One of the major goals of the City Administration is to increase the city’s population so as to create more customers using local businesses. The largest remaining undeveloped area left in Lakewood is the Rooney Valley on the southwest edge of the city abutting Morrison and unincorporated Jeffco.
The northern two-thirds of Rooney Valley is part of the City while the southern one-third of the valley is in the Village of Morrison. The City and Morrison have a joint management plan for the valley called Plan Rooney Valley. Over the past decade, an Inter-Government Agreement (IGA) has governed operation of development in the valley. So far the development has concentrated in the Solterra neighborhood.
Morrison has been trying to develop a shopping center (called Red Rocks Centre) on their portion of the valley at the northeast corner of the C-470 and Morrison Road interchange. However, developers have been unwilling to build commercial projects without more customers in the immediate area.
Morrison currently has over 300 acres and water rights for up to 5000 dwelling units. Morrison’s current zoning allows for over 1000 additional dwelling units. However, if Morrison were to allow the owner/developer to build homes on this land, the new residents would become citizens of Morrison. The village does not want this because Morrison only has about 400 citizens. The new residents would outnumber (and outvote) the current residents and be able to take over the village government. To avoid destroying the character of their village, Morrison wants Lakewood to take the new residents into the City.