By Elsa Maxey
A bill sponsored by State Rep. John Zerwas in the Texas Legislature is aimed at Weston Lakes and possibly other adjacent areas in that vicinity that remove Texas city entitlements and it is being called “hostile.”
House Bill 2901 is specific to the planned communities in Fort Bend County over at “general-law towns” of Weston Lakes and Fulshear, those fewer than 3,000 in population. Considered to be subject to the laws of several different jurisdictions, the City of Weston Lakes would be required to release an area from its extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) within 10 days after receiving a petition signed by 80 percent of the property owners. They could choose their governing jurisdiction, say supporters.
But on the other side of the coin, in the state in accordance with government codes, all ETJs of a city, that’s those unincorporated areas bordering it, automatically expand as the population of the bordering municipality increases.
Opponents on the record say that the bill, planned for enactment in September, would place a burden on a city to respond in an unreasonable time period, 10 days, to address the release of an area, not to mention how these cities would not be entitled to the other rights allowed to the rest of the cities in Texas.
This week the bill, filed in early March, was placed on the state’s general calendar. The Weston Lakes City Council has passed a resolution opposing it since it would strip the city of its extra-territorial jurisdiction.