Residents in El Paso have begun voting on an initiative that will determine whether or not development can take place on some 1,100 acres near the Franklin Mountains State Park.
The land in question is inside what is known as Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone Number Twelve.
The creation of that zoned district was approved last July by members of the El Paso City Council, allowing for any tax revenues inside the district to be used for the building of sewer, storm water drainage, and other infrastructure.
It has been reported that up to $1.3 billion in tax revenue could be secured by the zone.
The reinvestment zone would also make it possible for the construction of what could eventually be more than 9,400 houses and up to 829,000 square feet of commercial space.
The land in question includes the Lost Dog Trail Park, an open space often enjoyed by bikers, hikers, and nature lovers in the city.
The initiative has been spirited by opponents of any development in the area, primarily a group known as Save Lost Dog, meaning that a yes vote on the question would prohibit both private construction as well as public roadways.
Early voting on the question is scheduled to take place until April 30, with the actual election day set for May 4.
By Garry Boulard
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