Lakewood voters approve measure restricting development

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LAKEWOOD, Colo. -- Lakewood residents voted for a measure aimed at limiting development Tuesday. Ballot question 200 was approved by approximately 53 percent of voters, with the remainder voting against it.

The ordinance seeks to limit development in the city by capping new housing projects at 1 percent of the city's current housing stock.

The measure applies to new apartments, condos and single-family homes.

It also requires City Council approval for construction projects that include 40 or more residential units.

Cathy Kentner, an organizer who is spearheading the special election, said the goal of the measure is to cut down on luxury apartments that she believes are over-saturating the city.

"We have seen unprecedented growth in the last four years and it's unhealthy growth," Kentner said.

However, others argue the measure will increase housing prices by not providing enough supply for the demand.

"Basic supply and demand. You place an artificial constraint on the housing supply, you are going to increase the price of housing," said Tom Quinn, who was with Keep Lakewood Lakewood, a group opposing the measure.

According to campaign finance reports, more than $200,000 was donated by the National Association of Realtors to defeat the measure.

The Colorado Association of Realtors donated $25,000.

Associated General Contractors of Colorado also donated $25,000.

"As realtors, it’s our job to ensure housing remains as attainable as possible. Question 200 is shortsighted policy that will increase the price of housing by driving up property taxes and mortgage payments. Growth is an issue, but 200’s unintended consequences will hurt existing and future homeowners," said LaDawn Sperling, a Denver Metro Association of Realtors member and Lakewood resident.

About 35,500 of Lakewood's 99,638 voters participated in the special election.

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