Thursday, April 13, 2006

Colonia Enforcement

San Antonio Express-News reporter Jesse Bogan takes a look at colonias in Cameron County. It turns out purchasers can't live on their land because colonia developers don't have the necessary infrastructure -- like water and sewage systems -- on the land they sell. One family bought a parcel of land and couldn't move in for a year because the land didn't have a septic tank.

Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid is helping this family with a lawsuit against the developer, but where are the state and county prosecutors?

The story says neither the Texas Attorney General's office nor the Cameron County District Attorney's office has done anything to enforce compliance with the regulations.
The subdivision is among the largest of 17 in Cameron County in which the seller failed to install water or wastewater utilities, leaving that expense to the buyer. No action has been taken against the sellers despite legal tools at the disposal of both the county and the state — and full awareness by both of what was happening.
"If it would have been enforced, we would have done it," the developer tells the Express-News. In other words, he will continue to get away with noncompliance.


Blogger Shaine Mata said...

I grew up in a colonia where we had no sewage. There was water and electricity. Many of the families like mine barely had a place to live, so we used an outhouse up until I was in high school. At that point, my parents got a septic tank and installed plumbing. We did not have a water heater until I saved money and bought it. It wasn't until years later that I was married with two kids that sewage lines were installed in the neighborhood by the city. We had family up the street in another colonia who didn't have water. They used well water, which was brackish. They bought drinking water at the store.

On the one hand, it's bad that these things are not available to the land owners. On the other hand, if the developer had spent money on installing these things, the families may not have been able to afford the properties. My parents bought the land where I grew up because it was within their ability to pay for it. I'm sure the buyers knew in advance that these things were not available but proceeded to buy because the price was low. We knew the problems when my parents bought.

8:08 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home