Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr.

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 22, 2005
CONTACT: Dan Esparza , IRT Committee Director
Phone: (512) 463-0385

SENATE APPROVES LIMITED ORDINANCE MAKING AUTHORITY

AUSTIN, TX.--Today the Senate approved Senate Bill 684 by Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr., legislation that would provide Border counties the necessary limited authority to regulate and plan development to help stop the proliferation of colonias.

"This bill is long overdue for our Texas counties with the greatest number of colonias in the nation," said Sen. Lucio, chairman of the Senate Committee on International Relations and Trade (IRT). "This measure would provide Border counties the tools to regulate residential land development and adopt building codes for unincorporated areas in their effort to provide safe and healthy living conditions."

Specifically, SB 684 provides Border counties the authority 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 bill allows Border counties to adopt residential land development building codes to promote safe and uniform building standards.

The measure includes several exclusions, such as not applying to agricultural, open-space land and uninhabitable commercial property. The bill would impact counties within 50 miles of the Border.

"Truly, this is a local control issue," added Sen. Lucio.

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