I am writing to state my opposition to the proposed land-use changes that would allow the construction of up to 500 additional auxiliary dwelling units (ADUs) in the city of Durango. The impact of 500 new dwellings in already established neighborhoods will be overwhelming for a number of reasons:
Five hundred new dwellings could house as many as 1,000 more people, plus their dogs, cats and friends, creating problems with parking, noise, trash and dog poop.
Increased density will dramatically change the character of older neighborhoods, which is unfair to people who have purchased a home in an area that is primarily owner occupied single family homes. Now they might find themselves surrounded by ADUs. This could lead to a reduction in owner-occupied homes in the city as people decide to move to quieter, less congested neighborhoods like the one they used to have and convert their old home into rental property. Old neighborhoods will become less cared for and less appealing, leading to a decrease in property values.
Out-of-state property owners will happily take advantage of the new rule. They can significantly increase the income potential of property that they already renting for a relatively small investment since they already own the land. Out-of-state owners will be less inclined to maintain the property and make sure their renters are good neighbors because they do not reside on site.
There will be a smaller supply of starter homes available for young families to buy. They will be snapped up by investors who will add an ADUs to maximize the return on their investment.
The proposed change seems to be extremely short-sighted. It might create more housing, but it will not create jobs or lower rents. More importantly, the negative impacts will, by far, exceed any potential benefits. In short, I think the proposal to allow five hundred more ADUs within the city limits is a very bad idea. And, once these units exist, you canít take them back. What is the reasoning behind this?