Office of the Attorney General News Release Archive

Tuesday, September 26, 2000


Violations of Colonias Law Documented

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn filed a lawsuit today in Travis County district court against two Hidalgo County developers for violating the state's laws preventing the proliferation of colonias, or deficient residential developments in unincorporated border areas.

The petition names Nowell Borders and Jack Burkholder, d/b/a B&B Land Co., as developers of a residential subdivision known as Citralinda in a rural area of this Lower Rio Grande Valley county. The petition charges that the developers failed to install sewage facilities that meet minimum state standards on 25 lots in this "economically distressed area," and failed to provide water meters allowing residents to tie to an existing utility in the area. The two neglected to post bonds as an alternative means of compliance to ensure proper development of the subdivision.

"We have state laws in place to prevent the spread of colonias and to get these areas in compliance with environmental laws with the help of local governments," said Attorney General Cornyn. "My office has taken the lead in identifying new colonias and looking to reverse the negative trends of the past. We've worked hard with local governments to accomplish this and will not tolerate the continued spread of these substandard developments."

The petition asks for an injunction to bring the subdivision into compliance with the law. Other requests included in the petition are the assessment of civil penalties and recovery of attorneys' fees.

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Contact Mark Heckmann, Heather Browne, Tom Kelley or Tom Kelley at (512) 463-2050
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