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Duranguito advocates petitioned voters to place historic overlay on neighborhood

Duranguito advocates try to block...

EL PASO, T.X. - Advocates of the historic Duranguito neighborhood attempted to stall and ultimately halt demolition on certain buildings by gathering signatures from voters Sunday night.

If the group can collect nearly 1,600 signatures, the city will create an item on the ballot for the November 2018 general election, said El Paso County Commissioner David Stout. That would allow the public to vote on creating a historic overlay.

"The ultimate goal with this... is to put the issue back into the people’s hands," said Jose Quintero, an organizer for the group.

Stout said the historic overlay could ultimately stall or prevent the destruction of buildings in the neighborhood. The county commissioner told ABC-7 that their efforts are to prevent destruction of history.

“I just don’t think it is a wise idea to raze the oldest neighborhood in El Paso," Stout said.

He knocked on countless doors Sunday night with city Rep. Alexsandra Annello.

“Our viewpoint on everything is to take it out of the hands of the few and put it into the hands of all of El Paso," Quintero said. "So they can vote on whether or not they believe we should preserve our history via this historic overlay of Duranguito.”

In late July, a judge in Austin ruled that the city could move forward with building the proposed arena in the area, but that the city could not create a sports arena.

On Monday, there will be a hearing that requests a temporary stop to demolitions in the Duranguito neighborhood.