Enough signatures have now been secured in opposition to a big development plan in Northwest El Paso to allow for a petition on the matter to be officially presented before the El Paso City Council.
Members of that council last month voted in favor of creating a Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone that could lead to the possible construction of nearly 830,000 square feet of retail and office development, along with just under 9,500 individual housing units.
Tax revenue from the zone would be used to pay for such public infrastructure as sewer systems, sidewalks, and street lighting.
But opponents of the plan have contended that the land in question, which includes the Lost Dog Trailhead leading to the Franklin Mountains, an area enjoyed by bicyclists and joggers, should be left undeveloped.
Those opponents have now secured 168 signatures above the required 1,666 signatures needed to present a petition to the El Paso City Council.
That petition, asking to “preserve, in its natural state and in perpetuity” the city-owned property in question, is now scheduled to be formally offered and considered by El Paso City Council members in a public hearing on August 7.
If the new development becomes reality, according to earlier plans presented to the council, it could see the construction of a 5,000 square-foot aquatic facility, a 124-room hotel, a 7-acre park and amphitheater, and a 37,000 square foot athletic center.
By Garry Boulard
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