Beginning September 1, cities can’t prohibit dogs on Texas restaurant patios, subject to certain requirements. Senate bill 476 provides that food service establishments may choose to allow dogs in outdoor dining areas if: (1) the establishment posts a sign in a conspicuous location in the area stating that dogs are permitted; (2) the customer and dog access the area directly from the exterior of the establishment; (3) the dog does not enter the interior of the establishment; (4) the customer keeps the dog on a leash and controls the dog; (5) the customer does not allow the dog on a seat, table, countertop, or similar surface; and (6) the establishment does not prepare food or permit open food other than food that is being served to a customer in the outdoor area. (The requirements above do not apply to a service animal.)
A city may not adopt or enforce an ordinance, rule, or similar measure that imposes a requirement on a restaurant allowing a dog in an outdoor dining area that is more stringent than the requirements in the bill.
If your city has an ordinance that is more stringent than the bill, the city should cease enforcing the ordinance and modify it to comply with the requirements of the bill.
2019 City Tax and Budget Deadlines Memo Now Available
Every year, TML posts a memo containing the annual calendar deadlines for the budget adoption and tax rate setting process. The 2019 document has recently been posted online and can be accessed here. (Note: Because the changes made to the property tax rate adoption process under S.B. 2 are not effective until January 1, 2020, the memo does not incorporate those provisions.)
TML member cities may use the material herein for any purpose. No other person or entity may reproduce, duplicate, or distribute any part of this document without the written authorization of the Texas Municipal League.