El Paso, TX - A property battle in a lower valley neighborhood continues. Weeks ago, the City Plan Commission postponed a zoning vote that would allow 59 homes to be built on a nearly 10 acre property near James and Craddock. Residents who live nearby say they're against it. They held a protest on the land, which is owned by Catholic Properties of El Paso. They say the project would cause too much congestion and disrupt the flow of traffic in their community.
Thursday, the City's Plan Commission voted to advise the city council against the development. The dispute will now go before El Paso's city council at a later time.
"We understand that this vacant lot will have to be developed at some point," one resident said. "But this is a lot of homes for these side streets."
Sunday, the developer gave ABC-7 new details about the project, which he's defending.
Sal Massoud, who's representing Catholic Properties of El Paso, said they're willing to decrease the number of homes built on the land from 59 to 50.
"We changed our re-zoning application from R3 A to R3," Massoud said. "Which is exactly what the surrounding neighborhoods have."
Residents had suggested a park be added on the property. Massoud said he submitted a drawing to the parks department, but was told park fees would be required.
"Due to their budget constraints and maintenance difficulties," Massoud said. "And they explained to us, which made sense, that they would rather collect the park fees which will be approximately $76,000. Those parks would go toward enhancing the surrounding parks. This neighborhood has 2 parks within a mile."
Massoud also showed ABC-7 a letter he received from the Superintendent of the Ylseta School District. The letter acknowledges the district has seen a significant decline in enrollment.
"Stating the facts that the addition of any neighborhood any new houses that would bring new families with students is a welcome community," Massoud said.
Massoud has also gotten the support of the president of the Mission Valley Civic Association.
The issue will be brought back to the City Plan Commission Thursday.