Last updated 12:24PM ET
December 17, 2017
KSUT Regional
KSUT Regional
Tackling Growth Near Grandview/Three Springs
(2007-06-26)
(ksut) - HOST LEAD: What's thought to be the next "hot spot" for growth in Durango is coming under the scrutiny of Durango City and La Plata County officials.
They're trying to figure out how they can work together to insure growth near Three Springs happens with the least impact on taxpayers.
KSUT's Victor Locke reports.

VICTOR: This is a complex, expensive issue with numerous twists and turns.
But it's an issue that could cost taxpayers millions of dollars.
With the first permanent residents of Three Springs expected to move in within weeks, areas outside but adjacent to the huge development that comprises Durango's southern limit are attracting the attention of both developers and city/county planners.
In fact, County planners already are reviewing proposals for at least three projects near the Three Springs Boulevard, Highway 160 intersection.
Combined, they'd create nearly 200 new home sites and an industrial warehouse project.
Much of the new growth is expected to happen along County Road 233 and a yet to be built extension of 233 between Three Springs Boulevard and County Road 234.
It's also expected much of the area, which is technically in La Plata County, will eventually be annexed to the city.
City Councilor's and County Commissioners Monday met to talk about who should pay to extend city water and sewer services to the area, the extension of County Road 233 to 234, and to bring the entire stretch of County Road 233 up to city standards while development occurs.
County Commissioner Joelle Riddle says the city and county need to cooperate and upgrade the road to city standards now, when development's occuring rather than upgrading the road to county standards, then city standards after the area is annexed.
She says has the effect of forcing city residents to pay twice for improvements.
RIDDLE: THIS DOES NOT SEEM THAT WE ARE SET UP FOR SMART GROWTH IN THIS WAY. SO WHY DON'T WE DO THIS RIGHT SO THAT WE CAN WORK TOGETHER AND DO THE BEST FOR THE PEOPLE OF THE COUNTY, WHICH INCLUDES THE CITY OF DURANGO.
A City-County Intergovernmental Agreement addresses growth in the county, on the city's fringe.
The commissioners have adopted, and city council has rejected an amendment to the IGA, that would require the first person to develop along County Road 233 to pay to bring the entire road to city standards if that development added more than 20-percent to the traffic flow on 233.
That developer would then recover expenses when additional development occurs.
Two councilors in particular, Leigh Meigs and Renee Parsons, expressed concern about that way of paying for improvements.
Leigh Meigs:
MEIGS: THAT'S THE CONCERN THAT I HAVE, THAT YOUR TAGGING SOMEBODY LATER ON FOR CATCHUP, RATHER THAN TAKING THE INITIAL DEVELOPER AND REQUIRING THE DEVELOPER TO PENCIL IN THIS ENORMOUS COST OF ROAD IMPROVEMENTS.
Commissioner Kellie Hotter says she dislikes the idea of placing the financial burden of improving the road on the first developers.
City Councilors also say they want the entire Intergovermental Agreement reviewed and not adopt only an amendment.
Councilor and Mayor Doug Lyon says there's an urgency for both sides to come to an agreement on the amendment and County Road 233.
LYON: THERE'S A TIMING ISSUE HERE, WE'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT, I DON'T KNOW EVERYBODY IN THE AUDIENCE HERE BUT I'LL GET THERE'S LANDOWNERS OR THEIR AGENTS IN THE AUDIENCE AND THEY'RE GONNA WALK OUT OF HERE AND GET ON CELLPHONES AND START MAKING PHONE CALLS. AND THESE DEVELOPED TO CITY STANDARDS, SEE IT'S ALREADY HAPPENING.
In the end, both sides agreed to consider an amendment to the IGA addressing development of County Road 233, but with a six month time limit, during which a review of the entire IGA would occur.
Some developers in the audience declined to comment after the meeting.
Four Corners Planning and Permitting owner Brett D'Spain, assists developers in winning approval for their projects.
He says he's glad commissioners are reviewing the IGA, especially as it pertains to County Road 233, but fears it could be unfair to those who have to pay for road improvements up front.
D'SPAIN: THE PROBLEM IS, THE FIRST GUY IN, IF HE'S GOT TO EXTEND THE ROAD A LONG WAYS, THEN HE'S GOT A FINANCIAL BURDEN THAT HE COULDN'T MEET, AND THAT MIGHT NOT BE FAIR. IF WE CAN COME TO AN EQUITABLE SOLUTION FOR DEVELOPERS, I THINK THAT CORRIDOR WILL DEVELOP QUITE QUICKLY.
City and county approval of the amendment is expected in the next two weeks.
From KSUT, Four Corner's Public Radio, I'm Victor Locke.
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