Council reappoints building owner to Historic Landmark Commission

EL PASO, Texas – UPDATE: El Paco City Council reps voted to reappoint Don Luciano to the city’s Historic Landmark Commission. Rep. Alexsandra Annello was the only rep. to vote against the move.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE:

Members of the historical preservation group Paso Del Sur are concerned about a former landlord of a building in the Duranguito area being reappointed to the city’s Historic Landmark Commission.

Don Luciano owns an apartment complex on 219 W. Overland, which is located just north of the proposed downtown arena footprint.

In late 2016 the building was found to be not compliant with city code. There were issues with plumbing, ventilation and structural damage. The code compliance complaint was filed by Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid, on behalf of some of the tenants.

Luciano eventually made the fixes, but the building was ultimately vacated by March of 2017.

Luciano has been a member of the city’s Historic Landmark Commission since 2016. City council will vote to see if he will be reappointed on Tuesday.

"I do not understand why [district 5 city representative] Michiel Noe insisted on keeping him on the commission while this case was pending, and moreover, why he wants to reappoint him," Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid attorney Veronica Carbajal said. "He is part of the problem. He is the reason Duranguito is blighted."

Noe tells ABC-7 he’s not concerned about the past code violations, and said Luciano is qualified to be on the commission.

"This is a person who owns property in an area, who is regulated by a lot of rules. It’s my personal belief that people who have to deal with government’s continually expansive regulations and restrictions — what you can do with yourself and with your own property — the people who have to actually live it and deal with it, have a right to have a seat at the table," Noe said.

In Luciano’s application to become a board member in 2016 he stated:

"I have fluency with regulations used to review proposals for work on historic structures and can contribute to a productive relationship between owners of historic landmarks and the City."

ABC-7 reached out to Luciano on Monday. He said he’s not concerned about the criticism, and he sees himself as a valuable member of the commission.

He said the code compliance issues were resolved, and that shouldn’t affect whether he’s reappointed.

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