An update to the Comprehensive Plan as approved Wednesday night by the Durango Planning Commission.
“This is a really incredible document that really reflects why we live here,” Planning Commissioner Joe Lewandowski said.
After months of meetings, the Durango City Council is expected to vote on the plan April 4.
Planning Commissioner Geoff Hickcox praised the plan for including a new arts and culture portion, integrating sustainability in every aspect, directing new construction to embrace the Animas River, and proposing incentives for developers to encourage affordable homes and environmentally friendly buildings.
It also identifies challenges the city will face such as stormwater drainage management, housing and transit, Lewandowski said.
Meeting all the city’s needs will require millions of dollars, Lewandowski said.
“We are going to have to become more and more dependent on ourselves to pay for what we want,” he said.
After some city officials expressed concern Monday about designating an area northwest of Durango on East Animas Road (County Road 250) for up to 650 homes, the cap was removed, city consultant Michael Lauer said.
Drafting the arts and culture section brought diverse artists together and work on goals that will guide the community after the plan is approved, said Bill LeMaire, a member of the arts and culture working group.
“Creativity is a community resource,” he said.
The arts section directs the city to pursue a Colorado Certified Creative District designation, create a creative economy commission to help organize efforts, and to find a designated funding source for arts.
The sticking point for many who attended the meeting was parcel off Florida Road on Jameson Drive. The site of Puckett Electric is for sale, and the buyer wants to build a new home for the Rock Lounge there, Cynthia Roebuck said.
She argued commercial development should be allowed because it is near other businesses.
Neighbors want to see only few homes on the site, in part, because more than 20 homes could trigger the need to extend Jameson Drive to Colorado Avenue.
The commission voted to designate the parcel as a medium-density residential, which would allow five to 12 homes.
It’s not city policy to allow traffic to travel through a residential neighborhood to access businesses, Planner Vicki Vandegrift said.
The zoning of the parcel could change when a proposal for a specific construction project is submitted.