A petition with more than 2,000 signatures has been submitted to the City Clerk’s Office of El Paso asking for an ordinance that would preserve some 5,000 acres of land currently targeted for development.
Last month, members of the El Paso City Council approved the creation of a Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone that would open the way for the development of a portion of those acres.
Although no specific developer has been identified, the zone designation would allow the City of El Paso to collect tax revenue that could then be used to pay for the construction of sidewalks, streets, sewers, and utility infrastructure within the district.
That infrastructure, in turn, would make the district more attractive to outside investment and development.
In creating the zone, proponents of the idea said the district could end up being the home to more than 800,000 square feet of commercial space, as well as some 9,400 housing units.
Critics of what is officially known as the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone Number 12 say the development could prove environmentally damaging, particularly to the Lost Dog Trailhead, the beginning point of a series of trails used by residents and visitors for walking and biking.
By Garry Boulard
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