EL PASO, Texas - The new year is expected to bring a new Northwest El Paso development, consisting of hundreds of new homes that could greatly impact the growing area.
The Cimarron Canyon "unit one subdivision" is located near the corner of Resler and Northern Pass, about a half mile off of I-10. The development is just East of Trans Mountain road with a view of Franklin Mountains State Park.
The area, being developed by Hunt Companies, is already being prepared for the massive development. According to City of El Paso planning documents, it will consist of just over 97 acres of land. It will be subdivided into 332 single family lots and three different parks.
One of the parks will be centrally located and consist of more than three acres itself. Two smaller pocket parks are planned that are expected to double as access to trail heads in the area.
ABC-7 asked an open space advocate, City Rep. Jim Tolbert, for his thoughts on the huge development coming early next year. "The land is fairly flat," Tolbert said. "I don't think we're dealing with any arroyos. We're not really up close to the mountain. We're not even close to the state park. I don't see any critical environmental problems with the area."
City Rep. Peter Svarzbein, who represents the area, said balancing preservation with growth is very important.
"I'm looking forward to learning more about it," Svarsbein said. "Some positives on this development include that it exceeds the City's park space requirement."
Jim Trotter, visiting El Paso from Los Angeles during the holidays, walked his dog past the development on Tuesday. He said he would consider buying a home in the area once he retires.
"It's wide open country out here," Trotter said. "It's beautiful and we enjoy the El Paso area. We've looked at new homes across the way here. I see a new hospital going in. So it looks like the West Side of El Paso is making great progress."
Some residents who live nearby are concerned. "I was not aware it was going to be a new neighborhood," said Felipe Robles. "I'm worried about green areas with parks because we have just one park for everybody. Also, the schools. I don't know if they're going to feed everybody into just one school."
Canutillo Independepent School District Superintendent Pedro Galaviz told ABC-7 the district will receive an update on the development in the next month.
"It's been on our radar," Galaviz said. "We've been doing a residential facility study. We're also doing commercial study, because as you can tell we're getting some big stores on the other side."
Galaviz said they prefer smaller class sizes at Canutillo but they are prepared for the influx. The district's middle and elementary schools are at just 50 to 60 percent capacity, although Canutillo High School is almost at 90 percent capacity, Galaviz said.
"It would impact us in a positive way, because they're bringing more revenue from the state," Galaviz said. "But also our main goal is to provide that quality learning environment for our kids. We'll go back to our drawing board, as we did our facility master plan last year, and we'll do it again. We owe it to our community and most importantly our kids."
A City Plan Commission hearing for the Cimarron Canyon development is scheduled for next Thursday.