Push to curb hous­ing growth has enough sig­na­tures for bal­lot

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Jesse Paul

A pro­posed or­di­nance that would limit hous­ing growth in Lakewood to no more than 1 percent of ex­ist­ing units a year has ten­ta­tively gained more than enough sig­na­tures be­fore a Fri­day dead­line to move for­ward, lo­cal of­fi­cials said Mon­day.

Margy Greer, the city’s clerk, said 7,611 sig­na­tures were turned in for the ini­tia­tive, well above the 5,165 needed from reg­is­tered vot­ers. Greer has the next 30 days to com­plete a re­view of the sig­na­tures to de­ter­mine if they are valid to move for­ward.

Greer said if the sig­na­tures are suf­fi­cient, the ini­tia­tive goes be­fore the City Coun­cil on Aug. 28.

A “yes” vote by the coun­cil would put the mea­sure into ef­fect, and a “no” vote would put the pro­posal to a pub­lic vote Nov. 7, along with Jef­fer­son County’s sched­uled elec­tion.

The pro­posed or­di­nance would im­ple­ment a sys­tem that lim­its per­mit re­quests for new dwelling units and would man­date that the Lakewood City Coun­cil vote to ap­prove or re­ject projects of 40 or more hous­ing units.

The pro­posal comes at a time when rents in the Den­ver area — es­pe­cially in ar­eas within and just beyond the city lim­its — are soar­ing and de­vel­op­ers are work­ing to keep up with the de­mand. A mas­sive short­age of con­struc­tion work­ers is mak­ing things worse.

Back­ers of the ini­tia­tive — namely Lakewood Strate­gic Growth — say it’s meant to en­cour­age re­de­vel­op­ment of Lakewood’s blights and dis­tressed ar­eas while pre­serv­ing large, open-space parcels. They also want to en­sure that the city’s growth — its pop­u­la­tion rose by nearly 12,000 to 154,393 from 2010 to 2016, ac­cord­ing to a cen­sus es­ti­mate — doesn’t out­pace its pub­lic fa­cil­i­ties and ur­ban ser­vices or de­grade the Den­ver suburbs’ air and wa­ter qual­ity.

“This is not a ‘no growth’ ini­tia­tive,” Cathy Kent­ner, spokes­woman for Lakewood Strate­gic Growth, said in a state­ment.

But not ev­ery­one sup­ports the pro­posal, in­clud­ing Lakewood Mayor Adams Paul, who said that it could “do great harm.”

“While we have these grow­ing pains through­out the metro area, we are not out of wack,” he said. “To ar­bi­trar­ily put a num­ber (lim­it­ing hous­ing growth) and this crazy sys­tem of al­lo­ca­tions and ap­provals by city coun­cil — it just seems to be a broad-brush ap­proach.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.