The Mancos Conservation District is looking to split its property at 604 Bauer Ave. into a north and a south lot, which was discussed during the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting Wednesday.
The proposed property split would result in two equally sized lots. The district wants to build a housing duplex on the north lot and retain the south lot as a functional space.
Three structures currently stand on the property: a shed in the northern section and a shed and an office building in the southern section. Since Mancos is updating its land use code with the help of the planning firm SAFEbuilt Studio, the buildings would have to be modified or replaced to comply with the code. The shed in the north lot would have to be taken down and replaced with a duplex, while the structures in the southern section would remain, to be revamped in the future.
Such a split would help solve several problems. According to Gretchen Rank, executive director of the district, the current lots are long and narrow, which makes spacing on the property tricky. Additionally, funding for the district relies heavily on grants, so having a more secure source of income would help the district grow.
Providing a duplex would also reduce the housing shortage that many Mancos residents face.
“It would be definitely securing unrestricted income to the conservation district, but it would also give us the ability to help the town in creating attainable housing for residents here in Mancos,” Rank said.
Initially, the district wanted to rezone the north parcel to highway business, a plan that was sent to SAFEbuilt. That was shot down because of the property’s proximity to residential neighborhoods. Installing a housing development instead is the new plan, but the item was only up for discussion at the Planning and Zoning meeting, so no decisions were made. Lots of paperwork and public hearings remain before any plan can be set in motion.
The board members also reviewed the first two chapters of the town’s Comprehensive Plan, which, according to Town Administrator Heather Alvarez, “is the overall guiding document for the town.” The plan was drafted in 2011 as part of a grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs as a long-term plan for town development and hasn’t been updated since.
After reviewing the Comprehensive Plan, the board will hold a public hearing, including time for public comment and suggestions, Alvarez said.