When more people move to town, where will they live?
This is the core question the city’s revisions to the comprehensive plan will strive to answer, especially now that Ewing Mesa, once envisioned as a neighborhood, is now dedicated for public use.
In addition to deciding how to grow, water, sewer, sustainability, and arts and culture are likely to be the focus of the plan revisions, said Michael Lauer, a city consultant.
“One of the key roles of the plan is to say we’ve got problems and we’re taking rational steps to solve them,” Lauer said.
His presentation Tuesday evening to the Durango City Council, Durango Planning Commission and advisory committee members was the first in a process that is expected to conclude in March with the adoption of the revised plan.
The comprehensive plan was last updated in 2007 and it outlines the city’s goals.
The plan will take into account the county’s projected population growth and how that will impact traffic.
The county’s population may expand from about 55,650 people to about 64,300 by 2025, according to national census projections.
It is possible that by 2025, all the space for housing around the city will be built out, so Lauer challenged the group to think about where new growth could go. Water and sewer service are a key part of this because they support growth. Sustainability goals will be woven throughout the plan so they cannot be ignored, he said.
For the first time, the city will be incorporating arts and culture into the comprehensive plan, and Tom Borrup, a consultant with Creative Community Builders, will be working on this section with a dedicated committee.
He plans to start the process by looking at the town’s cultural assets, but he takes a very broad approach by looking at how residents spend their time and where they like to go.
“Cultural planners start by thinking about the people: who they are, where they come from,” he said. Ultimately, this process will help define what the city’s role is in fostering a healthy arts community, Lauer said.