This website will be unavailable from Thursday, May 30, 2024 at 6:00 p.m. through Monday, June 3, 2024 at 7:00 a.m. due to data center maintenance.

 
 
  S.B. No. 680
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to certain swimming pools as public nuisances in the
  unincorporated areas of counties.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Subsection (c), Section 343.011, Health and
  Safety Code, is amended to read as follows:
         (c)  A public nuisance is:
               (1)  keeping, storing, or accumulating refuse on
  premises in a neighborhood unless the refuse is entirely contained
  in a closed receptacle;
               (2)  keeping, storing, or accumulating rubbish,
  including newspapers, abandoned vehicles, refrigerators, stoves,
  furniture, tires, and cans, on premises in a neighborhood or within
  300 feet of a public street for 10 days or more, unless the rubbish
  or object is completely enclosed in a building or is not visible
  from a public street;
               (3)  maintaining premises in a manner that creates an
  unsanitary condition likely to attract or harbor mosquitoes,
  rodents, vermin, or disease-carrying pests;
               (4)  allowing weeds to grow on premises in a
  neighborhood if the weeds are located within 300 feet of another
  residence or commercial establishment;
               (5)  maintaining a building in a manner that is
  structurally unsafe or constitutes a hazard to safety, health, or
  public welfare because of inadequate maintenance, unsanitary
  conditions, dilapidation, obsolescence, disaster, damage, or
  abandonment or because it constitutes a fire hazard;
               (6)  maintaining on abandoned and unoccupied property
  in a neighborhood[, or maintaining on any property in a
  neighborhood in a county with a population of more than 1.1
  million,] a swimming pool that is not protected with:
                     (A)  a fence that is at least four feet high and
  that has a latched and locked gate [that cannot be opened by a
  child]; and [or]
                     (B)  a cover over the entire swimming pool that
  cannot be removed by a child;
               (7)  maintaining on any property in a neighborhood in a
  county with a population of more than 1.1 million a swimming pool
  that is not protected with:
                     (A)  a fence that is at least four feet high and
  that has a latched gate that cannot be opened by a child; or
                     (B)  a cover over the entire swimming pool that
  cannot be removed by a child;
               (8)  maintaining a flea market in a manner that
  constitutes a fire hazard;
               (9) [(8)]  discarding refuse or creating a hazardous
  visual obstruction on:
                     (A)  county-owned land; or
                     (B)  land or easements owned or held by a special
  district that has the commissioners court of the county as its
  governing body;
               (10) [(9)]  discarding refuse on the smaller of:
                     (A)  the area that spans 20 feet on each side of a
  utility line; or
                     (B)  the actual span of the utility easement; or
               (11) [(10)]  filling or blocking a drainage easement,
  failing to maintain a drainage easement, maintaining a drainage
  easement in a manner that allows the easement to be clogged with
  debris, sediment, or vegetation, or violating an agreement with the
  county to improve or maintain a drainage easement.
         SECTION 2.  Subsections (c) and (d), Section 343.013, Health
  and Safety Code, are amended to read as follows:
         (c)  A county may bring suit under this section to prohibit
  or control access to the premises to prevent a continued or future
  violation of Section 343.011(c)(1), (6), (9) [(8)], or (10) [(9)].
  The court may grant relief under this subsection only if the county
  demonstrates that:
               (1)  the person responsible for causing the public
  nuisance has not responded sufficiently to previous attempts to
  abate a nuisance on the premises, if the relief sought prohibits or
  controls access of a person other than the owner; or
               (2)  the owner of the premises knew about the nuisance
  and has not responded sufficiently to previous attempts to abate a
  nuisance on the premises, if the relief sought controls access of
  the owner.
         (d)  In granting relief under Subsection (c), the court:
               (1)  may not, in a suit brought under Section
  343.011(c)(10) [343.011(c)(9)], prohibit or control access by the
  owner or operator of a utility line or utility easement to that
  utility line or utility easement; and
               (2)  may not prohibit the owner of the premises from
  accessing the property but may prohibit a continued or future
  violation.
         SECTION 3.  Section 343.021, Health and Safety Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 343.021.  AUTHORITY TO ABATE NUISANCE.  If a county
  adopts abatement procedures that are consistent with the general
  purpose of this chapter and that conform to this chapter, the [A]
  county may abate a nuisance under this chapter:
               (1)  by demolition or removal;
               (2)  [or,] in the case of a nuisance under Section
  343.011(c)(1), (9) [(8)], or (10) [(9)], by prohibiting or
  controlling [prohibition or control of] access to the premises; or
               (3)  in the case of a nuisance under Section
  343.011(c)(6), by:
                     (A)  prohibiting or controlling access to the
  premises and installing a cover that cannot be opened by a child
  over the entire swimming pool; or
                     (B)  draining and filling the swimming pool[, if
  the county adopts abatement procedures that are consistent with the
  general purpose of this chapter and that conform to this chapter].
         SECTION 4.  Section 343.022, Health and Safety Code, is
  amended by amending Subsections (a), (c), and (e) and adding
  Subsection (f) to read as follows:
         (a)  The abatement procedures adopted by the commissioners
  court must be administered by a regularly salaried, full-time
  county employee, but the prohibition or control of access to the
  premises to prevent a violation of Section 343.011(c)(1), (6), (9) 
  [(8)], or (10) [(9)], or the removal or demolition of the nuisance,
  may be made by a person authorized by the person administering the
  abatement program.
         (c)  The notice must state:
               (1)  the specific condition that constitutes a
  nuisance;
               (2)  that the person receiving notice shall abate the
  nuisance before the:
                     (A)  31st day after the date on which the notice is
  served, if the person has not previously received a notice
  regarding a nuisance on the premises; or
                     (B)  10th business day after the date on which the
  notice is served, if the person has previously received a notice
  regarding a nuisance on the premises;
               (3)  that failure to abate the nuisance may result in:
                     (A)  abatement by the county;
                     (B)  assessment of costs to the person responsible
  for causing the nuisance when that person can be identified; and
                     (C)  a lien against the property on which the
  nuisance exists, if the person responsible for causing the nuisance
  has an interest in the property;
               (4)  that the county may prohibit or control access to
  the premises to prevent a continued or future nuisance described by
  Section 343.011(c)(1), (6), (9) [(8)], or (10) [(9)]; and
               (5)  that the person receiving notice is entitled to
  submit a written request for a hearing before the:
                     (A)  31st day after the date on which the notice is
  served, if the person has not previously received a notice
  regarding a nuisance on the premises; or
                     (B)  10th business day after the date on which the
  notice is served, if the person has previously received a notice
  regarding a nuisance on the premises.
         (e)  Except as provided in Subsection (f), the [The]
  abatement procedures must require a hearing before the county
  abates the nuisance if a hearing is requested. The hearing may be
  conducted before the commissioners court or any board, commission,
  or official designated by the commissioners court. The
  commissioners court may designate a board, commission, or official
  to conduct each hearing.
         (f)  A county may, before conducting a hearing, abate a
  nuisance under Section 343.011(c)(6) by prohibiting or controlling
  access to the premises on which the nuisance is located and
  installing a cover that cannot be opened by a child over the entire
  swimming pool, but only if the county conducts a hearing otherwise
  in accordance with Subsection (e) after the nuisance is abated.
         SECTION 5.  Section 343.0235, Health and Safety Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 343.0235.  USE OF COUNTY FUNDS.  A county is entitled to
  use any money available under other law for a cleanup or remediation
  of private property to abate a nuisance described by Section
  343.011(c)(1), (9) [(8)], or (10) [(9)].
         SECTION 6.  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, 2007.
 
 
 
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 680 passed the Senate on
  May 3, 2007, by the following vote: Yeas 31, Nays 0; and that the
  Senate concurred in House amendment on May 15, 2007, by the
  following vote: Yeas 31, Nays 0.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate    
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 680 passed the House, with
  amendment, on May 11, 2007, by the following vote: Yeas 144,
  Nays 0, two present not voting.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
 
 
  Approved:
 
  ______________________________ 
              Date
 
 
  ______________________________ 
            Governor