"By 2014, El Paso will be a model of sustainability and smart growth by building on its roots as an international hub, promoting sustainable enterprises and wisely using natural resources."
"Individual City staff may or may not be in favor of "economic development" as exemplified by Jobe and the homebuilders' style of growth. The staff is mainly concerned with staying out of trouble, and the developers can make big trouble if any legal boundaries are crossed."The zoning and subdivision codes are the legal tools that have to be followed. The developers worked very hard to ensure that those codes were "vetted" by their own lawyers, lobbyists and friends before they were adopted by the City. If the land is zoned for whatever the developer wants, the law allows them to do it. If it's not zoned for what they want the law allows them to request a zone change and the Council can grant it."The Open Space plan and the General Land Use Plan are legally just "guides" to decision making by the Council, so they can approve zoning that is not in conformity with the Plans. (There is actually some legal precedent for holding Councils more accountable to such plans, but it is rare in Texas. There may be some precedent on the GLO immunity issue as well, but of course not from Texas.)"Botttom line- the developers have the law on their side in most cases and there is too much apathy to try to change the laws again. (Look at the all the fighting over the subdivision code rewrite last year that resulted in nothing more than some very minor changes.)"