Durango, CO: The City’s community development department will provide updates on a suite of upcoming code amendments to the Land Use and Development Code at the Tuesday Sept. 5 council study session.
Code amendments include reconfiguring Community Development Boards and Commissions, updating parking standards, making process improvements related to public hearings and building permit fee updates, and notably, updating the Fair Share Program. The proposed updates to the Fair Share Program are intended to reassess provisions of the program to better-suit and benefit the community amidst evolving development costs and housing policies. The updates also involve updating the city’s procedures regarding the value of a building permit to better reflect the current cost of construction.
“Community Development staff has been working on departmental updates, process improvements, and code amendments to enhance customer service, increase transparency of development and review processes, and achieve Strategic Plan goals,” said Community Development Director Scott Shine. “At Tuesday’s meeting staff will provide a brief overview and status of each of these updates followed by greater detail on anticipated next steps.”
Updating the Fair Share program is part of a larger effort to update a variety of City requirements and incentives to generate more housing options. The Fair Share Program was adopted by the city in 2009, with the goal of establishing policies that require certain types of new residential developments include a share of affordable and attainable housing or require developers to pay a fee in lieu of providing the sought-after housing.
“We would like to explore ways to make the Fair Share program more effective in meeting community goals regarding workforce housing,” said Housing Innovation Program Manager Eva Henson. “We are proposing updates that will improve the effectiveness of the program and reduce staff time needed to administer the program.”
The program updates are being paid with a $120,000 grant from the state Department of Local Affairs and a local match from the city’s Housing Fund. In March 2023, the city retained a housing consultant Root Policy Research, a women-owned consulting business based in Denver, to prepare a comprehensive review of the Fair Share Ordinance and Manual.
The new Fair Share Program is anticipated to better reflect current housing conditions of for-sale and rental housing along with new approaches to support affordable housing development. Staff anticipates the updates will provide greater flexibility in achieving housing efforts, which are part of the city’s Strategic Plan goal of “Affordability and Economic Opportunity.”
Following the Study Session, the Community Development Department will facilitate additional community involvement to get input on the proposed updates in September and October before advancing the proposals to Planning Commission and City Council for adoption.
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