A 1997 attorney general opinion concludes that
[a]s a general rule, a city can exercise its powers only within the city’s corporate limits unless power is expressly or impliedly extended by the Texas Constitution or by statute to apply to areas outside the limits. Extraterritorial power will be implied only when such power is reasonably incident to those powers expressly granted or is essential to the object and purposes of the city. ‘[A]ny fair, reasonable, or substantial doubt as to the existence of a power will be resolved against the municipality.’
Tex. Att’y Gen. Op. LO-97-055 (1997) (citations omitted); cf. also, Town of Lakewood Vill. v. Bizios, 493 S.W.3d 527, 531 (Tex. 2016); FM Props. Operating Co. v. City of Austin, 22 S.W.3d 868, 902 (Tex. 2000).
The following are examples of state laws that authorize cities to regulate in the ETJ:
State law prohibits a city from regulating the following in the ETJ: (1) the use of a building or property for business, industrial, residential, or other purposes; (2) the bulk, height, or number of buildings constructed on a tract of land; (3) the size of a building that can be constructed on a tract of land; (4) the number of residential units that can be built per acre of land; and (5) the size, type, or method of construction of a water or wastewater facility that can be constructed to served a developed tract in certain circumstances. TEX. LOC. GOV’T CODE § 212.003(a).
The Texas Supreme Court held that general law cities may not extend their building codes into the ETJ. See Town of Lakewood Vill. v. Bizios, 493 S.W.3d 527 (Tex. 2016). And the Dallas Court of Appeals held that a home rule city “lacks authority to require a landowner developing property in its [extraterritorial jurisdiction] to obtain City building permits, inspections and approvals, and pay related fees.” Collin Cty. v. City of McKinney, 553 S.W.3d 79 (Tex. App.— Dallas 2018).