Housing took center stage Tuesday night at the Durango City Council meeting. Three projects that could collectively add 472 new housing units were given the green light at the Feb. 15 meeting. The projects will add 141 studio units located in the former Durango Downtown Inn, 120 units at the former Best Western Durango Inn and Suites, and 211 new units in Three Springs.
See meeting highlights in our latest episode of Council Connection or view the meeting in its entirety on our YouTube channel.
An economic outlook report was given to councilors by the Region 9 Economic Development District. Region 9 Executive Director Laura Lewis Marchino told Council about some troubling trends. More and more money locally is coming from retirees, and migration patterns show fewer people are moving to Colorado because the state is not as affordable as other states, she said. “We are not having babies … and the region is not affordable to families.”
During the public hearing portion of the meeting, councilors:
- Approved an easement across city-owned property for Charter Communications to install an underground fiber optic line near Avenida del Sol and Roosa Avenue.
- Continued a hearing on an easement for La Plata Electric Association for the new Animas High School, to March 2.
- Integrated the 2018 International codes into the city code of ordinances for building, residential, plumbing, mechanical, fuel gas, fire and energy conservation. A portion of the 2021 code was also adopted that requires new single-user restrooms to be identified as being available to all persons, regardless of sex. The city attorney will prepare ordinances to adopt the codes at an upcoming council meeting.
- Councilors approved a preliminary plan by KB Durango to develop a 211-unit housing complex at Three Springs. The project comprises three apartment buildings containing 202 units, and two townhome buildings containing nine units on 4.7 acres. The complex is slated for the northwest intersection of Wilson Gulch Drive and Three Springs Boulevard.
General business items included:
- The approval of a resolution approving amendments to the 2021 and 2022 budgets.
- Councilors approved a resolution that assigned a purchase and sale agreement to Indiana-based TWG Acquisitions for the Best Western Durango Inn and Suites. The former hotel is slated for the creation of affordable housing. TWG plans to convert the existing 71 units at the hotel and add 49 new units at the site. The goal is to provide studio, one- and two-bedroom units to households earning less than 60% of the area’s median income. Rents would range from $408 to $1,104 per month. The primary source of funding for the developer to acquire the property and move forward on financing applications is a $7 million loan from the federal Division of Housing.
- The assignment of tax-exempt bonds to the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority to support the financing of the Best Western project.
- And finally, the allocation of $75,000 from lodgers tax collection to support the Durango Creative District in 2022. The money will go toward public art projects.
The next City Council study session will be Wednesday, March 2 at 2:15 p.m., followed by the next regular council meeting at 5:30 p.m. Find meeting agendas at DurangoGov.org/Meetings
View meeting highlights in the latest episode of Council Connection or view the entire meeting on our YouTube channel.