As a multi-disciplinary engineering firm located in the DFW Metroplex, the Baird, Hampton, & Brown team strives to stay informed of new and changing legislation that could affect our clients, firm, and communities.
May 27, 2019 marked the end of Texas’ 86th Legislative Session. Of the bills that were passed, House Bill 2439 (H.B. No. 2439) will alter the current architectural regulations that municipalities have for building construction. Going into effect on September 1, 2019, HB2439 is summarized as a bill “relating to certain regulations adopted by governmental entities for the building products, materials, or methods used in the construction or renovation of residential or commercial buildings.”
Most municipalities in Texas have some sort of approval process in place that oftentimes has specific requirements for building construction. Types of building facades, height restrictions, and materials used are common parameters and stipulations that can vary from city to city, generally dependent on a community’s culture, look, and feel.
With the passing of HB2439, municipalities will be limited on their ability to put certain architectural restrictions into place. A governmental entity may no longer enforce a rule or ordinance that prohibits or limits building products or methods.
If a building material or product has been “approved for use by a national model code” it may be used for building purposes. Also stated in the bill is that a municipality may not establish a standard for a building product or material that is more stringent than the standards for that product or material “under a national model code”.
The bill does include a list of exceptions, in which municipalities do have the ability to enforce regulations. Some of these exceptions include:
• A state agency program that requires certain standards or arrangements to comply with state or federal funding requirements
• A building is designated for its historical, cultural, or architectural importance
• A building is in an area designated as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places
• A building is designated as a State Archeological Landmark or State Antiquities Landmark
To read a full list of exceptions, as well as more information on HB2439, click here to read the full bill that was signed into law. If you have any questions about this bill and how it may affect your projects, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be happy to help explain.