Last updated 1:58PM ET
December 14, 2017
KSUT Regional
KSUT Regional
Durango Growth Debate
(2008-01-09)
(ksut) - HOST LEAD: The Durango debate over growth or no growth took center stage at a city council meeting last night.
It pitted business and developers against city council, and county commissioners against city council.
KSUT's Victor Locke reports.

VICTOR: Several Durango City Councilors began pushing an Interim Development Ordinance, or IDO, last spring.
The IDO would keep new development from making already bad traffic situations worse, until a permanent Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance or APFO is drafted.
The APFO, which could take up to another year to complete, would require that adequate public facilities and services, including streets are available for any new development, usually at the cost of the developer.
No one turned out at a public meeting on the IDO in early December.
But nearly a dozen spoke at a city council public hearing last night.
10 out of 11 expressed concern the IDO would negatively impact Durango home prices, employment, sales tax revenues, construction and other businesses...and more.
John Francis is a member of the LaPlata Economic Development Action Partnership.
He presented a letter signed by 17 groups and businesses including BP Energy and the Region 9 Economic Development Council.
FRANCIS: THE ECONOMIC IMPACT AND UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES ARE SURE TO BE FELT BY ENACTING THE IDO. ON THE SURFACE, THE IDO HAS THE ESSENCE OF STOPPING GROWTH.
Janet Enge is President of the Homebuilders Association:
ENGE: RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION ARE KEY ECONOMIC DRIVERS OF THE LOCAL ECONOMY. TO INSTITUTE A POLICY THAT COULD NEGATIVELY IMPACT THESE TWO SECTORS WOULD BE HARMFUL TO THE LOCAL ECONOMY AND THE COMMUNITY AT LARGE.
Francis, Enge and other speakers opposed to the IDO urged city council to delay its approval until more study could occur on its impacts.
County Commissioners Wally White and Kellie Hotter also asked for a delay, but for a different reason.
Hotter told city council the commissioners hadn't been adequately involved in discussion of the IDO despite the fact, under an Intergovermental Agreement with the city, it could be applied to county properties adjacent to the city.
HOTTER: THAT MEANS THAT WE ARE RELINQUISHING POWER OVER OUR COUNTY PROPERTIES, WHICH WE'RE NOT WILLING TO DO. THOSE ARE COUNTY LANDS, AND IF WE WANT TO WORK IN CONJUNCTION WITH EACH OTHER, WE NEED TO BE AT THE SAME TABLE HAVING THE SAME DIALOGUE ON THE SAME ISSUE. THERE HAS BEEN NO INPUT FROM US ON THIS, THAT DOESN'T SIT VERY WELL WITH US.
City staff members responded to the criticisms.
Public Works Director Jack Rogers said the IDO will allow for extraordinary flexibility.
Planning Director Greg Hoch said it would equitably address growth impacts and who should pay.
But it was concern over the apparent lack of county involvement in the IDO that ultimately prompted council Scott Graham to move to delay a vote on the IDO.
Mayor Doug Lyon has expressed reservations about the IDO and agreed county involvement is critical.
LYON: IF WE'RE GONNA HAVE SMART GROWTH IN DURANGO, WE ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO DO IT IN CONJUNCTION, WITH SMART GROWTH STRATEGIES OUTSIDE THE CITY LIMITS IN LAPLATA COUNTY. WE ARE WHISTLING DIXIE IF WE THINK WE CAN MANAGE GROWTH IN DURANGO WITHOUT THE EXPLICIT COOPERATION, THE WORKING HAND IN HAND WITH THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS.
Council voted 4-1 to continue action on the IDO.
Renee Parsons cast the lone dissenting vote.
PARSONS: I AM REALLY CONCERNED, GIVEN THE OUTPOURING OF THE DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY HERE THIS EVENING OF THE EROSION THAT WILL TAKE PLACE OF THIS EXISTING LANGUAGE RIGHT NOW. I'M LOOKING AT THE EROSION THAT WILL INEVITABLY TAKE PLACE IF WE DELAY THIS VOTE THIS EVENING...THAT'S JUST THE POLITICAL REALITY AND WE ALL KNOW THAT.
The IDO could be taken up again February 19th, following at least one meeting with county officials.
From KSUT, Four Corners Public Radio, I'm Victor Locke.
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