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Last updated 1:11AM ET
December 14, 2017
KSUT Regional
KSUT Regional
Plans For Twin Buttes Area of Durango Unveiled
(2008-05-08)
(ksut) - HOST LEAD: A proposal to build homes for up to 15-hundred people, in the Twin Buttes area west of Durango has been unveiled.
But it won't be your average housing development.
KSUT's Victor Locke reports.

VICTOR: It was probably no coincidence that the conceptual plans for the Twin Buttes Eco Village were unveiled in The Fort Lewis College Center for Southwest Studies.
Surrounded by evidence of the past, proponents of the 595 home development on about 600 acres west of downtown Durango unveiled their dream.
David Barrett, is a Boulder Architect retained for the Twin Buttes project.
He calls it a sustainable village.
BARRETT: AN ECOLOGICALLY INSPIRED APPROACH TO SETTLING IN THE SOUTHERN COLORADO REGION SO HOW DO YOU DO THAT IN A WAY THAT TIES AFFORDABLE HOUSING, ENERGY RESPONSIVENESS, MINIMIZING CARBON FOOTPRINT WITHIN THAT AND ALSO THE FOOD PRODUCTION AND GARDENS THAT WE'RE ENVISIONING, TRYING TO BRING IT ALL TOGETHER WITH TRANSIT CONNECTIONS SO THAT THIS CAN BE A VILLAGE THAT IS SUSTAINABLE AND WORKS OVER TIME.
Green built homes would be clustered in villages.
16-percent would be affordable homes, integrated into the development.
There would be a village center, with retail and community amenities, such as parks, transit stops, recreation facilities.
Barrett says it won't be a gated community, but instead a community open to everyone, for every use.
BARRETT: IT'S A TRUE VILLAGE THAT PEOPLE CAN COME TO VISIT, WHETHER THAT MEANS COMING TO SEE THE ART THAT'S BEING PRODUCED THERE OR COME TO AN EVENT WHERE THERE'S MUSIC HAPPENING WITH LOCAL PEOPLE, OR IF IT'S ACCESS TO THE OPEN SPACE, BECAUSE 80-PERCENT OF THE LAND HERE WILL BE HELD AS OPEN SPACE THAT IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.
478 acres would be open space, with development on 119 acres.
And Barrett says the Twin Buttes eco village won't destroy the views of the area, either as you enter the city, or from downtown.
BARRETT: WE'RE ABLE TO PUT THE CLUSTERED DEVELOPMENT IN THE LOCATIONS WHERE IT'S TOTALLY INVISIBLE FROM THE HIGHWAY, SO FROM THE ENTRANCE AND THE EXIT FROM THE CITY, IT WILL BE A WELL KEPT SECRET UP THERE. WE'RE LETTING NATURE BE THE REALLY DOMINANT VISUAL PRESENCE THERE, AND THAT THIS SOUTHERN COLORADO HILL TOWN WILL BE TUCKED ON THE BENCHES.
Denny Ehlers, an attorney for the developers, says it could take two years to win approval for the project to proceed.
EHLERS: IT TAKES TIME, THIS IS A SIGNIFICANTLY SIZED PROJECT THAT HAS IMPORTANCE FOR THE CITY OF DURANGO SO IT'S NOT SOMETHING THAT ANYONE'S EXPECTING TO BE ON THE FAST TRACK OR RUSHED THROUGH THE PROCESS.
City Plan Director Greg Hoch agrees approval could take 2-3 years.
He says it's not the largest or smallest project the city has seen, but could be the most complicated.
HOCH: IT IS PROBABLY THE MOST ADVANCED IN TERMS OF WHAT THEY ARE SAYING THEY ARE GOING TO DO IN TERMS OF GREEN BUILDING, AFFORDABLE HOUSING, OPEN SPACE PRESERVATION, WILDLIFE HABITAT PROTECTION, NATURAL STORM DRAIN SYSTEMS, LESS INTRUSIVE ROADS, THERE ARE A LOT OF THINGS THAT ARE DIFFERENT ABOUT THIS THAN A LOT OF PROJECTS THAT HAVE COME BEFORE. I GUESS IT REMAINS TO BE SEEN WHETHER IT WILL BECOME THE BAR BY WHICH OTHER PROJECTS ARE MEASURED.
The audience of about 150 was comprised mostly of professionals, including many of the 3 dozen or so members of the projects design team.
Following the presentation they praised it as beautiful, wonderful and a great idea.
City Councilor and Mayor Renee Parsons says she was sorry there weren't more regular members of the public there.
Both she and city plan commissioner Jerry Swingle who will sit in judgement of the project were reserved in their reaction after the presentation.
PARSONS: THIS WAS A GOOD GENERAL OVERVIEW OF THE PROJECT AND I HOPE THE NEXT STEP WILL BE TO GET INTO MORE OF THE DETAIL.
SWINGLE: THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS AND OF COURSE THAT'S WHAT WE NEED TO PAY ATTENTION TO, BUT IF THERE'S A WAY TO BRING SOMETHING OF THIS SORT TO REALIZATION I THINK IT WOULD BE A MARVELOUS THING FOR DURANGO.
The project could go to city plan and city council for annexation and conceptual plan approvals in June and July, but would need two more approvals after that before ground can be broken.
However, the developer is already beginning work on cleaning up the highway 160 corridor near the proposed entrance to the area.
It could take 5-to-10 years to complete the village.
From KSUT, Four Corners Public Radio, I'm Victor Locke.
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