FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 02/28/2011
Rep. Walle Advocates for Junkyard Regulation
Junkyard Bill Considered by House Committee on Transportation
AUSTIN -- State Representative Armando Walle (Houston) filed House Bill 191 to improve quality of life in Harris County by increasing the distance that new automotive wrecking and salvage yards must be from churches, schools and residences. Last week, House Bill 191 was considered in a public hearing by the House Committee on Transportation.
Rep. Walle presented House Bill 191 to the House Committee on Transportation and explained that the bill is imperative to improving quality of life in Harris County. "The presence of automotive wrecking and salvage yards lowers local property values, diminishes quality of life and presents environmental dangers to area residents," said Rep. Walle. "We need to ensure that unsightly junkyards and harmful chemicals are kept at bay."
Under current law, a junkyard or salvage yard must be located at least 300 feet from a school, church or residence. Rep. Walle's House Bill 191 would increase the distance requirement for new junkyards from 300 feet to 600 feet.
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is charged with regulating junkyards. However, TxDOT's authority to regulate is limited to unincorporated areas within 1000 feet of primary interstate highways. Last year, Harris County Commissioners Court gave the County Attorney the authority to enforce state anti-nuisance policies that address the location of junkyards and how they operate. As of last summer, there were 144 auto salvage yards in the City of Houston and 282 in unincorporated Harris County.
"This is an important issue for our community, and I will continue to push this bill through the legislative process," said Walle. "Our community deserves this protection against the nuisance of junkyards in our neighborhoods."
Rep. Armando Walle is serving his second term in the Texas House of Representatives and serves on the House Committee on Insurance and the House Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety. He represents House District 140, which includes northern portions of unincorporated Harris County and the City of Houston.