Durango, CO: Council voted unanimously on the initial annexation of 1,928-acres of land to the City of Durango from the Durango Mesa Park Foundation to be used for several recreational purposes.
“I’ve been involved in government for 27 years, and this is by far the most generous and most exciting project I’ve ever seen,” said City Attorney Mark Morgan. “This is just ten times cooler than anything I’ve been apart of in my experience.”
The property is within the City’s Comprehensive Plan boundary and is identified as an area to provide parks and recreation facilities. The annexation has been anticipated since the adoption of the Durango Mesa Area Plan in August of 2018. The Area Plan set the stage for this annexation and provides the framework for future development of the mesa and the preservation of associated open space.
Proposed initial zoning designations for the annexed property include Rural Agriculture, and Open Space.
The final reading of the ordinance will be at the next council meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 19.
Councilors held two scheduled meetings: A study session at 2:15 p.m. and a regular meeting at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall, 949 East Second Ave.
At the study session council:
- Heard a presentation from the city’s multimodal division updating council on the Downtown’s Next Step design project. Multimodal notified council that it will be asking for an additional $120,000 for Phase 1 to design two blocks of Main Avenue in the 600 and 700 blocks. Design work for the downtown project is being carried out in phases. The multimodal division and the city’s new Capital Improvement Program Division identified an opportunity to coordinate their efforts and avoid potentially building a new roadway downtown, only to have to dig it up later when the sewer and water lines need to be replaced. The coordination is part of the city’s Strategic Plan goal of “High Performing Government” through partnerships and efficiencies, which ultimately saves the taxpayers money.
- Heard a presentation from staff on upcoming land use code amendments that include reconfiguring Community Development Boards and Commissions, updating parking standards, making process improvements related to public hearings and building permit fee updates, and notably, updating the Fair Share Program. The proposed updates to the Fair Share Program are intended to reassess provisions of the program to better-suit and benefit the community amidst evolving development costs and housing policies. The updates also involve updating the city’s procedures regarding the value of a building permit to better reflect the current cost of construction. Updating the Fair Share program is part of a larger effort to update a variety of City requirements and incentives to generate more housing options. The Fair Share Program was adopted by the city in 2009, with the goal of establishing policies that require certain types of new residential developments include a share of affordable and attainable housing or require developers to pay a fee in lieu of providing the sought-after housing.
At the regular meeting council:
- Heard the first reading of an ordinance that would annex 1,928-acre parcel into the City of Durango from the Durango Mesa Park Foundation. A public hearing to discuss the annexation was also held. A proposed initial zoning for the property includes rural agriculture, and open space.
- Convened in executive session to discuss the lease, transfer, or sale of real property located the corner of Camino del Rio and west College Drive that is currently leased to the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad for parking. No action was taken.
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