Bernie Costello posted this on the Friends of Granny blog today, a group that supports the return of so-called “granny flats,” or “carriage homes,” in Denver.
The issue is especially topical as next year Denver is expected to completely revamp its zoning laws. A granny flat can provide housing for a relative, such as a mother; office space; or rental income for homeowners.
Here is Costello’s blog.
Opponents of ADUs (Accessory Dwelling Units), usually say that they don’t want too many renters in their neighborhood.
First, let us address the reality of renters.
Of the 582,000 residents of Denver, 53% are homeowners.
That means that 47% or approximately 273, 500 fine folks are renters, according to the Regional Council of Governors.
With the rise of the millenniums, aka Generation Y, and a projected slowdown in the rise of homeownership, that number will continue rise.
All healthy cities have a generous population of non-homeowners as it is vital to the survival and growth of any metropolitan area. This results in businesses being fruitful, transit ridership growing to proper levels and new small business creation.
Now let us be honest regarding the reality of misbehaved renters.
Most if not all of this fear is directed at college or post college age young adults.
It is common sense that many of these folks are concentrated near the universities and surrounding community. The fear is based on primarily noise and secondarily maintenance concerns.
By law, all Colorado residents are deemed equal regardless of their homeownership status.
The governing ordinances and laws apply to all and are there to ensure proper conduct and to avoid any safety or health issues. In other words, a noisy young adult renter having a party is dealt with in the same manner as the neighbors teenage prodigy practicing drum rolls at 2 am.
As someone who lives just south of the University of Denver, I realize that many students live in multiple roommate scenarios based on economics.
This usually means they wind up in a single family detached home with another two or three roommates. This also results in a rental range of between $400 to $600 dollars each month. (These rental costs are based on informal discussions with students and property owners. With this comes a variety of agreements with the property owners/manager, regarding maintenance responsibilities.)
Detached ADUs, located at the rear of the property adjacent to the alley are not limited to rental tenant use.
The numerous uses, as determined by the homeowner, can include guest space, home office/studio space, caretaker quarters, or aging in place options.
While renting the structure is an option, it is not a given.
With the restrictions in size pertaining to ADUs the number of potential tenants will be reduced to one or two.
With these restrictions comes a reality in rental demographics based on the cost.
With 10 % of the Denver population between the ages of 18 and 24 and 36% between the age of 25 and 44, the reality is that the ADU will be occupied by a young professional or couple.
It also provides a great option for single- parent households and an attractive option for retirees that want to stay in a neighborhood rather than an apartment block. Remember that Denver currently has carriage houses in almost all neighborhoods. I should know, as I was a renter in the city between the ages of 24 and 38. I lived in an internal apartment ADU and as my income grew and I was able to rent on my own, a carriage house, both located in Platt Park.
By the way, the tenants in the primary residence located in front of my carriage house were also renters, not that anyone knew or cared. The arrangement was nearly perfect for everyone involved, owners, roommates, and even neighbors.< class="related_post_title">Related Posts:>