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Our OWN column:
Talk to neighbors before building second units

       By Jim Thompson
       President, Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN)

       A topic we are facing is the increase in requests for building permits to construct second units on existing lots. This is due to the shortage of housing and the fact that many Westside lots are zoned R2, which allows second units.
       In most cases, owners are using great judgment in what they construct and are increasing the value of their properties and their neighbors.
       If you're considering such a plan, OWN encourages you to verify that you meet all city requirements and that you talk with your neighbors about what you want to build and how it might look after completion.
       If you need assistance in creating such a forum, OWN can assist you.
       New construction is great for our local economy and can be a positive influence on how the Westside develops over the coming years. Let's remember we are all in this together and we share this wonderful space we call home.
       A picnic thank you
       Three Westside restaurants - Front Range Barbeque, Paravicini's and Jake & Telly's - donated food for the OWN picnic June 25 in Bancroft Park. (See article at right). OWN greatly appreciates their generosity. Jake & Telly's even let us use their grill!
       Contacting OWN
       All residents are welcome to join us at one of the OWN board meetings at the Westside Community Cen-ter. Meetings are held on the second Thursdays of the month from 6 to 8 p.m. These meetings are a great opportunity for residents to join in and offer solutions for moving the Westside in an exciting direction.
       For more information, the OWN e-mail address is info@owncos.org.