UPDATED: CodeNext first reading comes back due to 'inadvertent errors'

With recall election looming, Sept. 18 will mark third attempt to clear step in approval process for controversial Englewood zoning ordinance


For the third time this month, the first reading of the controversial CodeNext zoning overhaul is back on the Englewood City Council agenda this coming Monday, Sept. 18, so the council can “correct inadvertent errors” that were made during the apparent approval of the measure on Sept. 11.

The 4-3 “yes” vote on Sept. 11 appeared to clear the first-reading hurdle so CodeNext could get likely final approval at the second reading on Sept. 25 — but now, to hit that target, the first reading needs to be redone on Sept. 18 to amend five sections of the massive ordinance.

The staff memo for the Sept. 18 agenda says: “if the council bill is not amended as recommended to correct inadvertent errors made during the adoption/amendment process from the September 11, 2023 meeting, the draft provisions will conflict with Charter and will be on the September 25, 2023 meeting agenda.”

All of this is happening under the growing shadow of an Oct. 3 recall election that is targeting three of the four councilmembers who voted in favor of the density-increasing CodeNext plan on Sept. 11.

The CodeNext first reading was initially on the agenda for the city council’s Sept. 5 regular meeting, but was called off when the city’s two-year-old, $295,000 audio-video system conked out, leaving the audio dead for citizens trying to follow the meeting on livestream.

Because of the equipment breakdown, the first reading was then bumped to a special meeting on Sept. 11, where the version of CodeNext that had been approved in July by the Englewood Planning & Zoning Commission was subjected to several attempts at amendments by members of city council — some of which appeared to pass.

The discussion and votes ran past midnight at the Sept. 11 meeting and into the wee hours of Sept. 12, but at the end of that meeting, it appeared the first reading of CodeNext was wrapped up and narrowly approved.

However, the conflicts between the amendments and charter, as noted in the staff memo, have put the first reading of CodeNext back on the agenda for Sept. 18, with these five sections in the spotlight:

  • 16-2-11 to eliminate the provision regarding appeal of a Board of Adjustment and Appeals’ decision to city council for administrative adjustments.
  • 16-4-4.B.2.a to read: “800 square feet, if in a detached building or attached to the principal building.”
  • 16-4-4.B.2.b to read: “Equal to the building footprint if internal to the principal building.” (This amendment, part of an attempt to further loosen restrictions on accessory dwelling units, was already undone and redone once during on-the-fly amendment creation at the Sept. 11 meeting.)
  • 16-4-4.B.3.a to read: “Only one unit may be in a detached building”; and
  • 16-4-4.B.3.b to read: “There shall be at least 2,000 square feet of lot area for each unit, including the principal dwelling unit.”

If the first reading of CodeNext is wrapped up with the amendments finalized on Sept. 18, the second reading and likely final approval could stay on track for a special meeting called for Sept. 25, just eight days before a recall election targeting three CodeNext supporters on council.

The recall election was largely driven by controversy over the CodeNext proposals for greater housing density, which originally included a now-shelved idea to allow multifamily dwellings in single-family zoning. In the recall election, voters will decide whether to keep District 1 Councilmember and Mayor Othoniel Sierra, District 2 Councilmember Chelsea Nunnenkamp and District 3 Councilmember Joe Anderson, all of whom are CodeNext supporters who voted in favor of the plan on Sept. 11.

The fourth “yes” vote on Sept. 11 was cast by Interim At-Large Councilmemer PJ Kolnik, who was appointed in a split vote to replace CodeNext supporter Cheryl Wink following her abrupt resignation from council on the day her recall election was to be scheduled.

Update: Brad Power, Englewood's director of community development, provided details on the morning of Sept. 18 about the changes needed.

Power wrote: Following the city council meeting on Sept. 11, staff and the CodeNext consultant discovered that amendments made by the council at the meeting included an incorrect section number, and there was an incorrect reference in a provision regarding appeals of Board of Adjustment and Appeals decisions. City council will consider these corrections at their meeting on Sept. 18.

Englewood City Council, CodeNext, growth, development, density, recall, Colorado


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