Strategic Growth Initiative
After the failure of the City Council to make any meaningful reforms to slow down the rate of growth, citizens decided to take the leadership themselves. The city-wide neighborhood umbrella group, Lakewood Neighborhood Partners took the lead in organizing a citizens initiative to place a residential growth limit question on the November 2017 election ballot.
Following the example of other metro-area cities, the initiative creates a building permit allocation procedure. In general terms, the number of building permits issued each year would be limited to no more than 1% more than the number of residential dwelling units building permits granted the previous year (total current year is 101% of previous year).
Pursuant to the Lakewood City Charter Article XIII, a citizens initiative is a method to pass an ordinance without the approval of the City Council. If a sufficient number of registered Lakewood voters sign a legally constituted petition (for the 2017 ballot, the City Clerk has determined 5,165 qualified signatures are needed) then City Council must either accept the proposed ordinance or put it on a ballot for a vote of the people. If the majority of those voting in the next legal election vote in the affirmative, then the measure shall be implemented as a duly authorized ordinance.
While the initiative rules allow the petitioners to take time to gather signatures, in order for the proposal to be placed on the November 2017 ballot, the organizers calculate they need over 8,000 signatures (to give a sufficient margin for disqualified signatures) by the end of July/beginning of August.