Englewood passes measure allowing back yard homes

With the price of housing nonetheless on an inexorable rise within the metro space, Englewood architect Randal Friesen sees accent dwelling models as a key to fixing the world’s inexpensive housing puzzle.

The solely downside is that new ADUs — assume “granny flats” or “garden cottages” which can be typically used to deal with an growing old mother or father or a toddler not fairly able to fly the nest — weren’t allowed in Englewood.

Until now.

On Monday, the town council narrowly accredited an ordinance allowing ADUs to be established in additional than half of Englewood’s residential zoned areas. The suburb of 35,000 follows within the footsteps of a number of metro-area communities which have loosened guidelines on accent dwelling models, together with Denver, Arvada and Golden.

Englewood’s vote is sweet information for Friesen, whose grownup daughter can now dwell in a small alley home on loads he owns within the metropolis, only a few ft from a full-size dwelling he would construct there.

“Affordable living is what’s not available out there,” he mentioned. “My daughter can’t afford apartments at the rates apartments are renting for.”

The newest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller survey pegged Denver’s dwelling worth improve at practically 7 p.c from late 2017 by way of late 2018. In an Apartment List report launched final summer season, median rents in Denver clocked in at $1,050 for a one-bedroom unit and $1,330 for a two-bedroom unit.

In the suburbs, the charges have been increased: Englewood’s median lease was $1,220 for a one-bedroom condo and $1,540 a month for 2. Two bedrooms in Parker and Thornton had medians above $1,800.

But ADUs are usually not the reply for a lot of Englewood residents, who worry the infill models will invite congestion, generate parking complications and essentially change the character of neighborhoods on this inside suburb. While ADUs are sometimes used to place a roof over the top of a relative or buddy, in Englewood they are going to be capable of be rented on the open market as nicely.

Renting to strangers, opponents argue, brings to the neighborhood a larger danger of crime.

“We’re already having trouble, and they’re trying to bring more density to our residential areas,” mentioned Cynthia Searfoss, a 22-year resident of Englewood. “It’s going to be impactful.”

Those arguments performed out finally Monday’s council assembly, the place each these touting and lambasting ADUs took to the microphone to influence their elected leaders to vote their approach. In the top, the ordinance handed on a 4-3 vote. The measure takes impact Feb. 9.

John Voboril, a planner with Englewood, mentioned the town has been coping with the ADU problem for practically 5 years, holding a number of open homes and council examine classes designed to nail down the small print earlier than laws have been handed.

The new ordinance mandates that the proprietor of the first residence on the property the place an adjunct dwelling unit is constructed dwell there for a minimum of 9 months of the yr. It limits the scale of an ADU, be it a unit constructed on high of a indifferent storage or a cottage positioned within the yard, to 650 sq. ft. The location of the unit can be restricted to the rear third of the lot.

The guidelines stipulate that an off-street parking house be offered for every ADU.

“We’re going to have the strongest ADU enforcement mechanism for ADUs in the state of Colorado,” Voboril mentioned.

Not that Englewood is a whole stranger to the idea. Because the models have been standard throughout the nation earlier than World War II in response to a housing scarcity, the town says practically 200 ADUs exist already within the older a part of Englewood and are grandfathered in.

Voboril mentioned the town is projecting that six to seven new ADUs a yr will come on-line within the metropolis over the subsequent decade.

Nearby Arvada invited ADUs back in 2007 and metropolis spokeswoman Allison Trembly mentioned there at the moment are 20 permitted models within the metropolis, together with basement conversions.

Trembly mentioned Arvada’s ADU inventory is evenly break up between use as a house for a member of the family and a rental. The metropolis’s intent with ADUs, she mentioned, is to supply “a market-based housing option that would allow property owners to reinvest in their property and provide a more affordable option for other people such as seniors and young adults while also protecting the character of existing neighborhoods.”

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