The El Paso Board of County Commissioners approved the vacation and replat of Doewood Drive but denied a name change for a portion of the road.
The county has completed all necessary improvements to support removal of the gate, including those that would be necessary for emergency vehicles and maintenance vehicles to have access and turnaround at points of termination and to vacate the right-of-way and replat a portion of the road to make it so traffic from people other than residents cannot continue through. The vacation and replat affects four properties within the Woodmoor Ridge and Doewood subdivisions.
The right-of-way to be vacated is in the Doewood subdivision and extends from a point that is 45 feet on the east and 65 feet on the west from the edge of the intersection of Chisholm Trail to the south end of lots 14 and 15. The second vacation is in the Woodmoor Ridge subdivision and extends from the edge of the right-a-way at the intersection of Ridgeview Circle to the north end of lots 17 and 18. The vacated Doewood Drive right-of-way will be replatted to add equally to all four lots but will retain a 30 foot public utility and drainage easement on each lot.
Residents have fought the county on having the gate removed and wanted it left there for safety concerns and to discourage thru-traffic. A big complaint was semi-trucks that drive down the road in order to bypass the weigh stations on the interstate. The road was originally designed to be a collector street between Woodmoor Drive and County Line Road when Woodmoor was developed in the 1960s.
When the county had made a decision as to what to do with the gate and what improvements would be made in early 2012 they proposed a name change from County Line Road to Chisholm Trail in the hopes that it would minimize traffic from non-residents thinking it was a through street.
Road name change
In May of 2012 the 39 property owners who would be affected by the name change were sent letters asking them to submit possible name changes. The county received 40 possible name changes from 22 of the property owners. After screening the names and having them reviewed by E911, the county sent another letter asking the property owners to prioritize nine of the names and this time they received 29 responses. Of those 29, 11 said they would like to see no name change. The other respondents ranked the name change in order of importance and that was Old Doewood Drive and Quiet Bear Drive.
“Still the one name they would prefer is to not change it. That was the overriding preference of those property owners that would have the addresses changed,” Andre Brackin, county engineer, said.
Brackin said if the name is not changed overtime there would be confusion on maps and there would still be that issue of people thinking the road continues through.
“By changing the name of the roadway that really drives the point home and gets that on all documentation including E911. It would be very clear, a lot more clear than not changing the name,” Brackin said.
Commissioners Daryll Glenn and Amy Lathen read emails from residents who opposed the name change.
Commissioner Peggy Littleton asked how long it would take GPS to make the change if that portion of the road had a name change because until then truck drivers and others would still think the road was continuous and Brackin said it would take some time but they do plan on putting up signage that indicates that the road ends.
Glenn asked if it was possible to put it off for six months to see whether or not indeed there is still a problem that requires a formal name change. He said they would have to rely on the residents to track traffic from people trying to use Doewood Drive as a cut through road.
“Is that something that we could put this decision off to see if it's a problem? And if it's a problem then we could pick it up and say well we tried it and we're going to have to go through with the formal name change,” Glenn said, adding that the commissioners are looking at it from a safety standpoint.
After further discussion the commissioners decided not to change the name and will revisit it down the road if it's a problem.
“This board takes name changes very seriously as far as the impact on personal property and livelihood, those types of things but we do want to see whether or not the signage actually works but we always have the option to come back,” Glenn added.