More than 220 people have registered a housing unit with the city as part of the push to legalize accessory dwelling units that started more than a year ago.
City officials are still hoping more people will come forward to register their accessory housing units before the Dec. 31 deadline.
After the deadline, the city plans to begin seeking out illegal units, and the owners will face stricter compliance requirements and possibly higher fees.
The registrations the city has received so far cover ADUs, duplexes and apartments in the three historic neighborhoods where ADUs are allowed.
It’s unclear how many illegal units may remain, said Scott Shine, a city planner.
Currently, owners of ADUs built before 1989 have to pay only the application fee to legalize their unit.
If it was built during or after 1989, those owners have to pay the fees that were in place the year the unit was built. These fees, which could be up to about $7,000, can be paid back over five years.
On Dec. 8, planners will present ideas to the Durango City Council on how they might handle those properties that are not registered by the deadline and those units that exist outside of the neighborhoods where they are legal. These neighborhoods include East Animas City; established neighborhood one, the area east of East Third Avenue and north of First Street; and established neighborhood 2, the area along Main Avenue from about 16th Street to about 32nd Street.
But city officials are exploring allowing ADUs in other neighborhoods as part of a plan to encourage more affordable housing, Shine said.
“ADUs are a part of a more comprehensive housing strategy; it’s not a silver bullet, but it does provide options,” Shine said.
Since ADUs were legalized, only about six people have applied for a permit to build one, he said.
More information about registering a housing unit can be found at www.durangogov.org/adus