ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (KDVR) — Englewood city leadership could remain intact if early results hold in a Tuesday recall vote to replace three council members, including the mayor.
The timing is strange, as the election came just a month before the general election when neighbors were set to vote on some of the council members anyway.
Ahead of the recall, lawns across the city of Englewood were covered with signs, some urging voters to say yes and others calling for no votes.
“That’s why we initiated the recall, because they weren’t doing what’s best for the citizens,” said Nancy Foster, a lifelong Englewood resident who helped push for the recall to happen.
“Why a recall? In a sense as well, is what went through my head because obviously, we are trying to deal with the big issues,” said Mayor Othoniel Sierra, who’s also the city council member for District 1.
Multifamily housing zoning at issue in Englewood recall
Some voters said city leadership did not get enough input on a plan from earlier this year to change zoning laws in the city to allow the development of multifamily housing units in areas where only single-family housing development is permitted.
“We bought the houses because they were single-family and that’s the way we wanted to raise our family, and they come in and say, ‘Nope, we’re going to do it differently, and you’re gonna like it.’ Citizens rebelled. And we listened, we tried to talk, you know, tell them to go a little bit slower. You know, we have nothing against you guys, your idea looks good, but go slower,” Foster said.
The council members up for recall are Sierra, Chelsea Nunnenkamp of District 2 and Joe Anderson of District 3.
Sierra said the original move to allow more multifamily housing was never about forcing people to allow the construction of accessory dwelling units, or ADUs for short.
“No one is being forced into building ADUs. When we made the change back in 2020 for R-1-C (small lot size one-dwelling unit residential zone district) as well as multifamily, I think we’ve only built eight over the last three years. And so it wasn’t a proliferation of ADUs that went across the city. We received just as much pushback for that plan back in 2020,” Sierra said.
Sierra and Nunnenkamp are both up for reelection in November. So even if they are recalled, what happens if they are re-elected? Neighbors say they would work with them.
“We’re not against these people, we are against the way they are trying to throw this in our face,” Foster said.
Early results Tuesday evening showed Sierra, Nunnenkamp and Anderson beating the recall efforts, although Nunnenkamp’s race showed a tight margin of 421 votes to recall her and 435 votes to keep her in place.