The vision for a walkable and safe north Main Avenue and Camino del Rio is complete.
Durango City Council unanimously approved the new plan for the well-traveled corridors Tuesday.
Executive Director of the Business Improvement District Tim Walsworth praised the plan and said the recent city event on north Main Avenue, which drew hundreds of people, demonstrated the potential of the area to have neighborhood centers.
“(The city staff) proved you can have little walkable sections up there,” he said.
As part of developing the new plan for the area, BID worked with the city to explore rebranding north Main Avenue with a new name. But after talking with community members, the moniker for the area will remain north Main, said Colleen O’Brien, business development and redevelopment coordinator.
“Simple is better sometimes,” Walsworth said.
Durango City Council did not comment on the plan during the meeting.
The plan envisions walkable neighborhood centers along north Main Avenue with a mix of businesses and housing. It also aims to improve the architecture along north Main and encourage businesses to locate parking behind or alongside new buildings, not along north Main Avenue.
Camino del Rio could be an extension of downtown, with better pedestrian access to the Animas River and more housing, the plan says.
Staff expects the transformation of the area will take place slowly over time, Planning Manager Scott Shine said in a previous interview.
To help revitalize the areas in the short-term, the city is offering matching grants to businesses that want to upgrade facades, sidewalks, signs and other outdoor features. Two grants have been awarded so far, O’Brien said.
A second Durango Creates! grant offers up to $5,000 to residents who want to install public art or hold events that will draw residents to the corridor. One of those has been awarded to support Lego installations.
New city standards that could shape the community in the long-term include requiring businesses to have fewer parking spots and adopting minimum height requirements for buildings.
The plan also calls for city staff to investigate how to allow hotels to be converted into housing, according to the plan. North Main Avenue is home to 16 hotels and motels that have 495 rooms.