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Durango City Council advances mixed housing project off Florida Road

38-unit subdivision would offer amenities to new and surrounding residents
A conceptual sight plan for the proposed Florida Road mixed housing project. Durango City Council approved the the preliminary plan for the 38-unit development near Florida Road and Colorado Avenue. (Courtesy city of Durango)

Durango City Council approved a preliminary plan for the Florida Road mixed housing project, which would develop a 38-unit subdivision on the southwest corner of Florida Road and Colorado Avenue.

The housing project would result in 12 single-family homes, 12 patio homes and 14 townhouses.

“I’m very glad that we’re moving forward on this,” said Durango City Councilor Olivier Bosmans.

City staff members said the new development will offer a number of amenities for the mixed housing project, as well as the surrounding neighborhoods.

“Some of the site features include open space areas for different functions, a picnic area and a playground,” said city planner Mark Williams.

The project will also feature a sidewalk connection from the new neighborhood to the multiuse trail along Florida Road.

Part of the project is constructing a street that will connect Ryler Drive and Colorado Avenue through the new development.

Structures will likely have a contemporary design common to new residential construction in Durango. Materials will include stucco, wood and metal, with a palette consisting of earth tones and subdued colors.

A 38-unit subdivision has been proposed for the western corner of Florida Road and Colorado Avenue. (Courtesy city of Durango)

Since council approved the conceptual plan, the mixed housing project has gone through two developers. Bosmans expressed concern the project had already been abandoned. However, staff members assured him the developers pulled out for personal reasons.

“I think it was personal reasons for both,” Williams said, referring to the previous two developers. “One was health reasons, and I’m not sure about the other.”

Development has now been taken over by Dennis Shaw. Shaw told city staff members he expects the project to take three years to build.

Now that council has approved the preliminary plan, staff members can begin working with the developer on a final plan. After final plan approval is granted, the applicant may begin infrastructure work on the project and apply for building permits.

The project will generate $514,000 of in-lieu fees collected by the city through the Fair Share Ordinance. The ordinance requires developers to either designate a portion of their development as affordable housing, or pay a fee in lieu of doing so.

However, the developer and city staff members asked council to use the in-lieu fees to buy down purchasing prices of five of the townhomes, by an amount of $100,000, to be used for affordable housing through the Homes Fund.

“Homes Fund is enthusiastic about this, the applicant is in favor of it and the city realizes this is something we haven’t done before,” Williams said. “Which is why we want to go back and negotiate a fair share agreement for sign-off from City Council.”

njohnson@durangoherald.com

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