Englewood City Council Tackles Pool Regulations, Affordable Housing, and Citywide Planning

The latest Englewood City Council meeting saw members address an array of issues ranging from pool regulations and the rise of wellness centers to the necessity of affordable housing and the importance of comprehensive city planning. The meeting, attended by council members Charles Cobb, Dr. Kenneth Rosenzweig, Dr. Lisa Wisotsky, Judith Maron, Kevin Wilson, and Mayor Michael Wildes, also discussed the challenges of adult daycare and the future of retail in the era of online giants like Amazon.

One of the most significant issues raised during the meeting was the surge in pool applications due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The council grappled with the dilemma of granting variances for pool applications on undersized lots that had been rezoned, which made it challenging for residents to meet the building requirements. Despite a dissenting voice on the board, most of these applications were approved, on the grounds that pools potentially provide public benefits. However, this topic led to further discussions about the need for fair and clear guidelines in dealing with such issues, balancing the desire for pools with concerns about soundproofing, landscaping, fairness between neighbors, and pool size limitations.

Another burning issue that came up was the need for affordable housing in Englewood. Adam Brown, Chairman of the Board of Adjustment, expressed concerns about the misinterpretation of a judgment of repose related to affordable housing litigation. Brown clarified that the judgment did not mean the city could stop providing affordable housing, but rather signaled that their zoning ordinances could not be attacked. He argued that this misinterpretation led to the current situation. His remarks sparked a council-wide discussion on the need for a new master plan, focusing on addressing affordable housing for the next 50 years.

The council also highlighted the need for ancillary facilities such as urgent care centers and adult daycare centers. The lack of provision for adult daycare in the city’s ordinance was stressed, with members suggesting designated pickup and drop-off zones. Councilmember Lisa Wisotsky supported the idea of continuous education for board members, citing the importance of such facilities for seniors whose children are working.

The evolving retail landscape was another topic. Brown urged the council to think creatively about the future of downtown areas, as brick-and-mortar retail is increasingly overtaken by online providers like Amazon. He suggested studying other towns that have successfully revitalized their downtown areas.

The council also examined the rise of wellness centers in the area, which were initially classified as medical facilities and hence sparked challenges due to location restrictions. The council decided these centers should be treated more like spas, which are permitted on the first floor of downtown buildings.

One topic that sparked intense debate was the issue of group housing for people dealing with substance abuse. Dr. Kenneth Rosenzweig asked about the approval process for such applications, leading to a broader discussion about regulatory conflicts and the need for city-wide guidelines.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

Mayor:
Michael Wildes
City Council Officials:
Charles Cobb, Dr. Kenneth Rosenzweig, Dr. Lisa Wisotsky, Judith Maron, Kevin Wilson

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