Accessory unit issue deserves public vote

I would like to express my dismay and objections to the proposed expansion of accessory dwelling units and resultant increase in rental properties in the city of Durango.

While I feel that many have the altruistic goal of trying to provide affordable housing in town, I believe that what is really being creating is a cash cow for rental-property owners that is so lucrative that these properties will actually be kept off the market for potential homeowners and instead are just adding to the appalling, unmaintained housing and rental stock in Durango.

I do not believe that the city lacks the resources to do anything about this problem, and now the problem has gotten so out of hand that the only way to regulate this is to legitimize it.

The city made a conscious decision not to enforce this aspect of the land-use code, effectively approving ADUs citywide and everyone knows it. Im certain that thru GIS updates and actually looking in these neighborhoods, the city could identify properties that have been added onto or structures built or converted without permits. Why even have a code developed with public input if the city is free to choose which portions of it are enforced or not?

And this nonsense that the city only responds to complaints about ADUs is just that it is not our job to do the citys job just because it is difficult.

Adding potentially 500 more rental units by allowing ADUs is a significant change to these neighborhoods and the residents who live there, and the impact should not be taken lightly.

It is patently unfair that the city staff members and council can impose this impact of increased density from ADUs on residents who have lived in these neighborhoods for decades without a vote of the affected property owners.

If the city believes that this is such a good idea, then it should stand on its own merits and be put to a public vote by the property owners on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis.

David McHenry

Durango