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ADU Program Information
Thank you for visiting the City of Durango's page on Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). You can scroll through the entire page for comprehensive information on the topic or click on the quick link below to jump to the topic of your choice.     


ADUs in the EN-4, EN-5 and EN-6 Zones

The City of Durango held a public meeting at the Durango Public Library on April 19, from 5-7 p.m., to discuss the possibility of allowing ADUs in the EN-4 (Crestview), EN-5 (Riverview and the tree streets off Florida) and the EN-6 (Hillcrest, Ella Vita) zones. ADUs are currently allowed in the EN-1 (Old Durango), EN-2 (north Durango) and EN-3 (Animas City) zones. The 4,5 and 6 zones developed differently from earlier neigborhoods and from each other, so the City wants to hear from residents about the feasibility and requirements for ADUs in each of these zone districts.

ADUs have been legal in the 1 and 2 zones since 2014, and were legalized in EN-3 shortly after that. With close to 300 permitted ADUs, they have have proven to be a popular housing model, and the City is evaluating whether ADUs should be permitted in additional areas. The 4,5 and 6 neighborhoods have a different character and lay out than the 1,2 and 3 areas, so the City is evaluating the feasibility of ADU expansion. One such difference is that the areas where ADUs are currently allowed have alleys, which permits easy access to detached units at the rear of the property. The newer 4,5 and 6 areas do not have alleys, affecting how ADUs could be created. The City hosted this first public meeting to collect and assess the comments and feedback of the residents of the areas where ADUs may be legalized.

Additional opportunities for public input will include public hearings before the Planning Commission and City Council. An online questionnaire about ADUs was from April 5 through May 6. Additional information about the ADU process will be posted online in the coming months as well. Future meeting dates will be posted here when they become known.
4-19-18 EN-4,5,6 Meeting Presentation

June 15, 2018 Update

The City of Durango is proposing to expand the number of neighborhoods where Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are allowed. Durango legalized ADUs, also known as granny flats or in-law suites, in 2014 in certain neighborhoods, and there are now close to 300 legal ADUs in the East Animas City, Old Durango and Avenues neighborhoods. The City is now proposing to allow ADUs in three different zone districts: Crestview/Needham (EN-4), Riverview and the tree streets such as Aspen and Oak (EN-5), and in the EN-6 neighborhoods such as Hillcrest, Ella Vita, and others. 

Based on feedback from the online survey posted earlier this year, a public meeting held in April and analysis by the City of Durango, city staff prepared the following document as a proposed amendment to the Land Use and Development Code (LUDC) regarding the expansion of ADUs into other areas of Durango. Proposed text is in the red font, and language to be removed is struck through. If you wish to provide feedback on the proposed changes there is a comment form where you can do so, and the City will review your response.

A link to the proposed language is provided below. There are also several maps that show where the EN-4, 5 and 6 zones are located, and a map that shows lots sizes in the three zones, as ADUs are currently propose to only be allowed on lots that are 7,500 square feet or more.

PROPOSED AMENDMENT      EN-4 Map EN-5 Map EN-6 Map  EN-4, 5, and 6 Lot Sizes

If you wish to provide feedback on the proposed changes click here to provide your comments, and the City will review your response.

This amendment is scheduled to be heard at the July 23 Planning Commission meeting and on August 21 by City Council.

The information following this point deals only with ADUs in the EN-1, EN-2 and EN-3 zones.

New ADUs
The new Land Use and Development Code (LUDC) for the City of Durango allows for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) to be built in certain parts of the City. New ADUs must show that they meet the standards of the LUDC and obtain a Limited Use Permit (LUP) prior to starting construction. More information regarding new ADUs can be found here. The LUDC Sections that govern the construction of new ADUs are found here.

A pre-application meeting is required prior to applying to build a new ADU. If you would like to set up an appointment to discuss options for a new ADU on your property, please contact a City Planner in the Community Development Department by calling (970) 375-4850.

Existing ADU/Duplex Voluntary Registration Period

The ADU/Duplex Voluntary Registration Period ends January 1, 2016!
The City is also conducting a program to inventory and register existing ADUs and Duplexes. Some existing ADUs and Duplexes may have been installed prior to zoning laws and may be legally non-conforming, but many were installed illegally. It is the City's intent to better understand how many of these units exist.

If you own a property that contains an ADU or a second unit, it is to your advantage to submit an application for registration during the voluntary application period from August 1, 2014 to December 31st, 2015. Property owners that notify the City and voluntarily apply during this initial registration period will be eligible for variances and other programs that will not be offered to property owners whose units are discovered after this voluntary period. Beginning in January 2016, the City will be proactively seeking out ADUs and duplexes that were not voluntarily registered.

Each situation is unique so a pre-application meeting is required prior to applying to register an existing ADU/Duplex. If you have an ADU or multiple units on your property, you can begin the application and registration process by filling out the simple online pre-application request form below.

The first step is to fill out this form: ADU/DUPLEX REGISTRATION REQUEST FORM

The video below provides information about ADUs and a summary of the registration process.

On Thursday, November 13 the City held a public informational meeting to go over the revised process for registering a pre-existing ADU or Duplex. This presentation covers the main points of the meeting: EN-1/EN-2 Pre-Existing Unit Registration Information. Staff also handed out a fee schedule showing the costs of registration for unit that were established in 1989 or more recently.

On Tuesday, December 9 at a Study Session, City Council gave direction to staff to simplify the fee schedule. For units built between 1989 and July 1, 2014, this fee schedule, broken down by year built, shows the applicable fees. 

For units built prior to 1989, these fees do not apply and owners must only pay the $100 application fee and a $21 recordation fee.

A City staff member will review the information you provide and then call you to discuss your situation. You can call (970) 375-4850 or e-mail if you have any questions.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation in complying with the laws and standards of our community.

ADUs in Animas City (EN-3 Zone District)
The City Council has directed City staff to undertake a process to understand the sentiment of the residents in Animas City towards ADUs and propose next steps for existing and new ADUs in this area.

Homeowners can now apply for an ADU in the EN-3 zone district.

Applications for pre-existing ADUs in the EN-3 zone will be accepted from June 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015. Property owners can register pre-existing units in EN-3 using this form: ADU/DUPLEX REGISTRATION REQUEST FORM.

ADUs in EN-3 Background
On Monday, November 17, City staff held a public meeting to introduce the topic to the neighborhood and take comments on the issue. Over 60 people attended the meeting. Staff went through this presentation and then took comments for nearly two hours.

The tentative timeline for this neighborhood process is as follows:
  • Introductory Neighborhood Meeting (November 17, 2014)
  • Neighborhood Survey (Early January)
  • Second Neighborhood Meeting (January 22)
  • City Council Study Session (January 26)
  • Third Neighborhood Meeting (February 12)
  • Planning Commission Meeting (February 23, 2015)
  • City Council Study Session (March 10, 2015)
  • City Council Meeting (Late March)
  • Implementation (After March)

From December 31 to January 16, the City of Durango conducted a survey on ADUs in the Animas City neighborhood. There were three different ways to take the survey.

The survey expired on January 16, 2015. The results of the survey were presented to the public at a public meeting on January 22, 2015 at the City Recreation Center. A copy of the presentation given at this public meeting is available below.


The City Council public hearing on this issue was held on March 17, 2015 at City Hall (949 E 2nd Ave).

You can call (970) 375-4850 or e-mail
if you have any questions.