THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF TEXAS
Ken Paxton

Within ETJ Checklist for Utility Connection Eligibility: Water and Sewer Utilities

The options below outline the conditions that must be satisfied before a lot in a residential subdivision within a city's extraterritorial jurisdiction may be eligible for water or sewer utility service under requirements enforced by the city and the county. The city requirements are found in Chapter 212 of the Local Govt. Code ("LGC"), especially LGC 212.0115 and 212.012. The county requirements are part of Subchapter B, Chapter 232, Local Govt. Code. To be eligible for utility service, a lot must simultaneously satisfy one of the city options and one of the county options.

City Eligibility Options

Option 1: Condition under LGC 212.012(a) and 212.0115:

  • A plat of the subdivision has been reviewed and approved by the city's plat-approving authority, or
  • A plat is not required by the city for the land.

NOTE: The condition satisfied above must be stated on a certificate issued by the city's plat-approving authority, or by a person or persons delegated by the city's governing body.

Option 2: Alternative Certificate from County under LGC 232.028:

  • For land in a city's ETJ, a certificate has been issued for the lot by the county under LGC 232.028. [See LGC 232.028(g).]

NOTE: Under such county certificates, a lot is eligible for water or sewer utility service if a plat has been reviewed and approved by the Commissioners Court.

Option 3: Conditions under LGC 212.012(d)(1) and (e):

  • The lot is located outside the city limits.
  • The lot was sold or conveyed by the subdivider (by any means of conveyance, including a contract for deed or executory contract) before Sept. 1, 1995 or Sept. 1, 2005.
  • The lot is located in a subdivision in which the utility has previously provided service.
  • Has adequate sewer services installed.
  • The lot is the site of construction of a residence, evidenced by at least the existence of a completed foundation, that was begun on or before May 1, 2003 or Sept. 1, 2005.
  • The person requesting service is not the subdivider or the subdivider's agent.

NOTES: The person requesting utility service must provide documentation and/or an affidavit regarding the above conditions. The city's plat-approving authority has the discretion to approve or deny a request under this option. If it approves the request under this option, the authority will issue a certificate stating the first four conditions.

Option 4: Conditions under LGC 212.012(d)(3) and (e)(f):

  • The land was not subdivided after September 1, 1995 or Sept 1, 2005.
  • Water service is available within 750 feet of the subdivided land, or
  • water service is available more than 750 feet from the land, and the extension of water service to the land may be feasible, subject to a final determination by the water service provider.
  • The person requesting service is not the subdivider or a subdivider's agent.

NOTES: The person requesting service must provide an affidavit stating the last condition.The city's plat-approving authority has the discretion to approve or deny a request under this option. If it approves the request, the city's plat-approving authority will issue a certificate stating the first two conditions.

Option 5: Exemption under LGC § 212.012(c)(1):

  • The land is covered by a development plat approved by the city under Subchapter B of Chapter 212 or under an ordinance or rule relating to the development plat.

Option 6: Exemption under § LGC 212.012(c)(2):

  • The utility service would be provided by a municipality, municipal officials, a municipally-owned or -operated utility, or a public utility.
  • The land was first served or connected with service by the utility before Sept. 1, 1987.

Option 7: Exemption under LGC § 212.012(c)(3):

  • The utility service would be provided by a water supply or a sewer service corporation (operating under Chapter 67, Water Code), a county, or a special district or authority created by or under state law.
  • The land was first served or connected with service by the utility before Sept. 1, 1989.

NOTE on Options 5, 6, and 7: If the conditions under any one of the three exemptions above are met, no city certificate is required before the utility may serve the lot. The person requesting service should provide the utility with evidence that the conditions for the exemption have been met.

County Eligibility Options

Option 1: Condition under LGC 232.029(a-1):

  • A plat of the subdivision has been reviewed and approved by the Commissioners Court.

NOTE: The above condition must be stated on a certificate issued by the Commissioners Court, either with the plat [see LGC 232.028(a)] or as a separate document [see LGC 232.028(b)-(g)]. If a lot in a city's ETJ qualifies under this kind of county certificate, under LGC 232.028(g) the owner is not required to obtain a city certificate issued under LGC 212.0115 (see Options 1 and 2 under City Eligibility Options, above).

Option 2: Conditions under LGC 232.029(c)(1) and 232.0291(d)(1):

  • The lot was sold or conveyed by a subdivider (by any means of conveyance, including a contract for deed or executory contract):
    • before September 1, 1995 or September 1, 2005, or
    • before September 1, 1999, if the lot on August 31, 1999, was located in the extraterritorial jurisdiction of a municipality as determined by LGC 42.021.
  • The lot is located in a subdivision in which the utility has previously provided service.
  • The lot is the site of construction of a residence, evidenced by at least the existence of a completed foundation, that was begun:
    • on or before May 1, 2003 or September 1, 2005. Or
    • on or before May 1, 2003, if the lot on August 31, 1999, was located in the extraterritorial jurisdiction of a municipality as determined by LGC 42.021.
  • The person requesting service is not the subdivider or the subdivider's agent.

NOTE: The person requesting utility service must provide documentation and/or an affidavit regarding the above conditions. The Commissioners Court has the discretion to approve or deny a request under this option. If the Commissioners Court approves the request under this option, it will issue a certificate stating the first three conditions.

Option 3: Conditions under LGC 232.029(c)(3)(e) and 232.0291(d)(2)(g):

  • The land was not subdivided after September 1, 1995 or September 1, 2005.
  • r service is available within 750 feet of the subdivided land, or
  • Water service is available more than 750 feet from the land, and the extension of water service to the land may be feasible, subject to a final determination by the water service provider.
  • The land was not sold or conveyed to the person requesting service by a subdivider or a subdivider's agent:
    • after September 1, 1995 or September 1, 2005. Or
    • after September 1, 1999, if the subdivided land on August 31, 1999, was located in the extraterritorial jurisdiction of a municipality as determined by LGC 42.021.

NOTE: The person requesting service must provide an affidavit stating the last condition.The Commissioners Court has the discretion to approve or deny a request under this option. If it approves the request, the Commissioners Court will issue a certificate stating the first two conditions.

Option 4: Exemption for existing utilities under LGC 232.040(e):

  • The utility service already exists and the lot is in a subdivision that must be platted or replatted under LGC 232.040.

Option 5: Court order for existing utilities under LGC 232.037(c):

  • An enforcement action affecting the subdivision is pending, and the court has made an affirmative finding after motion and hearing that termination of pre-existing utilities would pose a threat to public health, safety, or welfare of the residents.