New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, November 27, 2005, Page 10

Publication: New Braunfels Herald Zeitung November 27, 2005

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - November 27, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas BILLBOARDS CONTINUED FROM Page 1A Minikin: No one replied to county’s letters got a bill passed to restrict billboards on U.S. 281 in Bexar and Comal counties. Then attention seemed to shift to Texas 46, which had seen lithe construction of billboards in recent years. Minikin showed a photo County Engineer Tom I lornseth took of an area of Texas 46 near FM 311 where four billboards can be seen in a row along the north side of the highway. Minikin said Precinct I Commissioner Jack Dawson contacted the company by letter expressing concerns that the billboards might encroach upon the right-of-way taxpayers soon would have to purchase. Minikin said no one replied to Dawson’s letters. “The sign company basically blew Comal County off,” Minikin said. “What we see as being pristine Hill Country landscape is being cluttered with these signs. ... In my mind, there is no doubt we are going to see many more of these signs.” PROPERTY RIGHTS Michael Maurer Sr.’s family owns a ranch on Texas 46 not far from where signs went up last year. Several years ago, Maurer’s mother, Tessie, allowed a billboard to be erected on the family’s property to help pay the bills. Maurer, who is spending his free time lately circulating petitions seeking a roUback of the county’s recent 2-cent property tax increase, said the billboard issue is about property rights — and a landowner’s ability to make ends meet. Texas families such as his have been struggling with escalating prices and escalating taxes, he said. “With appraisal increases and tax rate increases, we see property taxes going up year after year after year,” Maurer said. "We hate to see it when someone loses their ranch because they can’t pay their property tax. If they don’t pay, the county comes in and takes their land.” Rules are already in place, he said, that regulate the signs. “There is state law they have to comply with,” Maurer said. “As cities grow, they have rule-making authority for signs, J TEXAS CINEMA I j "l.xperienct The IHfftrenaf j ^ 11/25-12/1 MARKETPLACE 12 651 BUSINESS LP. IH35N (830) 625 - 4400 INTERNET TICKETING AVAILABLE!! too. Even in the county, there are certain rules they have to follow. They can only put up so many signs, a certain number of feet apart. Property owners should have the right to put these signs up where applicable.” The accepted standard in tile outdoor communication industry is a 20-feet-by-60-feet sign that totals 1,200 square feet, Minikin noted. But he pointed to a sign along Interstate 35 in an unincorporated part of Travis County that was double that size and IOO feet high — and Travis County could do nothing to regulate it. “I say it again: We have to work on the Legislature,” Mil-likin said. HELP FROM THE LEGISLATURE District 73 state Rep. Carter Casteel knows all about working on the Legislature — and how difficult it can be to get bills passed that give local gov ernments some control over billboards. “Billboards had not blanketed the county. They were on Interstate 35 and some on Texas 46 — most of them old signs,” Casteel said. “In May, June, about IO of them popped up on 46, and most everybody had a stroke. It was too late for legislation.” Casteel filed a bill two years ago on behalf of Bandera County to restrict billboards in that area. Scenic Texas, a nonprofit organization that promotes scenic vistas and is seeking to restrict new billboard construction in this state, approached Casteel and asked her to file legislation that would have given any county whose voters chose to exercise it the authority to limit billboards. “ Those bills never got to the floor, although my Bandera bill did,” Casteel said. "The local bills seem to do better than the statewide ones." In addition to .Scenic Texas, Millikin said the Texas Association of Counties and the Conference of Urban Counties among others lobbied for support of Casteel’s bills. But they drew heavy opposition, Minikin said, from the nation’s largest biUboard company, Clear Channel Outdoors, the Texas Farm Bureau and the Outdoor Advertising Association of Texas. Due to the Thanksgiving holidays, the Herald-Zeitung was unable to reach a spokesman for Gear Channel or the Farm Bureau. “The bills went absolutely nowhere,” Millikin said. “So this gives you a feel, at least in my mind, who caUs tile shots in Austin. You have all these cities and counties saying, ‘We want to have an oar in that water,’ and the bill never gets out of committee. Such are the facts of life.” Precinct 4 Commissioner Jan Kennady is preparing to take a swipe at the billboard issue. Kennady is assembling a coalition of interests to meet on the issue and prepare for another round of legislation. “I’m going to work on this but what will come of it, don’t know,” Kennady said "The billboard lobby is ore of the strongest lobbies then is. We'll see what happens.” Casteel is ready to help. “Billboards are very impor tant business in a community and I understand that,” Gas teel said. “But they should be appropriately placed ant appropriately spaced so yoi haven’t blanketed the highway We’ll get organized and worl on this and pre-file some still in November, 2006. We’ll see.’ □ ENE Family Dental KAREN RUDE DDS "Let my family take care of your family' invisalign straight teeth, no braces’ Free Whitening with Invisalign Mon. • Fri. Exp. Receptionist needed 1528 E. 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San Antonio College offers off-campus classes at the Central t exas Technology Center at 2189 FM 758 in New Braunfels. Classes include English, History, Psychology, Computer Applications, Keyboarding, 10-Key Skillbuilding, MS Word, MS Excel, Adobe Acrobat, Speed/Accuracy Building, Drafting, Government, Reading, plus hundreds of other college courses via Internet and Videocourses to help you advance in your career, enter a new field, or earn a college degree. Scholarships and grants are available. Register for Spring 2006 Off-Campus Classes In Person: Wednesdays, Nov. 9 & Nov. 30, 4-8 p.m. Central Texas Technology Omer, 2189 FM 738, NB Municipal Airport (call 830/609-2104) By Phone: 210/301-2520 (Phone Help: 210/220-1616) Or on the Web: www.accd.edu (Technical Help: 210/220-1616) Transfer students: Bring college transcripts. New Students: Bring high school transcripts or GED scores. Need to take Accuplacer Exam to register? Call Mike Fitsko at 830/629-2647 in New Braunfels (Tuesdays), 830/303-1195 in Seguin (Wednesdays), or 830/609-2104 at Central Texas Tech. Ctr. (Thursdays), for an appointment.Page 10A — Herald-Zeitung — Sunday, November 27, 2005 • San Antonio College, a college of the Alamo Community College District, is an EOE. For any special accommodations issues or an alternate format, contact San Antonio College DisABlUTt Support Services at 733-2347. SAN ANTONIO COLLEGE A College of the Alamo Community College District    CizdGZ    Tjjovt*, Call 1-800/944-7575, ext. 2181 Visit www.accd.edu/sac/online ;

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Publication: New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

Location: New Braunfels, Texas

Issue Date: November 27, 2005

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