Wichita Falls native and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott continues to work hard as he resolved the State's enforcement action against a Texas developer who unlawfully subdivided and leased several residential lots in violation of state colonias prevention laws today, according to the Texas Attorney General's Office today, Thursday, Aug. 8. Abbott is also the favorite in the upcoming race for Texas governor.
Abbott, with a war chest of about $21 million and an outstanding record as the Lone Star State's Attorney General, is facing Tom Pauken for the Republican nomination for the gubernatorial spot.
In the legal action today, Abbott obtained a final judgment and permanent injunction against defendant Philip C. Watrous who must now stop subdividing, selling or leasing property without approval from local officials and without providing correctly installed water and wastewater services for residents. The judgment obtained by Abbott's office also orders the defendant to bring all the residential lots they sold or leased in the Cameron County subdivision into compliance with Texas platting and colonias-prevention laws and to pay $464,500 in civil penalties.
The defendant must also immediately stop advertising the sale or lease of mobile home spaces in the unlawfully subdivided lots.
If elected, Abbott will become the first Wichita Falls native to reside in the Governor's Mansion in Austin.
The late James V. Allred was a resident of Wichita Falls when he served as governor in the 1930s, but he was a native of Bowie, about 40 miles southeast of here.
According to investigators involved in this case, Watrous unlawfully subdivided two lots complaining less than one acre of land into multiple lots for residential use without seeking plat approval from Cameron County Commissioners Court. The defendant cerated a recreational vehicle park on the lots, which he leased to nobile home owners. Currently, the lots are located not far from the City of Port Isabel, Texas in Cameron County and have ten mobile homes and four efficiency apartments.
The action prevents the defendant from subdividing, selling or leasing property without approval from local officials and without providing correctly installed water and wastewater services for residents.
Under Texas law, unincorporated residential subdivisions near the U.S.-Mexico border are referred to as colonias if they lack adequate water and sewage infrastructure or utilities. Residents must often haul water or exist without electricity. Such conditions risk higher incidence of disease.
Texans may file complaints with the Attorney Generals Office against developers or sellers who fail to provide water and wastewater services, or who subdivide land without first obtaining necessary county approval. Complaints can be filed on the agency's website at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov or by calling ( 800)-252-8011.
No Democrat has yet filed for the position of governor.
Abbott's resume includes successful prosecution of the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints leaders for sexually assaulting children at the YFZ Ranch Compound near El Dorado, Texas after prosecutions in Arizona and Utah had either failed or been abandoned. Abbott also successfully defended Texans' religious liberties in several cases including persuading the U.S. Supreme Court to allow Texas to continue maintaining a monument on the grounds of the Texas Capitol in Austin. The Ten Commandments are inscribed on that monument.
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