By Austin Gilleland –
House Bill 14 has passed with one goal – to streamline the real estate development process in Texas.
Below are some of the more substantive revisions that apply to development documents submitted on or after September 1, 2023.
A new “shot clock” for municipalities.
Most development permits must be turned by a municipality within 30 to 45 days, otherwise the applicant is entitled to a refund. However, cities often request (or require) an applicant to waive the refund if the city misses a statutory deadline. HB 14 has been implemented to counter delays in development.
HB 14 will permit certain professionals to review a development document if a regulatory authority does not approve, disapprove or conditionally approve the document within 15 days after the date prescribed by statute. It is no surprise the Bill defines “development document” as broadly as possible.
After the 15-day deadline, any of the following individuals could review the development document:
- a person employed by the regulatory authority to review development documents;
- a person employed by another political subdivision to review development documents, if the regulatory authority had approved the person to review development documents; or
- a licensed engineer.
What about development inspections?
With the goal of streamlining the development process, HB 14 did not overlook inspections. If the requisite regulatory authority does not conduct a required development inspection by the 15th day after the time prescribed by the Texas Local Government Code for conducting same, a third party may conduct such inspection.
The development inspection must be conducted by a person who is:
- certified to inspect buildings by the International Code Council;
- employed as a building inspector by the regulatory authority in which the improvement is located;
- employed as a building inspector by any political subdivision, if the regulatory authority in which the land or improvement to land is located has approved the person to perform inspections; or
- an engineer licensed under the Texas Occupations Code.
Additional fees and waiver.
A regulatory authority is prohibited from collecting an additional fee related to a review of development documents or conducting a development inspection. Further, a regulatory authority may not request or require an applicant to waive a deadline or other procedure under HB 14.
Questions? We are here to assist you.
Contact Austin at 469.916.7700 ext. 124 or email him.
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About Austin Gilleland
Austin Gilleland assists clients in a range of litigation and transactional matters, with a focus in commercial real estate and construction transactions.Learn more about Austin…