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TITLE 30ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
PART 1TEXAS COMMISSION ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
CHAPTER 293WATER DISTRICTS
SUBCHAPTER EISSUANCE OF BONDS
RULE §293.41Approval of Projects and Issuance of Bonds

(a) Bonds, as referred to in this subchapter, include any bonds authorized to be issued by the Texas Water Code (TWC) or special statute, and are represented by an instrument issued in bearer or registered form. This section does not apply to:

  (1) refunding bonds, if the commission issued an order approving the issuance of the bonds or notes that originally financed the project;

  (2) refunding bonds that are issued by a district under an agreement between the district and a municipality allowing the issuance of the district's bonds to refund bonds issued by the municipality to pay the cost of financing facilities;

  (3) bonds issued to and approved by the Farmers Home Administration, the United States Department of Agriculture, the North American Development Bank, or the Texas Water Development Board, or successor agencies;

  (4) refunding bonds issued to refund bonds described by paragraph (3) of this subsection;

  (5) bonds issued by a public utility agency created under Local Government Code, Chapter 572, any of the public entities participating in which are districts, if at least one of those districts is a district described by subsection (d)(1)(E) of this section; or

  (6) bonds issued by a district to finance a project for which the commission has not adopted rules requiring review and approval.

(b) This subchapter does apply to revenue notes to the extent described in §293.80(d) of this title (relating to Revenue Notes) and contract tax obligations to the extent described in §293.89 of this title (relating to Contract Tax Obligations).

(c) The commission has the statutory responsibility to approve projects relating to the issuance and sale of bonds for districts as defined in TWC, §49.001(1), and other districts where specifically required by law.

(d) This subchapter does not apply to:

  (1) a district if:

    (A) the boundaries include one entire county;

    (B) the district was created by a special act of the legislature; and

      (i) the district is located entirely within one county and entirely within one or more home-rule municipalities;

      (ii) the total taxable value of the real property and improvements to the real property, zoned by one or more home-rule municipalities for residential purposes and located within the district, does not exceed 25% of the total taxable value of all taxable property in the district, as shown by the most recent certified appraisal tax roll prepared by the appraisal district for the county; and

      (iii) the district was not required by law to obtain commission approval of its bonds before September 1, 1995;

    (C) the district is a special water authority as defined by TWC, §49.001(8);

    (D) the district is governed by a board of directors appointed in whole or part by the governor, a state agency, or the governing body or chief elected official of a municipality or county and does not provide, or propose to provide, water, wastewater, drainage, reclamation, or flood control services to residential retail or commercial customers as its principal function; or

    (E) the district:

      (i) is a municipal utility district operating under TWC, Chapter 54, that includes territory in only two counties;

      (ii) has outstanding long-term indebtedness that is rated BBB or better by a nationally recognized rating agency for municipal securities; and

      (iii) has at least 5,000 active water connections; or

    (F) the district:

      (i) is a conservation and reclamation district created under the Texas Constitution, Article 16, §59, that includes territory in at least three counties; and

      (ii) has the rights, privileges, and functions applicable to a river authority under TWC, Chapter 30; or

  (2) a public utility agency created under Local Government Code, Chapter 572, any of the public entities participating in which are districts, if at least one of those districts is a district described by paragraph (1)(E) of this subsection.

(e) A district located within Bastrop, Bexar, Brazoria, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Montgomery (except for a district all or part of which is located in Montgomery County and includes land within a planned community of at least 15,000 acres, of which a majority of the developed acreage is subject to restrictive covenants containing ad valorem assessments), Travis, Waller, or Williamson Counties may submit bond applications, which include recreational facilities that are supported by taxes, in accordance with TWC, §49.4645.

  (1) Bond applications submitted under this subsection must include a copy of a district's park plan as required under TWC, §49.4645(b), in addition to other application requirements under §293.43 of this title (relating to Application Requirements). The park plan is to be signed and sealed by a registered landscape architect, a licensed professional engineer, or any other design professional allowed by law to engage in landscape architecture.

  (2) Bond applications submitted under this subsection may include:

    (A) forests, greenbelts, open spaces, and native habitat;

    (B) sidewalks, trails, paths, boardwalks, and fitness trail equipment, subject to the following restrictions:

      (i) the sidewalks, trails, paths, boardwalks, and fitness trail equipment unrelated to golf courses;

      (ii) the sidewalks, trails, paths, boardwalks, and fitness trail equipment located outside of the right-of-way required by applicable government agencies for streets, unless a district has completed and financed at least 90% of its projected water, wastewater, and drainage facilities to serve residential development within the district; and

      (iii) if a district has completed and financed at least 90% of its projected water, wastewater, and drainage facilities to serve residential development within the district prior to the annexation of land, the location restriction in clause (ii) of this subparagraph only applies to annexed land;

    (C) pedestrian bridges and underpasses that are less than 200 feet in length and not related to golf courses;

    (D) outdoor ballfields, including, but not limited to, soccer, football, baseball, softball, and lacrosse, outdoor skate/roller blade facilities, associated scoreboards, and bleachers designed for less than 500 people per field or per skate/roller blade facility;

    (E) parks (outdoor playground facilities and associated ground surface material, picnic tables, benches, barbeque grills, fire pits, fireplaces, trash receptacles, drinking water fountains, open-air pavilions/gazebos, open-air amphitheaters/assembly facilities designed for less than 500 people, open-air shade structures, restrooms and changing rooms, concession stands, water playgrounds, recreational equipment storage facilities, and emergency call boxes);

    (F) amenity lakes, and associated water features, docks, piers, overlooks, and non-motorized boat launches subject to §293.44(a)(24) of this title (relating to Special Considerations);

    (G) amenity/recreation centers, outdoor tennis courts, and outdoor basketball courts if the district has funded water, wastewater, and drainage facilities to serve at least 90% of the residential development within the district;

    (H) fences no higher than eight feet that are located within public right-of-way or district sites/easements and are along streets if the district has funded water, wastewater, and drainage facilities to serve at least 90% of the residential development within the district; and

    (I) landscaping (including, but not limited to, trees, shrubs, and berms) and associated irrigation, fences, information signs/kiosks, lighting (except street lighting), and parking related to items listed in subparagraphs (A) through (G) of this paragraph.

  (3) Bond applications submitted under this subsection shall not include:

    (A) indoor or outdoor swimming pools, pool decks, and associated equipment or storage facilities;

    (B) golf courses, clubhouses, and related structures or facilities;

    (C) air conditioned buildings, gymnasiums, spas, fitness centers, and habitable structures, except as allowed in paragraph (2) of this subsection;

    (D) sound barrier walls;

    (E) retaining walls used for roadway purposes;

    (F) fences, such as for subdivisions and lots, which are not related to district facilities, except as allowed in paragraph (2) of this subsection;

    (G) signs and monuments, such as for subdivisions and developments, which are not related to district facilities; and

    (H) street lighting, except for a district operating under TWC, Chapter 54, pursuant to TWC, §54.236, as amended.

  (4) A district's outstanding principal debt (bonds, notes, and other obligations), supported by ad valorem taxes, for recreational facilities may not exceed 1% of the taxable value of property in the district, as supported by a certificate from the central appraisal district, at the time of issuance of the debt or exceed the estimated cost provided in the park plan required under TWC, §49.4645(b), whichever is smaller. If supported by contract taxes under TWC, §49.108, the outstanding principal debt (bonds, notes, and other obligations) may not exceed an amount equal to 1% of the value of the taxable property in the district or districts making payments under the contract. An estimate of the value provided by the central appraisal district may be used to establish the value of the taxable property in the district or districts.

  (5) A district may submit a bond application that proposes to fund recreational facilities only after or at the same time a district has funded water, wastewater, and/or drainage facilities, depending on a district's authorized functions, to serve the section that includes the recreational facilities or to serve areas along roads that are either adjacent to the recreational facilities or are necessary to provide access to the recreational facilities.

  (6) Plans and specifications for recreational facilities must be signed and sealed by a registered landscape architect, a licensed professional engineer, or any other design professional allowed by law to engage in landscape architecture.


Source Note: The provisions of this §293.41 adopted to be effective October 22, 1996, 21 TexReg 9905; amended to be effective June 5, 1998, 23 TexReg 5715; amended to be effective May 5, 2005, 30 TexReg 2533; amended to be effective October 26, 2006, 31 TexReg 8699; amended to be effective July 31, 2008, 33 TexReg 5936; amended to be effective April 21, 2013, 38 TexReg 2372; amended to be effective November 13, 2014, 39 TexReg 8730

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