ADU Program Information

Accessory Dwelling Units, commonly known as ADUs, have been legal in the City of Durango since 2014. In response to policy shifts addressing the escalating housing affordability and availability issue in Durango, the Community Development Department has initiated some exciting changes to the ADU program. Code amendments reducing restrictions on new ADUs were adopted at the end of August 2022, and the City is now offering a program incentivizing the construction of these units. Please read further for more information.

ADUs for Locals Rebate Programhouse2

With fewer than 50 ADUs being added to the local housing stock since the program's inception in 2014, the City of Durango is piloting a program offering financial incentives to property owners who construct an ADU and commit to renting it to a member of the local workforce. 

  • Program Goal: Support construction of 10 new ADU units by using $80,000 of previously appropriated Housing Incentive Program funds..
  • First Come-First Serve to the first 10 eligible ADU units to allow time to review, process and establish “best practices and lessons learned” for reporting purposes.
  • Rebate is a flat dollar amount of $8,000 for newly constructed or legalized units.

Program Criteria

  • Owner must rent ADU to a local who works at least 32 hours a week for a business or organization located in La Plata County. 
    • Tenant must reside in the unit as their primary residence.
    • An Employment Verification Form will be required with the program application.
    • Executed leases must be provided with the program application. Lease terms must be a minimum  of six months.
  • Newly constructed or legalized ADUs only are eligible for the program. An expansion of the program to existing ADUs may be offered in the future.
  • Owner must complete a notarized agreement (pdf) agreeing to program terms for a minimum of two years (24 months).
    • Annual program monitoring will occur on or before March 1st each year.
    • A violation of program terms or a sale of the property prior to the 2 year commitment may result in a requirement for the owner to reimburse City for the rebate funds received.

Apply

Interested property owners must complete and submit an ADU Incentive Rebate Application (pdf). Owners are eligible to apply when the ADU designs have been reviewed and approved by Community Development. Before applying, please schedule a pre-application meeting with staff to discuss program details and requirements. 

For more information, please contact Eva Henson, Housing Innovation Manager by calling (970) 375-4857

New ADUs

Code amendments easing restrictions imposed on new ADUs were adopted in August of 2022. With these changes, ADUs may now be permitted in all residential neighborhoods in the City Limits, with the exception of a few Planned Development zones (Sky Ridge, Rock Ridge are the most significant examples). The bulleted items below summarize the more significant changes:

  • Minimum lot sizes have been eliminated for integrated/attached ADUs in all zones. 
  • In most cases, on-street parking can be counted towards total parking requirements.
  • New ADUs may be eligible for variances to dimensional standards (setbacks, building coverage, etc) through the administrative Alternative Compliance process.
  • In some cases, ADUs may be able to be permitted within townhomes.

ADUtypes

In addition to the relaxed code standards, the City is also taking a modified position towards permitting ADUs in neighborhoods with protective covenants. Based on a need for new housing units in the community, property owners in neighborhoods with covenants that may prohibit secondary units may now seek approval from the City for ADUs. Approvals will specify that property owners assume any costs and risks related to the enforcement of private covenants. This policy change enables the City to accept applications for new or pre-existing ADUs in areas which were previously deemed ineligible to apply.

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.