Lakewood residents sue city over high-density apartments

Posted at 5:31 PM, May 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-04 20:33:51-04

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LAKEWOOD, Colo. -- Hundreds of Lakewood residents say our Colorado's boom is threatening their quality of life, and a group of homeowners are now suing the city over high-density apartments planned in the community.

"This use to be a real nice quiet bedroom neighborhood, now with all this growth it's a traffic issue," said long-time Green Mountain Estates resident Diane Rhodus. "Anything that's ownership. We need that. We've got a shortage of homes. We've got plenty of apartments. We don't need more apartments."

"We want to keep our community the way it is," said homeowner Mike Schueman. "Unfortunately, we've got the apartments going in."

The city of Lakewood has already green-lighted plans to allow developer Wood Partners to build the Alta Green Mountain Apartments. The complex will add 260 apartments at 13155 W. Mississippi Ct.

Schueman said the city moved forward despite hearing their concerns about traffic, noise and losing their views of downtown.  

"My view is going to be gone. I'll be looking at somebody's bedroom," he said.  

"This is just not a place for apartments," said Rhodus.

Which is why neighbors said they filed suit against the city, put up yard signs, and held a well-attended community meeting Thursday night.

"Two-hundred residents not only of this neighborhood, but the town homes over there that are going to be greatly affected," said Schueman.

The land where the apartments are currently slated to be built is zoned for multi-use and neighbors said they believe the apartment complex is a single-use, which is the basis of their lawsuit.

"I believe the city is wrong, they have made an error in approving the development," said Schueman.

The pending litigation hasn't stopped the developer from starting to grade the land for the future site. Neighbors are asking a judge to put a stay on the project, but are still waiting to schedule a hearing date.

"I'm feeling abandoned by the city," said Schueman. "This area wasn't developed for that. These streets weren't developed for the high density."

Denver7 reached out the city of Lakewood for its side of the story.

"The city is aware of the concerns raised by the residents immediately adjacent to this property as well as the established property rights of the owner. Because of the pending litigation, however, the city is not in a position to comment," Lakewood spokeswoman Stacie Oulton said in a statement.