Housing supply

Two new developments could dramatically increase housing supply in Bayfield – The Durango Herald

The city council approves the sketch plan and the modification of the general plan

The town of Bayfield, 20 minutes east of Durango, has seen steady population growth with over 2,600 people living there. Two large developments offer new housing in the community. (Durango Herald file)

Bayfield could get dozens more homes as two new developments received initial approvals from city council on Tuesday.

The first is Mustang Crossing. Owner J-Bar Development submitted a draft plan on Tuesday calling for 35 acres to be subdivided into 85 single-family home lots east of Mesa Meadows, which is already one of the city’s largest subdivisions.

In lieu of a park within the development, the developer proposed to donate 10.5 acres of land around the housing estate to create a walking path, as well as a possible pocket park and stormwater retention ponds .

The idea of ​​a pathway sparked a discussion about the requirement for open space in new developments, which is not required under the city’s land use planning code. Dove Ranch, a development on the north side of Bayfield, was supposed to have a park, but the developer never built one. Then the housing estate owners association disappeared, leaving the neighborhood landscaping and trees in need of maintenance.

“The city is getting calls for tree care at Dove Ranch,” City Manager Katie Sickles said. “I say these are not city trees.”

Administrator David Black said one of his concerns with having a walking path around Mustang Crossing is that it will not be maintained and will revert to weeds.

Mayor Pro Tem Kristin Dallison said she liked the idea of ​​the trail, noting that Bayfield has several existing parks residents can use, but not many walking trails.

Five residents wrote letters with concerns about the approval: Brian and Julie Blanchard, who live nearby; Marion and Alan Tone, owners of an adjoining ranch; and Bayfield resident Kat Katsos.

Speaking Tuesday evening, Katsos questioned whether the city has enough water to service the new subdivision. She also said shrinking and swelling issues had plagued her foundation in the Dove Ranch subdivision. She therefore wants the city to ensure that soil mitigation is carried out in the Mustang Crossing subdivision if the geological study of the soil recommends it.

“If they recommend it, the city should seriously consider including this in a subdivision development improvement agreement, she said.

The Blanchards requested a park in the neighborhood and said there was an aging sewer connection serving that side of Bayfield.

The Tones oppose annexation for several reasons, according to a letter submitted to Sickles, including water use, consent from ditch companies and a buffer zone around an existing BP gas line easement. in the subdivision.

The Tones also noted that the subdivision will be near working ranches and farms. They demanded that Colorado’s Right to Farm Act be included in the annexation agreement and the terms of the HOA.

There has also been little to no outreach to neighbors of the project, wrote Marion Tone.

The city “rushed to accelerate this project at full speed, for reasons that were never explained to the community,” she said.

Several reports will be required from the developer when submitting a preliminary plan, Community Development Manager Nicol Killian wrote in her report to trustees. These include a traffic impact report, street plans, drainage report, geotechnical report, utilities and landscaping.

The council voted 7-0 to approve the sketch plan.

East Bayfield Subdivision

Another subdivision, Bayfield East, is an even larger development on 45 acres of commercial use as well as a mix of single and multi-family homes. The number of lots has not yet been decided.

Development is needed in Bayfield, said Derek McCoy, a representative for homeowners, noting that there is currently only one home for sale within the city limits listed in the MLS real estate system.

Bayfield East requested a change to the overall city plan so that it could move forward with a proposed annexation within the city limits. It is located east of the city limits and north of US Highway 160, an area that has not been developed, in part because there is no road north of it. highway leading to the development area.

The proposal includes sites planned for a new grocery store and hotel.

The only comments submitted on the project came from Los Pinos attorney Ditch Co.

City Council voted 6 to 0 to approve amending the city’s overall plan to allow the project to move forward in the annexation process, as well as approving the outline plan. Director Brenna Morlan abstained in the vote.

At the end of the meeting, Sickles said a street from the freeway to the subdivision was long overdue, but starting the intersection planning process with the Colorado Department of Transportation was a sticking point. .

Now that developers and the Bayfield School District have paid fees to build the road, she said the city can proceed with the application to build the intersection.

The council members nodded in approval.

An earlier version of this story erred that Bayfield resident Kat Katsos said the floors were collapsing in other developments in the city. She was talking about soil issues affecting only her home in the Dove Ranch subdivision.