Developer Bill Lyons has two residential projects that he pleaded for Lakewood City Council to let him finish during public comment at a July 15 special meeting regarding the city’s new growth cap. …
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Developer Bill Lyons has two residential projects that he pleaded for Lakewood City Council to let him finish during public comment at a July 15 special meeting regarding the city’s new growth cap. Lyons is preparing to submit building permits for one of his projects, and he believes he can have permits for both projects by October. He said he received a memo earlier this year from the city stating that allocations are not necessary for building permits approved, paid for and picked up for in 2019.
“For those of us such as small builders, and by the way, between the two, I have over seven digits invested, and for me, that’s a very sizable sum,” Lyons said in his public testimony to council, asking that the memo be honored.
“If you’re here and you’re in this similar situation, can you just raise your hand,” said Lakewood Mayor Adam Paul after Lyons’ testimony. Hands sprouted up throughout council chambers.
What ensued was nearly an hour of public comment about what Lakewood’s next steps should be in implementing the Lakewood Strategic Growth Initiative, which requires City Council to approve residential projects with 40 units or more and limits new home construction to 1% per year.
Part of the ordinance also includes provisions that requires builders to receive growth cap allocations for a building permit. That language in the Lakewood Strategic Growth Initiative sparked concern from developers like Lyons, but Councilmember David Skilling came prepared with a solution.
Skilling introduced a motion that will allow for all development projects as of July 12 that have properly completed and filed necessary documentation to continue without having to obtain an allocation until Dec. 31 — including projects that haven’t received a building permit yet.
The motion was passed 8-3 with Councilmembers Pete Roybal, Mike Bieda and Ramey Johnson voting against it.
“We’re not changing (the Lakewood Strategic Growth Initiative). We’re just establishing our rules,” said Skilling. “There needed to be some clarity about these outstanding projects.”
Following the vote, the Lakewood City Council voted on a separate motion that would’ve allowed for projects to be revoked if it were found that the permit process for a development project deviated from the standard process. Everybody voted against it, except for City Councilmember Charley Able.
Lakewood voters approved the measure in a special July 2 election by more than 5% of the vote. City Council will discuss the Lakewood Strategic Growth Initiative more at an August study session.
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