Friday, August 15, 2014

Opposition to the New Kern View Estates Development Grows

Click image to enlarge. Aerial view of location of proposed Kern View Estates along with other maps can be found in the back-up material for the proposed ordinance to approve the KVE site plan on the upcoming 08/19/14 City Council agenda.
Plans to develop land on the western slope of Crazy Cat mountain have been around for several years now. One would have thought that the matter was dead in 2009 when there was an elpasonaturally post on the subject. Developers have sought buyers who might preserve the land and are still interested in that possibility. The catch is that they reportedly want $750,000 for the 16 acres in question or close to $47,000 per acre.

Just to the north of the site is an EPWU facility at the end of Piedmont. It has been a popular trailhead for hikers, mountain bikers, runners and other recreationalists who like the easy hike into open space where they can circle Crazy Cat and exit at the Palisades trailhead. 

It is not a very good location at all for a development because it is landlocked by the narrow street, O'Keefe, and further development in this location would negatively impact the intersection of O'Keefe and Stanton Street with added traffic congestion. The development would also increase stormwater runoff into the lower neighborhoods. The entire list of reasons NOT to develop is much longer than the 3 items I just mentioned.

The Fire Department has listed a number of changes that must be made for their approval. The City Plan Commission narrowly recommended the site plan by a 4-3 vote; but it is no secret that CPC has become in essence a second meeting place for  El Paso builders and developers and Five Points Business Association fellows - you know - the guys who would rather keep Central El Paso ugly rather than use more efficient planning as suggested by Plan El Paso.  

Kern Place and Mission Hills neighbors are quite vocal in their opposition. There is a petition circulating opposing the development and the number of signatures continues to grow. The Mission Hills Neighborhood Association even devoted their August newsletter entirely to opposing the site plan.

You can as a neighbor or as a citizen of El Paso who values open space and is fed up with tearing up our mountainsides with development do three things:

  1. Sign the Petition and ask others to sign it. Ellen Esposito has taken the lead and you can contact her at 915-274-2511.
  2. Email your City Rep. The MHNA August newsletter has contact info or look on the City of El Paso web site.
  3. Finally, join the crowd that will attend next Tuesday's, (August 19, 2014) City Council meeting. The matter (item 12.2) comes up quickly on the regular agenda. City Council begins at 8:00. See a map of City Hall's location. There's plenty of parking to the east of City Hall down Mills Avenue.

The best that can happen: Postpone the item. Know that Charlie Wakeem has added it to the agenda of the September 3rd Open Space Advisory Board meeting. 

I suspect that the developers really want to deal. City Council should do everyone a favor and give them that time.

1 comment:

  1. Did you know you can shorten your long urls with Shortest and earn cash for every visitor to your short urls.