Last week, the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s litigation center, the Center for the American Future, sued the city of San Marcos for violating the Constitution by forcing homeowners to keep unwanted objects on their property under the guise of a historic preservation ordinance.
TPPF represents Kristy Money and Rolf Straubhaar, homeowners in San Marcos who want to remove a symbol from the front of their home relating to a previous homeowner who had affiliations with the Ku Klux Klan. But Kristy and Rolf are prohibited from removing this symbol from their home by an unelected commission empowered to judge the aesthetics of homeowners’ changes to their homes. This clearly violates the U.S. Constitution’s taking clause by forcing homeowners to keep unwanted objects on their property and exceeds San Marcos’ power given to them by the Texas Constitution.
“Cities have plenty of ways to incentivize homeowners to preserve historic homes,” said Chance Weldon, director of litigation at TPPF. “What they can’t do is violate the Constitution by forcing homeowners to keep things on their property without any compensation.”
“For too long, Texas cities have been exceeding their constitutional power by regulating what people’s homes look like,” said Christian Townsend, attorney at TPPF. “It’s time to force cities, and particularly unelected bureaucrats, back into their constitutionally defined box so that homeowners can live their lives in their homes.”
Find the motion for summary judgment here.
Read the full complaint here.