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Neighbors, homeless question jagged rock placement on right-of-way near condos in Five Points

HOA Board Member: Rocks were placed to save water
Posted at 8:58 PM, Jan 31, 2020

DENVER -- Is it an eyesore, an environmentally-friendly, water-saving move, or just an attempt to keep homeless people from setting up tents?

The Glen Arm Place Condo Association has installed large, jagged rocks in the right of way between the sidewalk and curb, next to their condos at 24th & Glenarm Place.

HOA Board Member Shantel Woon said the landscape design has been in the works for a long time, and that it was implemented to help save water.

But not everyone buys her explanation for the jagged rocks.

"They put these big old boulders here so nobody could put up a tent up, or lay down a sleeping bag," said Brady Majors, "because they find it to be a bad look. So without them saying that, this is them saying it."

Majors, who lives in a tent at the other end of the block, says the jagged rocks, many of them more than 12 inches long, are dangerous.

"Anybody could fall and hit their head and die right here," she said.

One condo resident who did not want to be identified for this story told Denver7 there is an issue with homeless people on the block.

"Trash cans in the alley have been set on fire," she said, "and when residents take out their trash, "all we see is human feces and people urinating."

Two other condo residents, who also requested anonymity, said the rocks were put at that location, in part, because of the homeless.

"The action was taken as a preventative measure, but it was done without the approval of all members of the condo association" one said.

He added that he has mixed reactions about the need for the rocks.

"They've always been cordial," he said, referring to the tent city residents, "but I think we're worried about the trash, and I know other people have had problems with rats and other vermin."

Several tent city residents say they know they've worn out their welcome.

"It can be an eyesore at times," said Danielle Jackson, "but technically, it's on city property."

Jackson said she doesn't consider herself homeless.

"This is my home," she said. "I live on earth. I don't have a house, so I'm houseless."

Jackson said it's gets tiring having to move every time neighbors complain. She said signs have been posted indicating that a sweep will take place February 4.

"Give us a designated camping spot," she said.

Some neighbors who live near the Glen Arm Condos say they can understand why the rocks have been placed there.

"All you have to do is look around," one said.

Another neighbor, who simply gave his first name, Keith, told Denver7 that the rocks are not the right solution.

"The city needs to enforce that," he said, pointing toward the tents at the other end of the block. "They (homeless) have needs and there are services available to these individuals, they're just not choosing to engage in it, and as a result, we have neighbors who get stuck with this," he added, pointing to the big rocks. "It's unfortunate."

"It a complex issue," another neighbor said. "but this sort of solution (rocks) seems highly inappropriate for all sorts of reasons. There are safety concerns, there are code violations, which have already been reported in this case to the city. Aesthetically, it's pretty scorched earth."

Woon told Denver7 that the existing rocks are not the end result.

When asked what it will look like when it is done, Woon said she didn't know yet.

"The board is going over that now," she said.

One neighbor said he goes out of his way to say "hi" to the tent city residents.

He said he and his neighbors are looking at options to discourage tents, but don't want something as drastic as jagged rocks.

"But we would talk to them (the homeless) first," he said.

Majors said she worries the rock treatment will take hold in other neighborhoods and that it will become increasing difficult to find a place to pitch a tent.