I wrote a story a week or two ago that tried to shine some light on the growth of utility districts in Denton County. Here are a few paragraphs from the story.
“Residential developers flocked to Denton County between 2000 and 2010 in search of land where they could develop master-planned communities.
To finance their developments, the landowners began using municipal utility districts, or MUDs — a tool originally used to help small cities develop support services like water and sewer infrastructure.
With its own boundaries and the ability to set and collect taxes, a utility district is a government entity that works independently from a city or county, similar to the way most independent school districts work.
About 15 years ago, many regional leaders made deals with developers and consented to having districts form in their extraterritorial jurisdictions without much hesitation. Since 2000, the number of municipal utility districts in Denton County has more than doubled, jumping from 27 to 56, according to records obtained from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
Now, some leaders are beginning to realize the consequences and have shown reluctance to allow the creation of more districts in the region.”
You can read the full story here — The Cost of Growth
There’s more to study when it comes to utility districts in the county. More and more developers are attempting to get them approved by either the county, legislature or TCEQ.
Since reporting the story, I’ve learned of two more districts that are seeking approval – One in Aubrey and another in Hickory Creek. It’s very hard to keep an eye of government entities when so many are popping up all over the county.
The chart below shows how the growth of utility districts exploded in around the late 90s and early 2000s.