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View Diary: Toxic Texas politics on display in fertilizer plant explosion (126 comments)

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  •  That is exactly the kind of risk… (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Supavash

    Uh, no.
    Violating zoning laws is not the same.
    The jerk, is guy in charge of the plant.

    •  Violating what zoning laws? (0+ / 0-)

      Violating common sense may have occured here, but so far there's no indication any zoning laws pertain at all.

      "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

      by Catte Nappe on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 03:24:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Uh, no. You have to have a zoning law before (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cynndara, Brian1066

      you can break it. West is incorporated in McLellan County. My bet is if there's any zoning at all (keep in mind that the county cannot zone property use under the Dillon Rule, on which the Texas Lege bases its control of who can do what with the land they own or the water thereunto appurtenant -- or other mineral rights, which are more often than not sold separately), it's of the "gotta maintain x number of feet between Smith's water well and Doe's septic tank".

      LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Ike, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

      by BlackSheep1 on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 03:25:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  here's a reference for the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NT Toons

        Texas zoning laws that may or may not be relevant, which I basically stole off Wikipedia just now:
        See also: List of counties in Texas

        Texas has a total of 254 counties, by far the largest number of counties of any state.

        Each county is run by a five-member Commissioners' Court consisting of four commissioners elected from single-member districts (called commissioner precincts) and a county judge elected at-large. The county judge does not have authority to veto a decision of the commissioners court; the judge votes along with the commissioners (being the tie-breaker in close calls). In smaller counties, the county judge actually does perform judicial duties, but in larger counties the judge's role is limited to serving on the commissioners court and certifying elections. Certain officials, such as the sheriff and tax collector, are elected separately by the voters, but the commissioners court determines their office budgets, and sets overall county policy. All county elections are partisan, and commissioner precincts are redistricted after each ten year Census both to equalize the voting power in each and in consideration of the political party preferences of the voters in each.

        Counties also have much less legal power than home rule municipalities. They cannot pass ordinances (local laws with penalties for violations) like cities can. Counties in Texas do not have zoning power (except for limited instances around some reservoirs, military establishments, historic sites and airports, and in large counties over "communication facility structures": visible antennas). However, counties can collect a small portion of property tax and spend it to provide residents with needed services or to employ the power of eminent domain. Counties also have the power to regulate outdoor lighting near observatories and military bases. Counties do not have "home rule" authority; whatever powers they enjoy are specifically granted by the State (as an example, most counties have no authority to sanction property owners whose lands fill with weeds and trash).

        Unlike other states, Texas does not allow for consolidated city-county governments. Cities and counties (as well as other political entities) are permitted to enter "interlocal agreements" to share services (for instance, a city and a school district may enter into agreements with the county whereby the county bills for and collects property taxes for the city and school district; thus, only one tax bill is sent instead of three). Texas does allow municipalities to merge, but populous Harris County, Texas consolidating with its primary city, Houston, Texas, to form the nation's second largest city (after New York City) is not a prospect under current law.

        LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Ike, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

        by BlackSheep1 on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 03:28:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The plant was probably not in West proper (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BlackSheep1

        If you go on Google Maps and type in West, TX, you'll see the city and its boundaries.  Which run right through the southern end of the West Fertilizer site, drawn specifically so as to exclude the bulk of the site, including the big anhydrous tanks.  So it was mostly under county jurisdiction.  The residences nearby were in the city, as was the middle school but not the high school.

        •  This too would be expected (0+ / 0-)

          in most rural areas, I believe.

          LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Ike, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

          by BlackSheep1 on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 07:24:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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