Last updated 5:46PM ET
December 16, 2017
KSUT Regional
KSUT Regional
City Comp Plan vs. Twin Buttes
(2007-01-23)
(ksut) - HOST LEAD: Durango City Planning officials say they are NOT taking steps that would open the Twin Buttes area west of the city to development.
The denials came last night during the first of several public hearings on an update of Durango's Comprehensive Plan.
KSUT's Victor Locke reports.

VICTOR: About 60-people packed the City Plan Commission hearing on revisions to Durango's Comprehensive Plan.
The comp plan, as it is called, is a sort of blueprint used to manage growth, housing, transportation, natural resources and more.
The last city comp plan was developed ten years ago.
The process of updating the plan has been underway for two years at a cost of several hundred thousand dollars.
City Plan Director Greg Hoch pointed out the process has involved a 22-person citizens review committee, dozens of public meetings, high tech computer assistance and more.
HOCH: YOU KNEW THAT WE WERE CUTTING EDGE, BLEEDING EDGE WAS THE WORD BECAUSE WE WERE DOING THINGS THAT NOBODY ELSE IN THE COUNTRY HAD AS YET DONE.
But all that didn't translate into clear sailing for the draft plan.
Shortly after Hoch completed his presentation, the plan came under fire from Scott Graham.
He chairs the city's open space advisory board which has looked at purchasing the Twin Buttes area west of Durango and north of Highway 160, to preserve as open space.
Saying he was speaking as a private citizen, Graham questioned a last minute change in a comp plan map which he says would destroy the Twin Buttes.
GRAHAM: THAT PROPOSAL WOULD APPROVE AN INCREASE IN THE HOUSING DENSITY DESIGNATION FOR TWO OF THE THREE PROPERTIES THAT COMPRISE THE MAGNIFICENT AND AS OF YET UNDEVELOPED TWIN BUTTES AREA AT THE WESTERN EDGE OF THE DURANGO. THE PROPOSAL WOULD, AS I UNDERSTAND IT, ALLOW DEVELOPERS TO BUILD UP TO 5-THOUSAND DWELLINGS IN THE 1-THOUSAND ACRE AREA.
Several other speakers echoed concerns similar to Graham which Hoch refuted.
He says before they could build, owners would have to satisfy concerns about the area.
HOCH: PROTECTION OF RIDGELINES, HILLSIDES, OPEN SPACE DEDICATION, WILDLIFE CORRIDORS, DEDICATION OF OPEN SPACE, CLUSTERED DEVELOPMENT, THAT SORT OF THING. IT WAS OUR APPROACH OF HOW TO TAKE CARE OF A BEAUTIFUL AREA WITHOUT HAVING TO SPEND 20-MILLION DOLLARS, OR 30-MILLION DOLLARS TO PURCHASE THE PROPERTY.
Representatives of two of three owners of the properties in question denied Graham's claims saying fewer than 1-thousand homes could be built because of those protections. .
Most of the dozen others speaking expressed concerns about controlling growth, better defining terms such as sustainability, ridgelines and slope development.
Some also say they're concerned there's a rush to have the comp plan revisions approved before adequate public input.
One speaker suggested final approval wait until after the city election, so the plan can be debated by candidates.
City plan commissioners will continue the public hearing February 12th after which they could vote on the comp plan revision, sending it to city council for another public hearing and possible vote in March or April.
The city comp plan is also just one piece of a larger puzzle on how to address growth county wide.
City Councilors and La Plata County commissioners will meet later this week to begin talking about closer cooperation in area wide planning and land use.
And the County Commissioners and their planning department have just announced a series of three public hearings in February on their proposed draft land use code.
Like the city comp plan, the county land use code has been under development for two years, after an earlier released draft came under fire as too restrictive.
If you're interested, both the city comp plan and the county draft land use code, can be found on line, at the city and county websites.
For KSUT, Four Corner's Public Radio, I'm Victor Locke.
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