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RULE §15.133Creation

(a) Petition. A petition to form a RUD, or for a conservation and reclamation district to acquire RUD powers, must include the following documents:

  (1) all information required by Transportation Code, §441.019;

  (2) the names, addresses, and signatures of holders of title to all the land within the proposed RUD, as shown by the county tax rolls;

  (3) a $5,000 nonrefundable filing fee made payable to the department;

  (4) a scale map showing the boundaries of the RUD and drawn on plan sheets not larger than 22 inches by 36 inches, a metes and bounds description, and a computation sheet for survey closure;

  (5) a plan sheet that is not larger than 22 inches by 36 inches showing the boundaries of the RUD, existing topography including streams, highways, roads, and other improvements;

  (6) preliminary plans;

  (7) an approval statement from the governmental entity;

  (8) an engineering report including:

    (A) a vicinity map;

    (B) the cost of right of way acquisition, including justification that the cost represents an equitable and fair market value or a statement that the right of way and easements will be acquired at no cost;

    (C) the projected useful life of the facility and the expected costs of maintenance;

    (D) a comprehensive study showing the justification for creation of the RUD supported by evidence that the proposed facility is feasible and necessary and that the proposed RUD and facility will be a benefit to land included in the RUD;

  (9) a financial study of the proposed RUD and surrounding area, prepared by an independent consultant, that includes:

    (A) projected bond requirements, including;

      (i) the estimated cost of the facility;

      (ii) all other estimated costs of the RUD;

      (iii) a finding that the RUD will be financially able to issue and pay bonds of the RUD and all other costs with projected revenues;

    (B) economic feasibility, including:

      (i) a table showing the projected tax rates and fees over the life of the bond period;

      (ii) total tax assessments;

      (iii) a table showing the total debt encumbering the land within the RUD, including any debt payable from taxes levied by an entity under the provisions of the Texas Constitution, Article III, §52;

      (iv) a projection of the assessed valuation of the real property on a yearly basis from the date of filing to the projected date on which the facility will be completed;

  (10) a certificate from the central appraisal district or the tax assessor of each county in which the proposed RUD is located indicating the owners and tax valuation of the real property within the proposed RUD as reflected on the county or counties tax rolls, or if the tax rolls do not show that each applicant is an owner of land within the proposed RUD, a certified copy of deeds tracing title from the person listed on the county tax rolls as owner to the applicant;

  (11) a certificate from the municipal clerk or secretary and the county clerk that a copy of the preliminary plans for creation of the proposed RUD was received by each municipality in whose extraterritorial jurisdiction the proposed RUD is located and by the commissioners court of each county in which the proposed RUD is located;

  (12) a specific chronological history showing compliance with all the requirements of Transportation Code, Chapter 441;

  (13) a proposed order of the commission providing for the public hearing and giving notice of the hearing;

  (14) a list of at least five potential temporary directors who are eligible under subsection (c)(3) of this section, with their resumes; and

  (15) other information that the commission may require.

(b) Hearing. On receipt of a completed petition, the department will conduct a hearing.

  (1) Appointment of hearing officer. The executive director will appoint a hearing officer. The hearing officer will set the time and place of the hearing and conduct the hearing. At least 30 days before the hearing, the hearing officer will send notice of the hearing by first class mail to each person specified by Transportation Code, §441.023.

  (2) Published notice of hearing. The applicant shall publish notice of the hearing in a newspaper of general circulation in each county in which the proposed RUD is to be located. The notice shall be published once per week for two consecutive weeks, with the first publication occurring at least 30 days before the date set for the hearing. The notice shall include:

    (A) a vicinity map showing the location of the proposed RUD in relation to roads and other major landmarks;

    (B) the exact location of the facility as nearly as it can be described;

    (C) the applicant's anticipated construction and completion schedule, and an estimate of the facility's cost;

    (D) the applicant's name and mailing address;

    (E) a description of the nature and purpose of the petition to enable any interested party to be reasonably apprised of the benefits and necessity of the RUD;

    (F) a statement that any interested party is entitled to appear at a hearing; and

    (G) the date, time, and place of hearing.

  (3) Proof of notice. The applicant shall provide proof of proper notice of the hearing. This proof shall consist of the publisher's affidavit, including the name of the newspaper, the title of the affidavit, the dates of publication, and the counties in which the newspaper is of general circulation. A newspaper tearsheet of the published notice shall be attached to the affidavit. Proof of notice will be accepted as an exhibit at the hearing.

(c) Approval.

  (1) Order. After the conclusion of the hearing, the commission will issue an order either granting the creation of the RUD and approving the plans or denying the petition and disapproving the plans.

  (2) Criteria. The commission may consider the following criteria in deciding whether to approve a petition.

    (A) Structural integrity. The construction plans shall be based on sound established engineering principles and be compatible with the requirements of the county and municipality in whose jurisdiction the RUD is located and with the design criteria of the department. Consideration will be given to any possible effects on existing roads and drainage works.

    (B) Safety. A facility shall be designed so it will not significantly increase flooding and endanger any person's life or property. The commission will not approve a facility that will significantly increase flooding on any person's land without that person's written consent.

    (C) Rights of third parties. The commission may consider the rights of other third parties.

    (D) Coordination. A facility shall be designed so that each phase, if it is designed in phases, shall itself be a complete facility forming a coordinate part of the finished facility. The successful operation of each phase shall coordinate with the successful operation of other phases within the same facility.

    (E) Environmental effects. The commission may consider all environmental effects of the facility in its evaluation, including specifically scenic and landscaping matters.

  (3) Temporary directors. The commission will appoint not more than five temporary directors from the list in the petition. These temporary directors will serve until their successors are elected and qualified for office. A temporary director must be at least 18 years old and a resident citizen of Texas and must either own land subject to taxation in a county in which the proposed RUD is located or be a registered voter within the proposed RUD.

  (4) Debt limitations. The commission may limit a RUD's ability to incur debt to any amount up to 20% of the assessed value of the real property within the RUD. If the county commissioners court of each county in which the RUD is located consents to a greater debt limitation, the commission may limit the RUD's ability to incur debt to any amount up to 25% of the assessed value of the real property within the RUD.

Source Note: The provisions of this §15.133 adopted to be effective February 20, 2002, 27 TexReg 1183

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