1-1 AN ACT
1-2 relating to the authority of counties to regulate outdoor lighting
1-3 near major astronomical observatories.
1-4 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
1-5 SECTION 1. Section 234.001(1), Local Government Code, is
1-6 amended to read as follows:
1-7 (1) "Major astronomical observatory" means a facility
1-8 that is established to conduct scientific observations of
1-9 astronomical phenomena and is equipped with one or more telescopes
a telescope] that:
1-11 (A) have objective diameters that total 69
1-12 inches or more; and
1-13 (B) are permanently mounted in enclosed
1-14 buildings [ has an aperture at least 75 inches in diameter].
1-15 SECTION 2. Section 234.002, Local Government Code, is amended
1-16 to read as follows:
1-17 Sec. 234.002. COUNTY REGULATORY AUTHORITY; ADOPTION OF
1-18 ORDERS. (a) On the request of the director of McDonald
1-19 Observatory, the commissioners court of a county, any part of which
1-20 is located within 57 miles of a major astronomical observatory at
1-21 the McDonald Observatory, may adopt orders regulating the
1-22 installation and use of outdoor lighting in any unincorporated
1-23 territory of the county.
1-24 (b) On the request of the director of the George Observatory
2-1 or the Stephen F. Austin State University Observatory, the
2-2 commissioners court of a county, any part of which is located
2-3 within five miles of a major astronomical observatory at the George
2-4 Observatory or the Stephen F. Austin State University Observatory,
2-5 may adopt orders regulating the installation and use of outdoor
2-6 lighting in any unincorporated territory of the county.
2-7 (c) The orders must be designed to protect against the use
2-8 of outdoor lighting in a way that interferes with scientific
2-9 astronomical research. [ (b)] In the orders, the commissioners
2-10 court may:
2-11 (1) require that a permit be obtained from the county
2-12 before the installation and use of certain types of outdoor
2-13 lighting in a regulated area;
2-14 (2) establish a fee for the issuance of the permit;
2-15 (3) prohibit the use of a type of outdoor lighting
2-16 that is incompatible with the effective use of the observatory;
2-17 (4) establish requirements for the shielding of
2-18 outdoor lighting; and
2-19 (5) regulate the times during which certain types of
2-20 outdoor lighting may be used.
2-21 (d) [ (c)] The commissioners court may apply more stringent
2-22 standards for areas in which the use of outdoor lighting has a
2-23 greater impact on observatory activities.
2-24 (e) [ (d)] The commissioners court may adopt an order under
2-25 this chapter only after conducting a public hearing on the proposed
2-26 order. The court shall give at least two weeks' public notice of
2-27 the hearing.
3-1 SECTION 3. Section 234.003(b), Local Government Code, is
3-2 amended to read as follows:
3-3 (b) The commissioners court of a county, any part of which
3-4 is located within 57 miles of a major astronomical observatory at
3-5 the McDonald Observatory or within five miles of a major
3-6 astronomical observatory at the George Observatory or the Stephen
3-7 F. Austin State University Observatory, may adopt orders
3-8 establishing standards relating to proposed subdivisions in order
3-9 to minimize the interference with observatory activities caused by
3-10 outdoor lighting. The commissioners court may not approve a plat
3-11 of a proposed subdivision that does not meet the standards.
3-12 SECTION 4. This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
3-13 a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
3-14 provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution. If this
3-15 Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
3-16 Act takes effect September 1, 2001.
President of the Senate Speaker of the House
I certify that H.B. No. 164 was passed by the House on April
10, 2001, by the following vote: Yeas 148, Nays 0, 1 present, not
Chief Clerk of the House
I certify that H.B. No. 164 was passed by the Senate on May
22, 2001, by the following vote: Yeas 30, Nays 0, 1 present, not
Secretary of the Senate