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New Braunfels "Can Ban" Thrown Out By Court

Flickr user Jeff Gunn
Comal River in New Braunfels.

The New Braunfels ordinance that bans cans and large coolers on the Comal and Guadalupe Rivers was overturned by a state judge.

The New Braunfels City Council banned cans; other disposable items, and large coolers from its rivers in 2011. Met with opposition from river outfitters, a group sued the city shortly after the council vote. A judge has indicated he will rule in favor of those outfitters.

James Ewbank, the attorney for the river outfitters, said the can ban was arbitrary:

"They were void for vagueness because no one could really understand what was expected of them," Ewbank said. "The ordinances didn't make any sense in terms of what people had a right to expect." 

When people can bring cans and other disposable containers and larger coolers back to the rivers remains uncertain. New Braunfels Mayor Gale Pospisil said the city was alerted via e-mail.

"All we have received from the judge is just an e-mail saying that after reviewing the cases and the pleadings and everything, that he is going to grant the plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment," Pospisil said. "That's basically all it says."

Pospisil said she is disappointed with the judge’s decision. The City of New Braunfels has not yet said if it will appeal but will wait for the official order to come through. 

Joey Palacios can be reached atJoey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules