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Last updated 2:04PM ET
July 22, 2018
KSUT Regional
KSUT Regional
Dozens Sound Off on Twin Buttes Plan
(2008-07-08)
(ksut) - HOST LEAD: The largest residential development proposed in the Four Corners in at least five years drew comments from dozens during a public hearing last night.
KSUT's Victor Locke reports.

VICTOR: About 100 people packed a continued Durango Plan Commission public hearing on the proposed Twin Buttes development.
They listened for two hours as city staff and the developers detailed plans for the 595 home sustainable Eco Village proposed on just over 100 acres beneath the buttes west of Durango, with nearly 500 acres dedicated as open space.
The proposal includes 95 affordable or attainable homes, 77-thousand square feet of commercial space, 6-small pocket parks, walking trails, community gardens and a community rec center, and would be developed in five phases over ten years.
What then followed was three hours of public comment by 32 individuals.
11 spoke out against the proposal, many questioning its impacts on wildlife, traffic, schools and the quality of life.
John Viner urged rejection saying developers have failed to adequately analyze impacts of traffic from the development on 16 ntersections in Durango.
VINER: JUST THE IMPACT OF THIS PROJECT ALONE, WILL ADD 25 PERCENT MORE OF THAT TRAFFIC TURNING NORTH ONTO THE HIGHLY CONGESTED CORRIDOR OF NORTH MAIN.
Sandra Miller questioned impacts on wildlife.
MILLER: I THINK AS ARCHITECTS AND ENGINEERS WE DRAW OUR LOVELY LINES AND SAY THIS IS THE CORRIDOR AND THIS IS THE GARDEN, AND THE WILDLIFE, OF COURSE, DON'T RECOGNIZE THOSE LINES AT ALL.
George Bracksieck and several other speakers said Twin Buttes should go undeveloped and be acquired by the city for open space.
BRACKSIECK: IT'S THE WRONG PLACE FOR THIS PROJECT. THIS PROJECT SHOULD BE DONE IN TOWN INSTEAD OF BRINGING THE TOWN OUT TO THE DEVELOPMENT.
21 of those, including some members of the developers project team, spoke out in favor of the plan.
Former Habitat for Humanity Director and Open Space Board Member Connie Imig was the first to speak in favor.
IMIG: I FEEL REALLY FRUSTRATED HERE. I THINK THERE'S AN EXTREME AMOUNT OF ARROGANCE FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT TO CLOSE THE DOOR FOR ANYBODY ELSE TO COME IN.
Mark Smith agreed with Imig:
SMITH: I WOULD LIKE TO SEE NO DEVELOPMENT ANY WHERE, BUT YOU KNOW WHAT, I DON'T THINK I'M GONNA GET MY WAY, IT'S NOT UP TO ME. WE'RE A GROUP OF PEOPLE THAT ARE SUPPOSED TO LIVE AND WORK AND COOPERATE TOGETHER AND BE A GREAT COMMUNITY, NOT TAKE CHEAP SHOTS AT EACH OTHER, AND TAKE EACH OTHERS LAND AND TELL OTHER PEOPLE THEY CAN'T COME HERE. I HOPE THAT WE'RE BETTER THAN THAT.
Frank Valen, a Lightner Creek Road resident, would have the new development as a neighbor.
VALEN: THIS IS LIKE A POSTCARD OR A COVER FOR DEVELOPMENT WORLD U.S.A. AND IT'S GOING TO BE A BRIGHT SPOT ON DURANGO AND THE AREA, AND I THINK THIS TOWN IS GOING TO BE VERY EMBARRASSED IF THEY LET SOMETHING LIKE THIS GO AWAY.
Others, like Jim Pedino, echoed Valen's comments calling developer Eric Flora's plan as a model for future development.
PEDINO: THIS DEVELOPMENT MEETS THE NEEDS OF THE COMMUNITY'S OPEN SPACE AND TRAIL REQUIREMENTS AT NO EXTRA COST TO TAXPAYERS. THIS AGREEMENT WILL GUARANTEE PUBLIC ACCESS TO A PIECE OF LAND THAT COULD NOT BE ACCESSED WITHOUT THE FORSIGHT OF MR. FLORA AND HIS COMMITTMENT TO GREEN GROWTH AND THE COMMUNITY AT LARGE.
After nearly 5 hours of testimony, plan commissioners asked a few questions about traffic impacts and whether developers have committed enough to help reduce them.
The hearing was then continued for a second time until July 29th, when other issues raised at the hearing will be addressed, after which commissioners are expected to vote on whether to send the annexation and conceptual plan for Twin Buttes to city council.
The development will face another public hearing there, plus several more, before the first earth is turned, perhaps in a year or more if it ultimately wins approval.
From KSUT, Four Corners Public Radio, I'm Victor Locke.
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