Durango, CO: Durango City Council unanimously voted on Tuesday to approve the annexing of 1,928 acres from the Durango Mesa Park Foundation to be used for several recreational purposes.
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 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.
"This is an opportunity that will define our community for years to come," said Mayor Melissa Youssef. "This is an opportunity that will have a tremendous impact on our people, their lives, their health and well-being, and their happiness. Tonight is significant milestone in the Durango Mesa Park journey."
Alongside the approval of the annexation, Durango Mesa Park Foundation announced that it will host an opening ceremony for the Demonstration Trails that connect Horse Gulch to Durango Mesa Park on Thursday, Sept. 28 at 4 p.m. Additional details from the city will be provided later this week.
Proposed initial zoning designations for the annexed property include Rural Agriculture, and Open Space.
In other action Tuesday, councilors:
- Presented City Manager José Madrigal with a framed copy of a Durango Herald article that highlighted the city manager's efforts to change the workplace culture of the city.
- Proclaimed the week of Sept. 25 through Oct. 1 Cowboy Gathering Week. The Durango Cowboy Gathering was established in 1988 as Colorado's first Cowboy Gathering.
- Proclaimed the week of Sept. 17 as Constitution week. Sept. 17 marks the 236-year anniversary of the drafting of the Constitution of the United States of America by the Constitutional Convention.
- Voted to approve a resolution to amend the 2023 city budget by $1.2 million for work associated with the former Big Picture High School building. The city is in the process of purchasing the building at 215 E. 12th St. but renovations are needed prior to moving in staff, and which include IT and power infrastructure, HVAC operations, creating office spaces, creating a customer reception area, conference room space, paint, carpet, and lighting replacements. The Big Picture building has been identified as an appropriate space for relocation of the Community Development and Engineering teams currently housed in the River City Hall building.
- Recommended approval of a resolution to amend the 2023 city budget authorizing an additional appropriation of $120,000 to the Downtown’s Next Step design. The first phase of the project is planned for the 600 and 700 blocks of Main Avenue, but additional design work is needed because of the complexity of these blocks, including the College Drive and Main Avenue intersection, multiple underground basements and coal chutes in the area, the need for water quality treatments, and determining the general street sections regarding existing trees, furnishings, and utilities.
- Adopted an ordinance that would prohibit firearms and other deadly weapons in city buildings.
- Went into 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. Council authorized the city manager to enter into negotiations discussed in executive session.
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