Extra Territorial Jurisdiction
Just what is an ETJ? ETJ is the acronym for Extra Territorial Jurisdiction and is the legal ability to exercise municipal authority by the nearest town or city's form of government.
Not all states practice this jurisdiction but Texas does. An ETJ is measured from any city limit line to a mile out or more, depending on the population of that town or city. Should the population of the town or city experience a growth spurt then the ETJ may be effected.
The distant measurement is determined by the government census. The town I live in has a population of just over 32,000 so that means that my city's ETJ is one mile from any city limit line.
In my municipality the removal or merging or spitting of any lot lines of any property in the ETJ requires the submittal of a plat by a registered professional surveyor. This plat must be presented to the Planning Commission for recommendation to City Council who has final approval of any lot line changes.
If you are a large land owner and sell off 20 acres out of a larger tract of land to a commercial or residential developer you must also adhere the the city's guidelines. Some city laws indicate that the seller must plat the property prior to sell. However, as in all sales the contract determines who is paying for what. Just be sure to contact the local city to see what your legal responsibilities may be.
Realtor beware, different cities govern different things in their ETJ's. Be sure to contact the local municipality to see if splitting property or adding some property from an a contiguous lot is legal to do without addressing the requirements of the local government. Never for get to ask if there are any variances to any ordinances that may effect what you are doing.