Neighbors ask for city council’s help in fight against Colorado Christian University

LAKEWOOD, Colo. -- Neighbors living near Colorado Christian University addressed the Lakewood City Council on Monday night and asked for help in the fight over duplexes the school wants to use for housing.

The dispute is over several properties the university purchased along South Cody Court near its campus. Under Lakewood's zoning ordinance, the duplexes are zoned "R-2," which prohibits university/college use.

Neighbors are furious because they said they're losing their neighborhood to the university and CCU is disobeying the city ordinance.

"We will lose the neighborhood, we will not have a neighborhood," Lenore Herskovitz said.

Neighbors said they haven't gotten a clear answer from the city of Lakewood as to whether it'll enforce the zoning ordinance to keep CCU from using the homes for university housing.

"We are going to ask that city council and the mayor publicly answer specific questions about the zoning and see if we can get them on record to say what they believe the zoning to be," Robert Baker said.

After public comment wrapped up, Mayor Adam Paul told the residents the city council stands with the neighborhood.

"It hasn't fallen on a deaf ear and we will continue that pressure," Paul said. "Keep the faith, keep working. If all else fails, then we'll have to take the next step and that's all I can offer tonight."

Neighbors said they offered a compromise to CCU and they're waiting to see if the university will accept it.

As part of the deal, tenants living in the duplexes would be able to stay in their homes and CCU could use the remaining units until a new dormitory is built in two years.

After two years, the zoning exception will go away and the university will no longer be able to use the homes.

City council members said they are waiting to see if CCU accepts the offer before deciding what further steps will be taken.

In a statement, university spokesman Lance Oversole said CCU continues to work on a resolution.

"Colorado Christian University continues to be actively engaged in collaborating with our immediate neighbors, elected officials, and the City of Lakewood to find a resolution to the housing situation that benefits all parties involved. Importantly, the three tenants who have voiced their desire to remain in the CCU-owned properties continue to reside in those units. While we hope to reach a resolution soon, we recognize that it will take time to reach an acceptable conclusion, and we remain committed to seeing the process through to completion."