City council

Council approves updated comprehensive plan

Residents want focus on neighborhoods, historic preservation

Posted 4/28/15

City council voted to approve the city’s new comprehensive plan by a vote of 7-3 (the no votes were Ward 1 councilwoman Ramey Johnson, Ward 3 councilman Pete Roybal and Ward 4 councilman David Wiechman. Ward 4 councilwoman Cindy Baroway was absent …

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City council

Council approves updated comprehensive plan

Residents want focus on neighborhoods, historic preservation

Posted

City council voted to approve the city’s new comprehensive plan by a vote of 7-3 (the no votes were Ward 1 councilwoman Ramey Johnson, Ward 3 councilman Pete Roybal and Ward 4 councilman David Wiechman. Ward 4 councilwoman Cindy Baroway was absent from the meeting) April 27.

The comprehensive plan update has been in the works for several years, and presents a guiding document for the next decade in Lakewood, said Travis Parker, director of planning.

“We’ve had a lot of public input on the plan, with open houses, meetings and we received input from the ACIC (Advisory Commission for an Inclusive Community),” he said. “This plan shows where we see the city going — it’s not a regulatory document, but instead gives guidance when making decisions.”

The plan includes 401 implementation steps, which provide information on the responsible party and timeline for each step. Parker made it clear these steps will not necessarily be taken in the coming decade, but rather provide a work guide for staff to use. It will ultimately be up to future councils to decide what steps (if any) should be taken.

Residents who spoke during public comment were mostly in favor of the document, but the majority spoke in favor of adding language that made it clear the city will protect established neighborhoods (or “stable neighborhoods” as they are called in the plan) from future development.

“The plan is an acceptable blueprint for the next few years, but it stops short of addressing the people who already live here,” said resident Charley Able. “Our neighborhood plans have been gobbled up into this document, and we want to ensure there is protection and respect for our stable neighborhoods.”

In response to concerns from neighborhoods, Parker said staff went through every existing neighborhood plan and broke it up into three elements — goals already achieved, goals that are the responsibility of the neighborhood, and goals yet to be achieved. All the goals that still need to be accomplished were put into the new comprehensive plan.

Several residents also spoke about the importance of historic preservation in the community, and wanted the clearest possible language that advocates for holding on to the city’s history.

“I found a lot to like in this plan, and we’re really looking forward to great things,” said resident Vicky Peters. “We need to make sure we’re protecting our city’s landmarks. We don’t want to lose the character of places like West Colfax.”

In response to comments, Ward 4 councilman Adam Paul proposed amendments that changed the language in the several places in the plan to emphasize historic preservation and to protect the character of neighborhoods.

Before the final vote for approval, Mayor Bob Murphy hailed both the plan and its development, which he said demonstrated the city’s dedication to including residents in the decision making process.

“This is an extraordinary vision for the city,” he said.

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