Neighborhood organizations are concerned a loophole in the land-use and development code could open the door to housing density they fought hard to prevent.
At the Durango City Council meeting Tuesday night, representatives from the Boulevard Neighborhood Association and the Citizens for Healthy Established Neighborhoods called on councilors to prevent builders from building condominiums on small lots.
“We are asking for immediate relief,” said Barbara Garlick, a neighbor to a proposed condo.
The loophole has allowed a builder to propose two separate houses on a 7,500-square-foot lot that could be sold separately as condominiums, she said.
The planning department sent her a letter stating that one small additional housing unit could be built, but later it was found condominiums could be allowed, she said.
“We were ground zero for finding out this kind of loophole exists,” she said.
Other members of neighborhood associations voiced concern that this type of development could increase housing density in some of the oldest areas in town, such as East Third Avenue and East Animas City.
The city held many public meetings to establish rules on secondary units and ensure they could not be built on the smallest lots.
But these do not apply to the condominiums that Garlick is concerned about.
City Manager Ron LeBlanc asked the councilors for time to more fully understand the problem, and he said he would give them timeline for presenting them with a response.
“Obviously, we aren’t in any position to take any action,” said Mayor Dean Brookie.