Voters in Lakewood, Colorado, have a chance to enact anti-development policies that would place new limits on the number of new housing units that could be built in the city, while also placing new controls on the approvals process.
Lakewood voters will vote in a special election on July 2 to decide the fate of the Strategic Growth Initiative, which would limit annual residential construction in the city to 1 percent of the existing housing stock in the city.
The City Council could have enacted the law without voter approval earlier this week, but opted to send the matter to voters instead. As detailed in an article by John Aguilar, the initiative has a long and litigious history, dating back to June 2017. Cathy Kentner, a Lakewood resident, first proposed the initiative. Jefferson County Republican Party Vice Chairman Steve Dorman has sued several times to slow the progress of the initiative. A charter amendment approved in February was also necessary to get the initiative to this point.
Kentner claims that the initiative is necessary because "developers don’t provide adequate infrastructure to help alleviate congested roadways impacted by new growth. The initiative would require that the city council vote to approve or reject projects of 40 or more housing units instead of letting the city’s development department handle them alone."
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