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Commercial Property Services
Commercial Property Project Details 
The City of Durango requires that all new development and alterations of structures / uses on commercial property meet the requirements of the Land Use and Development Code (LUDC). Some alterations require certain reviews and permits. Refer to the following table below to determine what review and/or permit your project requires. Choose from the following list for specific information:

Abandoning Rights-of-Way or Easements
If you are proposing to abandon a right-of-way or easement that is no longer needed, then you will need to refer to the LUDC Division 6-3-14 to determine the appropriate standards and process for the abandonment.
 
Building an Addition to or Renovating an Existing Commercial Building
You must make sure you meet the required zoning standards for your particular zone district, or seek variances, before you can apply for a building permit. Depending on the nature of your development, you may either be a Site Plan Review, Temporary Use Permit (TUP), Special Use Permit (SUP), Limited Use Permit (LUP), Conditional Use Permit (CUP), or Planned Development (PD) project.

You may potentially need to go before the Design Review Board (DRB) for site, landscape and building design approval. All commercial buildings shall meet the intent of either Downtown Overlay Design Guidelines or the Commercial Use Design Guidelines, if located outside of the Downtown Overlay District.

If the building is located on Main Avenue in downtown and is a contributing structure, or if it is a historically landmarked commercial building, then the Historic Preservation Board (HPB) shall make a recommendation to the DRB on all exterior renovations.

If it is just minor paint color changes to the exterior of a building that meets the pre-approved historic paint color palette, then staff may be able to approve the project administratively. This information is available at: River City Hall
1235 Camino del Rio
Durango, CO 81301
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Building a New Commercial Building
You must make sure you meet the required zoning standards for your particular zone district, or seek variances, before you can apply for a building permit. Depending on the nature of your development, you may either be a Site Plan Review, Temporary Use Permit (TUP), Special Use Permit (SUP), Limited Use Permit (LUP), Conditional Use Permit (CUP), or Planned Development (PD) project. 

You may also need to go before the Design Review Board (DRB) for site, landscape, and building design approval. All commercial buildings shall meet the intent of either Downtown Overlay Design Guidelines or the Commercial Use Design Guidelines, if located outside of the Downtown Overlay District.
 
Building in a Floodplain
If your property is located within a floodplain area, then you will need to contact planning staff to determine the appropriate standards for your particular project type.
 
Building in the River Corridor Overlay Zone
All commercial development (i.e. additions, exterior alterations, new construction, etc.) within the River Corridor Overlay Zone (RCOZ) must meet the standards of the LUDC Division 4-4-5 for the RCOZ.
 
Building on a Property with a Steep Hillside
If your project impacts a hillside with slopes that are 20% or greater, then you will need to refer to the LUDC Division 4-4-3 to determine the appropriate standards for your particular project type.
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Demolishing an Existing Commercial Building
The demolition of any structure requires a demolition permit. A permit must be obtained through the State of Colorado prior to the permit issued by the city. If the property is located in the Downtown Main Avenue Historic Overlay District or is a historically landmarked commercial property, it must be reviewed by the Historic Preservation Board (HPB) per the demo criteria in the LUDC Article 3-3.
 
Designating a Commercial Property as a Historic Landmark
Commercial properties are only eligible to become local historical landmarks if they are 50 years old and a architecturally significant historical structure, socially or geographically / environmentally, as per the LUDC criteria in Article 3-3. The Historic Preservation Board (HPB) will do a review of the project and make a recommendation to the City Council for final approval.
 
Grading and Excavation of Commercial Property
If you are grading or excavating more than 10 cubic yards on a property, then you need to apply for an excavation permit.
 
Installing Signs on a Commercial Property
All signs within the City of Durango and in the Joint Planning Area of the City and La Plata County require a sign permit application and shall conform to the LUDC Article 3-6 for signs and shall also conform to the Commercial Use Design Guidelines for signs. If you are located in the Downtown Overlay District (downtown Main Avenue, Camino del Rio, and East Second Avenue), then your signs shall also comply with the Downtown Overlay Design Guidelines for signs.
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Renovating the Interior of an Existing Commercial Building
All structural interior remodels of existing commercial buildings will need a building permit. If no structural changes are being made, then you do not need a building permit.
 
Requesting Tax Credits for a Historic Commercial Property
Commercial properties are only eligible for tax credits if they are over 50 years old and are considered a contributing structure on Downtown Main Avenue, or if they are historically landmarked.

The Historic Preservation Board (HPB) will do an initial review of the project, prior to the start of construction, to determine what is eligible for tax credits. The HPB will then have to review the completed project to give their final approval of the tax credits.
 
Rezoning a Commercial Property
If you are proposing to rezone your property, then you will need to refer to the LUDC Section 2-1-2-6 to determine the appropriate standards and process for your rezone.
 
Starting a Business in an Existing Commercial Building
If you are not proposing any additions or renovations to the existing building, but are changing the use of the building (i.e. from office to restaurant), then you will need to fill out a Change of Use Application. Staff will look at the new use in terms of zoning, parking, and major street impact fees to determine if the new use meets the zoning requirements and standards for the existing building and property.

If you are not changing the use of the building either (i.e. retail to retail), then you only need to apply for a business license.
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Starting a Mobile Vending / Temporary Sales Structure Business on a Commercial Property
If you are proposing to have a mobile vending business or a temporary sales structure on a commercial property for six months out of the year or less, then you need to apply for a Temporary Use Permit (TUP).

If you are proposing to have a mobile vending business on a commercial property for more than six months a year, you would then be considered a permanent structure and shall abide by the requirements for all permanent structures (i.e. site plan review, design review, permanent improvement requirements, etc.).
 
Starting a Vacation Rental on a Commercial Property
If you are proposing to use your commercial property as a vacation rental (tenants renting for 30 days or less each), then you will need to apply for a Vacation Rental Permit. This permit will either be a Limited Use Permit (LUP) or a Conditional Use Permit (CUP), depending on where your property is located in.
 
Subdividing or Changing the Boundary of a Commercial Property
If you are proposing to subdivide or change the boundary line of your property, then you will need to refer to the LUDC Division 6-3-6 to determine the appropriate standards and process for your particular subdivision type.
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