We are proud to present a comprehensive update on the work by the Texas Land Developers Association in the 88th Texas Legislative Session for 2023. Your Association has been hard at work, advocating on your behalf, analyzing every bill, and participating in the session to ensure the land development industry is represented effectively. Keeping track of every bill and legislative change can be challenging, which is why we’re committed to keeping you informed. Below, you’ll find a detailed overview of the legislative session, including key changes, defeated or amended bills, and future objectives to be addressed in the upcoming Special Session. We’ve also taken the opportunity to acknowledge our legislative champions who have tirelessly worked to support our industry.
Committee – Kyndel Bennett (Chair), Scot Campbell, Jack McClelland, John Womack, Krys Weyand, Mira Boyda – Met weekly since November.
Others who participated– Russell Spillars, Kacee Jackson, Matt Long, John Mays & Charlie Wetzel
Lobby Team – Chuck Rice, Debbie Ingersol & Jennifer Ransom Rice
Total Bills Filed: 11,807
Total Bills Passed: 4,550
Total TLDA Tracked Bills: 172
1. HB 4974 – Killed. Proposed change – Platting not required for lots being more than 10 acres to lots being more than 25 acres.
2. SB 2542 – Killed. Relating to certification of compliance with county drainage requirements for subdivisions in counties near an international border
3. HB 219 – Amended. Release of Lien must be provided within 60 days of a payoff. Limitation on Mortgage Servicer: A mortgage servicer is required to comply with this section only if they have the authority to deliver or file a release of lien for the loan.
4. HB 4635 – Organized Crime, Racketeering and Collection of Unlawful Debt
• Amended. Originally allowed person making an accounting mistake to get up to 45 years in prison.
Passed Bills (some still await Governor’s signature)
1. HB 14 – Third Party Review/Shot Clock Clarification
• If a regulatory authority does not approve, conditionally approve, or disapprove a development document within 15 days, the review can be performed by a third party (i.e., a licensed engineer) under certain conditions.
• Similarly, if a regulatory authority does not conduct a required development inspection within 15 days, the inspection can be conducted by a third party.
• A regulatory authority may not request or require an applicant to waive a deadline.
2. HB 2038 – Petition for release from an ETJ.
3. HB 2127 – Preemption Bill
• New preemption clauses are added to several state codes (Agriculture, Business & Commerce, Finance, Insurance, Labor, Local Government, Natural Resources, Occupations, Property), making it clear that unless expressly authorized, a municipality or county cannot regulate in an area covered by these state codes.
4. HB 3697 – County Plat Approval – Currently only Applies to A & C Counties (not counties along the border)
• County cannot require an analysis or study that is not explicitly required by state law as part of a plat application.
• Requires defined list of documents required with plat application. Must be posted on County’s website. If all submitted, deemed complete. Must be approved, approved with conditions or disapproved within 30 days of being deemed complete.
• If not approved, approved with conditions or disapproved within 30 days, applicant can appeal to a district court and prevailing party may recover reasonable attorney’s fees and court costs.
5. HB 3699 – Similar to HB 3697 but applies to Cities.
• The municipal authority responsible for approving plats may not require the dedication of land within a subdivision for a future steet or alley that is not intended by the owner of the tract and not included, funded and approved in a capital improvement plan adopted by the municipality or a similar plan adopted by the County.
Upcoming Special Session
• Change “More than 10 acres” to “10 acres or More”
• Right to Cure provision for violations of Model Subdivision Rules
• Cities cannot regulate within their ETJ’s
• Including B Counties in HB 3697
Legislative Champions to thank:
Please consult your attorney for specifics and clarifications.
https://capitol.texas.gov – Look up Bills, etc.