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Fair Share Inclusionary Zoning Program

In 2009, the City of Durango enacted Fair Share Program to establish inclusionary zoning policies requiring that certain types of new residential developments include a 16% share of affordable and attainable housing or provide alternative means of compliance, as described herein. Recent studies of the local housing market have indicated a severe and increasing shortage of affordable and attainable housing, as well as the need for an increased supply of affordable-attainable housing to maintain quality of life and economic potential for citizens and businesses in Durango. “Affordable” housing is defined as housing affordable to households with incomes at or below 80 percent of area median income (adjusted for household sizes). “Attainable” housing is defined as housing affordable to households with incomes above 80 percent of area median income but not exceeding 125 percent of area median income (adjusted for household sizes).

In December 2023, City Council approved amendments to the Land Use Development Code (Article 5-4 Fair Share Housing) and the Fair Share Administrative Manual (Manual). The Ordinance establishes the regulations and the Manual approved by Resolution contains the details how to carry out the regulations. The Manual provides guidance that developers may build affordable units, contribute land, or pay a fee-in-lieu. These fee-in-lieu amounts are based on a complex formula that combines local incomes, housing prices and mortgage interest rates.

Recent amendments include:

- Reduce barrier of "no third party subsidies"

- Enhance the potential for public-private partnerships between developers and the city or other government or non-profit

- Keep flexibility to update the Fair Share Administrative Manual from time to time due to market conditions

- Leverage local, state, and federal funding sources with the private sector to achieve tangible outcomes towards city housing goals

- Other minor edits improved clarity and consistency 

- References to Regional Housing Alliance now refer to HomesFund for Fair Share administration in conjunction with city staff

2024 Fair Share Program: Income Limits, Max Affordable Pricing, and In-Lieu Amounts

Each year in May, or if code changes occur, the city updates the Fair Share Program: income limits, price limits and fee-in-lieu amounts due to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) releasing annual income limits for La Plata County.

For more information, please contact Eva Henson, Housing Innovation Manager, by calling (970) 375-4857 or Email.

Root Policy Research - Fair Share Program Updates

Since 2020, the housing market conditions have substantially changed. In 2021, the City Council identified a strategic goal for Affordability and Economic Opportunity (AEO) to revise and adopt a new Fair Share Ordinance. In November 2022, the City was awarded $120,000 Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) grant funds through House Bill 21-1271 to support local land use goals related to affordable housing. In March 2023, the city retained a housing consultant Root Policy Research, a women-owned consulting business based in Denver, Colorado, to prepare a high-quality and comprehensive review of the Fair Share Ordinance and Manual. The new Fair Share Program is anticipated to better reflect current housing conditions of for-sale and rental housing along with new approaches to support affordable housing development.

Scope of Work includes the following:

Task 1 – Project Management and Coordination - 100% completed

Task 2 - Engagement - 61% completed

Task 3 – Review Existing Policy Structure & Outcomes - 100% completed

Task 4 – Feasibility Analysis - 100% completed

Task 5 – Economic Analysis - 50% completed

Task 6 – Fee in Lieu Calibration - 73% completed

Task 7 – Recommendation and Deliverables - 46% completed

Visit Root Policy Research website to learn more about their work and how they are effectively responding to changing community’s needs.

Community Engagement Forum

The Community Development Department and Housing Innovation Division are hosting a public community engagement forum on December 5, 2023, from 5PM-6:30PM at the Durango Public Library located at 1900 E. 3rd Avenue to present findings, share recommendations, and get input from the community on upcoming inclusionary zoning updates to the city's Fair Share Inclusionary Zoning Program. After the community engagement forum, the next steps and timeline for the Fair Share Program updates include the following: 

Updated Project Timeline

  • Recommendation Refinement (as needed): January/February 2024
  • Draft Ordinance, LUDC and Fair Share Procedures Manual: January/February 2024
  • Community Development Commission Public Hearing: March 25, 2024
  • City Council Request for Public Hearing and Introduction of Ordinance: April 2, 2024
  • City Council Public Hearing and First Reading of Ordinance: April 16, 2024
  • City Council Final Reading of Ordinance: May 7, 2024
  • DOLA HB21-1271 IHOP deliverables due: May 15, 2024
  • Implementation: May 2024

Provided below are the Fair Share Policy Review and Recommendations

Durango Fair Share Policy Review

Durango Fair Share Section VI Policy Recommendations 

Durango Fair Share Program Proposal Presentation

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