DENVER — The city of Denver is looking at raising the number of people who can live in a single home.
Currently, the city's zoning code says only two adults who aren't blood-related can live in a house. The number of related adults allowed to live in a single home is unlimited.
"This restriction doesn’t reflect how people live today and severely limits options for people to save on housing costs by having multiple roommates or combining households or people who want to live in intentional communities like cooperatives and multi-generational households of unrelated people," the city wrote on its website.
A task force assigned with creating a proposal for the city council to change regulations wants to raise the number to eight people, regardless of relation.
Denver Councilwoman Robin Kniech said the proposal is "really a recognition that housing prices are tough in Denver and that you need sometimes more than one person or more than one household to be able to, for example, buy your first home in a market like this."
City planners said the proposal is also designed to allow residential care and group homes in more places and "reduce inequity by no longer categorizing them by the types of people or needs they serve," according to the city. They said they also want to "improve predictability for providers and neighbors by standardizing permitting processes and regulations, such as spacing between facilities."
So far, there have been three community meetings to discuss the proposal and get feedback from residents. The latest one was Wednesday night at Hebrew Educational Alliance.
City staff said community input has been mixed. Some support the idea while others, like homeowner Ronald Weiss, said he thinks it would create a bigger problem.
"We've got a problem with density," Weiss said. "What you do is start building near Castle Rock, you start building near Lafayette and you don't let these buildings go into the city like this. So, we've got a problem with density and allowing more people doesn't help."
City planners will host another meeting on Wednesday, March 4 at Scheitler Recreation Center. It's scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m.
After several meetings with the community, Kniech said they will write a draft of the zoning code amendments with the specific changes they want made. Then in the spring, the Denver Planning Board will review the proposal and have a public hearing in April before the city council looks at it.
You can learn more about the current proposal at www.DenverGov.org/groupliving.
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