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Northglenn City Council approves emergency ordinance following transitional housing facility outrage

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Posted at 10:37 PM, Apr 08, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-12 17:54:07-04

NORTHGLENN, Colo. — The Northglenn City Council on Monday unanimously approved an emergency ordinance that increases the distance between sex offenders and schools.

The ordinance comes amid community outcry over the State of Colorado's plan to convert a former senior care facility into transitional housing for registered sex offenders. The facility, located at 11255 and 11275 Grant Drive, is located near two elementary schools, a playground and a daycare.

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Northglenn facility near two schools will house registered sex offenders

Claire Lavezzorio
11:10 PM, Mar 21, 2024

The senior care facility closed in 2022 for violations. Now, Colorado's Office of Civil and Forensic Mental Health plans to convert the building into a mental health transitional living (MHTL) home.

The City of Northglenn told neighbors the property will house people managing severe mental illness and substance use disorders and will include registered sex offenders. The state plans to open the facility in mid-April.

Colorado does not have any state laws that restrict where registered sex offenders can live.

Under Northglenn's original ordinance, sex offenders could not live within 750 feet of a school. The emergency ordinance increases that distance from 750 feet to 1,000 feet.

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Northglenn neighbors speak out against transitional housing facility

Claire Lavezzorio
7:07 AM, Apr 04, 2024

Even though council members unanimously approved the emergency ordinance, Diana Wilson, Director of Communications for the City of Northglenn, said the vote may not make a difference.

"It's the state," she said. "They don't have to follow our local ordinances or go through our planning process. They can just do whatever they want."

The council also voted in favor of a resolution opposing the location of the mental health transitional living home.

Denver7 reached out to the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) for comment.

A spokesperson sent us the following response on Tuesday:

"When considering what residents will live at Mental Health Transitional Living (MHTL) homes, we are following the law put into place by HB22-1303. The MHTL homes were never intended to be homes for registered sex offenders, and we do not have immediate plans to admit any. However, a focus from some became overwhelmingly about registered sex offenders in these homes. We are currently considering input from various stakeholders while being focused on the safety of our patients and the community."

In an updated document titled Mental Health Transitional Living Homes Admissions sent to Denver7 on Friday, April 12, the CDHS said it had "decided it will not place registered sex offenders in MHTL homes within 1,000 feet of a school."

Editor's note on April 12, 2024: This story has been edited to include an updated document from the CDHS, stating it had decided not to place registered sex offenders in mental health transitional living homes (MHTLs) within 1,000 feet of a school.

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