Few articles appear in the Herald that demonstrate the act of caring for our community as that written by David McHenry titled “ADU: If such a good idea, why not vote on it?” (March 25).
Durango has enough positive aspects to attract ownership investment in its community and now runs the risk of losing the battle of encouraging investment simply by becoming complacent and arrogant. This is an attitude, and it originates at the top, beginning with elected officials who may be either participating in the folly or who do not have the courage or good judgment to take action. The only way to remedy the problem is to remove the cause.
It’s not a financial hardship to keep property neat and clean – it is an obligation of ownership. It is an obligation we have to our neighbors. Because preventing neighborhoods from accumulating junk is not as difficult as removing it once it proliferates, there need to be meaningful consequences to prevent such abuses. A record of violations is greater with rental property than by owner-occupied property because of the more transient nature of the occupants.
We have witnessed city officials ignoring evidence demonstrating that rental densities exceed 50 percent in Animas City. Until this attitude is reversed, constructive change is not possible. Simply stated, “caring” does not exist at this level. Approving rental properties in established neighborhoods unfairly places the obligation for enforcing unneighborly behavior on owner-occupied properties and is an aberration of intent.
There is no more beautiful place to live than Durango. Sadly, a short walk-about in almost any neighborhood will soon disabuse one of the notion. The trash and junk, unkempt properties, unpainted and slovenly looking dwellings, streets congested by haphazard parking and storage of recreation and other vehicles add to the unsightliness. One soon realizes it is necessary to keep one’s gaze focused on the distant hills and cliffs to keep the “beautiful place” description intact.
I believe a majority of the community cares about its appearance and would welcome a vote on the issues of ADUs and landlord/tenant responsibilities.
James J. Glass