ADU Program Information
Accessory Dwelling Units, commonly known as ADUs, have been legal in the City of Durango since 2014. In response to policy shifts addressing the escalating housing affordability and availability issue in Durango, the Community Development Department has initiated some exciting changes to the ADU program. Code amendments reducing restrictions on new ADUs were adopted at the end of August 2022, and the City is now offering a program incentivizing the construction of these units. Please read further for more information.
Code amendments easing restrictions imposed on new ADUs were adopted in August of 2022. With these changes, ADUs may now be permitted in all residential neighborhoods in the City Limits, with the exception of a few Planned Development zones (Sky Ridge & Rock Ridge are the most significant examples). The map at right demonstrates the areas where ADUs may be permitted (click here for a larger .pdf version). This map shows most residential areas within the City and is a useful reference, but is not fully comprehensive. For example, the Three Springs and Twin Buttes developments are not shown on this map, but both are areas where ADUs are allowed.
The bulleted items below summarize the more significant code changes adopted in 2022:
- Minimum lot sizes have been eliminated for integrated/attached ADUs in all zones.
- In most cases, on-street parking can be counted towards total parking requirements.
- New ADUs may be eligible for variances to dimensional standards (setbacks, building coverage, etc) through the administrative Alternative Compliance process.
- In some cases, ADUs may be able to be permitted within townhomes.
In addition to the relaxed code standards, the City is also taking a modified position towards permitting ADUs in neighborhoods with protective covenants. Based on a need for new housing units in the community, property owners in neighborhoods with covenants that may prohibit secondary units may now seek approval from the City for ADUs. Approvals will specify that property owners assume any costs and risks related to the enforcement of private covenants. This policy change enables the City to accept applications for new or pre-existing ADUs in areas which were previously deemed ineligible to apply.
A pre-application meeting is necessary prior to applying to build a new ADU. These meetings are an opportunity for staff to describe the process and requirements for an ADU approval. If you would like to set up an appointment to discuss options for a new ADU on your property, please contact a City Planner in the Community Development Department by calling (970) 375-4850.