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Property owner opposition expected to kill downtown El Paso historic district nomination

EL PASO, Texas -- After years of debate and uproar from both sides, it’s looking more and more likely that downtown El Paso will not become a district listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Under federal regulations, it's believed that the National Park Service can’t put the area on the national register when a majority of private property owners object to the listing.

According to the Texas Historical Commission executive director Mark Wolfe, 57% of the 214 property owners in the proposed district oppose the listing.

"I am pleased,” said Richard Dayoub, the CEO for Thunderbird Management Consulting, a downtown business. “It's been for the whole community a painful process that's lasted several years, which unfortunately for our taxpayers has cost us literally millions of dollars to defend ourselves."

"This has never happened from what I understand,” said David Stout of the El Paso County Commissioners, who support the historic district nomination. “It’s probably never happened because it's a no-brainer situation for any community.”

Because the majority of property owners object to the listing there is now believed to be very little wriggle room.

"I don't want to say that we're completely defeated,” Stout said. “But it's very disappointing, we'll see what options we have but we might not have any."

Article Topic Follows: El Paso

Rachel Phillips

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