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Last updated 1:16PM ET
December 18, 2017
KSUT Regional
KSUT Regional
Downtown River Corridor Moratorium Gets Thumbs Up
(2007-05-02)
(ksut) - HOST LEAD: The doors may soon be temporarily shut on any redevelopment in between the Animas River and Camino Del Rio in Downtown Durango.
KSUT's Victor Locke Reports.

VICTOR: Durango councilors gave preliminary approval last night to a six month moratorium on downtown riverside development.
It would halt the issuance of development and building permits for six months, between 9th and 14th, along the river, west of Camino Del Rio.
Concerns that a commercial/residential redevelopment of property at 1111 Camino Del Rio filed several weeks ago could lead to more proposals and damage the rivers aesthetic and recreational qualities, prompted the move for the moratorium by several councilors.
Five individuals spoke out during a public hearing last night.
All favored protecting the river corridor and its character.
But three speakers warned a moratorium sends the wrong signals.
Businessman Phil Bryson:
BRYSON: I THINK THERE'S SOME VERY STRONG CONCERN IN THIS COMMUNITY ABOUT IF WE'RE GOING TO START RULING BY MORATORIUM. EVERYTIME WE DON'T LIKE HOW SOMETHINGS GOING, MORATORIUM, MORATORIUM, THAT'S VERY VERY DANGEROUS, AND IF YOU WANT TO GO, THERE'S SEVERAL COMMUNITIES WHO'VE DONE THAT AND IT'S VERY DAMAGING BECAUSE IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO KNOW WHERE THINGS ARE GOING.
Chamber Executive Jack Llewellyn echoed Bryson's concerns:
LlEWELLYN: I AM CONCERNED ABOUT WHAT THE PUBLIC WILL HEAR WHEN THEY HEAR THE WORD MORATORIUM.
THINK OF SUPPLY AND DEMAND, YOU HEAR MORATORIUM, WHAT DOES THAT DO, USUALLY PRICES WILL GO UP ALSO.
City planning staff proposed an alternative to the moratorium.
They suggested declaring the area a Planned Development District, or PD district.
Planning Director Greg Hoch says that approach would be preferable for several reasons, including:
HOCH: IT ALLOWS PROPERTY OWNERS TO ENGAGE COUNCIL AND THE PUBLIC IN SPECIFIC DEVELOPMENT CONCEPTS FOR THE PROPERTIES RATHER THAN PREVENTING PROPERTY OWNERS FROM ADVANCING ANY CONCEPTS.
That idea didn't sit well with councilor Renee Parsons who proposed the moratorium.
PARSONS: I THINK THE VALUE OF DOING THIS MORATORIUM IS THAT WE WOULD BE LOOKING AT THAT RIVER CORRIDOR FROM A WHOLISTIC APPROACH POINT OF VIEW RATHER THAN INCREMENTALLY AND ON A CASE BY CASE BASIS AS EACH PROJECT, AS EACH PROPOSAL CAME ALONG AND THAT SEEMS TO BE TO BE EXACTLY WHAT WE DO NOT WANT TO DO.
During about an hour of debate, councilors seemed to agree the moratorium would affect few properties while allowing for careful development of a vision or concept for river development.
After agreeing to an amendment allowing for a variance process for minor projects, such as interior remodeling, councilors voted 5-0 to approve the moratorium.
If approved in a final vote in two weeks, the moratorium would take effect June 1st and expire December 1st unless extended.
From KSUT, Four Corner's Public Radio, I'm Victor Locke.
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