The "group living" proposal to dramatically change Denver's zoning code, now pending before the City Council, seems to have drawn far more darts than laurels from the community. And by our lights, deservedly so.

The proposal would allow up to 10 unrelated people — and any number of their relatives — to live in single-family homes 2,600 square feet or larger. Smaller homes could accommodate up to five unrelated people.

It is billed — dubiously, as we've noted before — as a way to expand affordable housing. Many Denverites instead see it as an attempt by the city to allow halfway houses and homeless shelters to proliferate in wide-ranging neighborhoods. The city acknowledges that is a priority, as well.

The grassroots group Safe and Sound Denver, which was formed in opposition to the group-living proposal, recently tallied all public comments submitted to the city so far. Safe and Sound included its results in its latest newsletter. The feedback gathered by the city as of Sept. 1 reveals:

  • 5842 comments received
  • 5276 opposed
  • 558 support
  • 90% opposed
  • 10% support

Strictly speaking, it's not a scientific survey by the standards of pollsters and statisticians. But such lopsided results nevertheless don't bode well for a proposal that hasn't gotten nearly the scrutiny it warrants. All the more reason to scrap it and go back to the drawing board.