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Durango City Council approves preliminary plan for US Eagle Credit Union

Financial institution plans to build branch near Three Springs subdivision
Durango City Council issued first approval for a preliminary planned development of a US Eagle Credit Union in the Southfork Character District west of Three Springs at a March 12 regular meeting.

Durango City Council gave first approval last week on a planned development for a US Eagle Credit Union, proposed to be built in the Southfork Character District west of Three Springs.

US Eagle Credit Union is a New Mexico-based nonprofit cooperative that provides most of the same financial services to its members that are available at banks, including financial advise; personal and commercial checking accounts and credit cards; and home equity and vehicle loans, according to the organization’s website.

The credit union currently accepts members who are US government employees who work in or report to offices in Bernalillo, Valencia or Socorro counties, to students and employees of schools in Sandoval and San Juan counties, or who fit other credentials.

City Planner Dan Armentano said the development is a straightforward subdivision proposal for the development of a 2-acre vacant lot immediately north of the Morehart Murphy Subaru dealership on Wilson Gulch Drive.

A new easterly lot to be created by the subdivision will be reviewed for development at a later date.

Both lots would utilize a 50-foot access easement on the north end of the property from Crater Ranch Road and feature another shared access easement between them.

Armentano said a northern access easement is under construction and will also serve as access to the Mesa Verde Estates development, which is located to the north of the proposed site of the credit union and has already been approved by the city.

The financial institution building would be about 3,400 square feet in size, feature a three-lane drive-thru at its north side and include 21 parking spaces, though the city is requesting parking spaces be reduced to about 18 spaces, he said.

The city is also requesting more landscaping be included in the proposed parking lot and for public sidewalks be built on the north and south sides of the lot.

City planner accepts job with La Plata County

Durango City Planner Dan Armentano has accepted a job with La Plata County’s planning department.

“Unfortunately, he is going to leave us for the county,” City Manager José Madrigal announced at the March 12 City Council meeting. “But we understand that it’s a great jump for you in your career, so you’ll definitely be missed.”

CDC Director Scott Shine said Armentano started with the city in 2016 as a permit technician, earned his master's degree from Northern Arizona University and “really exemplifies what we’re trying to do with the organization, (which is recognize and support talented individuals.”

“It’s been great to watch his progression as a professional and a contributor to the community,” he said.

Shine said he it is bittersweet to see Armentano go because the city is losing a high performer, but he is excited for Armentano’s next opportunity.

“We’re living out this desire to really support the people in our organization,” he said. “And even though he’s leaving, we’re happy for him.”

– Herald Staff

Armentano said the project area is alongside the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s new flood plain map and there could be a potential flood plain conflict, although that’s yet to be determined.

“The applicants have indicated the building is likely sited outside of that area. If it is within that area, they will need to go through an additional flood plain permit process, which is relatively straightforward and shouldn’t be an issue,” he said. “But that is a condition of approval, that if the building is found to be within that area, they’ll need to address that before getting a building permit.”

He added the applicants will also need to bring proposed building design colors in line with the city’s design guidelines, which “require colors to be used more as accents as opposed to primary colors.”

Conceptual designs for the credit union feature prominent deep and light blues on the building face.

“In this case, these colors proposed are corporate colors. They are used in the credit union’s logo. So staff has some recommendations to modify those colors to be earth tones to align with our commercial design guidelines,” Armentano said.

He said the Durango Community Development Commission unanimously recommended approval of the preliminary planned development at a meeting on Feb. 26.

cburney@durangoherald.com



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