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City invites public to learn about new development plans

One of those zones would build developments in the foothills of the Franklin Mountains, which has controversy this week. Credit: KFOX14 / CBS4

On Thursday, city officials are inviting the public to learn about plans to bring builders to vacant areas in the Borderland.

At the meeting, the city will discuss these new tax increment reinvestment zones (TIRZ), which are zones that attract developers to come to El Paso and build on empty areas.

One of those zones would build developments in the foothills of the Franklin Mountains, which has controversy this week.

That zone is one of three proposed TIRZs, consisting of about 3,874 acres on the far westside near I-10 and Paseo Del Norte.

In addition to building houses, the city says 3.5 million square feet would be used for office and retail construction.

On Tuesday, KFOX14 reported that city council voted to move ahead with that specific development.

About 30 El Pasoans showed up to the meeting, telling KFOX14 that the developments would destroy the trailheads on the mountains. They said they were going to start an online petition, KFOX14 found one that has over 7,400 signatures.

TIRZs are designed to attract builders because utilities can be paid for by taxes that homeowners in the area pay.

The city says the zones help bring investment, excitement and energy to these areas in the borderland.

The two other proposed TIRZs are about 50 acres in the Northeast, including the Cohen Site and about 1,000 acres on the far westside near Transmountain.

Those wanting to join the city and learn more about these zones can attend Thursday’s community meeting at 6 p.m. at the West Side Regional Command Center, 4801 Osbourne Drive.

There will also be a community meeting June 6 at 6 p.m. at the Northeast Regional Command Center, 9600 Dyer Street.

Another community meeting is scheduled for June 7 at 6 p.m. at the Pebble Hills Regional Command Center, 10780.

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