- We would allow only one family per house plus one person who is not related to that family, with no special exception for domestic employees.
- We would utilize a definition of “family” similar to the GLA, with some adjustments. For example, the “committed relationship” category would be changed to an “exclusive, binary, committed relationship,” to ensure that only legitimate couples are covered and not just groups of friends with some vague notion of ”commitment” to each other.
- Existing residents would be grandfathered so long as they announce themselves to the SPEHA Board within ninety (90) days after the adoption of the Covenant amendments. Grandfathering would only apply to existing residents and would not be a permanent change to the habitation permitted in the residence generally.
- The SPEHA Board would have the authority to grant exemptions to new residents or upon changes to the situations of existing residents so long as the request for exemption is made within 90 days of the new residents’ arrival or the existing resident's change in circumstances.
- For violations that are not exempted by the Board, upon ninety (90) days prior written notice, the SPEHA Board would have the authority to fine violators up to $50 per day and/or seek a court order to stop further violations.
- In administering these new limitations on occupancy, the SPEHA Board would be prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
- The SPEHA Board would like to get feedback from the neighborhood on this proposal. Once the Board has considered your reactions to the concepts described in the proposal, we will take it to the next step by drafting specific language for the Covenant amendments, getting that language approved by legal counsel, and circulating the final amendments for approval by two-thirds of the neighborhood.
I say evolving because there have been changes to the GLA proposal that I failed to note in my prior message. Grassroots organizations like Safe & Sound Denver (https://www.safeandsounddenver.com/) have been fighting the GLA for some time now. As a result, the legislation has been steadily whittled back several times from the original proposal, which was 8 unrelated persons plus an unlimited number of each unrelated person's broadly defined "relatives." In particular, the version that I described in my prior message (5 unrelated persons and unlimited relatives of each unrelated person) has been cut back further, to 5 related or unrelated adults, combined, and an unlimited number of their minor relatives (i.e., children, including teenagers). This is a little better but the GLA is still damned by that faint praise.
Here is the latest language for a "household" that could occupy any single "dwelling unit" anywhere in the City:
"(iii). Up to 5 adults of any relationship, plus any minor children related by blood, adoption or documented responsibility, plus any permitted domestic employees, who all occupy a dwelling unit as a single non-profit housekeeping unit:"
So how does this work? It means, for example, that a husband and wife and their 3 children can have 3 more unrelated persons and their related minor persons live with them. The more related adults you have, the fewer unrelated adults and their respective families you can have. The worst case scenario is for 5 single-parent families of whatever size in a single house, not counting "domestic employees." The Board believes that this latest version is still an open invitation to install overcrowded rooming houses in single family residential areas like Southmoor Park East. The GLA's "one size fits all" approach does not really fit everyone.
So, after reflection, and considering neighbors' feedback and discussions with Councilwoman Kendra Black (whom we understand plans to vote in favor of the GLA), the Board is reasserting its opposition to the GLA. Besides the 5 unrelated persons provision described above, the GLA is sweeping and complex legislation consistently aimed at increasing the density of single family residential neighborhoods like Southmoor Park East. You can learn more about the GLA and those other provisions on Safe & Sound Denver's website or you can try to decipher the voluminous and laudatory documents posted on the City's website.
While the Board still intends to recommend to the neighborhood that we opt out of some if not all of the GLA by amending our own Covenants, we feel it is important that our neighbors speak out against the GLA. .You can write to our Councilwoman, Kendra Black, at Kendra.Black@denvergov.org and to At Large City Council Members Debbie Ortega and Robin Kneich at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org, respectively.
The SPEHA Board appreciates that most neighborhoods in the City, including minority neighborhoods like Montbello, may not have the option to amend restrictive covenants to protect themselves and therefore may eventually bear the brunt of this well intentioned foolishness. We encourage you to speak out against the GLA for the benefit of all our single family residential neighborhoods. We are all in this together.
Our next SPEHA Board Meeting is a ZOOM call on Wednesday, February 10 at 7 pm (two days after the City Council vote on the GLA). If any neighbor wants to attend this or any other Board meeting, please email me at email@example.com or SPEHA Board Secretary Becky Stuart at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you a ZOOM link to join us.
The Board appreciates your support of our efforts to maintain the quality of life in our neighborhood. I am afraid that we may soon be asking for even more support when we seek your consent to our final proposed amendments to the SPEHA Covenants to defend ourselves against the GLA. Along those lines, please make sure we have up to date email addresses for you and for your neighbors by registering on the new website, www.speha.org and encouraging others to do so too. That will make it much easier for everybody to get that big job done.
sleeterryjr @ gmail.com
sleeterryjr @ gmail.com