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  H.B. No. 1643
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to abatement of public nuisances on certain undeveloped
  land; amending provisions subject to a criminal penalty.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 343.002, Health and Safety Code, is
  amended by adding Subdivision (10-a) and amending Subdivision (11)
  to read as follows:
               (10-a)  "Undeveloped land" means land in a natural,
  primitive state that lacks improvements, infrastructure, or
  utilities and that is located in an unincorporated area at least
  5,000 feet outside the boundaries of a home-rule municipality.
               (11)  "Weeds" means all rank and uncultivated vegetable
  growth or matter that:
                     (A)  has grown to more than 36 inches in height; or
                     (B)  creates [may create] an unsanitary condition
  likely to attract or harbor mosquitoes, [become a harborage for]
  rodents, vermin, or other disease-carrying pests, regardless of the
  height of the weeds.
         SECTION 2.  Section 343.011, Health and Safety Code, is
  amended by amending Subsection (c) and adding Subsection (d-1) 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 other 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 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; and
                     (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)  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)  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;
               (11)  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;
               (12)  discarding refuse on property that is not
  authorized for that activity; or
               (13)  surface discharge from an on-site sewage disposal
  system as defined by Section 366.002.
         (d-1)  This subsection applies only to a county with a
  population of 3.3 million or more and only in an unincorporated area
  in the county that is at least 5,000 feet outside the boundaries of
  a home-rule municipality.  Subsections (c)(3) and (4) apply only to
  undeveloped land in the county for which:
               (1)  a condition on that land has been found to cause a
  public nuisance under those provisions in the preceding year; and
               (2)  a finding of public nuisance could have been
  applied to that condition when the condition first occurred.
         SECTION 3.  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, 2015.
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 1643 was passed by the House on May 4,
  2015, by the following vote:  Yeas 141, Nays 0, 1 present, not
  voting.
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 1643 was passed by the Senate on May
  22, 2015, by the following vote:  Yeas 31, Nays 0.
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate    
  APPROVED:  _____________________
                     Date          
   
            _____________________
                   Governor