Durango Planning Commission approved a controversial proposal to build 10 new homes on Jameson Drive west of Florida Road during a Monday night hearing.
The developer revised plans for the subdivision, called Jameson Court, after the Durango Planning Commission recommended Durango City Council deny the project in March.
Commissioners lauded changes, which included eliminating the potential for two apartments in the subdivision, adding one more on-street parking space and requiring residents to park in their garages.
The new subdivision is expected to be a pocket neighborhood, and all the homes are planned to face a common courtyard, a design commissioners praised.
“I just hope that it really just enhances the neighborhood, which I think it will,” Commissioner Elsa Jagniecki said.
Several commissioners said although infill development is tough, it is consistent with formal city plans to encourage more housing.
“I do believe we have a serious housing crisis,” Commissioner Peter Tregillus said.
The project was scheduled to go to City Council instead of returning to the Planning Commission, but staff members encouraged the developer, Dan Smith, to make adjustments to plans based on feedback from neighbors and return to the Planning Commission, Planning Manager Scott Shine said. The project is now scheduled to go before City Council in May.
Neighbors said they were concerned the subdivision would bring too much traffic and too many additional homes to the narrow, dead-end street. They were also concerned new subdivision residents would have to access their homes via shared driveways that would not provide much shared parking and cars would overflow into the street.
At a previous meeting, planning commissioners had agreed with some of the neighbors’ concerns, particularly inadequate parking.
The developer now plans to require residents to park in their garages through homeowners covenants, the developer’s agent, Cynthia Roebuck, said.
In addition, by eliminating the right for homeowners to add two apartments, two parking spaces previously envisioned as parking for the rental units become “extra” parking for the subdivision.
During a previous meeting, neighbors were concerned that too many homes were being added to a dead-end street and that number would exceed city standards for a cul-de-sac.
Jameson is a dead-end, but it is not governed by the same limits as a cul-de-sac because emergency vehicles can drive from Colorado Avenue to Jameson Drive if needed, Planner Mark Williams told the board Monday.
Residents were concerned emergency access would often be blocked by snow in winter.
However, the city streets manager said he would make every effort to keep emergency access open, according to city documents.
Three residents spoke in opposition on Monday on many of the same concerns.
“The plan didn’t change. ... It was repackaged to look shiny,” resident Blake Fredrickson said.
email@example.comThis story was updated to correct the spelling of Blake Fredrickson’s name.