Dear Media and Friends,

This past Monday, the City’s Historic Landmark Commission, under agenda item 6, approved sweeping changes to the City’s Historic Preservation Code, (Chapter 20.20). These changes include deletion of ordinance 20.20.080(A)1, which purports to regulate National Register properties and which the local law firm Kemp Smith LLC seized upon as a reason why property owners might object to the establishment of a National Register District in our downtown.

Lawyer Mark Osborn is at the head of the opposition effort because, as he told KTSM, he “cares” about El Paso and about Downtown.

Today, D.J. Sevigny, Chair of the HLC, wrote to the Heritage Tourism Coordinator of the County to explain why ordinance 20.20.080(A)1 should be deleted. I have attached his letter as well as County Judge Samaniego’s letter to the Mayor and City Council dated February 10 that I shared previously.

I am told that the Downtown Management District supports the changes to the City Code, including deletion of 20.20.080(A)1. In fact, they took it up at their meeting on December 3 under agenda item 11c.

This Tuesday, the Mayor and City reps will review ordinance 20.20.080(A)1 under agenda item 35, titled “Discussion and action on the City’s Historic Designation Process.”  The ordinance is attached to the item so there is no question about the action that will be under discussion.

One would expect Kemp Smith LLC to send an attorney to the meeting to support deletion of the ordinance because Mark Osborn “cares” about El Paso and about Downtown and because he supports the private property rights of his clients. Right?

Enjoy your evening.