This post follows up two earlier posts about a citizen initiative to limit residential growth in Lakewood, Colorado. Details about the proposal can be found here.
On Monday night, the Lakewood City Council voted 10‑0 to call a special municipal election for July 2 to allow voters to decide whether to impose a 1% growth cap for new dwelling units in Colorado’s fifth largest city.
The Strategic Growth Initiative has been a focal point of local politics and the subject of a high‑profile lawsuit for almost two years. The proponents originally submitted their petition to the city clerk in July 2017. The city clerk verified the petition signatures shortly after, but Steve Dorman, a conservative activist in Lakewood, challenged the signatures on technical grounds. Following a two‑day administrative hearing, the city clerk found in favor of the petitioners, clearing the initiative for the November 2017 ballot.
Dorman then challenged the clerk’s findings in district court under Colorado Rule of Civil Procedure 106(a)(4). Judge Diego Hunt finally dismissed the last of Dorman’s claims last December. Dorman appealed the district court’s ruling to the Colorado Court of Appeals, which would have delayed the vote while the appellate court considered the case. But in February, City Council amended Lakewood’s municipal charter to allow the initiative to proceed notwithstanding the pending appeal.
The question now shifts from the courts and City Council to Lakewood voters, who must decide whether limiting residential growth will deliver the myriad benefits that its proponents tout.