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County commission moves forward in pursuit of historic designation for downtown El Paso

In a split vote, El Paso County commissioners voted Monday to move downtown El Paso closer to becoming a historic district.

Commissioners directed the architectural firm HHM to continue working on the survey it did of the entire downtown area in 2017.

The area is roughly bound by interstate-10 to the north, North Virginia and South Cotton Streets to the east, Ninth Avenue and the Border Highway to the south, and Canal Road, South Santa Fe and San Francisco streets to the west.

As ABC-7 has previously reported, the consultants found almost 970 properties that could be eligible for historic designation — which means individual owners could tap into tax credits to renovate them.

The National Parks Service is responsible for approving the federal designation. (Click here to learn more about the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives Program.)

Some business owners in the area, however, worry that being designated a historic district would bring restrictions, too.

Voting in favor of moving forward to pursue historic designation for downtown were county Judge Ricardo Samaniego and Commissioners David Stout and Carl Robinson. Voting against the measure were commissioners Vince Perez and Carlos Leon.



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