NEW BRAUNFELS – The New Braunfels City Council met Monday night to discuss the future of the city’s proposed “can ban” on the Comal River, while a city spokesperson clarified that there is no set date yet for such a ban to go into effect.
The spokesperson said city staff is moving forward in conjunction with the city’s Convention and Visitor’s Bureau to develop an implementation strategy that would include public education about the ban.
The council targeted its July 10 meeting to provide an update on an implementation strategy, which would include the timeframe, budget, and strategy that would best serve New Braunfels residents.
An appeals process is currently ongoing, so no date for potential enforcement of the ordinance can be set while the plaintiffs continue to challenge the ordinance, which could go all the way to the Texas Supreme Court, the city spokesperson said.
Depending on actions taken or not taken by the plaintiffs, City Attorney Val Acevedo said at the City Council meeting the official date of enforcement can be a moving target and cannot be set.
In 2011, an ordinance was passed that banned disposable containers for food and beverages. An existing lawsuit challenging multiple river-related ordinances added cooler restriction claims in 2012. In 2014, the city discontinued enforcement of both the cooler size and disposable container ordinances.
On May 18, the 3rd Court of Appeals issued a written opinion and judgment in favor of the city, stating the plaintiffs did not have the standing to challenge the law in civil court. The court has scheduled the issuance of the mandate for Aug. 15 to mark the completion of the appellate process unless the case is appealed to the Texas Supreme Court.