Good evening Mr Chairman. I am reaching out to you regarding my opposition to HB 4108.  

To qualify my comments, I have attached two documents. 

The first is my testimony on September 15, 1988, to the House Committee on Infrastructure and Housing regarding the absence of adequate controls for subdivision regulations in Texas.  

Michael J. Blum

The second attachment is a copy of the draft legislation that I wrote referred to as the County Planning and Management Act of 1989. This draft later became the Model Rules for Texas.  

So my position is not new or without considerable knowledge about the subject matter.

I have reviewed HB 4108. I’m very disappointed that anyone would want to contribute to the continued proliferation of inadequate subdivision development in the rural areas of Texas counties. This legislation, if approved, will irreparably damage the buyers of these unimproved properties while enriching the people who sell the land to the unknowing purchaser. The buyer will not know what should or could have been provided, and the county governments are going to be shielded from having to require appropriate infrastructure requirements on the developers of these parcels. 

I am a commercial real estate broker. I have been in the business since 1993, served as  City Planner for both Edinburg and McAllen between 1972 and 1979 and was a member of McAllen PUB for 16 years. So  I come to my conclusion rooted in history and experience in land use regulation and the effects of failures. 

It is incomprehensible to me how anyone in the Texas Legislature or the Texas Association of Realtors would want to make it easier for the Colonia developers in Texas to escape their obligations to the very people they serve. To think this legislation is somehow in public interest is mistaken.  

Editor’s Note: The above commentary was penned by Michael J. Blum, founding partner and managing broker of NAI Rio Grande Valley. Blum, pictured above, is a former city planner, assistant city manager, elected official and strategic planner. He has been active in promoting development of the South Texas Border Region for approximately 50 years. The commentary was first delivered to a group of realtors. The “chairman” Blum referred to in his commentary was Marcus Phipps, chairman of Texas Realtors. Blum can be reached by email via: [email protected].

Editor’s Note: Credit for the main image accompanying the above news story goes to Valley Business Report.

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