Platting in the Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ)
The City of Amarillo and the counties in which Amarillo's ETJ is located (Armstrong, Carson, Potter, and Randall) have official agreements that the city will oversee platting in Amarillo's ETJ. The city has the exclusive authority to approve or deny plats and required plans for streets, alleys, and storm water drainage facilities in the ETJ, in accordance with city standards and regulations. Streets, alleys, or storm water drainage facilities in the ETJ must meet city design and construction standards. City approval of infrastructure dedicated to the public does not commit Randall County to accept it for maintenance. Tex. Att’y Gen. Op. No. GA-139 (2004). The agreement for city oversight is intended to provide consistency and predictability for all parties involved. Variances negotiated between the city and developers provide the county neither. Departures from the agreed standards often result in additional maintenance expenses which the county could not have anticipated. Developers should be aware that streets, alleys, and drainage facilities that are not constructed to city standards, even if approved by the city, may not be accepted for maintenance by Randall County.
There are several exceptions where a plat is not required within the ETJ. The exceptions are primarily county requirements set forth in State law that are honored by the City of Amarillo when enforcing platting laws in its ETJ. The exceptions are:
- Division of land owned by the State, State agency, board, commission or owned by the permanent school fund or any other dedicated funds of the State. Unless the owner lays out streets, alleys, squares, parks, or other parts of the tract intended. to be dedicated to public use or for the use of purchasers or owners of lots fronting on or adjacent to the streets, alleys, squares, parks, or other parts.
- Division of land into four or fewer parts and is to be transferred to a relative of the owner related within the third degree by blood or marriage.
- Division of land into two or more parts if:
- The owner is a political subdivision of the State, the land is situated in a floodplain, and the lots are sold to adjoining landowners.
- The owner does not lay out streets, alleys, squares, parks, or other parts of the tract intended to be dedicated to public use or for the use of purchasers or owners of lots fronting on or adjacent to the streets, alleys, squares, parks, or other parts, andmeets at least one of the: following provisions:
- All the lots are greater than 5 acres in size (Note: Amarillo acknowledges the City exception of "greater than 5 acres" because it is less restrictive than the counties' "10 or more acres" exemption)
- All the lots are sold to veterans through the Veterans' Land Board program
- One new part is to be retained by the owner, and the other new part is to be transferred to another person who will further subdivide the tract subject to plat approval requirements
- All parts are transferred to persons who owned an undivided interest in the original tract and a plat is filed before any further development of any part of the tract