Denver City Council approves group living; allows 5 unrelated adults to live together

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DENVER (KDVR) — Denver City Council passed a proposal to alter residential use rules, allowing up to five unrelated adults to live together in a single family home.  

The newly passed plan also expands where residential communities and community correctional facilities can be built, in an effort to have facilities spread out more evenly across the city.

“Tonight’s vote is a step toward rectifying the role zoning has played historically in dividing cities based on race, class, and perceptions of people,” said Laura E. Aldrete in a statement, executive director of Community Planning and Development. “We are modernizing our codes and ensuring our policies reflect our values.”

More than 1,000 people wrote in both for and against the changes. About 150 Denver residents participated in a public hearing via Zoom on Monday night, according to city records.

Those against the plan expressed concern the changes could hurt property values and make it more difficult to find a home in Denver.  

“I believe that Denver residents deserve better from their government,” one public hearing participant said.

People for the changes, specifically allowing up to five people to live in a single family home, say it could help many keep up with housing costs. They say city code should adapt to how many people are already living in single family homes. 

“I never knew what I was doing was illegal,” one public hearing participant said.  “This is something that’s already been happening.”

City officials say they have been working on the proposal for more than three years.  Councilmember Kendra Black said that other large cities with similar plans in place have not seen major transformations of existing neighborhoods.

The newly passed plan is expected to go into effect this week, pending the mayor’s signature.

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