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News, Updates, & Events

Posted on: June 6, 2017

Texas Legislature assists cities in expanding hike-and-bike trail networks

House Bill 931, the much-anticipated bill to help expand the state’s network of hike-and-bike trails, passed last week as one of the final acts of the 85th Texas Legislature.

 

HB 931 facilitates agreements between cities and electric utility companies for the use of power line corridors for hike-and-bike trails by providing the utility companies increased immunity from liability. Currently, political subdivisions within Harris County are the only entities that can use utility easements for hike and bike trails.  The new legislation expands such opportunities statewide.

 

“The City would like to thank State Representatives Dr. Greg Bonnen, Wayne Faircloth, and Dennis Paul, authors of the legislation, as well as Senator Larry Taylor for his support,” said Chien Wei, Director of Parks and Cultural Services for League City. “This will allow League City to build upon the existing relationships with CenterPoint Energy and Texas-New Mexico Power (TNMP) and use existing corridors to provide our citizens expanded health and leisure opportunities.”

 

The passage of the legislation proves timely for citizens of League City as the City’s Parks and Open Space Master Plan, the policy and guidance document for the development of parks and trails within the City, is currently undergoing amendment.  The City’s consultant on the project, Clark Condon Associates, and City staff have already discussed the additional possibilities provided for by the passage of the bill and how such can be incorporated into the new Master Plan.

 

Prior to the commencement of the legislative session, the League City Council adopted a formal legislative agenda for which two (2) of the priorities were:

 

1.       “(To) Support legislation that supports or advances the principles of home rule authority and local control to allow for locally elected officials to make decisions that are beneficial to the

interests of City residents or that is otherwise beneficial to the City' s interest.”

 

2.       “(To) Support amendment to HB 1943 from the 2011 Legislative Session that provided for the recreational use of land that the public utility owns, occupies or leases…”

 

Upon Governor Greg Abbott’s signature, HB 931 will become effective September 1, 2017.


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