Lakewood residents react to petition to cap housing growth

LAKEWOOD, Colo. — Lakewood residents are reacting to a petition going around their community calling for signatures to put a housing management growth cap on the city. Lakewood Neighborhood Partnerships organized the Strategic Growth Initiative petition drive. The group said it currently has more than 4,000 signatures collected.

The purpose of the petition is outlined on the group's website; some of the reasons mentioned include preserving the environment and quality of life, maintaining property values and encouraging preservation of large open spaces.

Lakewood Neighborhood Partnerships has a deadline set for July 28 to gather 5,200 voter signatures to get the issue on the November ballot. If enough signatures are collected, the proposal would place a one percent cap on residential growth in the city per year. It would also establish a building permit management system, requiring Lakewood City Council's approval for projects of 40 units or more.

Organizers emphasized the goal of the petition is to manage growth rather than eliminate it. Lakewood Neighborhood Partnerships board member Cathy 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. Kentner said the residential options most in demand but least in supply in Lakewood include townhomes, condominiums and single family homes.

The city of Lakewood has an in depth Comprehensive Plan that outlines the community's vision all the way into 2025. Page 3-21 of the plan shows Lakewood's land-use map and indicates where the community envisions growth areas. These growth areas are located along major transportation corridors, with frequent rail and bus service in addition to automobile access.

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