Public Hearing on Fire Department Plans Scheduled

5/23/2022

The Durango City Council will hold a public hearing to determine whether it should adopt a proposed ordinance changing whether emergency services like the Durango Fire and Rescue Authority should undergo a more stringent public review process for land-use proposals; the Durango Botanic Gardens annual garden tour returns, and the San Juan National Forest will impose Stage 1 fire restrictions beginning May 25. This story is sponsored by Happy Pappy's Pizza and Wings and Closets Plus

Will the Durango Fire Protection District be required to jump through additional hoops, to move to the Durango School District 9-R administrative campus? You have an opportunity to tell the city council what you think. You're watching the Local News Network, brought to you by Happy Pappy's Pizza n Wings and Closets Plus. I'm Wendy Graham Settle. The Durango City Council will hold a virtual public hearing on a proposed citizen-initiated ordinance, that would require the Durango Fire Protection District to undergo an extended land use review of its plans to relocate to the Durango School District 9-R administrative campus. The virtual hearing is set for 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 26th. A coalition of residents and businesses called CitizensVoice Durango successfully submitted a petition that would require the city to change land use classifications for fire and police services, from allowable use to conditional use. Allowable use designations require only administrative approval from city development staff. Conditional use requires public hearings before the planning commission, and possibly the city council. The CitizensVoice website says the group wants a more robust public process, to determine where a new fire and police station should be located. CitizensVoice does not support the Fire District's move to the 9-R property. The city council has two choices, adopt the citizen-initiated ordinance outright, or refer its adoption to the voters in a special election. In a summary of required actions presented to the city council last week, the city clerk's office said the special election would have to be scheduled for August 2nd or 9th. Cost would be from 55 to $58,000 to run the election. The city council will determine its course of action after the public hearing. To learn more about the public hearing, visit durangogov.org. To learn more about the group that successfully filed the petition, visit citizensvoicedurango.org. The San Juan National Forest has issued a Stage 1 Fire Restriction, starting on Friday, May 20th. During a Stage 1 Fire Restriction, no open burning is allowed outside of a permanent metal or concrete fire pit, that the Forest Service has installed and maintained at developed recreation sites. Smoking except in areas with a three-foot-wide area clear of flammable vegetation is prohibited. Smoking is allowed inside or in developed recreation sites. Fireworks and other types of explosives are prohibited. You also must have a fire watch and fire extinguisher on hand, to weld or operate an acetylene or other open flame torch. And the activity must occur in a cleared area of at least 10 feet in diameter. Chainsaws must have spark arresters. To learn more, visit fs.usda.gov, and search for San Juan National Forest Fire Restrictions. The La Plata County Humane Society hopes to find 50 forever homes for 50 pets, in recognition of its 50th anniversary, during its annual Adopt-a-Thon on June 3rd and 4th. The event includes reduced adoption fees, storewide sales at the Humane Society Thrift Store, and an afternoon Yappy Hour celebration, with cocktails and mocktails from the Thirsty Rooster Trailer Bar. Burgers and brats will be available from the Coca-Cola concession stand. And a 50/50 raffle drawing will be held at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, with the winner receiving half the proceeds. The other half benefits the shelter. For more information, visit lpchumanesociety.org. Waterfalls, a hard rock mine replica with an original 19th century cabin, a labyrinth, and more are among the highlights you'll see during the annual Durango Botanic Garden Tour, on Saturday, June 25th. Nine private gardens and the newly expanded Durango Botanic Gardens on the river side of the Durango Public Library will be open for the tour. Docents will be on hand at each garden to answer questions, and several gardens will feature live music. Tickets are $35 for Botanic Garden members and $45 for non-members. A wristband and guidebook may be picked up between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. on Friday, June 24th, and from 8:00 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 25th at the Durango Public Library. To purchase tickets, visit durangobotanicgardens.org. Thank you for watching this edition of the Local News Network. I'm Wendy Graham Settle.

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