Via an email news release, local Architectural Historian Max Grossman announced a new push to keep a portion of Downtown El Paso from demolition to build a multi-purpose arena.
“I am pleased to announce a citizens’ initiative to establish a “Duranguito Historic District” on the edge of downtown El Paso,” Grossman writes, we wish to see implemented the recommendations of the 1998 City of El Paso survey, which includes creating a historic district within the boundaries of Union Plaza”
“The H-overlay district will recognize and commemorate the history, culture and people of the historic barrio.”
Grossman says the petition drive is co-organized by the El Paso History Alliance, Paso del Sur, and Save the Union Plaza Neighborhood in tandem with “friends and allies from throughout the community.”
“It is our hope that once the City has verifed the signatures on the petition that the City Council will enact the proposed ordinance. If not, the City Charter provides us with a path to place the ordinance on the ballot of the next general election specified in State law, Grossman adds.
To help get the petition off the ground, supporters will host a closed-door training session at the Rock House Cafe at 400 West Overland Avenue, in the heart of Duranguito, at 12:00pm.
All members of the general public are invited to assist with the petition effort; volunteers are asked to bring a laptop computer with Microsoft Excel installed. Shortly after the training session, supporters will be setting up petition stations at strategic locations and will continue collecting and verifying signatures until they reach the number required by law.
In order to create the district, Grossman and other preservationists are invoking Article 3.11 of the City Charter, and organizing petition. The petition reads:
We, the undersigned, being registered voters who voted in the last general election of the City of El Paso do hereby sign this petition pursuant to Section 3.11 of the Charter of the City of El Paso. We request the City Council of the City of El Paso to place the proposed ordinance described below on the City Council agenda for a City Council meeting to be held within thirty (30) working days after receipt of this petition, which contains the names, addresses, dates of birth and signature dates of the petitioners, all of whom are registered voters who voted in the last general election of the City of El Paso. We affirm that we are registered voters who voted in the last general election of the City of El Paso. The proposed ordinance is as follows:
THAT THE AREA WITHIN THE CITY OF EL PASO WHOSE BOUNDARIES ARE WEST SAN ANTONIO AVENUE ON THE NORTH, PAISANO DRIVE ON THE SOUTH, DURANGO STREET ON THE WEST AND SOUTH SANTA FE STREET ON THE EAST IS HEREBY DESIGNATED AS AN HISTORIC LANDMARK AND AN HISTORIC DISTRICT (ALSO KNOWN AS AN H-OVERLAY DISTRICT) AS PROVIDED IN SECTION 20.20.040 OF THE EL PASO CITY CODE AND SHALL BE SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 20.20.080 OF THE EL PASO CITY CODE. THE AREA DESCRIBED HEREIN SHALL BE KNOWN AS THE DURANGUITO HISTORIC DISTRICT. THE BOUNDARIES OF THE DISTRICT ARE SHOWN ON FIGURE 5.52 ATTACHED HERETO.