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  #8141  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2020, 6:37 PM
Agent Orange Agent Orange is offline
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Re: Homelessness tax

I am troubled by the fact that central cities in large, often left leaning metropolitan areas bear an outsized burden in regards to the homelessness crisis (i.e. the opiate-mental health-unaffordable housing crisis). I am not against my taxes going to help resolve and/or alleviate these issues, but let's be honest about the fact that a large contingent of our resident urban campers do not hail from the City and County of Denver. The suburbs and rural counties where many folks are coming from are not paying into our funds to combat homelessness, not to mention the other 49 states. It's unrealistic to expect this, but really we should be getting money from the State and the Federal government. Instead, we'll create more incentives for people "experiencing homelessness" to come here and then we'll have the ask taxpayers for more money in a few more years.

Re: Curtis Park

I live in Curtis Park and, yes, there is a lot more than just SFHs. But nearly all of that low scale missing middle housing was there a century or more ago. It's a bit silly that the density has been and will continue to be frozen in time thanks to zoning and the historical status. I'd be in favor of saving maybe a three block stretch of one street (maybe Stout) as a bit of a museum piece for posterity, but let the rest of the neighborhood evolve. The rowhome I live in is falling apart, has terrible insulation and sound proofing. The logical thing would be to tear the whole row down and replace with a 4-5 storey condo building to double the density with modern materials and comforts. But logic and American municipal politics do not mix. Historic districts are mostly rent-seeking, NIMBY tools of exclusion.
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  #8142  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2020, 6:41 PM
Curtis Park Curtis Park is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dirt View Post
We don't need to boot out single family homes, but we do need to allow things like ADUs and subdividing the larger homes into duplexes or more. Otherwise, the neighborhood will be "destroyed".
Most of, if not all of Curtis Park has a Zoning Conservation Overlay that makes it easier to build ADUs. ADU's can be built into the bulk plane and don't have the restriction of being just a story and half. This was done to encourage the building of ADUs and increasing density in a way that has little to no effect on the historic neighborhood.
It's a tough balance to maintain some historic buildings while welcoming new development. The neighbors are very aware of how many more people used to live in the neighborhood than do today and has been quite welcoming of new infill that is not just more SFHs. There are plenty of once empty lots that now have townhomes and apartments on them, inside the boundaries of the various landmark districts.
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  #8143  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2020, 8:32 PM
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TakeFive TakeFive is offline
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Originally Posted by RyanD View Post
Thanks for the great update.

I can recall thinking when McGregor Square was announced what order they would build the the separate pieces and which would come from first? Before I could think too long the whole block was a construction zone and yes, it does seem like this project given its different pieces is going up at warp speed.

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Originally Posted by Agent Orange View Post
Re: Homelessness tax

Re: Curtis Park
Well said.

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Originally Posted by twister244 View Post
So, this isn't specific to Denver per-se, but I came across this article highlighting the changes in domestic migration patterns due to changes in the tax law that took effect a couple years ago.
Good point.
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  #8144  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2020, 9:35 PM
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ADUs are great, and in some parts of town they're all we need, but in a rational world a place like Curtis Park--literally walkable to downtown--should be predominantly walkup apartments. It should be at least as dense as Capitol Hill. Really it should be as dense as SF's Nob Hill or Vancouver's West End.

Like, one of Denver's (and many US cities') key problems is that you go straight from downtown to neighborhoods that are structurally SFH. I'm sympathetic to the desire to preserve historic architecture, but we need to find a way to let these downtown-adjacent neighborhoods do the job that downtown-adjacent neighborhoods are supposed to do.
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  #8145  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2020, 12:23 AM
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If there was any money to be made on an ADU you'd see more of the them. Niche, pet project from the Tesla set.
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  #8146  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2020, 1:39 AM
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I just watched a short video from The Economist regarding the "myth" of home ownership being better than renting and how renting over the long run may not actually be more expensive than owning. Home owning meaning single or multi-family ownership. They also get into ownership being a part of the driving force behind NIMBYism. I'm not too sure I'm fully on board (yet) with the conclusion of the video. After all, having a home that you own and is paid for feels more comfortable if you hit hard times financially. You can ride out the storm a little longer. But, then again, if it lasts too long and you haven't paid it off, you could loose your investment. If you rent, you can pack up and find a job elsewhere. Perhaps, having a lack of condos in Denver may not be an entirely bad thing if seen from this perspective.

Here is the link below:
How an obsession with home ownership can ruin the economy | The Economist
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  #8147  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2020, 3:14 AM
CastleScott CastleScott is offline
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Hi all Denver forumers as a lurker who always checks out posts on here and I've noticed that the situation of RTD's plight has been a big topic on here. Well one of my best friends is putting his hat in the ring for one of the appointed positions that may come about, he's a former RTD board member who was first appointed back in 1977 by then Gov Richard Lamm-stayed on until the elected board took office in 1981. He was then Elected from his home Northglenn in 1986-reelected in 1990 and stayed till 1994. His name is Kevin Robert Sampson and he's an avid transit supporter and started many bus routes in the northern metro and he supported the start of the light rail service (the MAC line as what it was called back in the early 90s). My friend lives in SW Denver (Bear Valley) now and he does take the C/D line a lot and rides buses as well. Just something I want to share.

Thanks guys and gals.
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  #8148  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2020, 3:38 AM
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Sam Hill Sam Hill is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Agent Orange View Post
Re: Homelessness tax

I am troubled by the fact that central cities in large, often left leaning metropolitan areas bear an outsized burden in regards to the homelessness crisis (i.e. the opiate-mental health-unaffordable housing crisis). I am not against my taxes going to help resolve and/or alleviate these issues, but let's be honest about the fact that a large contingent of our resident urban campers do not hail from the City and County of Denver. The suburbs and rural counties where many folks are coming from are not paying into our funds to combat homelessness, not to mention the other 49 states. It's unrealistic to expect this, but really we should be getting money from the State and the Federal government. Instead, we'll create more incentives for people "experiencing homelessness" to come here and then we'll have the ask taxpayers for more money in a few more years.

Re: Curtis Park

I live in Curtis Park and, yes, there is a lot more than just SFHs. But nearly all of that low scale missing middle housing was there a century or more ago. It's a bit silly that the density has been and will continue to be frozen in time thanks to zoning and the historical status. I'd be in favor of saving maybe a three block stretch of one street (maybe Stout) as a bit of a museum piece for posterity, but let the rest of the neighborhood evolve. The rowhome I live in is falling apart, has terrible insulation and sound proofing. The logical thing would be to tear the whole row down and replace with a 4-5 storey condo building to double the density with modern materials and comforts. But logic and American municipal politics do not mix. Historic districts are mostly rent-seeking, NIMBY tools of exclusion.
Damn fine points - both of them. That first point is something I haven't even really considered before, but you're totally right.
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  #8149  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2020, 5:08 AM
SirLucasTheGreat SirLucasTheGreat is offline
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Quick question regarding the Bell Tower:

Does the fact that the Bell Tower submitted a site development plan mean that the Lower Downtown Design Review Board approved their design?
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  #8150  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2020, 3:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirLucasTheGreat View Post
Quick question regarding the Bell Tower:

Does the fact that the Bell Tower submitted a site development plan mean that the Lower Downtown Design Review Board approved their design?
It can be for other things as it moves through design review. the LDDRC still denied its last submittal.
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  #8151  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2020, 3:54 PM
tommyboy733 tommyboy733 is offline
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Originally Posted by CherryCreek View Post
So if these numbers are right about homeless spending and homeless numbers (5,300 homeless and $140 million on spending) then we are currently spending about $26,400 per homeless person and the ask is to increase this to $36,792 per person.
Those numbers are disturbing, if correct.

According to the 2019 Point in Time Report for Denver there were 3,943 "total counted", which was 69% of the 5,714 metro-wide. I have no idea what the accuracy "total counted" is, or if they have estimates or analysis to estimate those that are inevitable missed.

https://www.mdhi.org/pit_reports

https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.ne...pdf?1566335912

Are $140 million costs just within Denver are for the entire metro area? If divided by just the Denver population $140 M / 3,943 = $35,505.

The official federal poverty level is $12,760. I'm not saying that's sufficient, just proving context that this is several times the governments official poverty rate.

I don't know what the answer is but not more money IMO.

There are some many crazies. Sometimes I wonder about institutionalization, however I see two big problems.

1. How can the government/society decide who needs to be effectively locked up against their will. How could this not infringe on rights? How crazy is crazy enough to loose one's rights, esp if there are no violent crimes? No society is truly free but where's the line?

2. Many asylums in the past often were hell. Abuse, trauma, etc. Kinda relates to the point above, and I think contributed to de-institutionalization. There were many examples of well run institutions, but also many horror stories. Look how asylums have become standard in the horror genre. Some victims would have been better off on the streets.

Last edited by tommyboy733; Jan 30, 2020 at 10:13 PM.
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  #8152  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2020, 4:45 PM
Curtis Park Curtis Park is offline
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Originally Posted by Stonemans_rowJ View Post
If there was any money to be made on an ADU you'd see more of the them. Niche, pet project from the Tesla set.
More and more are being built year over year. And there is certainly money to be made. Our neighbors do well with AirBnB. It may not increase the resale price of your home right away since accurate appraisals are a challenge given the lack of comparable properties. But over time this will improve. Plus, it's not always about turning a profit. I could see one being a viable solution for a place for my mom to live when my dad passes or for my brother to live if he ever leaves his wife.
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  #8153  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2020, 7:12 PM
Denver Dweller Denver Dweller is offline
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New construction defect bill would ‘eliminate’ affordable housing in Colorado, attorn

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  #8154  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2020, 8:15 PM
Jefficator Jefficator is offline
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Originally Posted by tommyboy733 View Post

If divided by just the Denver population $140 M / 3,943 = $35,505. .

Utah ran the same calculation and determined that giving apartments to each homeless person was a cheaper solution than continuing the current broken, piecemeal approaches to homelessness.
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  #8155  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2020, 9:53 PM
iNfill iNfill is offline
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Originally Posted by Jefficator View Post
Utah ran the same calculation and determined that giving apartments to each homeless person was a cheaper solution than continuing the current broken, piecemeal approaches to homelessness.
Unless you build them downtown for in a highly saught after area, how many would actually go? Like if you did it out in the plains. Did UT stop all other services for the homeless?

If these numbers are correct it seems like a decent option. Even just tiny homes - but the land would have to be cheap and would it work in Denver...
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  #8156  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2020, 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Denver Dweller View Post
Yikes. There goes the mini condo construction boom. I hope there's enough pro-housing Dems to block this.
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  #8157  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2020, 10:36 PM
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CherryCreek CherryCreek is offline
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Originally Posted by Jefficator View Post
Utah ran the same calculation and determined that giving apartments to each homeless person was a cheaper solution than continuing the current broken, piecemeal approaches to homelessness.
Since I don't see a lot of homeless living high on the hog, I suspect what it really says is that there's a large "homeless services" bureaucracy that ends up burning most of the funds allocated to help the homeless and a relatively small amount of the money actually ends up directly benefiting homeless.

Would love to know how to better spend the relatively large sum we are already spending, at least on a per capita homeless basis.
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  #8158  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2020, 10:49 PM
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wong21fr wong21fr is offline
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Originally Posted by iNfill View Post
Unless you build them downtown for in a highly saught after area, how many would actually go? Like if you did it out in the plains. Did UT stop all other services for the homeless?

If these numbers are correct it seems like a decent option. Even just tiny homes - but the land would have to be cheap and would it work in Denver...
Utah declared victory and rested on it's laurels and the homeless population has since spiked as they stopped building housing. However, it didn't just cease support services for the homeless, as such services are a vital part of the Housing First strategy. You tie an individual to a home and you can then loop them into services so that there's a decent chance that the negative cycle the person is stuck in is broken. But, shelters just don't go away, SLC is closed it's single large shelter and opened up three small shelters to still provide emergency shelter services.

What you need with housing first is a dedicated funding stream that you borrow on initially to ramp up your housing, coupled with a reoccurring source of funds for operations, and that also will expand as the program grows. I personally balk at $55M in tax increase to do so, but I can see a smaller amount making sense.

Hell, kill the dumb food desert tax and use that tax revenue for homeless services instead.
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  #8159  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2020, 11:09 PM
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wong21fr wong21fr is offline
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Originally Posted by CherryCreek View Post
Since I don't see a lot of homeless living high on the hog, I suspect what it really says is that there's a large "homeless services" bureaucracy that ends up burning most of the funds allocated to help the homeless and a relatively small amount of the money actually ends up directly benefiting homeless.

Would love to know how to better spend the relatively large sum we are already spending, at least on a per capita homeless basis.
It looks like Salt Lake City spends somewhere around $18M-20M annually on homelessness including police, medical care, services, housing, etc. I wonder how Denver compares on that metric? My gut says we're way short on that.

SLC and Utah as whole spent ~$62M to redo the shelter system in SLC with the result being fewer shelter beds, but greater resources at the new shelters such as support services, treatment, 24-hour facilities, etc. Realistically, Denver has a long way to go to see that kind of investment. However, it was also the state government that contributed significant amounts towards this program whereas the state in Colorado hasn't done all that much.
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  #8160  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2020, 1:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Curtis Park View Post
More and more are being built year over year. And there is certainly money to be made. Our neighbors do well with AirBnB. It may not increase the resale price of your home right away since accurate appraisals are a challenge given the lack of comparable properties. But over time this will improve. Plus, it's not always about turning a profit. I could see one being a viable solution for a place for my mom to live when my dad passes or for my brother to live if he ever leaves his wife.
I'd be curious to see figures of permitted and built ADUs in town. Last time I checked its a very paltry figure. Real Estate development is only about turning a profit. I personally think they are great, I think every neighborhood should allow ADUs by right. However, I don't see them moving the needle much for desperately needed supply of missing middle homes. Rowhomes, Duplex, Chicago Flat style buildings is what we need. The city has far too little zoning that allows those forms.
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Last edited by Stonemans_rowJ; Jan 31, 2020 at 1:58 AM.
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