When developing a site, you must consider the special districts that could affect your planning. The special districts with utility powers can really have an impact depending on the design or taxing of the utilities. We will be covering four special districts to familiarize yourself with so you can identify potential additional considerations.

01. MUD – Municipal Utility Districts

A Municipal Utility District is a political subdivision of the State of Texas authorized by the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to provide water, sewage, drainage and other utility-related services within the MUD boundaries.

MUDs vary in size, but they generally serve master-planned communities of a few hundred households. Overall, Texas has more than 1,200 special districts, many of which are located outside of city limits where there are no municipal services.

02. PID – Public Improvement Districts

A Public Improvement District is a defined geographical area established to provide specific types of improvements or maintenance which are financed by assessments against the property owners within the area.

PIDs provide a development tool that allocates costs according to the benefits received. A PID can provide a means to fund supplemental services and improvements to meet community needs which could not otherwise be constructed or provided. Chapter 372 of the Texas Local Government Code authorizes the creation of PIDs by cities.

03. TIRZ – Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones

Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones are special zones created by City Council to attract new investment in an area. These zones help finance costs of redevelopment and promote growth in areas that would otherwise not attract sufficient market development in a timely manner. Taxes attributable to new improvements (tax increments) are set-aside in a fund to finance public improvements within the boundaries of the zone.

04. ESD – Emergency Services District

An Emergency Services District is a grassroots government created by voters in an area to fund fire protection, emergency medical services, or both. More than 300 districts are operating in Texas, and more are added at almost every uniform election date.

In conclusion, while there are other special districts, these are the districts that will be encountered most often. In unincorporated areas the only special districts that typically have any influence over development will have utility powers, road powers or provide fire service.

If you have questions about how a special district could affect your plans, please reach out to PRD Land Development at [email protected] We’re here for you.





KEY CONCEPT: Emergency Services Districts

The Special Districts to Consider When Developing A Site