We hope Denver voters will find in their hearts a desire to oppose Measure 2F in their ballots and maintain new zoning rules that are designed to disperse negatively perceived housing use throughout the city, rather than concentrating them in one or two already overwhelmed communities.
A group of Denver residents who gathered signatures to put on the ballot repealing the Group Accommodation Amendment justified concerns about the harm of having small homeless shelters in their area or what might look like a residential correctional facility in a nearby area. commercial or multifunctional area.
We understand why those who live in safe and healthy Denver are opposed to changing the law so that both of these land uses can infringe on private homes in Denver.
However, in the end, these sites are an important part of our community, which play an important role in a functioning and healthy society. They must be somewhere.
Before City Council and Mayor Michael Hancock drafted and passed the Group Accommodation Amendment, the city had very little land that could be used for homeless shelters and community correctional facilities such as nursing homes or drug rehabilitation centers. The large shelters on the northern outskirts of downtown Denver have a huge impact on the local community, and in an ideal world, this burden could be spread across multiple neighborhoods on a smaller, more resilient and less intrusive scale. These shelters, such as the City Rescue Mission, are also located in these locations, making expansion very difficult as they cannot obtain permits under the existing zoning code.
The group housing amendment will allow homeless shelters in single-family zoned neighborhoods to serve up to 10 people. Before the amendment was passed in February, the larger homeless shelters were limited to roughly 3,210 acres of industrial zones in the city. The group housing amendment opened the zoning code so that large shelters can also be located in commercial or mixed-use areas, adding about 16,000 acres for potential sites.
We do not deny that having a small or large homeless shelter as a neighbor would be difficult, but we argue that more shelters scattered throughout a city will have less impact on any individual homeowner or neighborhood.
So while a house for recently released men or women in your area may move to a nearby commercial area, it is hoped that our strong neighborhoods in that city will be able to cope with negative impacts more easily than if all such facilities were delivered. In the same place.
Voting against the 2nd floor is an act of altruism. This can be a difficult vote.
The good news is that there is an easier part of the Group Life Amendment that can be supported.
Before the city council changed the zoning code, the legal limit for roommates was two unrelated adults in the same house. It was an incredibly restrictive rule that made it illegal to live in poverty with a few adults.
The new rule, which will be canceled “yes” at 2F, is that five unrelated adults and any number of their children can live in the same home.
In an ideal world, it would never be necessary for five adults and a group of children to squeeze into a single family home, but this is not an ideal world. This is Denver, Colorado, where rents and property prices are insane, and our low-income neighbors are increasingly being kicked out of the city.
The reality is that the restriction on group living was not enforced for a good reason, and we must update the laws to reflect the real needs of people living in poverty.
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