Durango has enough congestion problems, but the City Council wants more – more accessory dwelling units or ADUs. The council would allow 500 more ADUs and unknown numbers of unrelated people (possibly five) per rental, meaning more traffic, parking, crowding, noise, safety and infrastructure problems – especially in areas where rentals are already numerous, unregulated, unsafe and often anonymous.
It is unfair and unwise to pack another 500 units in an already tight, dense area. The city has little oversight of who is renting, how many in a rental, how many parking spaces are allotted to renters but used by rental owners, what cars then are illegally parked on the street, what safety violations and building codes exist, and which landlords are not paying taxes.
Cities of comparable size in other states allow much fewer rentals in neighborhoods, know who the landlords are, have good oversight of dwellings and neighborhoods and realize the importance of established neighborhoods. We should, too.
Whatever the motivations, the council seems ready to go willy-nilly into more unregulated, undocumented, and unsafe housing without grasping the negatives. Durango is a special place that could lose its identity, if the council does not think seriously about the consequences of ADUs and how they might negatively change what we now have and cherish.