Lakewood ballot initiative would cap growth but challenge remains

Ballot measure debated during seven-hour hearing

LAKEWOOD, Colo. -- A seven-hour hearing will ultimately determine whether or not a ballot measure to cap growth in Lakewood moves forward.

Organizers with the Lakewood Strategic Growth Initiative turned in nearly 8,000 signatures for a proposal that would put in place a 1 percent cap on growth, based on existing units.

"So this initiative petition allows for growth in Lakewood while maintaining our quality of life for current and future residents," said Cathy Kentner, a co-petitioner with the effort.

Kentner said the concern revolves around the city's zoning code and several large-scale developments. She pointed out several apartment complexes in areas that she said weren't intended for that sort of development.

The measure is being challenged by Steve Doorman, a Lakewood resident and the Vice Chairman of the Jefferson County Republican Party. The challenged prompted a hearing which was broken up into two sessions. On Thursday, the debate lasted for about seven hours.

The city clerk will review closing arguments and is expected to make a decision by Monday, September 18.

As Denver7 reported back in July, organizers emphasized the goal of the petition is to manage growth rather than eliminate it. Kentner said the City of Lakewood added more than 1,100 residential units in 2014. The one percent cap would cut that number in half and allow for 600-650 new units to be built per year.

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