a Spanish-language newspaper in the county if available.

(d)  Not later than the 14th day before the date of the hearing, the county chief appraiser shall by regular and certified mail provide notice containing the information described by Section 232.008(c) to:

(1)  each person who pays property taxes in the subdivision, as determined by the most recent tax roll; and

(2)  each person with an interest in the property.

(e)  The commissioners court may require a subdivider to provide the court with the name and last known address of each person with an interest in the property. For purposes of this subsection, a person residing on a lot purchased through an executory contract has an interest in the property.

(f)  A person who fails to provide information requested under Subsection (e) before the 31st day after the date the request is made is liable to the state for a penalty of $500 for each week the person fails to provide the information.

(g)  The commissioners court may cancel a subdivision only after a public hearing. At the hearing, the commissioners court shall permit any interested person to be heard. At the conclusion of the hearing, the commissioners court shall adopt an order on whether to cancel the subdivision.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 979, Sec. 4, eff. June 16, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 404, Sec. 16, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  232.040.  Replatting. (a)

A subdivision plat must accurately reflect the subdivision as it develops. If there is any change, either by the intentional act of the subdivider or by the forces of nature, including changes in the size or dimension of lots or the direction or condition of the roads, a plat must be revised in accordance with Section 232.041.

(b)  Except as provided by Subsection (c), a lot in a subdivision may not be sold if the lot lacks water and sewer services as required by this subchapter unless the lot is platted or replatted as required by this subchapter. A subdivider or agent of a subdivider may not transfer a lot through an executory contract or other similar conveyance to evade the requirements of this subchapter. The prohibition in this subsection includes the sale of a lot:

(1)  by a subdivider who regains possession of a lot previously exempt under Subsection (c) through the exercise of a remedy described in Section 5.061, Property Code; or

(2)  for which it is shown at a proceeding brought in the district court in which the property is located that the sale of a lot otherwise exempt under Subsection (c) was made for the purpose of evading the requirements of this subchapter.

(c)  Subsection (b) does not apply if a seller other than a subdivider or agent of a subdivider resides on the lot.

(d)  The attorney general or a district or county attorney with jurisdiction may bring a proceeding under Subsection (b).

(e)  Existing utility services to a subdivision that must be platted or replatted under this section may not be terminated under Section 232.029 or 232.0291.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 979, Sec. 4, eff. June 16, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 404, Sec. 17, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 708, Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section  232.041.  Revision Of Plat.

(a) A person who has subdivided land that is subject to the subdivision controls of the county in which the land is located may apply in writing to the commissioners court of the county for permission to revise the subdivision plat filed for record with the county clerk.

(b)  After the application is filed with the commissioners court, the court shall publish a notice of the application in a newspaper of general circulation in the county. The notice must include a statement of the time and place at which the court will meet to consider the application and to hear protests to the revision of the plat. The notice must be published at least three times during the period that begins on the 30th day and ends on the seventh day before the date of the meeting. If all or part of the subdivided tract has been sold to nondeveloper owners, the court shall also give notice to each of those owners by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, at the owner's address in the subdivided tract.

(c)  During a regular term of the commissioners court, the court shall adopt an order to permit the revision of the subdivision plat if it is shown to the court that:

(1)  the revision will not interfere with the established rights of any owner of a part of the subdivided land; or

(2)  each owner whose rights may be interfered with has agreed to the revision.

(d)  If the commissioners court permits a person to revise a subdivision plat, the person may make the revision by filing for record with the county clerk a revised plat or part of a plat that indicates the changes made to the original plat.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 979, Sec. 4, eff. June 16, 1995.



Section  232.042.  Variances From Replatting Requirements.

(a) On request of a subdivider or resident purchaser, the commissioners court may grant a delay or a variance from compliance with Section 232.040 as provided by this section.

(b)  The commissioners court may grant a delay of two years if the reason for the delay is to install utilities. A person may apply for one renewal of a delay under this subsection. To obtain an initial delay under this subsection, a subdivider must:

(1)  identify the affected utility providers;

(2)  provide the terms and conditions on which service may be provided; and

(3)  provide a certified letter from each utility provider stating that it has the right to serve the area and it will serve the area.

(c)  The commissioners court may grant a delay or a variance for a reason other than a reason described by Subsection (b) if it is shown that compliance would be impractical or would be contrary to the health and safety of residents of the subdivision. The commissioners court must issue written findings stating the reasons why compliance is impractical.

(d)  A delay or a variance granted by the commissioners court is valid only if the commissioners court notifies the attorney general of the delay or variance and the reasons for the delay or variance not later than the 30th day after the date the commissioners court grants the delay or variance.

(e)  Until approved water and sewer services are made available to the subdivision, the subdivider of land for which a delay is granted under this section must provide at no cost to residents:

(1)  25 gallons of potable water a day for each resident and a suitable container for storing the water; and

(2)  suitable temporary sanitary wastewater disposal facilities.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 979, Sec. 4, eff. June 16, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 404, Sec. 18, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  232.043.  Variances From Platting Requirements.

(a) On the request of a subdivider who created an unplatted subdivision or a resident purchaser of a lot in the subdivision, the commissioners court of a county may grant:

(1)  a delay or variance from compliance with the subdivision requirements prescribed by Section 232.023(b)(8) or (9), 232.025(1), (2), (3), (4), or (5), or 232.030(c)(2), (3), (5), or (6); or

(2)  a delay or variance for an individual lot from compliance with the requirements prescribed by the model subdivision rules adopted under Section 16.343, Water Code, for:

(A)  the distance that a structure must be set back from roads or property lines; or

(B)  the number of single-family, detached dwellings that may be located on a lot.

(b)  If the commissioners court makes a written finding that the subdivider who created the unplatted subdivision no longer owns property in the subdivision, the commissioners court may grant a delay or variance under this section only if:

(1)  a majority of the lots in the subdivision were sold before:

(A)  September 1, 1995, in a county defined under Section 232.022(a)(1); or

(B)  September 1, 2005, in a county defined under Section 232.022(a)(2);

(2)  a majority of the resident purchasers in the subdivision sign a petition supporting the delay or variance;

(3)  the person requesting the delay or variance submits to the commissioners court:

(A)  a description of the water and sewer service facilities that will be constructed or installed to service the subdivision;

(B)  a statement specifying the date by which the water and sewer service facilities will be fully operational; and

(C)  a statement signed by an engineer licensed in this state certifying that the plans for the water and sewer facilities meet the minimum state standards;

(4)  the commissioners court finds that the unplatted subdivision at the time the delay or variance is requested is developed in a manner and to an extent that compliance with specific platting requirements is impractical or contrary to the health or safety of the residents of the subdivision; and

(5)  the subdivider who created the unplatted subdivision has not violated local law, federal law, or state law, excluding this chapter, in subdividing the land for which the delay or variance is requested, if the subdivider is the person requesting the delay or variance.

(c)  If the commissioners court makes a written finding that the subdivider who created the unplatted subdivision owns property in the subdivision, the commissioners court may grant a provisional delay or variance only if the requirements of Subsection (b) are satisfied. The commissioners court may issue a final grant of the delay or variance only if the commissioners court has not received objections from the attorney general before the 91st day after the date the commissioners court submits the record of its proceedings to the attorney general as prescribed by Subsection (d).

(d)  If the commissioners court grants a delay or variance under this section, the commissioners court shall:

(1)  make findings specifying the reason compliance with each requirement is impractical or contrary to the health or safety of residents of the subdivision;

(2)  keep a record of its proceedings and include in the record documentation of the findings and the information submitted under Subsection (b); and

(3)  submit a copy of the record to the attorney general.

(e)  The failure of the attorney general to comment or object to a delay or variance granted under this section does not constitute a waiver of or consent to the validity of the delay or variance granted.

(f)  This section does not affect a civil suit filed against, a criminal prosecution of, or the validity of a penalty imposed on a subdivider for a violation of law, regardless of the date on which the violation occurred.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 404, Sec. 19, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 708, Sec. 9, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section 232.044.  Amending Plat. The

commissioners court may approve and issue an amending plat under this subchapter in the same manner, for the same purposes, and subject to the same related provisions as provided by Section 232.011.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1390, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2007.



Subchapter C. Subdivision Platting Requirements In Certain Economically Distressed Counties

Section 232.071.  Applicability.

This subchapter applies only to the subdivision of land located:

(1)  outside the corporate limits of a municipality; and

(2)  in a county:

(A)  in which is located a political subdivision that is eligible for and has applied for financial assistance under Section 15.407, Water Code, or Subchapter K, Chapter 17, Water Code; and

(B)  to which Subchapter B does not apply.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 377, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 404, Sec. 21, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 927, Sec. 14, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section  232.072.  Plat Required.

(a) The owner of a tract of land that divides the tract in any manner that creates lots of five acres or less intended for residential purposes must have a plat of the subdivision prepared. A subdivision of a tract under this section includes a subdivision of real property by any method of conveyance, including a contract for deed, oral contract, contract of sale, or other type of executory contract, regardless of whether the subdivision is made by using a metes and bounds description.

(b)  A plat required under this section must:

(1)  include on the plat or have attached to the plat a document containing a description of the water and sewer service facilities that will be constructed or installed to service the subdivision and a statement of the date by which the facilities will be fully operable; and

(2)  have attached to the plat a document prepared by an engineer registered to practice in this state certifying that the water and sewer service facilities described by the plat or the document attached to the plat are in compliance with the model rules adopted under Section 16.343, Water Code.

(c)  A plat required under this section must be filed and recorded with the county clerk of the county in which the tract is located. The plat is subject to the filing and recording provisions of Section 12.002, Property Code.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 377, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  232.073.  Approval By County Required.

(a) A plat filed under Section 232.072 is not valid unless the commissioners court of the county in which the land is located approves the plat by an order entered in the minutes of the court. The commissioners court shall refuse to approve a plat if it does not meet the requirements prescribed by or under this subchapter or if any bond required under this subchapter is not filed with the county clerk.

(b)  The commissioners court of the county in which the land is located may establish a planning commission as provided by Subchapter D. The planning commission, including its findings and decisions, is subject to the same provisions applicable to the commissioners court under this subchapter, including Section 232.078 relating to conflicts of interest.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 377, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 404, Sec. 22, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  232.074.  Bond Requirements.

(a) Unless a person has completed the installation of all water and sewer service facilities required by this subchapter on the date that person applies for final approval of a plat under Section 232.073, the commissioners court shall require the subdivider of the tract to execute and maintain in effect a bond or, in the alternative, a person may make a cash deposit in an amount the commissioners court determines will ensure compliance with this subchapter. A person may not meet the requirements of this subsection through the use of a letter of credit unless that letter of credit is irrevocable and issued by an institution guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The subdivider must comply with the requirement before subdividing the tract.

(b)  The bond must be conditioned on the construction or installation of water and sewer service facilities that will be in compliance with the model rules adopted under Section 16.343, Water Code.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 377, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  232.075.  Water And Sewer Service Extension.

(a) The commissioners court may extend, beyond the date specified on the plat or on the document attached to the plat, the date by which the water and sewer service facilities must be fully operable if the commissioners court finds the extension is reasonable and not contrary to the public interest.

(b)  The commissioners court may not grant an extension under Subsection (a) if it would allow an occupied residence to be without water or sewer services.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 377, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  232.076.  Certification Regarding Compliance With Plat Requirements.

(a) On the approval of a plat by the commissioners court, the commissioners court shall issue to the person applying for the approval a certificate stating that the plat has been reviewed and approved by the commissioners court.

(b)  On its own motion or on the written request of a subdivider, an owner or resident of a lot in a subdivision, or an entity that provides a utility service, the commissioners court shall:

(1)  determine whether a plat is required under this subchapter for an identified tract of land that is located within the jurisdiction of the county; and

(2)  if a plat is required for the identified tract, determine whether a plat has been reviewed and approved by the commissioners court.

(c)  The request made under Subsection (b) must adequately identify the land that is the subject of the request.

(d)  Whenever a request is made under Subsection (b), the commissioners court shall issue the requesting party a written certification of its determinations.

(e)  The commissioners court shall make its determinations within 20 days after the date it receives the request under Subsection (b) and shall issue the certificate, if appropriate, within 10 days after the date the determinations are made.

(f)  The commissioners court may adopt rules it considers necessary to administer its duties under this section.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 377, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  232.077.  Connection Of Utilities In Certain Counties.

(a) This section applies only to a tract of land for which a plat is required under this subchapter.

(b)  An entity described by Subsection (c) may not serve or connect any land with water, sewer, electricity, gas, or other utility service unless the entity has been presented with or otherwise holds a certificate applicable to the land issued under Section 232.076 stating that a plat has been reviewed and approved for the land.

(c)  The prohibition established by Subsection (b) applies only to:

(1)  a municipality, and officials of the municipality, that provides water, sewer, electricity, gas, or other utility service;

(2)  a municipally owned or municipally operated utility that provides any of those services;

(3)  a public utility that provides any of those services;

(4)  a water supply or sewer service corporation organized and operating under Chapter 67, Water Code, that provides any of those services;

(5)  a county that provides any of those services; and

(6)  a special district or authority created by or under state law that provides any of those services.

(d)  The prohibition established by Subsection (b) applies only to land that an entity described by Subsection (c) first serves or first connects with services:

(1)  between September 1, 1989, and June 16, 1995; or

(2)  after the effective date of this subchapter.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 377, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 18.36, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  232.0775.  County Inspector.

(a) The commissioners court may impose a fee on a subdivider of property under this subchapter for an inspection of the property to ensure compliance with the subdivision regulations adopted under this subchapter, Section 16.343, Water Code, or other law.

(b)  Fees collected under this section may be used only to fund inspections conducted under this section.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 404, Sec. 23, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  232.078.  Conflict Of Interest; Penalty.

(a) In this section, "subdivided tract" means a tract of land, as a whole, that is subdivided into tracts or lots. The term does not mean an individual lot in a subdivided tract of land.

(b)  A person has an interest in a subdivided tract if the person:

(1)  has an equitable or legal ownership interest in the tract;

(2)  acts as a developer of the tract;

(3)  owns voting stock or shares of a business entity that:

(A)  has an equitable or legal ownership interest in the tract; or

(B)  acts as a developer of the tract; or

(4)  receives in a calendar year money or any thing of value from a business entity described by Subdivision (3).

(c)  A person also is considered to have an interest in a subdivided tract if the person is related in the second degree by consanguinity or affinity, as determined under Chapter 573, Government Code, to a person who, under Subsection (b), has an interest in the tract.

(d)  If a member of the commissioners court has an interest in a subdivided tract, the member shall file, before a vote or decision regarding the approval of a plat for the tract, an affidavit with the county clerk stating the nature and extent of the interest and shall abstain from further participation in the matter. The affidavit must be filed with the county clerk.

(e)  A member of the commissioners court of a county commits an offense if the member violates Subsection (d). An offense under this subsection is a Class A misdemeanor.

(f)  The finding by a court of a violation of this section does not render voidable an action of the commissioners court unless the measure would not have passed the commissioners court but for the vote of the member who violated this section.

(g)  A conviction under Subsection (e) constitutes official misconduct by the member and is grounds for removal from office.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 377, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  232.079.  Civil Penalties.

(a) A subdivider or an agent of a subdivider may not cause, suffer, allow, or permit a lot to be sold in a subdivision if the subdivision has not been platted as required by this subchapter.

(b)  A subdivider who fails to provide, in the time and manner described in the plat, for the construction or installation of water or sewer service facilities described on the plat or on the document attached to the plat or who otherwise violates this subchapter or a rule or requirement adopted by the commissioners court under this subchapter is subject to a civil penalty of not less than $500 or more than $1,000 for each violation and for each day of a continuing violation but not to exceed $5,000 each day and shall also pay court costs, investigative costs, and attorney's fees for the governmental entity bringing the suit.

(c)  Venue for an action under this section is in a district court of Travis County, a district court in the county in which the defendant resides, or a district court in the county in which the violation or threat of violation occurs.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 377, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  232.080.  Enforcement.

(a) The attorney general, or the district attorney, criminal district attorney, or county attorney, may take any action necessary in a court of competent jurisdiction on behalf of the state or on behalf of residents to:

(1)  enjoin the violation or threatened violation of applicable model rules adopted under Section 16.343, Water Code;

(2)  enjoin the violation or threatened violation of a requirement of this subchapter or a rule adopted by the commissioners court under this subchapter;

(3)  recover civil or criminal penalties, attorney's fees, litigation costs, and investigation costs; and

(4)  require platting as required by this subchapter.

(b)  During the pendency of any enforcement action brought, any resident of the affected subdivision, or the attorney general, district attorney, or county attorney on behalf of a resident, may file a motion against the provider of utilities to halt termination of preexisting utility services. The services may not be terminated if the court makes an affirmative finding after hearing the motion that termination poses a threat to public health or to the health, safety, or welfare of the residents. This subsection does not prohibit a provider of utilities from terminating services under other law to a resident who has failed to timely pay for services.

(c)  This subchapter is subject to the applicable enforcement provisions prescribed by Sections 16.352, 16.353, 16.354, and 16.3545, Water Code.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 377, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 404, Sec. 24, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section 232.081.  Amending Plat. The

commissioners court may approve and issue an amending plat under this subchapter in the same manner, for the same purposes, and subject to the same related provisions as provided by Section 232.011.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1390, Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2007.



Subchapter D. County Planning Commission

Section  232.091.  Applicability.

This subchapter applies only to a county:

(1)  authorized to establish a planning commission under Subchapter B or C; and

(2)  in which the commissioners court by order elects to operate under this subchapter.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 404, Sec. 25, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  232.092.  Establishment And Abolition Of Planning Commission.

(a) To promote the general public welfare, the commissioners court of a county by order may:

(1)  establish a planning commission under this section; and

(2)  abolish a planning commission established under this section.

(b)  The commissioners court may authorize the planning commission to act on behalf of the commissioners court in matters relating to:

(1)  the duties and authority of the commissioners court under Subchapter A, B, or C; and

(2)  land use, health and safety, planning and development, or other enforcement provisions specifically authorized by law.

(c)  If the commissioners court establishes a planning commission, the commissioners court by order shall adopt reasonable rules and procedures necessary to administer this subchapter.

(d)  This subchapter does not grant a commissioners court or a planning commission the power to regulate the use of property for which a permit has been issued to engage in a federally licensed activity.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 404, Sec. 25, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  232.093.  Appointment Of Members Of Planning Commission.

(a) The commissioners court may appoint a planning commission consisting of five members. Members are appointed for staggered terms of two years.

(b)  A person appointed as a member of the planning commission must be a citizen of the United States and reside in the county.

(c)  The commissioners court shall file with the county clerk a certificate of appointment for each commission member.

(d)  The commissioners court shall fill any vacancy on the commission.

(e)  Before a planning commission member undertakes the duties of the office, the member must:

(1)  take the official oath; and

(2)  swear in writing that the member will promote the interest of the county as a whole and not only a private interest or the interest of a special group or location in the county.

(f)  A member of the planning commission serves at the pleasure of the commissioners court and is subject to removal as provided by Chapter 87.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 404, Sec. 25, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  232.094.  Financial Disclosure.

(a) A member of the planning commission shall file a financial disclosure report in the same manner as required for county officers under Subchapter B, Chapter 159.

(b)  If the commissioners court of the county in which the planning commission member serves has not adopted a financial disclosure reporting system under Subchapter B, Chapter 159, the planning commission member shall file a financial disclosure report in the same manner as required for county officers under Subchapter A, Chapter 159.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 404, Sec. 25, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  232.095.  Officers, Quorum, And Meetings.

(a) At the first meeting of each calendar year, the planning commission shall elect a presiding officer and assistant presiding officer. The presiding officer presides over the meetings and executes all documentation required on behalf of the planning commission. The assistant presiding officer represents the presiding officer during the presiding officer's absence.

(b)  There is no limitation on the number of terms a member may serve on the commission.

(c)  Minutes of the planning commission's proceedings must be filed with the county clerk or other county officer or employee designated by the commissioners court. The minutes of the planning commission's proceedings are a public record.

(d)  The planning commission is subject to Chapters 551 and 552, Government Code.

(e)  The planning commission may adopt rules necessary to administer this subchapter. Rules adopted under this subsection are subject to approval by the commissioners court.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 404, Sec. 25, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  232.096.  Timely Approval Of Plats.

(a) The planning commission shall issue a written list of the documentation and other information that must be submitted with a plat application. The documentation or other information must relate to a requirement authorized by law. An application submitted to the planning commission that contains the documents and other information on the list is considered complete.

(b)  If a person submits an incomplete plat application to the planning commission, the planning commission or its designee shall, not later than the 15th business day after the date the planning commission or its designee receives the application, notify the applicant of the missing documents or other information. The planning commission or its designee shall allow an applicant to timely submit the missing documents or other information.

(c)  An application is considered complete on the date all documentation and other information required by Subsection (a) is received by the planning commission.

(d)  If the approval of the plat is within the exclusive jurisdiction of the planning commission, the planning commission shall take final action on a plat application, including the resolution of all appeals, not later than the 60th day after the date a completed plat application is received by the planning commission.

(e)  The time period prescribed by Subsection (d) may be extended for:

(1)  a reasonable period if requested by the applicant; and

(2)  an additional 60 days if the county is required under Chapter 2007, Government Code, to perform a takings impact assessment in connection with a plat submitted for approval.

(f)  The planning commission may not compel an applicant to waive the time limits prescribed by this section.

(g)  If the planning commission fails to take final action on the completed plat application as required by this section, the applicant may apply to a district court in the county in which the land is located for a mandamus order to compel the planning commission to approve or disapprove the plat. A planning commission subject to a mandamus order under this subsection shall make a decision approving or disapproving the plat not later than the 20th business day after the date a copy of the mandamus order is served on the presiding officer of the planning commission. If the planning commission approves the plat, the planning commission, within the 20-day period prescribed by this subsection, shall:

(1)  refund the greater of the unexpended portion of any plat application fee or deposit or 50 percent of a plat application fee or deposit that has been paid;

(2)  determine the appropriate amount of any bond or other financial guarantee required in connection with the plat approval; and

(3)  issue documents recognizing the plat's approval.

(h)  Except as provided by this subsection, an approval of a plat by the planning commission is final on the 31st day after the date the planning commission votes to approve the plat. On the request of a county commissioner, the commissioners court shall review a plat approved by the planning commission not later than the 30th day after the date the planning commission votes to approve the plat. The commissioners court may disapprove the plat if the plat fails to comply with state law or rules adopted by the county or the planning commission. If the commissioners court fails to take action within the 30-day period prescribed by this subsection, the decision of the planning commission is final.

(i)  In this section, "business day" means a day other than a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday recognized by this state.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 404, Sec. 25, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  232.097.  Reasons For Disapproval Of Plat Required.

If the planning commission refuses to approve a plat, the planning commission shall provide to the person requesting approval a notice specifying the reason for the disapproval.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 404, Sec. 25, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Subchapter E. Infrastructure Planning Provisions In Certain Urban Counties

Section  232.101.  Rules.

(a) By an order adopted and entered in the minutes of the commissioners court and after a notice is published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county, the commissioners court may adopt rules governing plats and subdivisions of land within the unincorporated area of the county to promote the health, safety, morals, or general welfare of the county and the safe, orderly, and healthful development of the unincorporated area of the county.

(b)  Unless otherwise authorized by state law, a commissioners court shall not regulate under this section:

(1)  the use of any building or property for business, industrial, residential, or other purposes;

(2)  the bulk, height, or number of buildings constructed on a particular tract of land;

(3)  the size of a building that can be constructed on a particular tract of land, including without limitation and restriction on the ratio of building floor space to the land square footage;

(4)  the number of residential units that can be built per acre of land;

(5)  a plat or subdivision in an adjoining county; or

(6)  road access to a plat or subdivision in an adjoining county.

(c)  The authority granted under Subsection (a) is subject to the exemptions to plat requirements provided for in Section 232.0015.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 736, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1390, Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section  232.102.  Major Thoroughfare Plan.

By an order adopted and entered in the minutes of the commissioners court and after a notice is published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county, the commissioners court may:

(1)  require a right-of-way on a street or road that functions as a major thoroughfare of a width of not more than 120 feet; or

(2)  require a right-of-way on a street or road that functions as a major thoroughfare of a width of more than 120 feet, if such requirement is consistent with a transportation plan adopted by the metropolitan planning organization of the region.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 736, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  232.103.  Lot Frontages.

By an order adopted and entered in the minutes of the commissioners court and after a notice is published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county, the commissioners court may adopt reasonable standards for minimum lot frontages on existing county roads and establish reasonable standards for the lot frontages in relation to curves in the road.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 736, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  232.104.  Set-backs.

By an order adopted and entered in the minutes of the commissioners court and after a notice is published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county, the commissioners court may establish reasonable building and set-back lines as provided by Chapter 233 without the limitation period provided by Section 233.004(c).

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 736, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  232.105.  Developer Participation Contracts.

(a) Without complying with the competitive sealed bidding procedure of Chapter 262, a commissioners court may make a contract with a developer of a subdivision or land in the unincorporated area of the county to construct public improvements, not including a building, related to the development. If the contract does not meet the requirements of this subchapter, Chapter 262 applies to the contract if the contract would otherwise be governed by that chapter.

(b)  Under the contract, the developer shall construct the improvements, and the county shall participate in the cost of the improvements.

(c)  The contract must establish the limit of participation by the county at a level not to exceed 30 percent of the total contract price. In addition, the contract may also allow participation by the county at a level not to exceed 100 percent of the total cost for any oversizing of improvements required by the county, including but not limited to increased capacity of improvements to anticipate other future development in the area. The county is liable only for the agreed payment of its share, which shall be determined in advance either as a lump sum or as a factor or percentage of the total actual cost as determined by an order of the commissioners court.

(d)  The developer must execute a performance bond for the construction of the improvements to ensure completion of the project. The bond must be executed by a corporate surety in accordance with Chapter 2253, Government Code.

(e)  In the order adopted by the commissioners court under Subsection (c), the county may include additional safeguards against undue loading of cost, collusion, or fraud.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 736, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section 232.106.  Connection Of Utilities. By A

n order adopted and entered in the minutes of the commissioners court, and after a notice is published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county, the commissioners court may impose the requirements of Section 232.029 or 232.0291.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 736, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 708, Sec. 10, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section  232.107.  Provisions Cumulative.

The authorities under this subchapter are cumulative of and in addition to the authorities granted under this chapter and all other laws to counties to regulate the subdivision of land.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 736, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section 232.108.  Plat Requirements. (a)

The commissioners court, in addition to having the authority to adopt rules under Section 232.101 and other authority granted by this chapter, may impose the plat requirements prescribed by Section 232.023.  If the commissioners court imposes the plat requirements prescribed by Section 232.023, any rules adopted under Section 232.101 must be consistent with those requirements.

(b)  If a county imposing the plat requirements prescribed by Section 232.023 is not described by Section 232.022(a):

(1)  the document required by Section 232.023(b)(6) is not required to be in Spanish; and

(2)  the plat requirements related to drainage shall be those authorized by Section 232.003(8) rather than those authorized by Section 232.023(b)(8).

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1390, Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section 232.109.  Fire Suppression System.

In a subdivision that is not served by fire hydrants as part of a centralized water system certified by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality as meeting minimum standards for water utility service, the commissioners court may require a limited fire suppression system that requires a developer to construct:

(1)  for a subdivision of fewer than 50 houses, 2,500 gallons of storage; or

(2)  for a subdivision of 50 or more houses, 2,500 gallons of storage with a centralized water system or 5,000 gallons of storage.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1390, Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2007.


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