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Last updated 10:02AM ET
December 13, 2017
KSUT Regional
KSUT Regional
Twin Buttes Debate Heats Up, Public Meeting Thursday
(2008-06-18)
(ksut) - HOST LEAD: A developers plans to build almost 600 homes near Twin Buttes, goes before the public tomorrow, and before Durango Plan Commissioners next week.
Some who don't like the idea of hundreds of new homes in what are considered pristine wildlife and view shed areas west of Durango are already mobilizing to try and stop the development, in what could become a battle that will wage on for years.
KSUT's Victor Locke reports.

VICTOR: Plans for what's been described as a sustainable village for 15-hundred people on 600 acres, now referred to as the Twin Buttes Eco Village, were first rolled out during a public meeting in May.
The developer proposes green built homes clustered in villages, 16-percent would be considered affordable homes, surrounding a village center, with retail and community amenities, such as parks, transit stops, recreation facilities and neighborhood garden plots.
478 acres would be dedicated open space accessible to the public.
Development would occur on 119 acres.
The project's reques for annexation and approval of a conceptual plan was first presented to city planners in March and has been under review since.
Massive amounts of supporting documentation have been filed.
Much of that documentation became available this week at the Durango Library for public review.
It's also been available for public perusal at city planning offices.
Tomorrow at 6pm at the Rec Center, city staff will detail the proposal for Twin Buttes with help from the developers.
Members of the public will be able to ask questions.
Twin Buttes has been on the radar screen for years after the properties owners indicated in 1993 they might develop the land.
It was a hot button topic during the 2006 City Council election.
Some have already begun to voice opposition to any development in the Twin Buttes area.
Last Thursday, community activist Chris Paulson hosted a meeting attended by about two dozen residents, at the Rec Center.
She opened with a ten minute presentation charging Twin Buttes is being fast tracked for approval:
PAULSON: THIS THING IS MOVING FORWARD, YOU KNOW, WITH THE PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING AT THE END OF THIS MONTH, AND I FEEL LIKE WE, THE PUBLIC, ARE GETTING SHUT OUT OF THE PROCESS.
Paulson claims historic use of trails through private property in the Twin Buttes grants a right for all to use the land, which she favors the city buying for dedicated open space.
Several in attendance at Paulson's meeting echoed her concerns about the project being fast tracked without adequate public input.
David Wegner was one of them.
WEGNER: TWIN BUTTES IS AND WAS A FLASH POINT IN THE LAST ELECTION. IT'S A BIG ISSUE AND SEVERAL PEOPLE WERE ELECTED ON THIS ISSUE. IT'S NOT BUILDING SOMETHING UP ON SECOND AVENUE. THIS IS VIRGIN GROUND THAT HAS IMPORTANT HISTORIC WILDLIFE HABITAT VALUES, VISUAL VALUES, IT'S A REAL IMPORTANT PLACE TO MANY PEOPLE AND BECAUSE OF ITS PROXIMITY TO PERINS PEAK WE ARE REALLY GOING TO BE WATCHING THIS BECAUSE OF THAT.
The charge Twin Buttes is being fast tracked was then repeated Monday night, this time by City Councilor and Mayor Renee Parsons who along with councilors Leigh Meigs and Michael Rendon attended Paulson's meeting last week.
In an exchange with Durango Plan Director Greg Hoch, Parsons says city planners and the public can't possibly absorb planning documents just made available this week at the library for review.
PARSONS: THIS IS NOT A SLAM DUNK KIND THAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN IN THE NEXT TWO WEEKS. AND I DO THINK THAT THIS TIMETABLE IS A LITTLE BIT RUSHED, BUT I DO HAVE A QUESTION MR. HOCH. HAS THE PLANNING COMMISSION BEEN GIVEN ANY OF THESE DOCUMENTS? WHAT'S THE STATE OF THEIR KNOWLEDGE OF THIS PROJECT AT THIS TIME.
HOCH: GENERALLY SPEAKING, PLANNING COMMISSION AND COUNCIL RELY ON STAFF TO SUMMARIZE THE STUDIES AND PRESENT THE PRIMARY ISSUES THAT ARE ASSOCIATED WITH THOSE STUDIES, SO WE DON'T ANTICIPATE TYPICALLY THAT OUR APPOINTED AND ELECTED OFFICIALS FEEL THEY NEED TO READ EVERY WORD THAT COMES IN ON ANY PARTICULAR PROJECT.
After tomorrow's public information session, City Plan Commissioners will hold two public hearings, one next Monday and another July 7th.
If they recommend approval, the annexation and conceptual plan goes to city council, probably in late August, for another public hearing.
Before construction begins developers will have two more submittals to make to city plan and city council.
Those will also require public hearings.
Both Hoch and an attorney for the developers have both conceded in the past it could take 2-to-3 years for Twin Buttes to wind its way through the approval process, and if approved, another 5 to 10 years to build.
Again, tomorrow's public meeting is at six pm, at Durango Council Chambers.
From KSUT, Four Corners Public Radio, I'm Victor Locke.
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