A City Council vote has been postponed indefinitely on a proposal to move a cluster of tiny homes to a municipal plot in Globeville.
City Councilman Albus Brooks, whose district includes the neighborhood and who has said he is supportive of the move to 4400 North Pearl St., said he is still seeking clarity. The overwhelming sentiment expressed at two neighborhood meetings so far has been unwelcoming.
“What part of ‘no” doesn’t the city understand?” Bernadette Garcia said after a meeting Friday at which neighbors repeatedly told Brooks they rejected the proposal and wanted to know what the next step would be given their stance. Garcia’s Globeville KARES community group has worked to ensure neighbors know about the proposal and have a chance to express their views on it.
A third community meeting has been scheduled for Saturday.
Colorado Village Collaborative, which sponsors the Beloved Community Village of 11 small structures that are home to 12 people experiencing homelessness, needs to find a new home for the village by March 14. The village has sat for more than a year near the 38th and Blake light-rail station on a plot where slated for the development of affordable housing.
At the Globeville rec center on Friday, participants refused even to formally consider a document outlining a possible good neighbor agreement, fearing city officials would see that as an opening for Beloved Community Village. Crystal Trujillo said the points for discussion listed in the proposed agreement — such as whether sex offenders and drug users would be banned from the village — reflected not what she and her neighbors wanted to negotiate but instead why they did not want the village nearby. Trujillo’s backyard abuts 4400 North Pearl.
“I don’t want it. Period,” Trujillo said. “We clearly don’t want it. We don’t want it. So, now what?”
Brooks tried to assure her that village residents, most of whom are working and all of whom are receiving social and other support, would not add disruption to the neighborhood.
He added he has received emails and phone calls from Globeville residents who at least want to discuss a good neighbor agreement. But few spoke up for that position on Friday.
“It’s a tough environment,” Brooks said.
Friday’s meeting was shorter, less well attended and only slightly less angry than a two-hour meeting at the rec center on Feb. 7.
Last month the city offered 4400 North Pearl to the Colorado Village Collaborative. The nonprofit had been scrambling for a new site after Denver’s public works department said in November that a plot at the Taxi development where Beloved Community Village had hoped to move was inappropriate, citing flood concerns.
Denver City Council must approve the proposal to lease the city-owned plot at 4400 North Pearl to Colorado Village Collaborative for about $10 a year. The council’s Finance and Governance Committee has given preliminary approval. The full council was to have vote on the lease on Feb. 19.
“There was a lot of push-back from the community,” Brooks acknowledged as Friday’s meeting began. “The response from the council … was to postpone the vote.”
He said no new vote date has been set.
The Urban Land Conservancy that owns the plot near 38th and Blake had originally set a March 1 deadline for the village to move. After the Feb. 7 meeting, which a ULC representative attended, the nonprofit gave the village more time. Colorado Village Collaborative’s Cole Chandler said Friday that the new deadline of March 14 was firm.
Globeville residents say they feel the city and Colorado Village Collaborative are pressuring them to solve a problem they did not create and complain that bringing in people experiencing homelessness won’t help a long-neglected neighborhood struggling with poverty and displacement.
Updates previous story with third community meeting set for Saturday.