Fair Share Inclusionary Zoning Program

The City of Durango has enacted Fair Share Program to establish policies requiring that certain types of new residential developments include a 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).

More detailed procedures are laid out in 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 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.

The purpose of the Manual is to provide detailed guidance on the administration, implementation, and enforcement of Fair Share Requirements. It is anticipated that this Manual may be amended from time to time by resolution of the City Council in response to changed housing market conditions and opportunities to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the program.

Each year in May, 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.

2023 Fair Share Program: Income Limits, Max Affordable Pricing, and In-Lieu Amounts

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 - 17% completed

Task 3 – Review Existing Policy Structure & Outcomes - 82% completed

Task 4 – Feasibility Analysis - 12% completed

Task 5 – Economic Analysis - 12% completed

Task 6 – Fee in Lieu Calibration - 0% completed

Task 7 – Recommendation and Deliverables - 0% completed

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