H.B. No. 3517
relating to the creation of the Harris County Improvement District
No. 7; providing authority to impose a tax and issue bonds.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1. HARRIS COUNTY IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT NO. 7.
Subtitle C, Title 4, Special District Local Laws Code, is amended by
adding Chapter 3844 to read as follows:
CHAPTER 3844. HARRIS COUNTY IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT NO. 7
SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS
Sec. 3844.001. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:
(1) "Board" means the board of directors of the
(2) "District" means the Harris County Improvement
District No. 7.
Sec. 3844.002. HARRIS COUNTY IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT NO. 7. A
special district known as the "Harris County Improvement District
No. 7" is a governmental agency and political subdivision of this
Sec. 3844.003. PURPOSE; DECLARATION OF INTENT. (a) The
creation of the district is essential to accomplish the purposes of
Sections 52 and 52-a, Article III, and Section 59, Article XVI,
Texas Constitution, and other public purposes stated in this
chapter. By creating the district and in authorizing Harris
County, the City of Houston, and other political subdivisions to
contract with the district, the legislature has established a
program to accomplish the public purposes set out in Section 52-a,
Article III, Texas Constitution.
(b) The creation of the district is necessary to promote,
develop, encourage, and maintain employment, commerce,
transportation, housing, tourism, recreation, the arts,
entertainment, economic development, safety, and the public
welfare in the area of the district.
(c) This chapter and the creation of the district may not be
interpreted to relieve Harris County or the City of Houston from
providing the level of services provided as of September 1, 2005, to
the area in the district or to release the county or the city from
the obligations of each entity to provide services to that area.
The district is created to supplement and not to supplant the county
or city services provided in the area in the district.
Sec. 3844.004. FINDINGS OF BENEFIT AND PUBLIC PURPOSE. (a)
The district is created to serve a public use and benefit.
(b) All land and other property included in the district
will benefit from the improvements and services to be provided by
the district under powers conferred by Sections 52 and 52-a,
Article III, and Section 59, Article XVI, Texas Constitution, and
other powers granted under this chapter.
(c) Each improvement project or service authorized by this
chapter is essential to carry out a public purpose.
(d) The creation of the district is in the public interest
and is essential to:
(1) further the public purposes of developing and
diversifying the economy of the state;
(2) eliminate unemployment and underemployment; and
(3) develop or expand transportation and commerce.
(e) The district will:
(1) promote the health, safety, and general welfare of
residents, employers, employees, visitors, and consumers in the
district, and of the public;
(2) provide needed funding for the district to
preserve, maintain, and enhance the economic health and vitality of
the area as a community and business center;
(3) promote the health, safety, welfare, and enjoyment
of the public by providing public art and pedestrian ways and by
landscaping and developing certain areas in the district, which are
necessary for the restoration, preservation, and enhancement of
scenic and aesthetic beauty;
(4) promote and benefit commercial development and
commercial areas in the district; and
(5) promote and develop public transportation and
pedestrian facilities and systems using new and alternative means
that are attractive, safe, and convenient, including securing
expanded and improved transportation and pedestrian facilities and
(A) address the problem of traffic congestion in
the district, the need to control traffic and improve pedestrian
safety, and the limited availability of money; and
(B) benefit the land and other property in the
district and the residents, employers, employees, visitors, and
consumers in the district and the public.
(f) Pedestrian ways along or across a street, whether at
grade or above or below the surface, and street lighting, street
landscaping, and street art objects are parts of and necessary
components of a street and are considered to be a street or road
(g) The district will not act as the agent or
instrumentality of any private interest even though the district
will benefit many private interests as well as the public.
Sec. 3844.005. DISTRICT TERRITORY. (a) The district is
composed of the territory described by Section 2 of the Act enacting
this chapter, as that territory may have been modified under:
(1) Section 3844.105;
(2) Subchapter J, Chapter 49, Water Code; or
(3) other law.
(b) The boundaries and field notes of the district contained
in Section 2 of this Act form a closure. A mistake in the field
notes or in copying the field notes in the legislative process does
not in any way affect:
(1) the district's organization, existence, and
(2) the district's right to issue any type of bond,
including a refunding bond, for a purpose for which the district is
created or to pay the principal of and interest on the bond;
(3) the district's right to impose and collect an
assessment or tax; or
(4) the legality or operation of the district or the
(c) A description of the district's boundaries shall be
filed with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The
commission by order may correct a mistake in the description of the
Sec. 3844.006. TORT LIABILITY. The district is a
governmental unit under Chapter 101, Civil Practice and Remedies
Code, and the operations of the district are essential government
functions and are not proprietary functions for any purpose,
including the application of Chapter 101, Civil Practice and
Sec. 3844.007. ELIGIBILITY FOR REINVESTMENT ZONES. All or
any part of the area of the district is eligible to be included in a
tax increment reinvestment zone created by the City of Houston
under Chapter 311, Tax Code.
Sec. 3844.008. LIBERAL CONSTRUCTION OF CHAPTER. This
chapter shall be liberally construed in conformity with the
findings and purposes stated in this chapter.
[Sections 3844.009-3844.050 reserved for expansion]
SUBCHAPTER B. BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Sec. 3844.051. BOARD OF DIRECTORS; TERMS. (a) The
district is governed by a board of 11 directors who serve staggered
terms of four years with five or six directors' terms expiring June
1 of each odd-numbered year.
(b) The board by resolution may increase or decrease the
number of directors on the board, but only if a majority of the
board finds that it is in the best interest of the district to do so.
The board may not:
(1) increase the number of directors to more than 15;
(2) decrease the number of directors to fewer than
(c) Sections 49.053, 49.054, 49.056, 49.057, 49.058, and
49.060, Water Code, apply to the board.
(d) Subchapter D, Chapter 375, Local Government Code,
applies to the board to the extent that subchapter does not conflict
with this chapter.
Sec. 3844.052. APPOINTMENT OF DIRECTORS ON INCREASE IN
BOARD SIZE. If the board increases the number of directors under
Section 3844.051, the board shall appoint qualified persons to fill
the new director positions and shall provide for staggering the
terms of the directors serving in the new positions. On expiration
of the term of a director appointed under this section, a succeeding
director shall be appointed and qualified as provided by Subchapter
D, Chapter 375, Local Government Code.
Sec. 3844.053. INITIAL DIRECTORS. (a) The initial board
consists of: Pos. No. Name of Director
1 Keith Wade
2 Karen Domino
3 William Taylor
4 Sadie Rucker
5 Jackie Martin
6 Elmo Johnson
7 June Deadrick
8 Todd Triggs
9 Peter Grimm
10 Milton Wilson
11 Ernie Etuk
(b) Of the initial directors, the terms of directors
appointed for positions 1 through 6 expire June 1, 2009, and the
terms of directors appointed for positions 7 through 11 expire June
(c) Section 3844.051 does not apply to this section.
(d) This section expires September 1, 2009.
[Sections 3844.054-3844.100 reserved for expansion]
SUBCHAPTER C. POWERS AND DUTIES
Sec. 3844.101. DISTRICT POWERS. The district has:
(1) all powers necessary to accomplish the purposes
for which the district was created;
(2) the rights, powers, privileges, authority, and
functions of a district created under Chapter 375, Local Government
(3) the powers, duties, and contracting authority
specified by Subchapters H and I, Chapter 49, Water Code;
(4) the powers given to a corporation under Section
4B, Development Corporation Act of 1979 (Article 5190.6, Vernon's
Texas Civil Statutes), including the power to own, operate,
acquire, construct, lease, improve, and maintain the projects
described by that section; and
(5) the powers of a housing finance corporation
created under Chapter 394, Local Government Code.
Sec. 3844.102. NONPROFIT CORPORATION. (a) The board by
resolution may authorize the creation of a nonprofit corporation to
assist and act for the district in implementing a project or
providing a service authorized by this chapter.
(b) The nonprofit corporation:
(1) has each power of and is considered for purposes of
this chapter to be a local government corporation created under
Chapter 431, Transportation Code; and
(2) may implement any project and provide any service
authorized by this chapter.
(c) The board shall appoint the board of directors of the
nonprofit corporation. The board of directors of the nonprofit
corporation shall serve in the same manner as, for the same term as,
and on the same conditions as the board of directors of a local
government corporation created under Chapter 431, Transportation
Sec. 3844.103. ELECTIONS. (a) District elections must be
held in the manner provided by Subchapter L, Chapter 375, Local
(b) The board may submit multiple purposes in a single
proposition at an election.
Sec. 3844.104. CONTRACT FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT AND SECURITY
SERVICES. The district may contract with:
(1) Harris County or the City of Houston for the county
or city to provide law enforcement and security services for a fee;
(2) a private entity for the private entity to provide
supplemental security services.
Sec. 3844.105. ANNEXATION OR EXCLUSION OF TERRITORY. The
district may annex or exclude land from the district in the manner
provided by Subchapter C, Chapter 375, Local Government Code.
Sec. 3844.106. NO EMINENT DOMAIN POWER. The district may
not exercise the power of eminent domain.
[Sections 3844.107-3844.150 reserved for expansion]
SUBCHAPTER D. PUBLIC TRANSIT SYSTEM AND PARKING FACILITIES
Sec. 3844.151. PUBLIC TRANSIT SYSTEM; PETITION REQUIRED.
(a) The district may acquire, lease as lessor or lessee, construct,
develop, own, operate, and maintain a public transit system to
serve the area within the boundaries of the district.
(b) Before the district may act under Subsection (a), a
petition must be filed with the district requesting the action with
regard to a public transit system. The petition must be signed by
owners of property representing a majority of either the total
assessed value or the area of the real property in the district that
abuts the right-of-way in which the public transit system is
proposed to be located. The determination of a majority is based on
the property owners along the entire right-of-way of the proposed
transit project and may not be calculated on a block-by-block
Sec. 3844.152. PARKING FACILITIES AUTHORIZED; OPERATION BY
PRIVATE ENTITY; TAX EXEMPTION. (a) The district may acquire, lease
as lessor or lessee, construct, develop, own, operate, and maintain
parking facilities, including:
(1) lots, garages, parking terminals, or other
structures or accommodations for the parking of motor vehicles; and
(2) equipment, entrances, exits, fencing, and other
accessories necessary for safety and convenience in the parking of
(b) A parking facility of the district must be either leased
to or operated on behalf of the district by a private entity or an
entity other than the district. The district's parking facilities
are a program authorized by the legislature under Section 52-a,
Article III, Texas Constitution, and accomplish a public purpose
under that section even if leased or operated by a private entity
for a term of years.
(c) The district's public parking facilities and any lease
to a private entity are exempt from the payment of ad valorem taxes
and state and local sales and use taxes.
Sec. 3844.153. RULES. The district may adopt rules
covering its public transit system or its public parking facilities
except that a rule relating to or affecting the use of the public
right-of-way or a requirement for off-street parking is subject to
all applicable municipal charter, code, or ordinance requirements.
Sec. 3844.154. FINANCING OF PUBLIC TRANSIT SYSTEM OR
PARKING FACILITIES. (a) The district may use any of its resources,
including revenue, assessments, taxes, and grant or contract
proceeds, to pay the cost of acquiring and operating a public
transit system or public parking facilities.
(b) The district may set and impose fees, charges, or tolls
for the use of the public transit system or the public parking
facilities and may issue bonds or notes to finance the cost of these
(c) Except as provided by Section 3844.151, if the district
pays for or finances the cost of acquiring or operating a public
transit system or public parking facilities with resources other
than assessments, a petition of property owners or a public hearing
is not required.
Sec. 3844.155. PAYMENT IN LIEU OF TAXES TO OTHER TAXING
UNIT. If the district's acquisition of property for a parking
facility that is leased to or operated by a private entity results
in the removal from a taxing unit's tax rolls of real property
otherwise subject to ad valorem taxation, the district shall pay to
the taxing unit in which the property is located, on or before
January 1 of each year, as a payment in lieu of taxes, an amount
equal to the ad valorem taxes that otherwise would have been imposed
for the preceding tax year on that real property by the taxing unit,
without including the value of any improvements constructed on the
[Sections 3844.156-3844.200 reserved for expansion]
SUBCHAPTER E. FINANCIAL PROVISIONS
Sec. 3844.201. AUTHORITY TO IMPOSE ASSESSMENTS, AD VALOREM
TAXES, AND IMPACT FEES. The district may impose, assess, charge, or
collect an assessment, an ad valorem tax, an impact fee, or another
fee in accordance with Chapter 49, Water Code, for a purpose
specified by Chapter 375, Local Government Code, or as needed to
exercise a power or function or to accomplish a purpose or duty for
which the district was created.
Sec. 3844.202. MAINTENANCE TAX. (a) If authorized at an
election held in accordance with Section 3844.103, the district may
impose an annual ad valorem tax on taxable property in the district
to maintain, restore, replace, or operate the district and
improvements that the district constructs or acquires or the
district's facilities, works, or services.
(b) The board shall determine the tax rate.
Sec. 3844.203. ASSESSMENT IN PART OF DISTRICT. An
assessment may be imposed on only a part of the district if only
that part will benefit from the service or improvement.
Sec. 3844.204. PETITION REQUIRED FOR ASSESSMENT AND FOR
FINANCING SERVICES AND IMPROVEMENTS. (a) The board may not impose
an assessment or finance a service or improvement project under
this chapter unless a written petition requesting the improvement
or service has been filed with the board.
(b) The petition must be signed by:
(1) the owners of a majority of the assessed value of
real property in the district or in the area of the district that
will be subject to the assessment as determined by the most recent
certified tax appraisal roll for Harris County; or
(2) at least 25 persons who own real property in the
district or the area of the district that will be subject to the
assessment, if more than 25 persons own real property in the
district or area that will be subject to the assessment as
determined by the most recent certified tax appraisal roll for
Sec. 3844.205. ASSESSMENTS CONSIDERED TAXES. For purposes
of a title insurance policy issued under Chapter 9, Insurance Code,
an assessment is a tax.
Sec. 3844.206. LIENS FOR ASSESSMENTS; SUITS TO RECOVER
ASSESSMENTS. (a) An assessment imposed on property under this
chapter is a personal obligation of the person who owns the property
on January 1 of the year for which the assessment is imposed. If the
person transfers title to the property, the person is not relieved
of the obligation.
(b) On January 1 of the year for which an assessment is
imposed on a property, a lien attaches to the property to secure the
payment of the assessment and any interest accrued on the
assessment. The lien has the same priority as a lien for district
(c) Not later than the fourth anniversary of the date on
which a delinquent assessment became due, the district may file
suit to foreclose the lien or to enforce the obligation for the
assessment, or both, and for any interest accrued.
(d) In addition to recovering the amount of the assessment
and any accrued interest, the district may recover reasonable
costs, including attorney's fees, that the district incurs in
foreclosing the lien or enforcing the obligation. The costs may not
exceed an amount equal to 20 percent of the assessment and interest.
(e) If the district does not file a suit in connection with a
delinquent assessment on or before the last date on which the
district may file suit under Subsection (c), the assessment and any
interest accrued is considered paid.
Sec. 3844.207. PROPERTY OF CERTAIN UTILITIES EXEMPT FROM
ASSESSMENT AND IMPACT FEES. The district may not impose an impact
fee or assessment on the property, including equipment or
(1) an electric utility as defined by Section 31.002,
(2) a gas utility as defined by Section 101.003 or
121.001, Utilities Code;
(3) a telecommunications provider as defined by
Section 51.002, Utilities Code; or
(4) a cable operator as defined by 47 U.S.C. Section
522, as amended.
Sec. 3844.208. USE OF ELECTRICAL OR OPTICAL LINES. (a) The
district may impose an assessment to pay the cost of:
(1) burying or removing electrical power lines,
telephone lines, cable or fiber optic lines, or any other type of
electrical or optical line;
(2) removing poles and any elevated lines using the
(3) reconnecting the lines described by Subdivision
(2) to the buildings or other improvements to which the lines were
(b) The district may acquire, operate, or charge fees for
the use of the district conduits for:
(1) another person's:
(A) telecommunications network;
(B) fiber-optic cable; or
(C) electronic transmission line; or
(2) any other type of transmission line or supporting
(c) The district may not require a person to use a district
Sec. 3844.209. DEBT. The district may issue bonds, notes,
or other debt obligations in accordance with Subchapters I and J,
Chapter 375, Local Government Code, for a purpose specified by that
chapter or as required to exercise a power or function or to
accomplish a purpose or duty for which the district was created.
[Sections 3844.210-3844.250 reserved for expansion]
SUBCHAPTER F. DISSOLUTION
Sec. 3844.251. DISSOLUTION OF DISTRICT WITH OUTSTANDING
DEBT. (a) The district may be dissolved as provided by Subchapter
M, Chapter 375, Local Government Code, except that Section 375.264,
Local Government Code, does not apply to the district.
(b) If the district has debt when it is dissolved, the
district shall remain in existence solely for the purpose of
discharging its bonds or other obligations according to their
SECTION 2. BOUNDARIES. As of the effective date of this
Act, the Harris County Improvement District No. 7 includes all
territory contained in the following described area:
UNLESS otherwise specified, the boundaries of this district will
travel along the centerline of each street included, and each
intersection will be the intersection of the centerlines of the
BEGINNING at the intersection of Heiner Street with Allen Parkway.
Then in a westerly direction along Allen Parkway to its
intersection with Montrose Boulevard.
Then in a southerly direction along Montrose Boulevard to its
intersection with West Dallas Street.
Then in an easterly direction along West Dallas Street to its
intersection with Taft Street.
Then in a southerly direction along Taft Street to its intersection
with Welch Avenue.
Then in an easterly direction along Welch Avenue to its
intersection with Genesee Street and Dennis Avenue.
Then in a northerly direction along Genesee Street to its
intersection with Sutton.
Then in an easterly direction along Sutton to its intersection with
Then in a northerly direction along Bailey Street to its
intersection with West Webster Avenue.
Then in an easterly direction along West Webster Avenue to its
intersection with Webster Avenue.
Then in a northwesterly direction along Webster Avenue to its
intersection with West Gray Avenue.
Then in an easterly and southeasterly direction along West Gray
Avenue to its intersection with Baldwin Street.
Then in a northeasterly direction along Baldwin Street to its
intersection with St. Joseph.
Then in a northwesterly direction along St. Joseph to the southerly
dead end of Arthur Street.
Then in a northerly direction along Arthur Street to its
intersection with Cleveland Street.
Then in an easterly direction along Cleveland Street to its
intersection with Heiner Street.
Then in a northerly direction along Heiner Street to the POINT OF
SECTION 3. LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS. The legislature finds
(1) proper and legal notice of the intention to
introduce this Act, setting forth the general substance of this
Act, has been published as provided by law, and the notice and a
copy of this Act have been furnished to all persons, agencies,
officials, or entities to which they are required to be furnished by
the constitution and laws of this state, including the governor,
who has submitted the notice and Act to the Texas Commission on
(2) the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has
filed its recommendations relating to this Act with the governor,
lieutenant governor, and speaker of the house of representatives
within the required time;
(3) the general law relating to consent by political
subdivisions to the creation of districts with conservation,
reclamation, and road powers and the inclusion of land in those
districts has been complied with; and
(4) all requirements of the constitution and laws of
this state and the rules and procedures of the legislature with
respect to the notice, introduction, and passage of this Act have
been fulfilled and accomplished.
SECTION 4. EFFECTIVE DATE. This Act takes effect
immediately if it receives a vote of two-thirds of all the members
elected to each house, as provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas
Constitution. If this Act does not receive the vote necessary for
immediate effect, this Act takes effect September 1, 2005.
President of the Senate Speaker of the House
I certify that H.B. No. 3517 was passed by the House on May
13, 2005, by the following vote: Yeas 142, Nays 0, 2 present, not
Chief Clerk of the House
I certify that H.B. No. 3517 was passed by the Senate on May
21, 2005, by the following vote: Yeas 30, Nays 0.
Secretary of the Senate