There will be no development activity of any kind until 2020 in a large section of northwestern El Paso that has been the subject of controversy this summer.
Members of the El Paso City Council have approved a resolution calling for a moratorium on a section of the city that was recently classified as a Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone.
That designation would help funnel tax revenues for the construction of street, sidewalk, and utility infrastructure in a section of the city that could eventually see the building of just under 9,500 housing units and around 829,000 square feet of commercial space.
Opponents of the plan earlier this month were successful in securing enough signatures to allow for an election next May that would outright ban development in the 1,000 acres of open space that are a part of the zone.
Outdoor enthusiasts and community activists have been particularly upset regarding the possible development of the Lost Dog Trailhead at the base of the Franklin Mountains. That area is regularly used by hikers, joggers, and bike-riders.
Although he supports the creation of the TIRZ in the area in question, El Paso Mayor Dee Margo in a statement said he hoped the moratorium would see the pubic “engaging with city staff over the next two years to modify the northwest plan to exemplify how development and preservation can work together.”
By Garry Boulard
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