First off: The aerial photo above does not capture any place in Colorado. It is a photograph by Edward Burtynsky, whose work is in “Anthropocene,” an exhibition about mankind’s impact on the planet, now on view at the Art Gallery of Toronto, in Ontario. But this photograph – Highway #8, Santa Ana Freeway, Los Angeles, USA 2017 – sort of sums up the concept of growth for many people.
Yesterday was a lesson in growth, again raising Lakewood voters’ interest in putting the Lakewood Strategic Growth Initiative on the ballot, which was thwarted by a court case. The initiative was designed to limit new permits to a 1% annual increase. A resident challenged this, claiming that it would hurt property owners and had other concerns. The judge in the case dismissed all challenges to the proposed ballot measure.
An ordinance to spell this out is expected to go to the Lakewood City Council on January 14 for a vote. The council can adopt it, or refer it to voters. This should spark interesting discussions.
Growth has become a big issue in the metro area, as well as in many other parts of the country. It’s a double-edged sword: If construction of new homes, townhomes, or apartments becomes too limited and too expensive, considering so many people moving here want to buy a residence or rent one, what happens next?
We’ve seen that in Denver, where the supply of moderately priced residences is in small supply, though at this point, I do not know what moderate means. Still, how do you corral growth that is barreling down the highway, where hundreds of new residents moved to Denver almost every month?
The links below lead to stories in the Lakewood Sentinel and The Denver Post, as well as a 2017 Post story about Lakewood’s growth ballot measure. But I also was curious to know more about other areas, so there are links to a column by former Boulder County Commissioner Paul Danish, who came up with what became the Danish Plan in Boulder, and a 2016 Denverite story piece on controlled growth in Golden. Finally, there is a link to a review of “Anthropocene,” from Hyperallergic. The photographs are stunning, while the subject is devastating.