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'Don't Denver our Englewood': Englewood residents speak out for and against proposed zoning changes

Englewood's CodeNext project suggests allowing multi-family housing in previously single family lots.
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Posted at 4:56 PM, Mar 05, 2023

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Some of Englewood's CodeNext proposals are causing a stir across the city. CodeNext is a plan to take another look at what should and should not be allowed in certain zoning areas.

"It's a kind of a once-in-a-generation update to our development codes," explained Joe Anderson, city councilmember for District 3. "It tells you how your city is designed and laid out, what the streets need to look like, what kind of residential development will be allowed in different districts within the city."

The last time changes like this were made was back in 2004.

Many people who live in the R-1 Zoned neighborhood on the southwest side of the city have been in their homes for decades.

"People have been here for eons almost. It's quiet. It's fun. Everybody knows each other. You don't want to lose that to who knows what," said Englewood resident Nancy Foster, who has owned her corner lot home since 1991. Her grandmother owned it before her.

She and several of her neighbors are very protective of their current community. One house in one lot.

"That will change with this zoning change. It's not just multifamily units. It's multiple use, so it'll change our entire community," said Kim Wright, who has rented a home in the neighborhood with her husband for the last 15 years.

'Don't Denver our Englewood': Englewood residents speak out for and against proposed zoning changes

One proposal being considered in the CodeNext plan is to amend the R-1 zone to allow multifamily homes into previously single-family lots. Larger corner lots are being eyed as potential property candidates for the change.

"Communities change. What is the kind of development that is appropriate for our community now?" said Councilmember Anderson of the proposal.

In other differently zoned areas of Englewood, like the R-2 zoned areas on the north side, it's not hard to find new duplexes peppered standing in previously single-family lots.

"Once this bell is rung, you cannot unring it," said Wright.

Councilmember Anderson said the proposed changes to R-1 would focus on adding more housing for middle-income earners. The current plan asks for developers to commit to offering at least one of their units at 80% of the area median income, where the rest could be set at market value.

It's good news for residents like Maggie Burns who would like to see the city more affordable to live in.

"My husband and I are renters and would love to own in the city," said Burns. "I'm a pastor in the city and my husband's a high school teacher. There are zero options currently."

The zoning proposal is not set in stone yet. City council members are encouraging homeowners and renters to share their thoughts as they work through the process.

For several in the R-1 neighborhood, their minds are made up.

"Don't Denver our Englewood," said Wright.

The next opportunity to share your thoughts on the proposal is at Englewood's next city council meeting on March 6 at 6:00 p.m. at the Council Chambers at 1000 Englewood Pkwy.

Englewood residents can also read more about the CodeNext proposal and ask any questions they have directly to the city or leave a comment by clicking here.

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