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Judge Halts Certain Actions for El Paso Arena

Arena Digest

The City of El Paso must temporarily halt certain actions concerning its proposed arena, according to a ruling by a Travis County judge. 

On Monday, judge Amy Clark Meachum issued a temporary restraining order that will affect the city’s process for the next few weeks. The order bars the city from issuing new demolition permits and from entering into some new agreements–including those concerning property acquisition–in the arena’s footprint, which includes the Duranguito neighborhood.

The restraining order ultimately included some of the actions that had been sought by four residents represented by the Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, and is currently in effect until July 3. Going forward, one of the most pressing development in the issue will be a hearing scheduled for next month. El Paso is seeking a validation that a 2012 bond election validates the plan to construct the arena in the Duranguito neighborhood, but multiple groups are opposing the city’s effort. More from the El Paso Times:

Meachum will make a final ruling after the July 17 hearing on the city’s request for an expedited declaratory judgement to stop any legal action against it and to validate its stance that the arena project is an appropriate use of voter-approved bonds.

The city’s petition seeks validation that the arena can be built at the Duranguito site based on the language in the ordinance calling for the 2012 bond election that stated it would be located Downtown.

[City attorney Sylvia] Borunda Firth said she is confident the city abided by the contract it entered with voters in 2012 for the quality of life project.

“We are looking forward to getting this resolved,” she said.

The four residents, historic preservationist Max Grossman and University of Texas at El Paso professor Yolanda Chavez Leyva, a community advocate, are fighting against the city’s effort to get the declaratory judgement.

The final ruling was originally scheduled to take place last month, but was pushed back to July after the hearing was postponed.

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