For Denverites who didn’t know how many non-relatives to live with, don’t worry! This number is subject to change. Again.
A local group formed to question what is known as the change in group life claims that they provided enough signatures – more than 18,000, or nearly double the amount required – to the clerk and registrar’s office to to make the controversial change to the zone code for a November popular vote in Denver.
The city council approved the new rules in February. Among other things, they allow up to five unrelated adults to live together legally in one home. Previously, the number was limited to two. The changes are also making it easier to set up care facilities such as intermediate homes, sober homes, and homeless shelters in more parts of Denver.
Florence Sebern, a member of Safe and Sound Denver, the group opposed to the zone code change, said her goal is to open the conversation about the change and allow others to see the community and quality impact ” to properly understand “life in the affected districts.
“The goal of the referendum is to enable authentic public viewing and real public engagement with regard to residential use in our city,” said Sebern. “We support the stability of our neighborhood communities and policies that support Denver’s long-term growth. We oppose our unique and diverse neighborhoods being used as an experiment on unproven agendas. “
The group hopes to be able to repeal the amendment at some point.
Laura Swartz, a community planning and development spokeswoman who worked on the change, says the previous ordinance is out of date and has dragged Denver behind other cities.
She added that the amendment was supported by 50 organizations in the region.
“Denver’s previous rules on how many people could legally live together were among the lowest in the nation and haven’t been updated since the 1980s,” Swartz said. “Keeping outdated rules like these in the books hurts our residents, who deserve the same decisions made in other cities.”
Alton Dillard, communications director at the clerk’s office and recorder, said the office received the signatures from Safe and Sound Thursday. Dillard said the office had 25 days to review the signatures to confirm that the signatories were voters in the city and county of Denver. They do this by matching the signatures with the nationwide voter registration system. Safe and Sound does not have the ability to “heal” the petition if the required signatures are missing.