While cities were consumed with property tax and other preemption bills HB 3167 was passed in the 86th legislative session, requiring all cities and counties to respond to plat, site development plans, and subdivision plat applications within 30 days. If a city or county fails to approve, conditionally approve or disapprove a site development plan or subdivision plat application within the 30 days, the plan or application is automatically approved. To comply with the new regulation, cities and counties are updating their process such as using a form of completeness check prior to accepting applications, updating local ordinances, increasing development fees, and adding new staffing.
This bill will positively impact affordable multifamily housing developers, particularly for developers who use a financial incentive program like the Housing Tax Credit Program. To comply with federal and state requirements, HTC developments must be placed in service within two years after submitting their application for the program and receiving an award. Waiting months to almost a full year for plat or site development plan to be approved by the city or county puts developers in a very strict time crunch to construct and lease-up their properties or requires developers to ask for an extension from the program administrators. The passage of this bill puts the onus on the city or the county to meet state regulations to ensure developers can meet their program obligations.