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A bill introduced in the Texas House aims to cut down on development permitting backlogs across the state by offering alternatives if local authorities don’t make a decision on them within a specific time frame.


House Bill 14 would require regulatory authorities to hand down decisions on permit applications and inspections within 14 days of their review deadlines, according to the official document.


Rep. Cody Harris, a Republican from Anderson County, introduced the bill, which he stated could help diminish delays in the development permitting process that was exacerbated during the pandemic.


The bill would change the state’s Local Government Code to allow any person, other than the applicant, who is a licensed engineer or relevantly employed reviewer to conduct inspections and reviews if the involved regulatory authority does not approve, conditionally approve, or disapprove a development document or permit in time. 


The bill was filed and referred to the land and resource management committee for approval. It has the support of House Speaker Dade Phelan, a Republican from Beaumont, who works as a broker and partner at Phelan Investments. He listed the proposal as one of his priority bills for the legislative session, which runs through May 29. Phalen has supported other housing-related bills, Such as HB 2, which would provide property tax relief.


HB 14 focuses “on building a more resilient Texas” by “cutting burdensome red tape around property development projects in the state,” a news release from Phelan said.” The Texas Legislature must continue to support our state’s rapidly-increasing demand for internet, water and housing”. 


Click here to read the full House Bill 14 text.