Preservationists challenge city’s permit for archaeological study of arena site

El Paso News

The fight to save Downtown El Paso’s Duranguito neighborhood continues as an Austin court began hearing arguments from the City of El Paso and preservationists on Thursday.

According to a news release, preservationists filed the lawsuit in the 261st District Court of Travis County against the executive director of the Texas Historical Commission.

It aims to revoke the City’s permit for the on-site archeological study of the Multipurpose Performing Arts and Entertainment Center (MPC) planning area.

Officials say the study includes the following four phases:

  • Archival and historical research
  • Ground-penetrating radar survey
  • Mechanical survey
  • An additional investigations stage (only conducted if intact archeological deposits are discovered)

According to the release, the next phase is the ground-penetrating radar survey. Discoveries will be handled in accordance with state law, officials say.

According to City officials, the permit and study were approved in October and were required by the state for projects to be built on five or more acres of publicly-owned land.

The court is expected to reach a decision in the coming days. Stay with KTSM for updates.

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