The state of Texas is suing a developer for selling residential plots without water and sewage service in violation of laws meant to stop the spread of shanty towns
HARLINGEN, Texas The state of Texas is suing a developer for selling residential plots without water and sewage service in violation of laws meant to stop the spread of shanty towns, Attorney General Greg Abbott said Monday.
Eric Solis, developer of Toribio Estates, is accused in the lawsuit of illegally selling four residential lots without obtaining required approval from county officials and of failing to install or guarantee water and waste water services.
Solis could not be reached for comment. A phone number at his last known address was out of service.
Under laws strengthened in 1995 to stop such shanty towns, known as colonias, Solis could be fined $10,000 (euro8,347) to $15,000 (euro12,520) for each of the lots.
Paco Felici, spokesman for the attorney general's office, said this was the third time Abbott's office was using the anti-colonia statutes to go after a developer.
Colonias proliferated during the 1980s when developers sold parcels of unimproved land outside city limits at easy terms -- often to recent Mexican immigrants. There are now an estimated 2,300 colonias dotting the Texas-Mexico border.
Heavy rains would turn the colonias into quagmires because it had no drainage systems and the lack of sanitation caused health concerns.
As of Nov. 30, 2005, the state has spent about $505 million (euro421.5 million) bringing such services to the colonias. It is the largest of several public and nonprofit programs that have been doing so, Water Development Board spokeswoman Carla Daws said.
Source: Associated Press