Inside Look at the Texas Ban on Local Building Material Restrictions

Despite the legislative support behind HB 2439, many Texas city governments and civic groups criticized the measure for its effects on their oversight and established visual guidelines within their boundaries.

As Ben Thompson reports in Community Impact Newspaper:

House Bill 2439, a state law prohibiting local restrictions on building materials, went into effect Sept. 1. The new law loosens Texas cities’ aesthetic control while potentially providing savings for new construction across the state.

The law received support from most state lawmakers and building industry associations, who said a more open market  for building materials could result in lower construction costs for buyers and builders.

“We just wanted to make sure that Texas and its economy continue to stay vibrant and healthy and that you don’t have local municipalities adding additional standards and regulations to make construction more expensive,” said state Rep. Steve Toth, R-The Woodlands.

The law will not directly modify The Woodlands Township’s development covenants and standards, township officials said, but it could affect new regulations in the future if the township residents decide to incorporate. Meanwhile, the cities of Shenandoah and Oak Ridge North expect some changes to the rules governing building standards within their boundaries.

“You just don’t want to have somebody say, ‘Well I can put this product on here just because of the national building code; it’s allowed,’” Shenandoah City Council Member Ron Raymaker said. “Will that affect our property values long term? I don’t have a crystal ball on that.”

Read the full post here.