CS/CS/SB 718 (Yarborough) revises procedures for municipal annexation and contraction and local government initiatives and referenda. It identifies the “report” that must be prepared prior to annexation or contraction as a “feasibility” study conducted by qualified staff or consultants and provides that such study must analyze the economic, market, technical, financial and management feasibility of a proposed annexation or contraction. The bill removes the requirement for contractions that a municipality provide specific findings when rejecting a petition from voters requesting exclusion from municipal boundaries. It also specifies that a governing body’s rejection of a petition for contraction is a legislative decision. For instances in which more than 70% of the acres proposed for contraction are owned by private entities that are not registered electors, the bill specifies that the owners of a majority of the acreage consent to the contraction. This change applies to contraction petitions filed on or after July 1, 2023. Lastly, the bill prohibits local governments from requiring an initiative and referendum process for amending land development regulations.
Effective date: July 1, 2023. (Cruz)