The aftermath of Question 200

A developer, real estate agent, affordable housing agency and a resident sound off on what’s next

Posted 7/17/19

Kyle Zeppelin has his fingerprints all over Denver’s RiNo neighborhood. Zeppelin, the co-president of Zeppelin Development has helped develop major projects — including Freight Residences, a …

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The aftermath of Question 200

A developer, real estate agent, affordable housing agency and a resident sound off on what’s next

Posted

Kyle Zeppelin has his fingerprints all over Denver’s RiNo neighborhood. Zeppelin, the co-president of Zeppelin Development has helped develop major projects — including Freight Residences, a 48-unit RiNo apartment complex.

Despite being a successful developer, Zeppelin, who doesn’t currently operate in Lakewood, sees no problem with the recently passed Lakewood Strategic Growth Initiative, which will limit new home construction to one percent per year and will require Lakewood City Council to approve and hold meetings regarding residential projects with 40 units, or more.

“I understand why Lakewood voters took that step. These communities are being turned over to market rate developers that have a short-term interest in making as much profit in the shortest amount of time as possible and moving on to the next thing,” said Zeppelin, who said he wants what makes sense for the environment and community.

On July 2, Lakewood residents approved the initiative, known as Question 200, by a little more than a five percent margin. The initiative was propelled by Cathy Kentner, amid concerns of over development, lack of green space and traffic.

Jana Miller, a real estate broker for Live Urban Denver, told the Lakewood Sentinel that the laws of supply and demand “will tell you that as the supply (on housing) goes down and demand remains consistent, or high, prices are going to follow up.” She added that she doesn’t want residents to get the impression that “the sky is falling.”

“I would be concerned about the availability for affordable housing,” said Miller.

Metro West Housing Solutions, a nonprofit affordable housing agency that operates in Lakewood and Denver, is also concerned.

The nonprofit relies on low income housing tax credits as its primary way to finance the development of affordable housing. The tax credits will no longer be available to Metro West Housing Solutions, because of the uncertainty about being able to proceed with developments, according to Tami Fischer, executive director and CEO of the nonprofit.

“Question 200 eliminates the possibility of affordable housing for those with disabilities, veterans, working families, and those in our community that comprise Lakewood’s workforce and support our small and large businesses,” said Fischer.

Lyenore Herskovitz, a Lakewood resident for over 20 years, sees the initiative as something positive that will put more decision-making into the hands of elected officials.

“You can’t drive any place without seeing something built. Lakewood is a very desirable place,” said Herskovitz. “What has been so depressing to me is how 200 has been so misrepresented (by opponents).”

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