Denver's group living law curbs 311 complaints
The Denver law increasing the number of unrelated people allowed to live under one roof from two to five has resulted in fewer residential complaints, according to a city review.
State of play: The so-called "group living amendment," passed in February 2021, sparked pushback. Opponents claimed the law would negatively impact their quality of life, while supporters argued it was a sensible solution for a city with a growing housing crisis.
Driving the news: The city's planning department on Tuesday presented a one-year review to the Denver City Council, comparing data from April 2020 to March 2021, and April 2021 to March 2022.
- The staff found that 311 calls with questions or concerns about unrelated occupants in single-family homes dropped from 128 to 75.
- The number of zoning violation cases concerning unrelated occupants dropped from 46 to 23.
Between the lines: The law also expanded where residential care facilities, like halfway homes, could operate, increasing to 19,000 acres in mostly commercial corridors.
- Opponents previously argued that proximity to halfway houses could endanger children.
- But only two additional permits for residential care facilities were issued as of the end of March. One was for a youth shelter downtown, and the other for a sober living and recovery home in Whittier, according to the city’s planning office.
Yes, but: "I would say that the first year of monitoring is probably not the best year from which to draw a lot of conclusions," principal city planner Andrew Webb told Axios Denver.
- Webb did say the drop in 311 calls likely means people are aware of new rules, so they're less likely to call their neighbors.
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