City council OK's plan to stop development on Crazy Cat Mountain

EL PASO, Texas - Following staunch opposition to a new subdivision on Crazy Cat Mountain, the city has a plan to keep the land free of development.

The city council approved a preliminary development plan in 2010 that would allow Kern View estates to build 34 family condos on the site. The developers made a few changes that were approved by the council this spring that changes the development to about 60 family condos.

Now residents want to put a halt to the development of Crazy Cat Mountain.

"We're just into negotiations as (a) direct response to what the constituents asked us to do," said council member Courtney Niland.

Residents oppose a 16-acre subdivision that would cost about $14 million, according to plans presented at city council.

"I am opposed to the building of Kern View Estates," said Ellen Esposito, a Mission Hills resident.

Esposito said among the reasons neighbors oppose the development is increased traffic.

Esposito told ABC-7 the development could bring up to 480 cars a day on a small residential street.

"This steep slope behind me this is not an appropriate place for this development,"

She said area residents also worry about rain water runoff, a problem they deal with already.

"The new plan is improved. It allows more open space and there would be less destruction of the mountain," said Ramsey Esper, managing partner with property owner Piedmont LLC.

Esper said the new plan would allow for more open space throughout the subdivision.

But now the idea of developing the land could be nullified after the council voted to negotiate with the developer to purchase the land.

Niland tells ABC-7 there is money set aside in the quality of life bonds or public improvement district money that could be used for buying the land.

The council has stopped developers before such as the proposed Thunder Canyon development near Transmountain Drive.

"The negotiations would dedicate the area to open space," said Niland.
Open space that residents like Esposito would not like to see go away.

"It would be a change in the face of the mountain that would last forever," said Esposito.

If a public improvement district is approved residents, own the land and pay for it.

Some residents like Esposito support the PID but the price has to be reasonable.

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