Developers Balk at New Landscape Code

Last week, the El Paso City Council approved a new city ordinance that broadens restrictions on landscaping in new developments. Opponents say the restrictions will discourage growth.

Robert Gray of El Paso, Inc. reports that the new ordinance "...increases the area that has to be landscaped, the size and number of various buffers between the street and the property, and mandates the number of trees planted on the street front, a tree every 30 feet."

Gray talks with Bob Ayoub, president of a real estate management firm, about the impact of the decision. Ayoub says that the new requirements would add a substantial amount of landscaping to all new projects, which would mean less space for buildings, the profitable part of the development:

"What it means, Ayoub says, is developers will wait even longer to break ground on new projects, striving to pre-lease a higher percentage of the space before starting construction."

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