Office of the Attorney General News Release Archive

Wednesday, July 18, 2001


Judgment Tied to Several Colonia-Like Conditions

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn has obtained a final judgment requiring Hidalgo County developers Nowell Borders and Jack Burkholder to pay a $75,000 civil penalty and $55,000 in attorneys' fees for violations of the state's anti-colonias laws within a residential subdivision.

The defendants, who operate B&B Land Co., developed a 25-lot subdivision called Citralinda and sold all lots without installing sewage facilities or posting the required financial assurance for such facilities. Among many other violations, they also failed to construct proper drainage facilities within the subdivision built by their business enterprise.

The agreed final judgment, signed by visiting Travis County District Judge Rose Spector, orders the payment of the civil penalty and attorneys' fees, and establishes detailed requirements to bring the subdivision into compliance with state law.

Cornyn's office filed a lawsuit last September requesting civil penalties and an injunction to halt the violations within this substandard development.

Borders and Burkholder must hire a registered professional engineer to identify lots that may be vulnerable to flooding and develop ways to protect residents' properties from the dangers of high water.

The defendants also must hire an engineer for the purpose of drafting plans and cost estimates for adequate sewer and water services in areas of Citralinda not currently served. They must specify when these services will be available to residents and file a revised plat with the county clerk's office reflecting the required improvements. They must file unrecorded deeds with the clerk's office.

The improvements and financial assurances are subject to the review and approval of the Hidalgo County Commissioners Court.

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