New Braunfels jams lift on 'can ban' after judge OKs lawsuits

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by Eric Gonzales / KENS 5

khou.com

Posted on August 7, 2012 at 8:19 AM

NEW BRAUNFELS -- A Comal County district judge ruled on Monday that business owners in New Braunfels may sue the city over what has become known as the "can ban."

The city immediately appealed the ruling, but there was no hearing on a temporary injunction from enforcing the ordinance, which bans disposable containers -- including beer cans -- from the city's popular rivers.

Most likely, the issue will not be resolved before Labor day.

"Yes, they had a vote about this. And yes, the vote went one way. But it doesn’t mean it was the right vote if your voting on something that’s unconstitutional,” said Boyd Anderson, of Tri City Distributors.

He said the city's appeal is a stall tactic that is just waisting taxpayers money.

"The only person this is benefiting is the city's legal team. They're making money on every appeal every step of the way,” Anderson said.

Mick McKamie, an attorney for the city of New Braunfels, said they have a strong case against the business owners and that an appeal is just part of the defense process whenever the city is being sued.

"The Texas Constitution provides that the city such as New Braunfels, can regulate all the property within its boundaries like they do on the interstate highway," McKamie said.
 
Anderson said that several businesses in the area are down 30 to 60 percent this summer because of the ordinance. He said his beer distributor business has also taken a hit.

"In 2007 there were 27 outfitters in this town," he said. "Today there’s seven.”
 
New Braunfels attorneys expect the appeals case to be heard sometime in the fall.

Anderson said it will most likely go to the Texas Supreme Court. If they win there, it would start again with a temporary injunction to lift the ban while the lawsuits continue from businesses.

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