Durango, CO: Durango City Council on Tuesday chose to not draft ballot language that would reallocate lodgers’ tax, gave preliminary approval to a 153-unit housing development, and adopted a new comprehensive parking management plan.
Jan. 17 Durango City Council Study Session:
- Council reviewed a contracted study that surveyed 300 voting-age residents about potentially reallocating the city’s lodgers’ tax toward the development of workforce and low-income housing. The survey showed most residents who were likely to vote in April supported allocating 65% of the tax toward multiple initiatives, including the development of workforce and affordable housing, and 35% going toward sustainable tourism. Among the list of priorities, spending money on tourism marketing was ranked last.
However, council consensus was that it was too soon to think about bringing a reallocation of lodgers’ tax funds to voters with only roughly a year’s worth of data from the allocations that were set during the April 2021 election.
“I think this is too early to have a reallocation of a lodgers’ tax that passed less than two years ago, that we’ve only implemented and been spending from for a year,” said councilor Jessika Buell. “I don’t want to jump the gun, and I am a fan of the things council has put into place.”
- 55% for sustainable tourism marketing.
- 20% for transportation.
- 14% for arts and cultural events.
- 11% for any of the above purposes or as council may determine.
During the discussion on lodgers’ tax allocations council made a commitment to having a more robust conversation about how to better fund housing initiatives in the future.
Jan. 17, regular council meeting:
- Council authorized a new lease agreement with Agile Space Industries at the airport that would expand the spacecraft propulsion company’s lease of premises from 76,394 square feet to 451,308 square feet. The change in square footage would change the total annal rent for Agile Space industries from $22,905 to $74,466. The new lease agreement supports the city’s strategic plan by creating divers, long-term fiscal sustainability for the airport enterprise fund.
- In an effort to achieve strategic plan goals to enhance multigenerational community workforce housing, as well as attainable and affordable housing overall, council granted preliminary approval to the North Main Apartments on Tuesday. If developed the North Main Apartments would provide 153 housing units located at 3801 Main Ave., next to the Colorado Department of Transportation regional office building. The project would have 84 one-bedroom, one-bathroom units and 69 two-bedroom, two-bathroom units in 12 buildings.
“I want to acknowledge the developers on their efforts to work hand in hand with the Community Development Department and the Planning Commission to come back to us with something that I see builds a community,” said Mayor Barbara Noseworthy. “You get a sense that people will view this as a neighborhood, rather than just living in a box.”
- Council adopted the Comprehensive Parking Management Plan on Tuesday. The comprehensive plan was drafted this past fall and provides the city with potential parking solutions for years to come. Of the solutions provided, residents can keep an eye out for implementation of the quick fixed identified in the plan which include increasing communications, signage updates, and mobile pay integration among others.
“This directly accomplishes a strategic plan goal about how parking is integrated into the overall transportation system,” said Community Development Director Scott Shine. “Staff is excited to help council accomplish a very specific goal that was identified through that strategic planning process.”
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