Durango officials are moving toward allowing Accessory Dwelling Units in the East Animas City neighborhood, but the rules for the units are still being developed.
Residents and tenants who responded to a city survey largely supported ADUs. These units are secondary to a house and come in many forms including mother-in-law apartments, separate homes and apartments above garages.
City planners see an advantage in ADUs because they provide affordable housing and compact development that uses existing infrastructure.
”It’s a nice way of adding infill without increasing density too much,” said Nicol Killian, city planning manager, in an earlier interview.
About two-thirds of the 100 survey respondents said the units should be allowed, according to a city presentation Thursday. A majority of the respondents own property and live in the neighborhood.
Of those who spoke at the meeting, the majority also appeared to be supportive of ADUs, Killian said.
The city solicited comment from about 370 property owners and tenants through postcards that directed them to take the survey. There are 314 lots within the neighborhood, generally the area between east 29th Street and Riverbend Street, on the east side of the Animas River.
The respondents were split about whether the city should impose limitations on ADUs – 41 percent opposed limitations and 40 percent supported them. The remaining respondents were undecided.
City planners presented a series of proposed rules for new ADUs, including lot sizes, owner occupancy and minimum requirements for parking. Rules for existing ADUs will be addressed later.
Under the proposed rules, new ADUs could be built on lots that are only 8,500 square feet or larger. About 167 lots in the neighborhood are below this minimum.
City planners also proposed requiring a property owner to live either in the ADU or the main dwelling. But exceptions could be granted.
“The owner occupancy requirement puts many at ease that their neighbors’ ADUs will not become a party house and will be taken care of by the owner,” Killian said.
A new parking space would be required for a new ADU. If no parking exists on a parcel, two parking spaces would need to be built when an ADU is added – one for the ADU and one for the house.
The City Council will hold a study session about East Animas City ADUs at 4 p.m. Monday at City Hall. The council does not take public comment at study sessions.
The public meeting about existing ADUs in East Animas City will be held at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 12 at the Durango Community Recreation Center.
The city is scheduled to start implementing East Animas City ADU laws in April.