Construction Watch

Tiny Home Village Wants Zoning Law Changes After Moving 200 Feet for $25,000

Facebook / Colorado Village Collaborative
In early December, we wrote about how the much-talked-about (and gawked at) tiny home village in RiNo would have to pay $25,000 to move 200 feet, to an adjacent property near 38th and Blake streets, because of the city’s temporary zoning rules.

The Beloved Community Village started its move late last week, using hydraulic forklifts to relocate the homes across an alleyway. Over the weekend, additional volunteers helped reinstall the stairs, ramps and community kitchen at the new location.

The move was necessary because the village, which has provided shelter to fifteen formerly homeless individuals, only had a 180-day zoning permit from the city, which considered it a pilot project.

Tonight, Monday, January 8, Denver City Council is expected to approve another six-month permit for the new location.

The vote can’t come soon enough for residents, who have been displaced since the move started last week. They face two hurdles: Not only must they wait for city council to approve the new zoning permit, but then Mayor Michael Hancock has to sign off on it, which may not happen until Thursday.

click to enlarge
Moving the Beloved Community Village in RiNo.
Westword / Google Maps
That’s a concern that the organizers behind the project, the Colorado Village Collaborative, will bring up with the Council tonight, and hope to change. They're asking that zoning laws be revised to allow tiny homes.

“The big thing to be clear on is this shows how much we need permanent tiny home zoning so we don't have go through this craziness [again],” says Terese Howard of Denver Homeless Out Loud.

Another organizer with the Colorado Village Collaborative, Cole Chandler, has pointed out that none of the residents who've benefited from the tiny homes have returned to the streets, and several residents have been able to find jobs and take classes with their newfound stability.

Not only has the tiny home village in RiNo been a success, organizers say, but there is additional need to change zoning laws as soon as possible in anticipation of a second village being built on the campus of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church this year.
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Chris Walker is a freelancer and former staff writer at Westword. Before moving to the Mile High City he spent two years bicycling across Eurasia, during which he wrote feature stories for VICE, NPR, Forbes, and The Atlantic. Read more of Chris's feature work and view his portfolio here.
Contact: Chris Walker