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City of Fredericksburg v. Bopp – Case Brief Summary (Texas)

In City of Fredericksburg v. Bopp, 126 S.W.3d 218 (Tex. App.--San Antonio 2003, no pet.), the issue presented was whether a restaurant violated an ordinance that restricted the maximum total signage area.

At the time the property was annexed by the city, "a free-standing pole sign advertising the restaurant existed on the property." Id. at 219.

The restaurant was subsequently issued a permit to erect a wall sign which, when coupled with the pole sign area, exceeded the maximum total signage area. Id.

The city later sued the restaurant owner seeking a permanent injunction enjoining the owner from continuing to violate the sign ordinance. Id. at 219--20.

The trial court held the city was estopped from enforcing the ordinance, and this court affirmed. Id. at 224.

In Bopp, the trial court expressly found that the pole sign was grandfathered at the time of annexation, and this court held the evidence "reflects that the City issued a valid permit," and the permit had not been revoked. 126 S.W.3d 221--22.

In addition, the restaurant owner spent "substantial monies" on the wall sign "relying on his permit." Id. at 223.