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 »  Home  »  Around Town  »  MURPHY COUNCIL APPROVES AMENDMENT TO WATERING RESTRICTIONS
MURPHY COUNCIL APPROVES AMENDMENT TO WATERING RESTRICTIONS
By City of Murphy | Published  08/19/2011 | Around Town | Interest Level:
CURRENT WATER RESTRICTIONS...STAGE 2

AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MURPHY, TEXAS, REPEALING ORDINANCE NO. 06-07-699 IN ITS ENTIRETY; REPEALING ORDINANCE NO. 06-08-703 IN ITS ENTIRETY; REPEALING ORDINANCE NO. 11-03-875 IN ITS ENTIRETY; REPEALING CHAPTER 82, ARTICLE IX., SECTIONS 82-371 THROUGH 82-377 OF THE CITY OF MURPHY CODE OF ORDINANCES IN ITS ENTIRETY; AMENDING THE CITY OF MURPHY CODE OF ORDINANCES BY AMENDING CHAPTER 82, ARTICLE IX, TO ESTABLISH A NEW DROUGHT CONTENGENCY AND WATER EMERGENCY RESPONSE PLAN; ESTABLISHING MANDATORY WATERING SCHEDULE FOR STAGE 2, INCLUDING PROHIBITED WATERING HOURS; ESTABLISHING MANDATORY WATERING SCHEDULE FOR STAGE 3, INCLUDING PROHIBITED WATERING HOURS; ESTABILISHING A WATER RATE SURCHARGE FOR STAGE 4; ESTABLISHING PROCEDURES FOR GRANTING VARIANCES; ESTABLISHING PENALTIES FOR VIOLATING THE RESTRICTIONS AND PROVISIONS FOR ENFORCEMENT OF THESE RESTRICTIONS; PROVIDING FOR MANDATORY PROVISIONS IN WHOLESALE WATER CONTRACTS; PROVIDING FOR FILING OF THE PLAN WITH THE TCEQ; PROVIDING A SEVERABILTY CLAUSE; PROVIDING A CUMULATIVE/REPEALER CLAUSE; PROVIDING A SAVINGS CLAUSE; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
WHEREAS, the City of Murphy, Texas (the “City”), recognizes that the amount of water available to its water customers is limited; and
WHEREAS, the City recognizes that due to natural limitations, drought conditions, system failures and other acts of God which may occur, the City cannot guarantee an uninterrupted water supply for all purposes at all times; and
WHEREAS, the Water Code and the regulations of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (the “Commission”) require that the City adopt a Drought Contingency and Water Emergency Response Plan; and
WHEREAS, the City has determined an urgent need in the best interest of the public to adopt a Drought Contingency and Water Emergency Response Plan; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to Chapter 54 of the Local Government Code, the City is authorized to adopt such Ordinances necessary to preserve and conserve its water resources; and
WHEREAS, the City Council of the City of Murphy desires to adopt the North Texas Municipal Water District (the “NTMWD”) Model Drought Contingency and Water Emergency Response Plan as official City policy for the conservation of water.
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MURPHY, TEXAS THAT:
SECTION 1. FINDINGS INCORPORATED.
The findings set forth above are incorporated into the body of this ordinance as if fully set forth herein.
SECTION 2. AMENDMENT OF CHAPTER 82, ARTICLE IX., CODE OF ORDINANCES.
That Chapter 82, Article IX., Sections 82-371 through 82-377 of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Murphy, Texas are hereby repealed and Chapter 82, Article IX., is hereby amended to adopt a new Drought Contingency and Water Emergency Response Plan to read as follows:
“Sec. 82-371. Adoption of Plan.
The City Council hereby approves and adopts the NTMWD Model Drought Contingency and Water Emergency Response Plan, as modified for the City of Murphy (the “Plan”), attached hereto as Addendum A, as if recited verbatim herein. The City commits to implement the requirements and procedures set forth in the adopted Plan.
Sec. 82-372. Mandatory Watering Schedule for Stage 2; Prohibited Hours.
In the event the City Manager declares Stage 2, customers shall comply with the following schedule for irrigation of existing landscape areas with hose-end sprinklers or irrigation systems:
A. Schedule:
a) Residential Street addresses ending in odd numbers (1,3,5,7,9) may water on Mondays and Thursdays only.
b) Residential Street addresses ending in even numbers (0,2,4,6,8) may water on Wednesdays and Saturdays only.
c) Public Schools, All Non-Residential Businesses, City and HOA entries/medians may water on Fridays and Tuesdays only.
B. Prohibited Watering Hours. All watering is prohibited during the hours of 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.


Sec. 82-373. Mandatory Watering Schedule for Stage 3; Prohibited Hours.
In the event the City Manager declares Stage 3, all of the requirements of Stages 1 and 2 remain in effect during Stage 3, except customers shall comply with the following schedule for irrigation of existing landscape areas with hose-end sprinklers or irrigation systems:
A. Schedule:
a) Residential Street addresses ending in odd numbers (1,3,5,7,9) may water on Mondays only.
b) Residential Street addresses ending in even numbers (0,2,4,6,8) may water on Wednesdays only.
c) Public Schools, All Non-Residential Businesses, City and HOA entries/medians may water on Fridays only.
B. Prohibited Watering Hours. All watering is prohibited during the hours of 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Sec. 82-374. Water Rate Surcharge.
In the event the City Manager declares Stage 4, all of the requirements of Stages 2 and 3 remain in effect during Stage 4 with the same mandatory irrigation schedule listed in Stage 3 and, in addition, a customer will be charged a water rate surcharge for water usage as follows:
Gallons
0 – 15,000 1.25 times the regular rate
Rate
15,001-30,000 2 times the regular rate
30,001 – 45,000 2.5 times the regular rate
45,001 + 3 times the regular rate
The regular rate shall be established pursuant to the City’s fee ordinance on an annual basis.
Sec. 82-375. Variances to the Plan.
(a) Customers may water new planting of grass within the first thirty (30) days up to four (4) hours a day by any means. Watering is prohibited from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
(1) Prior to the first day of the thirty (30) day watering period, residents or businesses must provide the following information to the City:
i. Address;
ii. Company name;
iii. Superintendent name;
iv. Superintendent contact number;
v. First day of thirty (30) day watering period;
vi. Expiration date of thirty (30) day watering period; and
vii. Starting and ending time of watering period.
(2) Customers are required to have a weather proof sign, capable of lasting the full thirty (30) day watering period, posted in the front yard. The sign shall be separate and not attached to any other signs. In addition, a window sign shall be posted on the inside of a window, on the front of the building. The sign shall be
legible from the street on neon colored paper with black print. Window signs shall include the following information:
i. Company name;
ii. Address;
iii. Approved thirty (30) day watering period;
iv. Approved day of the week, as specified in Stage 3 Restrictions;
v. Starting date and ending date of thirty (30) day water period; and
vi. Starting and ending time of watering period.
(b) The City Manager or his/her designee may, in writing, grant a temporary variance of existing water uses otherwise prohibited under the Plan if the City Manager or his/her designee determines that the failure to grant such a variance would cause an emergency condition adversely affecting the public health, safety or welfare, or the person requesting the variance would suffer an undue hardship and the person demonstrates that:
(1) Compliance with the Plan cannot be technically accomplished during the duration of the water supply shortage or other condition for which the Plan is in effect; or
(2) Alternative methods can be implemented which will achieve a similar level of compliance.
(c) Plan or a particular drought response stage has been initiated. A petition for a variance must include the following:
(1) The name and address of petitioners;
(2) The purpose of the intended water use;
(3) The specific requirement of the Plan from which the petitioner is requesting relief;
(4) A detailed statement as to how the specific requirement creates a hardship unique to the petitioner or adversely affects the petitioner, and a statement as to what damage or harm will occur to the petitioner or others if the petitioner complies with this article;
(5) A description of the relief requested;
(6) The period of time for which the variance is sought; and
(7) A description of what alternative water use restrictions or other measures the petitioner is taking or proposes to take in order to meet the intent of this Plan.
(d) Unless waived or modified in writing by the City Manager or his/her designee, a variance granted under this section shall include a timetable for compliance and shall contain a condition terminating the variance if the petitioner fails to meet a specified requirement of the variance.
(e) A variance expires when a particular Drought Response Stage is no longer in effect. No variance will be retroactive or otherwise justify any violation of this Plan that occurs prior to the issuance of the variance.
Sec. 82-376. Penalty; Enforcement of Restrictions.
(a) Any customer, defined pursuant to 30 Tex. Admin. Code Chapter 291, failing to comply with the provisions of the Plan and/or this ordinance shall be subject to a fine of up to two thousand dollars ($2,000.00) and/or discontinuance of water service by the City. Proof of a culpable mental state is not required for a conviction of an offense under this section. Each day a customer fails to comply with the Plan is a separate violation. The City’s authority to seek injunctive or other civil relief available under the law is not limited by this section.
(b) Each day that one or more of the provisions in the Plan and/or this ordinance are violated shall constitute a separate offense. If a customer is convicted of three (3) or more distinct violations of the Plan and/or this ordinance, the City Manager or his/her designee shall, upon due notice to the customer, be authorized to discontinue water service to the premises where such violations occur. Services discontinued under such circumstances shall be restored only upon payment of a re-connection charge, hereby established at $50, and any other costs incurred by the City in discontinuing service. In addition, suitable assurance must be given to the City Manager or his/her designee that the same action shall not be repeated while the Plan and/or this ordinance is in effect. Compliance with this Plan and/or this ordinance may also be sought through injunctive relief in the district court.
(c) Any person, including a person classified as a customer of the City, in apparent control of the property where a violation occurs or originates shall be presumed to be the violator, and proof that the violation occurred on the person’s property shall constitute a rebuttable presumption that the person in apparent control of the property committed the violation, but any such person shall have the right to show that he/she did not commit the violation. Parents shall be presumed to be responsible for violations of their minor children and proof that a violation, committed by a child, occurred on property within the parents’ control shall constitute a rebuttable presumption that the parent committed the violation, but any such parent may be excused if he/she proves that he/she had previously directed the child not to use the water as it was used in violation of the Plan and that the parent could not have reasonably known of the violation.
(d) Any employee of the city, police officer, or other employee designated by the City Manager, may issue a citation to a person he/she reasonably believes to be in violation of the Plan and/or this ordinance. The citation shall be prepared in duplicate and shall contain the name and address of the alleged violator, if known, the offense charged, and shall direct him/her to appear in the municipal court on the date shown on the citation for which the date shall not be less than three (3) days nor more than five (5) days from the date the citation was issued. The alleged violator shall be served a copy of the citation. Service of the citation shall be complete upon delivery of the citation to the alleged violator, to an agent or employee of a violator, or to a person over eighteen (18) years of age who is a member of the violator’s immediate family or is a resident of the violator’s residence. The alleged violator shall appear in municipal court to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty for the violation of the Plan. If the alleged violator fails to appear in municipal court, a warrant for his/her arrest may be issued. A summons to appear may be issued in
lieu of an arrest warrant. These cases shall be expedited and given preferential setting in municipal court before all other cases.
Sec. 82-377. Mandatory Provisions in Wholesale Water Contracts.
All wholesale water contracts entered into or renewed after adoption of the Plan and/or this ordinance, including contract extensions, shall include a provision that requires all wholesale water customers of the City to comply with the provisions of the Plan and/or this ordinance.”
SECTION 3. Filing of Plan.
The City Manager or his designee is hereby directed to file a copy of the Plan and this Ordinance with the Commission in accordance with Title 30, Chapter 288 of the Texas Administrative Code.
SECTION 4. Severability Clause.
If any word, section, article, phrase, paragraph, sentence, clause or portion of this Ordinance is held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction, such holding shall not affect, for any reason, the validity of the remaining portions of this ordinance and the remaining portions shall remain in full force and effect.
SECTION 5. Cumulative/Repealer Clause.
This ordinance shall be cumulative of all provisions of State or Federal law and other ordinances of the City of Murphy, Texas, including the Plan attached hereto as Addendum A, whether codified or uncodified, except where the provisions of this ordinance are in direct conflict with the provisions of such ordinances, in which event the conflicting provisions of such ordinances are hereby repealed to the extent of such conflict. Notwithstanding the foregoing, this ordinance repeals, in their entirety, Ordinance Nos. 06-07-699, 06-08-703 and 11-03-875.
SECTION 6. Savings Clause.
All rights and remedies of the City of Murphy, Texas, are expressly saved as to any and all violations of the provisions of this ordinance or any other ordinance which have accrued at the time of the effective date of this ordinance; and, as to such accrued violations and all pending litigation, both civil and criminal, whether pending in court or not, under such ordinances, same shall not be affected by this ordinance but may be prosecuted until final disposition by the courts.
SECTION 7. Effective Date.
This ordinance shallbecome effective immediately upon its passage and publication as required by law.


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