Supporters, opponents react to approval of Lakewood’s ordinance limiting 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.

“This has been years in the making," said co-petitioner of Lakewood Strategic Initiative, Cathy Kentner. “It is a way for city council to keep track of the type of development we see. What we’ve seen now, as everybody knows, is causing rents and housing prices to skyrocket because we’re seeing luxury apartments over developed and we aren’t seeing the single-family homes, starter homes, homes for people to downsize to.”

However, opponents to the measure say it will increase housing prices by not providing enough supply for the demand.

“Because of supply and demand, this measure will increase home prices and rental prices," said Realtor and Lakewood resident LaDawn Sperling.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars by realtors and realtor associations were donated to the opposition campaign.

“This has been done before. Boulder has one, Golden has one, we definitely see increased prices there. In Boulder, the average home price is just under $1 million and in Golden, if a first-time home buyer wanted a home under $400,000, there’s only one option to show them today," Sperling said. “I do think development is an issue, but this was not the right solution for that."

The city of Lakewood sent out the following statement:

"We appreciate Lakewood voters participating in the city’s special election on Ballot Question 200, and we understand that there are detailed questions about how this new law will be fulfilled. Given the level of complexity in Ballot Question 200, the city’s departments will work diligently to examine how it will affect all developments in the city."

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