Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 6, 2003
CONTACT: Doris Sanchez
Phone: (512) 463-0127

Limited ordinance making authority bill passes to curb proliferation of colonias

AUSTIN, TX. Yesterday the International Relations and Trade Committee chaired by state Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr. (D-Brownsville) unanimously approved Senate Bill 535, which would give Border counties regulated and planned development through code enforcement to help stop the proliferation of colonias.

This bill will not only give county commissioners the authority to regulate development and adopt building codes for unincorporated areas, but will allow them local control to adopt what they see fit for their local communities, said Sen. Lucio.

Specifically, SB 535 would allow Border counties to adopt rules that affect: the size of lots; the height, number of stories, size and number of buildings on a lot; the percentage of a lot that may be occupied; and the location of buildings or other structures on a lot. The measure also allows counties to adopt building codes to promote safe and uniform building, as well as plumbing and electrical standards in unincorporated areas. The measure excludes agricultural or open-space land and uninhabitable commercial property. The bill would impact counties within 50 miles of the Border

Together, local and state governments will form a stronger force to raise the standard of residential housing in colonias, stated Sen. Lucio. Unscrupulous developers who build shoddy housing will be accountable to the local government.

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Note: Staff member handling legislation is Ms. Perla Cavazos, policy analyst.

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