By Garrett Andrews
Herald Staff Writer
This week should be a busy one for those taking part in the city's land-use code update, as consultants and advisory
board members get set to tackle rulemaking for accessory dwelling units, parking and multifamily residential units.
The public is invited to a workshop at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Durango Community Recreation Center. The topic will
be nonresidential and multifamily residential units.
The workshop will be preceded by a meeting of the 17-member Land Use and Development Code Advisory Committee at 3:30
p.m., covering accessory dwelling units, parking standards for subdivisions, and development and density standards for
The advisory board also will meet at 11:30 a.m. Thursday at the Rec Center. And planners and consultants will provide a
project update to the Durango City Council at 4 p.m. Tuesday.
The code rewrite began late last year. Consultants with Kendig Keast have been traveling to Durango almost monthly.
The Land Use and Development Code rewrite will cost the city $300,000 when complete and should be wrapped up by January
It's not real sexy, but these are rules that will guide development in and around Durango for the next 20 years," said
Joe Lewandowski, a member of the Durango Planning Commission.
The city's current Land Use and Development Code was drafted in 1989 and since then has been subject to reams of
amendments, complicating life for both planners and property owners, said Kendig Keast consultant Todd Messenger.
A subconsultant who specializes in accessory dwelling units will attend the Wednesday meetings.
Accessory dwelling units have proved a troublesome issue in Durango in the past. They currently are allowed only in
downtown neighborhoods zoned EN1 and EN2, and limited to residences 7,500 square feet or larger. Messenger said there
really is only one rule on the books that gives builders and planners guidance with ADUs, stating that an accessory
unit must be subordinate in size to the primary structure.
But you want something that's truly subordinate, or else what you get is a duplex," he said.
Supporters of accessory dwelling units say the structures provide a supplemental income stream to property owners and
affordable housing to residents, including high numbers of students, single professionals and the elderly.
Messenger said it's possible that residents will ask planners to allow accessory dwelling units to be built in other
neighborhoods. But in the past, some residents have complained about crowding and an unpleasant appearance.
It'll be interesting to see what the opposition looks like," said Citizen's Advisory Board member Jan Derck.