Why Update the Comprehensive Plan?


The Durango City Charter mandates that City Council adopt a Comprehensive Plan that will be a “guide for all future Council actions concerning land use and development regulations and expenditures for capital improvements.”

Comprehensive plans should be updated every 5 to 10 years to stay up-to-date with current demographics, land use trends, transportation impacts, infrastructure needs, economic pressures, and environmental/ sustainability needs of the jurisdiction. The City’s Comprehensive Plan was last updated in 2007.

To address major changes in the community (e.g. housing costs, housing availability, sustainability, arts and culture, artisan production, etc.) Durango is launching a major update to the Plan. The update is funded by the City and an Energy and Mineral Assistance Grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs.

Growth Areas

The Plan Update will adjust the future land use map to accommodate anticipated growth needs and address recent community changes. The map changes will be made after analysis of the economic, land use, housing, utility, mobility and other impacts of different growth scenarios.

Arts & Culture

The Plan Update will define the roles of the City in supporting arts and cultural initiatives in a new Comprehensive Plan Element.

Three Mile Plan

The Plan Update will incorporate a Three Mile Plan; addressing hazards, resiliency, and adaptation strategies throughout the planning area; Land Use and Development Code (LUDC) updates needed to conform to the new plan; a water supply and conservation plan to ensure a sufficient water supply to serve projected development; and engagement with the County and major service providers/special districts that may be affected by municipal growth and development.

Housing Needs

The Plan Update will incorporate findings and recommendations from the City’s comprehensive housing study to address increased housing costs, a lagging housing supply, the workforce/affordable housing shortage, and lack of housing for the City’s aging population.


The Plan Update will emphasize sustainability policies and actions to be more consistent with existing City Sustainability policies and practices, and link these to the National Climate Assessment.

Plan Summary

The Plan Update will include preparation of a plan summary to help public and private decision-makers understand and use the Comprehensive Plan to more effectively achieve the community’s goals.

Land Use & Transportation

The Plan Update will incorporate the findings of the La Plata County 2030 Transportation Integrated Plan and Model, which are currently being updated. It will update the future land use map and define mobility policies to support that effort.

Downtown & Character Districts

The Plan Update will incorporate revisions to the Downtown Area Plan (an appendix of the Comp Plan) and provide clear guidance in the Plan to incorporate recommendations for the City’s Character Districts affecting Camino del Rio, North Main and other areas. The Character Districts address design, land uses intensity and other factors shaping the form and function of distinct areas of the City.