How a new lawsuit could allow you to vote on whether to save Duranguito

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) - El Paso historic activist Max Grossman has filed a lawsuit against the City Clerk's office requesting that the proposed ordinance of creating the Duranguito Historic District be placed on the ballot of the general election in November.

Grossman is demanding the court to issue a Writ of Mandamus directing the City Clerk to include the proposed ordinance on the Nov. 6 ballot.

Grossman and other preservation advocates presented two petitions to the City in May and September of 2017, asking that City Council enact the ordinance to preserve Duranguito's "architectural and archeological assets."

City Council later said the proposed ordinance could not be decided by voters because it involved zoning.

Grossman says the City Clerk, acting at the direction of City Council, is refusing to place the ordinance on the ballot.

The lawsuit states that "City Council has acted unlawfully by interfering and preventing the City Clerk from performing her duty."

As KTSM previously reported, the Multi-Purpose Center (MPC) previously called the "Arena" was part of the 2012 Bond Proposition that set aside $180 million for the construction of the project.

In September 2017, construction crews began demolishing several buildings along Chihuahua Street, resulting in structural damage to at least three buildings activists considered historic. 

Grossman has previously filed lawsuits against the City which ultimately brought the project to a halt as the case moved through the court system.

In January, Duranguito advocates proposed arbitration with the City to settle the lawsuits and come to an amicable resolution. 

On May 18, the City announced the acquisition of several properties north of the original footprint. Those buildings include the former Exploreum Museum, located at 300 W. San Antonio which was shuttered in December 2015. 

This story will be updated on air and online as additional details become available. 

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