A special election in Lakewood, Colorado, asks voters to decide if the city should trade 22 acres of public parkland with 22 acres of less-than pristine land owned by a developer. Opponents fear the traded parkland would immediately be developed.
"The only issue on the ballot is whether the city should trade 22 acres of Iron Spring Park to Carma Colorado, a developer that's building an 1,100-home, $550 million master-planned community along Alameda Parkway, for a 22-acre parcel owned by Carma east of the park. But beneath that simple proposition is a welter of questions about representative government, the sanctity of park land and the future of wildlife in the soon-to-be-urbanized Rooney Valley."
"Proponents of the swap, including Lakewood mayor Steve Burkholder, say it will provide a buffer zone between Carma's enormous project (slated to host the 2008 Parade of Homes) and existing subdivisions, as well as preserve a popular hiking and biking area and 'wildlife corridor' that links Green Mountain open space with parks to the south. Critics say it's not a fair trade because the city would be giving up pristine park land for a 'drainage strip' that consists largely of a natural gulch."