Our Colorado: Is a growth cap the answer?

Golden voters approved a limit in the 90s

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GOLDEN, Colo. -- The pace of growth in Colorado feels unstoppable but one city will tell you it can be stopped or at least slowed down. 

Golden residents voted to cap growth in 1995, long before the boom we're seeing across the state today. The measure limited growth in residential dwelling units to 1% per year.

"Well I’m proud of Golden and the fact that they’ve controlled the growth all this time and I think the city has been much the better for it," said Daniel Hayes, a Golden resident since the late 1950's. 

Hayes was the driving force behind Golden's initiative, and he's continued to be a proponent of slow growth strategies.

When asked what he thinks the city would look like if the limit were not in place, he replied, "I think we’d been looking at subdivisions on top of the mountains and just a real mess."

Golden's Director of Community and Economic Development, Steve Glueck, said every city's course is different and a cap might not necessarily but the right answer for everyone.

"Our course is guided by the topographical limits of the two table mountains, and the foothills, our path regarding growth and change is very different from all of our neighbors," said Glueck.

Historic Golden dates back to the 1850's when settlers arrived looking for gold. In fact, the city's website boasts the quote, "today not much has changed."

"You can keep your roots and still grow, still keep your values and things like that, like we’re in historical buildings things that haven’t changed and at the same time have changed so much," said Mariah Bencivenga, Assistant Manager at the Old Capitol Grill and Smokehouse. 

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