June 10, 2019
Contact: Cinamon Watson

Higher property taxes, more stress on transportation infrastructure will result from imposed growth caps according to new study

Denver, CO – Today, the REMI Partnership released “Building Gated Cities – Policy Brief Understanding the Impacts of 1% Growth in Lakewood.”

Next month, Lakewood voters will face Initiative 200, a proposal that seeks to impose a 1% cap on the growth of the city’s housing. The measure known as “The Strategic Growth Initiative,” was introduced in 2017 and has been tied up in court for the past two-and-a-half years.

Through an examination of established growth caps in Boulder and Golden, the study is able to fully grasp the effects the 1% cap would have on the city of Lakewood. For instance, in the late 1970s, Boulder imposed a 2% annual limit on residential growth. Within just a few years, a gap in affordability was created, slowly widening over time, creating a permanent feature in the region’s housing market.

“The research speaks for itself – limiting growth will have a significantly negative impact on affordability for Lakewood families,” said Elizabeth Peetz, Vice President of Government Affairs, Colorado Association of Realtors.

According to the REMI Partnership study, a 1% growth cap in Lakewood will translate into higher property taxes for residents. Consider, the Lakewood Median home price is sitting at $409,200 with an Annual Tax at $2,633 (90 mills). If the 1% growth cap were to increase home prices by 10%, 20% or 30% of residents would see an increase of:

  • $263 increase at 10%
  • $527 increase at 20%
  • $790 increase at 30%

The REMI Partnership study also provides research on how the updated ballot initiative will drastically effect transportation and infrastructure, housing affordability, and property taxes. With housing costs dramatically outpacing income growth, a measure like the 1% growth cap could force 4,100 potential households away from Lakewood, creating additional stress on local roadways, utilities, and water services if housing moves away from areas targeted for growth to less-dense areas requiring new infrastructure and longer commutes to employment centers.

“Understandably, residents are frustrated with population increases in Lakewood and around the state,” said Mike Kopp, President and CEO, Colorado Concern. “Growth caps are not the answer. Limiting growth will only exacerbate problems with traffic, infrastructure, and affordable housing.”

Read the full study and key findings here.


About the REMI Partnership: Common Sense Policy Roundtable, Colorado Concern, Colorado Association of REALTORS®, Colorado Bankers Association, and Denver South Economic Development Partnership have partnered to develop independent, fact-based analysis that quantifies the broader economic impacts associated with policy changes. The partnership has provided Colorado lawmakers, policymakers, business leaders, and citizens with greater insight into the economic impact of public policy decisions that face the state and surrounding regions.