At least a portion of all available residential housing construction in Lakewood over the next two years is already spoken for. Lakewood City Council is beginning to piece together how to implement …
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At least a portion of all available residential housing construction in Lakewood over the next two years is already spoken for.
Lakewood City Council is beginning to piece together how to implement the Lakewood Strategic Growth Initiative, an ordinance passed by voters that limits new home construction to 1% per year and requires City Council to approve residential projects with 40 units or more. Part of the ordinance includes a provision that requires developers to receive growth cap allocations for a building permit and a condition that encourages redevelopment in blighted and distressed areas.
Council has been working to implement the initiative and took a step forward by coming to a consensus at a Jan. 6 study session to reduce allocations available for new projects in 2020 and 2021 by a portion of the projects that applied for building permits in 2019. The reduction of allocations is allowed under the Lakewood Strategic Growth Initiative.
“That doesn’t allow for a lot of building, but it does meet the intent for what this ordinance is supposed to do,” said Lakewood City Councilmember David Skilling.
The city hasn’t tracked the permit, dwelling unit and project numbers because there hasn’t been a reason to do so, Stacie Oulton, a spokesperson for Lakewood said. Those numbers will be available Jan. 17 when the city releases the packet for a Jan. 27 Lakewood City Council meeting when the Lakewood Strategic Growth Initiative will be further discussed.
With allocations being granted from this year and next year to 2019 projects, it would keep new home construction to around 1% per year, Skilling said at the study session.
The allocation numbers for 2020 and 2021 could see some revisions at the Jan. 27 meeting. Lakewood City Councilmember Charley Able stressed the importance of still having projects with 40 units or more reach council discussion.
“There were two major points of the initiative. One was 1% growth. Period, plain as day,” Able told the Lakewood Sentinel. “Second is 40 units or more go to City Council for review and to ensure compliance with the comprehensive plan. It’s very clear 40 units or more go to City Council. Unless we’re going to ignore the wishes of the voters, that needs to be a component of anything that moves forward.”
Back in July, Lakewood City Council passed a motion that allowed for all development projects as of July 12 that had properly completed necessary documentation to continue without having to obtain an allocation until Dec. 31 of last year, including those who had not received a building permit.
Previous council meetings included discussions about what defines a blighted area. Last August, Lakewood City Council reached a consensus that properties within urban renewal areas would be considered blight. Urban renewal areas in Lakewood can be found at the West Alameda Avenue Corridor Redevelopment Area in central Lakewood, the Colfax-Wadsworth Reinvestment District at the northeast corner of West Colfax Avenue and Wadsworth Boulevard and the West Colfax Avenue Corridor Reinvestment Area, a piece of land that runs from Sheridan Boulevard to Simms Street.
Lakewood has until the end of January to finish laying out how it will implement the Lakewood Strategic Growth Initiative. The ordinance was passed last July by Lakewood voters in a special election.
“The Strategic Growth Initiative is a law and needs to be followed,” said Cathy Kentner, a Lakewood citizen who propelled the initiative, at the study session.
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