The city of Durango will begin a two-year process in February to hire a consultant to rewrite its 20-year-old Land Use and Development Code, the section of the municipal code that dictates building and zoning within city limits.
Planning Director Greg Hoch addressed a joint study session of the City Council and the Planning Commission on Tuesday, and both bodies gave a preliminary go-ahead to issue a request for proposals, or RFP, within the next three weeks.
Hoch said he expects to receive bids by late February or early March and the City Council will likely select a consultant in April.
"This is a golden opportunity now. Building (permits) are down, and I don't expect it to come back in 2009," Hoch said, implying that the slow economy will allow planning staff to spend adequate time working on the LUDC rewrite.
He said the current LUDC, which was written in 1989, has been amended about 160 times since it was approved and has become confusing and cumbersome for staff, elected officials and the building and development industry.
The new LUDC is expected to address and streamline many controversial and time-consuming issues, including the public-review process of projects, design guidelines, development standards, zoning, density and building standards.
The cost of the rewrite is estimated at $300,000, with $150,000 budgeted each year for 2009 and 2010.