Harlingen, Texas (KVEO) — Elon Musk, the creator of the Mars exploration project SpaceX, announced that he wants to take his project a step further by incorporating Boca Chica Village into a city called “Starbase.”
“This is historically, in a way, how a lot of municipalities get started,” said associate professor of law at the University of Houston, Kellen Zale.
Zale said entrepreneurs have established municipalities before, and Musk’s target, Boca Chica Village, is not an official city in Cameron county.
“Because it’s just an informal community…meaning they never created a city, ever,” said Zale. “Anybody can do what is being done here and they don’t have to use the existing informal name.”
Cameron county Judge Eddie Trevino said in a public statement:
“If SpaceX and Elon Musk would like to pursue down this path, they must abide by all state incorporation statutes. Cameron County will process any appropriate petitions in conformity with applicable law.”
Applicants must have a minimum of 201 people in their city’s population.
“And then you have to get a petition signed,” said Zale. “For most of the cities, it is 50 inhabitants of the proposed area…If you have less than 2,000 inhabitants the most you can have is two square miles,” said Zale.
However, according to Texas State Historical Association, Boca Chica had 26 residents in the year 2000, and if the county judge passes the application in an election, then “they have to have a democratic form of government under Texas law,” said Zale.
SpaceX did not respond with a comment on their plans, though Musk announced on Twitter his plans of establishing “Starbase.”