Recent NewsThe final public hearing for the update to the majority of the Land Use and Development Code was held on Tuesday, March 18! The proposed LUDC passed with a unanimous vote from the City Council. Thank you to everyone who participated in this lengthy, but very valuable public process. The updated LUDC is expected to be effective on July 1, 2014.
The code language is available on the code update website at www.durangocodeupdate.com and at the Planning and Community Development Office at 1235 Camino del Rio.
For more information, call the City Planning Offices at 375-4850.
About the Land Use and Development Code Update Project
The Land Use and Development Code ("LUDC") is the law with regard to how land is used and developed in the City of Durango. The LUDC that the City uses today was originally adopted in 1989. The document has been amended about 160 times over the last 20 years. Over the next 16 months, the LUDC will be substantially reorganized, updated, and rewritten to ensure that it is reflective of community plans and values, easy to use, and consistent with the City Charter and applicable state and federal laws.
Of course, the only way to ensure that the new LUDC will reflect the shared values of the people of the City of Durango is to reach out and listen to the community. To that end, the project schedule includes a large number of publc meetings on the issues, and this website will provide an additional way to communicate ideas, comments, questions, and suggested edits to the project team.
Clarifying the Rules
Although there are many good ideas and policies in the existing LUDC, it has become increasingly complicated and cumbersome to understand and administer. Accordingly, one of the objectives of the LUDC rewrite is to clarify the rules, making the code eaiser to use and more accessible to residents, business owners, and developers. The new LUDC will follow the advice of Albert Einstein -- "Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler."
Implementing the Comprehensive Plan
The existing LUDC was 18 years older than the City's Comprehensive Plan, which was most recently updated on March 23, 2007. The purpose of the Comprehensive Plan is to guide the future growth and development of the City in a way that preserves and protects its special character and natural resources.
The LUDC is key to implementing the City's Comprehensive Plan and its many special area plans because it establishes the rules for how property is used and developed. That is, plans for future growth, development, and redevelopment can't be implemented if the law doesn't allow the desired uses and development patterns -- or if it puts unnecessary roadblocks in the way of their approval. As such, another objective of the LUDC rewrite is to bridge the gap between the plans and the rules to ensure that the policies of the plans and the laws that implement them are consistent.
The Consultant Team
After conducting a national search and reviewing proposals from top national and international firms, the City of Durango contracted with a consultant team led by Kendig Keast Collaborative ("KKC") on August 14, 2009. KKC specializes in writing land development regulations that protect community character and implement comprehensive and special area plans. The KKC team includes Planning + Design at AECOM, an international firm with strengths in visualization and consensus building; and Siemon & Larsen, PA, a planning law and planning consulting firm that is well-known for its innovation and success in redevelopment and natural resource protection.
The KKC team brings a balance of public, private, and civic sector experience to ensure that the new regulations will include all perspectives and strike an appropriate balance between the needs of the community as a whole and the individual rights and expectations of landowners and their neighbors.