Thursday, May 12, 2005

Reasons to Oppose HB2833

The bills preclude cities from enacting or enforcing regulations that either have the effect of reducing impervious cover to less than 45% or reducing the value of a piece of property more than 25%. They take away statewide zoning, flood control, and water quality powers of cities, affecting communities broadly in ways we cannot even yet know.

The bill could eliminate many regulations designed to prevent flooding. It specifically precludes cities from restricting development in floodplains if those restrictions affect building size and impervious cover.

The bill requires cities to allow 45% impervious cover everywhere in the State (with some exceptions for San Antonio), thereby gutting essential components of water quality regulations.

Puente offered an amendment that was accepted that supposedly would protect San Antonio, but it does not. The Puente amendment does not protect San Antonio's water quality ordinance: it prevents San Antonio from limiting impervious cover more than 30% in the recharge zone for single familty and duplex developments, and it prevents San Antonio from limiting impervious cover more than 45% in all other circumstances. The Puente amendment does not solve any other zoning and land use problems that this bill will create for San Antonio, including restrictions associated with the River Walk and downtown preservation.


At 11:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Give me a break! Any time the government takes away 25% of the value of a person's land they SHOULD pay. This is pretty damn generous on the part of landowners in my opinion.

At 11:29 AM, Blogger Matt Glazer said...

It is not a fair situation for developers to be compensated for doing the wrong thing. Over at B and B they had this to say:

This is the "takings" bill that would force taxpayers of certain cities to fork over huge amounts of money to irresponsible real estate developers in order to get the developers to behave responsibly and not develop properties in ways that would be harmful to water quality and other environmental factors.

I think this is a great way of putting it. The land will be devalued at a greater amount if there is a flood or contaminates that are put in the aquifer. When a hurricane comes and destroys a home who pays? Is it insurance companies or your city government? If a flood comes down and destroys the southern part of the city can we ask the developers who contributed to it to pay back the damages? If so, then pass the thing. If not, then it is too much harm with zero protection.

This isn't about eminent domain. This is a situation of unintended consequences, and the way this thing is written the developers get all the rewards and we get nothing but risk without any way for legal retribution.


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