HBA-BTC H.B. 52 76(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 52 By: Cuellar Land and Resource Management 2/9/1999 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Currently, developers are able to subdivide land for residential purposes with virtually no county oversight. Problems created by the existing lack of county supervision include the development of residential subdivisions with lots that do not meet minimum requirements for the installation of a permitted septic system, inadequate drainage systems which cause flooding with normal rainfall, and inadequate access for emergency vehicles. These persistent problems present threats to the safety and lives of county residents who are then left with the responsibility of paying the additional costs of providing services. H.B. 52 expands the regulatory powers of counties with a population of 100,000 citizens or more, by giving them the authority to create a planning commission with certain functions related to approving and denying subdivision plats, and other real estate transactions. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Section 232.002, Local Government Code, by adding Subsection (c), to authorize the commissioners court of the county in which the land is located to allow an established planning commission, if one has been established, as provided by Subchapter D, to review, evaluate, approve, or deny subdivision plats under this section. Provides that the planning commission is subject to the same provisions as the commissioner's court under this subchapter. SECTION 2. Amends Section 232.005, Local Government Code, by authorizing a planning commission established under Subchapter D to be included with the commissioners court as an entity which can request that a suit be filed against entities which act contrary to the decisions of the commissioner's court or planning commission. Provides that an offense, which is a Class B misdemeanor, is committed if a person knowingly or intentionally violates a requirement established or adopted by the commissioners court or planning commission, but does not apply to a violation for which a criminal penalty is prescribed by Section 232.0048. Creates Subsection (c) from existing text and redesignates previous Subsection (c) to Subsection (d). Makes conforming and nonsubstantive changes. SECTION 3. Amends Section 232.024, Local Government Code, by adding Subsection (d), to make a conforming change. SECTION 4. Amends Section 232.073, Local Government Code, by creating Subsection (a) from existing text and adding Subsection (b), to make a conforming change. SECTION 5. Amends Chapter 232, Local Government Code, by adding Subchapter D, as follows: SUBCHAPTER D. COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION Sec. 232.091. APPLICABILITY. Establishes that this subchapter applies only to a county with a population of 100,000 or more in which the commissioners court by order elects to operate under this chapter. Sec. 232.092. ESTABLISHMENT OF PLANNING COMMISSION. Authorizes the commissioners court of a county to establish a planning commission to promote the general public welfare. Provides that commissioners court may authorize the planning commission to act on its behalf in matters relating to the duties and authority of the commissioners court under Subchapter A, B, or C; and land use, health and safety, planning and development, or other enforcement provisions specifically authorized by law. Requires the commissioners court to adopt reasonable rules and procedures necessary to administer this subchapter if they establish a planning commission. Sec. 232.093. APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS OF PLANING COMMISSION. Authorizes the commissioners court to appoint a planning commission consisting of five members with staggered two-year terms. Requires each member to be a United States citizen residing in the county. Requires the commissioners court to file a certificate of appointment for each member with the county clerk and to fill any vacancy on the commission. Sec. 232.094. OFFICERS, QUORUM, AND MEETINGS. Requires the planning commission, at the first meeting of each calendar year, to elect a presiding officer who presides over the meetings and executes all documentation required on behalf of the planning commission. Provides that an assistant presiding officer represents the presiding officer during an absence. Specifies that there is no limit on the number of terms a commission member may serve. Requires the minutes of the planning commission's proceedings, which are a public record, to be filed with the county clerk or other county officer or employee designated by the commissioners court. Provides that the minutes are a public record. Authorizes the planning commission to adopt necessary rules to administer this subchapter. Sec. 232.095. CONFLICT OF INTEREST. Requires that prior to a vote or decision regarding approval of a plat, a member of the planning commission with a substantial interest in a subdivided tract must file an affidavit stating the nature and extent of such interest and abstain from further participation in the matter. Requires the affidavit to be filed with the official minutes of the planning commission. Defines "substantial interest." SECTION 6. Emergency clause. Effective date: 90 days after adjournment.