HOT TOPICS IN TEXAS LAND USE LAW
Both the curse and beauty of practicing local government law in Texas is that local governments often find themselves on the cutting edge of innovation, whether for good or for bad. This is particularly true in addressing land use matters. Ten or fifteen years ago, most cities did not anticipate that single-family homeowners would offer for rent to strangers a room or a portion of their homes for weekends, or that those same homeowners would ever consider renting their backyard pools or their gourmet kitchens and dining rooms to strangers on an hourly basis. Additionally, while neighboring cities often fought court battles over the extent of their respective extraterritorial jurisdictions with an eye toward future annexations, with the recent activity of the Texas Legislature gutting virtually all nonconsensual annexations, should a city now consider relinquishing its ETJ? What value does ETJ have nowadays, particularly with greater resident demand for the full array of municipal services immediately in newly annexed areas? The purpose of this paper is to identify several current hot-button land use topics and analyze how cities across Texas have endeavored to address these issues.