Durango City Council Approves Urban Renewal Zone on Main Avenue North – The Durango Herald

10 of the planned 22 townhouses will be permanent workforce housing

The North Main Gateway Urban Renewal Area is defined by a southern boundary beginning at East 32nd Street, a western boundary by the driveway between West Second Avenue and North Main Avenue, a northern boundary at 35th Street (excluding the Siesta Motel) and an eastern boundary at the southern end by Animas City Park, according to planning documents. (Courtesy of the City of Durango)

Durango City Council on Tuesday approved the designation of an urban renewal area along Main Avenue North, allowing the city and property owners to use grants and loans to redevelop run-down areas and build 22 homes. in row, including 10 housing for the workforce.

The area contains 23 individual plots and 19 landowners, Scott Shine of the city’s community development department said at Tuesday’s council meeting. It covers 16.6 hectares.

Mayor Kim Baxter, Mayor Pro Tem Barbara Noseworthy and Councilors Melissa Youssef and Jessika Buell voted to approve the designation while Councilor Olivier Bosmans voted to reject it.

North Main Gateway, the city’s second urban renewal area, will emphasize housing and mixed-use, walkable developments with multimodal transportation. Its growth is based on partnerships with businesses, entrepreneurs and developers, Shine said.

By contrast, the Midtown Urban Renewal Area, passed in March 2021, contains 108 properties, 156 owners, and 50.4 acres. Midtown took a broader, “neighbourhood-level” approach, he said.

Shine said 22 townhouses are planned on a one-acre lot half a block from North Main Avenue near the Animas River in what he called “a very multi-modal location.” The townhouses were proposed after a plan for five single-family homes costing around $1.5 million each was rejected. Townhouses have gained popularity because the area has been designated as a high-density residential area, he said.

“Through our ability to partner with the project and contribute financially to the project, we were able to change the direction of this project,” he said.

Scott Shine, deputy director of the Department of Community Development, reviewed planned workforce housing developments for North Main Gateway, an urban renewal area designated by the Durango City Council during its Tuesday meeting. . (Christian Burney/Durango Herald)

Since the city will help pay for some development costs such as public infrastructure, 10 of the proposed 22 townhouses would be permanent housing for the workforce. Labor townhouses will be ownership opportunities, Shine said.

“A lot of the incoming rental product is helping us meet our housing goals, but we don’t see as many opportunities for homeownership, especially in such a great place in the city like this” , did he declare.

Some townhouses will be offered at a reduced price. For others, potential buyers may face requirements such as having lived or worked in La Plata County for multiple years, Shine said.

The North Main Gateway renewal area will serve as a model for future larger projects, he said.

According to planning documents, future urban renewal opportunities could include revitalization projects, housing estates and partnerships with the Urban Renewal Authority.

Other parcels of land within the urban renewal area are underutilized and may be developed or adapted for use, according to planning documents. For example, the intersection of 33rd Street and Main Avenue needs improvements, city-owned properties can be turned into “iconic” public spaces, and walkable residential areas with transit access by common multimodal are possibilities.

Funding

The Durango Renewal Partnership, the urban renewal authority, can fund the design and construction of urban renewal projects through city loans and credits, federal and state grants and loans, and incremental funding. ‘tax. The latter includes the use of property taxes and municipal sales taxes in the urban renewal area.

City Council committed Tuesday to a related tax increment funding agreement in a separate vote that allocates property levies and general fund (2%) sales tax revenue from North Main Gateway to the Durango. Renewal Partnership for projects in the area.

In an impact report, Shine said the projected property tax revenue that would be diverted to the Durango Renewal Partnership over 25 years is $362,489. Projected sales tax revenue over the same period was $2,117,925.

Councilor Bosmans was hesitant to adopt the North Main Gateway urban renewal designation. On Tuesday, he expressed concern that “every existing neighborhood would have degraded areas that would be eligible for a URA.”

He said benefits for property owners would be limited to residents of the Urban Renewal Area and the city should treat all property owners equally, fairly and equitably.

“We have about 1,800 units in various stages of design and construction within the city limits,” he said. “I think if we’re going to tackle housing, we have to be very active and proactive in getting these units to happen.”

The tax increment financing agreement passed by a vote of 4 to 1, with Bosmans voting against.

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