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Sign Supplies of Tex., Inc. v. McConn

Citation: 11 ELR 21093
No. No. H-80-1713, 517 F. Supp. 778/(S.D. Tex., 09/30/1981)

The district court upholds the constitutionality of Houston City Ordinances 80-351, 80-945, 80-984, regulating the use of portable signs. The ordinance, which was challenged by individuals and corporations engaged in leasing, renting, and manufacturing portable signs, requires sign owners to secure permits for portable "on-premise" signs and effectively prohibits the future use of portable "off-premise" signs. The ordinance is not void for vagueness and does not effect a taking of plaintiffs' property but merely regulates a use of the signs which has been determined to be injurious to public health and safety. In addition, the ordinance does not violate (1) the Equal Protection Clause since the regulation of portable signs is rationally related to the purposes of reducing driver distractions and improving the environment, (2) the Contract Clause since the restraint on the operation of contracts is in furtherance of public safety and general welfare, or (3) the First Amendment since it merely regulates, for a valid and reasonable public purpose, the manner and places at which advertising may be conducted. Finally, the ordinance does not conflict with, or negate any provisions of, either the federal or state highway beautification acts, 23 U.S.C. § 131, TEX. REV. CIV. STAT. ANN. art. 6674v-1 (Vernon). The court therefore denies plaintiffs' request for injunctive and declaratory relief against enforcement of the ordinances.

[The district court's decision was summarily affirmed by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on July 13, 1981 — Ed.]

The full text of this opinion is available from ELR (10 pp. $1.75, ELR Order No. C-1261).

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Marian S. Rosen, Clyde W. Woody
Woody & Rosen
1290 Pennzoil Pl., 711 Louisiana St., Houston TX 77002
(713) 222-9225

Counsel for Defendants
Robert J. Collins, Ass't City Attorney
901 Bagby St., Houston TX 77002
(713) 222-5151

Cire, J.