What’s an RNO? What’s an HOA?

Both Registered Neighborhood Organizations (RNOs) and Homeowners Associations (HOAs) are important and helpful organizations that assist the City & County of Denver by publicizing important news to their membership, reviewing land use issues and providing feedback and generally weighing in on matters facing their neighborhoods.

RNOs are groups formed by residents and property owners within a specific geographic area or neighborhood who meet regularly, may or may not charge membership fees, and who’s organizational and contact information is kept on file with the City’s Community Planning and Development Department. RNOs are voluntary membership organizations and can often elevate neighborhood concerns to make citywide policy changes. Successful RNOs are an important part of the fabric of the city and play a key role in the ongoing effort to make Denver a great place to live and work. The organizations do this by having regular open meetings, are reflective of their community and are open to diverse opinions.

RNOs receive notification of proposed zoning amendments, landmark designation applications, planning board and board of adjustment hearings, liquor and cabaret licenses and other activities occurring in the neighborhood. Additionally, most send monthly newsletters, which give residents deeper insight into their neighborhoods. They also facilitate neighborhood meetups and community cleanups. Most RNOs do not have a paid staff.

HOAs, by contrast, are often smaller, private, paid membership organizations that are mandatory with home ownership in certain housing developments. Generally, any person who buys a residence within an HOA must become a member, and therefore must obey the governing documents of the HOA. These governing documents may include covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs). Benefits to homeowners may include maintenance and management services, provision of recreational amenities and/or security services, insurance coverage and enforcement of community appearance standards which may enhance property values. Some neighborhoods with HOAs have design review requirements and a design review committee to which building plans are submitted for approval. 

Thanks to Cramner Park/Hilltop Civic Association and The City and County of Denver for the information contained in this section.