Monday, April 13, 2015

Will City of El Paso Buy Controversial Kern View Estates Property?

The City of El Paso will consider a proposal this week to purchase a 15.57 acre property on a hill overlooking the Kern and Mission Hills neighborhoods. A developer had previously put forward controversial plans to construct housing on the plot of land.
The City of El Paso may purchase a 15.57-acre property in West El Paso to preserve it as open space. (City of El Paso)

Kern View Estates includes 60 attached single family homes on the side of Crazy Cat Mountain, just east of Piedmont Drive.

The City Plan Commission approved the site development plan in July 2014, but it was never considered by City Council despite multiple appearances on the agenda in the last few months, including a separate item this week. The City received letters and a petition opposed to the project.

According to the agenda item, the City is poised to pay the owner $405,000 for the property, which is lower than the appraised value of $450,000. The City considers the difference of $45,000 a "donation" by the owner for tax purposes.

Funds for the purchase come from the 2012 Quality of Life bonds approved by voters, ensuring the land will be used as open space. It also provides connectivity to the adjacent Palisades open space area previously acquired by the City.

Previously: Will City Green-Light Latest Proposed ‘Kern View Estates’ Design?