The third time’s a charm for a local developer who won approval from Durango City Council on Tuesday to build dozens of new homes in the northeast corner of the city.
Durango City Council unanimously approved a conceptual plan for Mountain Trace II and Timber Trails to build 47 new units on Metz Lane near the intersection of Florida Road and East Animas Road (County Road 250). Developers must now draft a more detailed preliminary plan that meets 23 conditions provided by the Durango Planning Commission and City Council.
Two residents who live near the proposed project addressed the council with concerns about traffic, access and liability. Ross Park asked councilors to ensure traffic measurements are complete. Marilyn Wolke said she was concerned about split liability between Mountain Trace I and II homeowners’ associations that will likely be sharing amenities.
Councilors asked staff to further evaluate split amenities – such as playgrounds and community gardens – with Mountain Trace I, an adjacent project which is under construction by the same developer. Traffic studies will be included in a preliminary design, the next step in the development process, city staff said.
City staff told councilors in documents provided for the public hearing that this is at least the third time developers submitted plans with the city.
Shaw LTD purchased the 5.1-acre property in 2016 and had plans to develop 20 units on 3.1 acres of land, staff wrote in a project summary and property history given to City Council for review. But no specific development plans were submitted to the city because of a decline in the residential townhome market, according to staff.
Developers tried again in January to get a plan before city boards for approval but asked to continue the application to address issues staff identified with access design, parking adequacy, set backs, drainage and snow removal.
The current proposal accounts for 47 housing units packed into 26 buildings, according to the developer’s conceptual plan. The proposed 9.3 units per acre meets city requirements for “medium density” lots, staff wrote to council.
The project is planned in two stages: Phase 1 calls for 24 units in four multi-family structures; Phase 2 totals 23 individual units – 21 single-family townhomes and one duplex.
Phase 1 buildings will offer three housing options: a 750-square-foot, one-bedroom unit above a two-car garage; a 1,330-square-foot, one-bedroom unit above a one-car garage; and a 1,475-square-foot, two-bedroom unit above a two-car garage.
Phase 2 buildings are planned for one-, two- and three-bedroom units ranging between 1,160 square feet and 1,850 squasre feet. Each building in the phase will stand no more than two stories tall.