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Englewood experiencing growing pains due to city's building boom

Residents: Growth in the city is a double edged sword
Posted at 10:29 PM, Oct 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-09 01:06:56-04

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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Due to the popularity of our Colorado, many metro cities are experiencing massive growing pains. Englewood is a prime example. The city has seen an unprecedented building boom in the past two years — many times at the expense of older homes and neighborhoods, which has some neighbors asking, "How much is too much?"

"We want our small town feel. The structures we’re building don’t seem to fit the Englewood we like. The times are changing," said Cheryl Sadelson.

She's not wrong. Everywhere you look in the city, new construction is hogging the spotlight. Duplexes, triplexes, and giant construction projects are popping up everywhere. But how much is too much?

“We’re looking at density, infrastructure issues and quality of life issues," longtime resident Pam Beets told Denver7.

In the past few years, Englewood, along with the rest of the metro, has seen a major housing boom. Slot homes and apartments have replaced some of the older homes. For Beets, the changes have been jarring.

"I think that’s a question a lot of residents have. How did this happen? What happened? The city council didn’t really inform residents of this kind of development," she said.

Beets has lived in her Englewood home for 20 years. She says she’s always loved the family-oriented feel of Englewood — a place where kids can throw the football and play outside their home.

“We’re kind of a gem in the middle of Denver, or the metro area. Housing is a big problem. I don’t know that we need to scrape off our neighborhood to fix it," she said.

Beets says the changes have come with little or no input from neighbors. She says short-term rentals, which are also popular, along with slot homes have brought noise and parking issues.

"We need to put a moratorium on this kind of building, or at least a pause on this kind of building until we decide what we want to do," she said.

At Tuesday’s city council meeting, Mayor Linda Olson addressed the issue, saying the city is balancing its growth the best it can.

"Although I see duplexes and triplexes going up, I still feel like there is a small town feel. We’ve restricted apartments in the city quite a bit more than Denver has. We’re going to continue to feel the pressure, but we’ve also been pretty restrictive, particularly in the past couple of years," said Olson.

But for Beets, the popularity of her hometown has brought change. And for her, the “new” Englewood is a place she no longer recognizes.

"There are some things that are more important than money and property taxes. That’s our quality of life," said Beets.