Keep up with essential planning news and commentary, delivered to your inbox every Monday and Thursday.
Texas Preempts Local Rules on Building Materials
Diana Zoga reports from Texas: "Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill Friday that cities urged him to veto, saying it will change the future look of North Texas communities. HB 2439 will limit local regulation of building materials in new construction - preventing rules that go beyond national standards published within the last three code cycles."
Zoga speaks with local developers and politicians who have voiced concern that the state is undermining local control of building codes and design guidelines. "Advocates for the bill say it's meant to keep building costs down and prevent cities from requiring certain vendors," according to Zoga.
W. Garber Selby also reported on the local opposition to HB 2439 in the days leading up to Governor Abbott eventually signing the bill. Selby cited Lee Kleinman, a Dallas City Council member and the council’s legislative liaison, in voicing the opposition position on the bill.
"Kleinman said […] that broadly, Dallas could lose its power to designate planned and conservation districts and related aesthetic standards. He said the issue before the governor boils down to who best governs a city’s look."