Legislative Action Alert
TML is sending out the following regarding two of the more onerous bills.
1) Complete Preemption of City Authority to Regulate the Location of RV Parks and Campgrounds. Every city should contact their House member(s) in opposition to H.B. 3266 by Ryan Guillen (D – Rio Grande City). The bill has been presented as “streamlining city regulations,” but it goes much, much further. The substance of the bill would preempt any city regulations on how an RV park is constructed by adopting by reference a national code (NFPA 1194, Standard for Recreational Vehicle Parks and Campgrounds, 2014 Edition in full, except for sections 1.1.1). That’s bad because city councils should be able to decide what standards apply within the city limits.
The bill as written would preempt any municipal authority to regulate the location of or to prohibit an RV park. City officials should be adamantly opposed to that. Cities dealt with similar legislation throughout the 1980s in relation to manufactured homes. Then, as now, city officials recognize that different forms of housing are necessary to meet the needs of Texas. However, they also recognize that citizens demand that their property values be protected, and that certain uses are incompatible with others. H.B. 3266 in its current form would do just the opposite.
2) Onerous Building Code Requirements for Cities Under 100,000 Population. Senate Bill 1679 by Senator Don Huffines (R – Dallas) would provide that, when a city council adopts or amends a national building code, a city council must prepare and publish a complex, detailed, and expensive cost-benefit analysis of the code or amendment and shall hold two public hearings open to public comment on the proposed action. More troubling, however, is that the bill amends existing Section 214.217 of the Local Government Code that was added in 2009 pursuant to a negotiated agreement between homebuilders and cities. The provisions of S.B. 1679 may make some sense when applied to a large city, but the bill’s blanket application to smaller cities is unworkable and punitive. Those cities probably don’t need a detailed and expensive analysis for basic code adoption or minor, common-sense code amendments. In addition, many small cities have a hard enough time finding candidates for city council, much less for an additional, unnecessary building code advisory committee. The bill would add unnecessary bureaucracy at the cost of small city taxpayers.
A Senate floor amendment put a population threshold of 40,000 in the bill, but that’s not enough. The bill now moves to the House, and the message to your House member is that we are opposed to S.B. 1679, unless and until it is amended to apply only to cities over 100,000 population.
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