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The Zoning Code governs every building in Denver and affects every neighborhood.


In February 2020, just before the COVID lockdown, the 180-page Group Living Zoning Code Amendment (GLA) was introduced. 


As we struggled to keep our jobs, school our children, and manage our health, this massive amendment entered the legislative phase, grew to over 200 pages, and passed City Council in February 2021.  Public records show 88% opposition at that time.


The GLA was marketed as “just a couple of extra roommates.”  It’s much more than that. 



The GLA originated in the Mayor’s office and was sponsored by both at-large city councilpersons. The GLA committee was comprised of 40 service providers, who benefited from the ordinance, and 8 neighborhood representatives.


Here are a few DETAILS:


  • It allows a 150% increase to occupants in any single-family home 


5 adults plus any minor children can occupy any single-family home. Our homes are not one-size-fits-all.  Why isn’t this number proportional to the size of the home?


  • It uses single-family homes to increase density


Density = more congestion, trash, and parking issues. Why are we compromising the well-being of our neighborhoods?


  • It allows new 1–10-person  24/7 homeless shelters in all single-family neighborhoods with no buffer zones


Shelters were previously sited in industrial and urban centers. Why are we injecting instability into our neighborhoods?


  • It increases halfway house locations by 492% to 19,000 acres throughout the city in mixed-use, multi-unit and commercial corridor zones, which can be adjacent to single-family homes


Denver’s recidivism (re-offense) rate is 41%, which means 4 in 10 will likely re-offend within 2 years.  Shouldn’t improvements be made to rehabilitation programs first?



Where is the protection for Denver’s children?


  • It allows all family members to live together, inter-generationally


The previous Zoning Code also allowed unlimited family members to live together, so a repeal will not affect families.


  • It commercializes single-family neighborhoods as service providers and investors buy single-family housing


According to Community Planning and Development, there are 134,000 single-family homes in Denver and the current owner-occupant-to-investor rate is 50/50. What happens when 50% of our neighborhoods drastically change?


  • It redefines housing uses


These uses require services as a condition of residency:  halfway houses and shelters;

These uses do not require services:  transitional/supportive housing (e.g., transitioning from camp, shelter or halfway house), tiny homes, and sanctioned camps.

All of these housing uses serve populations that need services to stabilize and be successful;

Why are services only required for some and not others?



Currently, there are about 19 inspectors for Denver’s 155 square miles.



This is a huge experiment with our neighborhoods and our lives and no guarantee of affordability.


Similar policies were implemented in Portland, Seattle, and San Francisco. Do we want that for Denver?


Denver neighbors should have a voice and a choice about housing in our neighborhoods.

Mayor and City Council didn't listen; now it's our turn. 


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