A community of tiny homes may sprout next year in Durango, as a proposal to build 22 of them on 1.77 acres has gained support from city leaders.
City councilors approved a preliminary plan for an approximately $2 million project to build Escalante Village, a community of tiny homes at 224 Baker Lane along the Animas River. The proposed community could be populated by spring 2019.
City Council approved annexation of the land into the city, initial zoning and a conceptual development plan in July.
“I think it’s really exciting that you brought this to Durango, and it’s a very exciting opportunity,” Mayor Sweetie Marbury said Tuesday.
The Planning Commission voted unanimously in August to recommend that the Council approve the preliminary site plan. Council delegated final approval of the project to city staff.
The project is the fruit of a movement that has gained momentum across the United States in the past few years – one to reduce space needed to live and minimize human impact on the environment.
Bob Lieb, developer of the project, said he “caught the bug” for tiny homes in October 2017 and couldn’t let go of the idea.
“It’s hard to come down with a specific reason,” Lieb said. “I’m doing it because I think it’s a great idea.”
Lieb is planning to rent seven tiny homes already at the site and offer space for 16 more. Those seven homes could be rented for between $500 and $750 per month.
Of all the units available, about half have been spoken for, including five of the seven rental homes, Lieb said.
The lots on which the tiny homes will be put will measure 20 feet wide by 40 feet deep and provide utility hookups. Solar-powered lighting and permeable pavement, which prevents runoff, may also be incorporated into the project.