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Vote NO on Denver's Group Living Zoning Change

Updated: Oct 1, 2021

Denver City Council is working on passing zoning changes to encourage more density to be built in our historic neighborhoods at the high cost of our diverse community.

Denver Yimby: Denver ADUs and Flooding

The Group Living Zoning Code Amendment, which will be voted on by City Council on February 8, 2021, will commercialize our single-family properties as service providers and investors will buy up our limited, existing single-family housing stock to turn into multi-unit money-making properties.

Tell City Council: Vote NO on the Group Living Amendment!

Final City Council Public Hearing and Vote Monday | February 8, 2021 | 5:30 p.m. For more info, visit:

Over 10,222 people have signed the petition to ask that our City Council vote no on the Group Living Zoning Change Amendment Note: you do NOT need to donate to to support this cause, any money donated goes to, not Safe and Sound Denver.

Write to your city council members:

We say NO to Commercializing our Neighborhoods: Under the group living zoning amendment changes, more properties will be purchased to convert to multi-units or to build-on Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), which are basically backyard houses crammed into established neighborhoods. Single families will not be able to compete to purchase properties and will be outbid by development-minded investors, and everyone in the community will suffer as more rentals and buildings and people are packed in. Our neighborhood will turn to a place of strangers, with more and more neighbors arguing over noise, dogs, parking and trash as we're packed in on top of each other.

Our open spaces and landscapes will be lost, and our small affordable well-built historic homes will be bulldozed and thrown into landfills. Our pollution-cleansing tree canopy will continue to be reduced as large mature trees are removed to make room for additional buildings on nearly every lot purchased, while trees are planted in the hell-strips of grass left, to struggle and slowly die due to the heat island effect, lack of water, and the concentration of dog urine and feces at their feet. Additional flooding, pollution and infrastructure issues will be the result as more permeable ground is covered with buildings.

Ask Denver City Council to Vote No on this Group Living Zoning Change because it will cause more flooding: Expanding ADUs exasperate our already overtaxed infrastructure, and also causes more flooding issues in the city, as developers continue to pave over community gardens, landscapes and smaller affordable homes with giant box-like luxury-priced but often poorly-built town-homes and apartment buildings.

Allowing ADUs and multiple units in our single family neighborhoods provides an avenue for redevelopment that will increase the amount of impervious cover in our Denver neighborhoods, resulting in more flooding and drainage issues in addition to infrastructure strains on our roads, utilities, health industry and schools. As we pile more people in, our utilities, schools, roads and medical offices and hospitals cannot keep up with the demand. This issue will not lower housing costs in most Denver neighborhoods. It will raise our taxes and It will mostly benefit developers who will be able to outbid and purchase the less expensive small affordable homes, to bulldoze them and pack the lot with multiple box units. These new units will sell at prices that may be less than single family units but will still be unaffordable to most buyers. It is the builders and developers that will win with this ordinance, while our Denver neighborhoods will lose, and the affordability problem will remain.

Denver Yimby: Denver's Overdevelopment causing Flooding

Overdevelopment in the form of ADUs and Multi-Unit buildings is occurring in many other cities, and the increased flooding issues caused by the loss of pervious land along with other infrastructure strains are an ongoing topic of conversation and source of despair in the neighborhoods affected.

In the Denver East Neighborhood, small affordable homes with beautiful open green landscapes are prime developer investments.

When our smaller affordable single-family homes go on the market, they are often bought with development in mind – so instead of a lower income family or couple purchasing the home, they are very often outbid by developers who then raze the property to build either a McMansion or the dreaded multi-unit "box" row homes which have sadly become so common in so many other neighborhoods throughout Denver including Washington Park and the Highlands area.

Denver Yimby: Denver's Overdevelopment in Highlands causing Flooding

See the Highlands area on the right, which shows how multi-units are taking up nearly every square inch of the lots. This is a huge problem when it rains. Unlike planned developments, which build huge water catching areas, when ADUs and multi-unit properties are increased in our historic neighborhoods, it causes more flooding. Take for example the Stapleton neighborhood development which was designed to have Westerly Creek as a collection point for the storm water flowing out of the dense neighborhood developments, they planned for the increased water flow due to the added buildings. In Denver's East Area, when new structures are allowed to be built over permeable ground, the additional water drainage of of these new impervious developments are not being mitigated. This causes flooding in many homes in the area with basements during storms. Our sewers and drainage is not built to accomodate all of this extra water runoff from properties with buildings and concrete covering nearly the entire lot.

How can the city planners say that they are planning at all, when they are allowing developers to cover most of our permeable ground causing additional flooding our neighborhoods? Why are developers allowed to destroy our valuable tree canopy and open spaces?

We've seen what happens with zoning that allows for multi-units over in the Jefferson Park and Highlands areas – small houses are dwarfed by giant box-like buildings. To top it off, while they're building these giant warehouse living boxes, a huge amount of construction traffic, tractors and workmen flood their property and area with noise and pollution. Can you imagine being a family owning this charming green home in Jefferson Park, to watch as the historic homes and landscapes all around you were bulldozed and giant box buildings erected? People looking down into your numerous windows from above, shading your home and landscape from the sun?

Denver ADUs and Overdevelopment causing Flooding in our Neighborhoods

Flooding Increased: As with these communities mentioned above, Park Hill, Mayfair, Montview and other East Area neighborhoods do not have a way to build in additional water collection areas as the neighborhood was already built and designed with the existing permeable ground in mind. When Denver allows for more ADUs or multi-units to be constructed in place of small single-family homes, this hundred-year-old neighborhood plan can no longer can support the additional water that drains off of new developments that cover much more of the permeable ground. Do ADUs help with Affordable housing? ADUs are very expensive to build, and, therefore, when homeowners and developers build these units, they are almost always mid-to-high-end priced units. These so called inexpensive ‘granny flats’ is a cover, most every new flat will not be affordable – these will rent out at high prices. Allowing ADUs to flood our neighborhood's landscapes only increases the number of expensive housing while overtaxing our infrastructure, and making very little difference in our affordable housing availability.

Denver City Council and Denver City Planners need to start listening to the tax-paying homeowners who live here, not the developers who want to buy our properties. We need to protect our neighborhoods from flooding and the heat island effect and pollution caused by the loss of our Denver tree canopy due to development. Most of us live here because we value the green spaces, landscapes, mature trees, and beautifully historic, well-built homes of all sizes. We have small condo buildings and shops tucked into our neighborhoods, and have a great diversity of people of all income levels living here. The Group Living Amendment proposes to changing the zoning to pave the way for developers to buy up properties and outbid families and will result in our neighborhood being gentrified.

The residents of the Denver East Area do not approve of additional ADUs and zoning changes in our single family neighborhoods, and we do not approve of any zoning recommendations with height increases, as we have stated over and over again in city meetings, forums, and petitions. It is time for Denver City Council needs to work for their constituents, not for developers!

Tell City Council: Vote NO on the Group Living Amendment!

Final City Council Public Hearing and Vote Monday | February 8, 2021 | 5:30 p.m. For more info, visit:

Over 10,222 people have signed the petition to ask that our City Council vote no on the Group Living Zoning Change Amendment. Note: you do NOT need to donate to to support this cause, any money donated goes to, not Safe and Sound Denver.

Write to your city council members:

Tell Denver City Council that you want them to vote NO on The Group Living Zoning Code Amendment.



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