Texas Hill Country News

New Braunfels ‘Can Ban’ Goes Into Effect Mid-August

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Approving the law in 2011, the New Braunfels “can ban” will go into effect on August 15th of this year, giving the Texas Hill Country tubers a little more leeway with respect to packing their coolers for a day on the Comal and Guadalupe Rivers.

New Braunfels ‘Can Ban’ Goes Into Effect Mid-August

Photo: Facebook/My San Antonio from the Express-News

The ban covers disposable containers and large coolers, and although City Council had anticipated putting it into effect by the end of July, it will be bumped by two additional weeks, giving city staff time to come up with a public education strategy. This, after the matter had been tied up in the court system for a little over a three-year period.

New Braunfels ‘Can Ban’ Goes Into Effect Mid-August

Photo: Facebook/Texas State Tubes

In March of 2014, a district judge ruled that the “can ban” was unconstitutional, however in a 29-page decision, appellate judges ruled in May of 2017 that tubing outfitters from the area didn’t have the initial right to sue with respect to the matter based on prior case law, and subsequently, that the district court didn’t have the initial right to take the case.

New Braunfels ‘Can Ban’ Goes Into Effect Mid-August
Photo: Facebook/Mobile Phone Geeks – New Braunfels

The ordinance affects the Guadalupe and Comal Rivers within the city limits of New Braunfels, and voters approved it back in 2011 with the majority of residents (58 percent) approving the ban. In an interview with KSAT ABC in May of this year, New Braunfels Mayor Barron Casteel said, “What we’ve done with all our other ordinances that we’ve had, like the texting ban or maybe a smoking ban, we’ve always gone through an educational period. We’re clearly going to want to have cooperation with everyone, if we want to be effective with the ordinance.” It was also noted at that time that during the 2.5 years in which the ordinance was originally enforced, the amount of litter which was collected had reduced, and while the law was being appealed, city officials marked a notable increase in litter along both rivers.

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