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City verifies signatures for ‘Duranguito’ historic designation petition

Demolition began at four properties in a Union Plaza neighborhood on Sept. 12, 2017 despite a court order that was issued the night before. Protesters gathered and police arrived to block off the area. Credit: KFOX14 / CBS4

The fate of a Union Plaza neighborhood could soon go to the voters as the city validates a petition asking for historic designation.

On Sept. 11, Paso del Sur submitted more than 2,200 asking for the Union Plaza neighborhood called “Duranguito” to be designated as a historic neighborhood.

Of those signatures, 1,974 were validated by the city. According to the city charter, 1,666 signatures are required for the city to take action on a petition.

City officials said the petition will not automatically be placed on a ballot.

City Council is required to call an election, and the matter will be placed on the agenda for the Oct. 31 City Council meeting, officials said.

The area named in the petition is an area bounded by San Antonio Avenue, Paisano Drive, Durango Street and South Santa Fe Street.

That neighborhood is part of the footprint for a multipurpose facility funded by voter approved bonds. The facility was set to be built in downtown El Paso.

The multipurpose facility’s location has been subject to protests, petitions, partial demolition and legal battles

This is the second attempt at a petition to designate the neighborhood as historic.

According to Paso del Sur, the first petition was submitted on May 15 with more than 2,400 signatures. City Council didn’t take action on the first petition, which prompted the second.

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