Report: Brownsville’s 25% occupancy limitation on restaurants is invalid

A sign in Spanish in a restaurant window Wednesday informs customers that Arados Restaurant will be re-opening Friday. As part of Gov. Abbott's plan to reopen Texas, restaurants will be allowed to reopen on Friday with some restrictions. (Denise Cathey/The Brownsville Herald)

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced in a press release on Wednesday that the limitation the City of Brownsville has placed on restaurant capacity to less than 25 percent of total listed occupancy is invalid.

A letter sent by the Attorney General to Brownsville Mayor Trey Mendez states the limitation contradicts the Governor’s orders to operate up to 50 percent.

“The Governor’s order establishes a ceiling on capacity at these restaurants, and it allows restaurants — not local governments — to decide whether to operate at a capacity that does not exceed this limitation,” the letter reads.

“Indeed, nothing in the order allows local governments to alter the capacity limitation as the city attempts to do. Because the city’s restriction conflicts with the Governor’s order and exceeds its lawful authority, it is invalid.”

Paxton added that the city should review and revise the unlawful order.

As of press time on Wednesday, the City of Brownsville did not return The Herald’s request for comment.

nreyna@brownsvilleherald.com