In a surprise move, Lakewood’s city council decided to table until March 28 the vote for the ordinances and resolutions that would get the Federal Center Station Neighborhood off the ground.
“Much has been said and written about these …
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“Much has been said and written about these proposals in the past weeks and months, and it’s a complex proposal — one that ultimately I believe is extraordinarily good for this community and for the city,” said Mayor Bob Murphy, before making the motion to table the issue during the Oct. 26 meeting. “There’s a lot of information here, and we’re still getting new information, as recently as this past Friday. I think we need to extend the conversation. I think it’s the right thing to do.”
The move was met by applause from residents in attendance — so many that some had to sit in overflow seating.
The proposed neighborhood would sit in the 59 acres directly north of the Federal Center station — empty land that stretches to West 6th Avenue. The federal government, which owns the land, would transfer the property to Lakewood in return for the construction of a new lab facility at the Federal Center.
The plan has garnered much attention since it first debuted in front of the public at a Sept. 21 study session, raising questions from residents on both sides of the issue. Murphy said the mass of information to review was a key reason in delaying the vote.
“From what I have heard from the community, people are by and large excited by possibilities, but need more time to research,” said Ward 3 councilwoman Shakti.
This was the last vote for many city council members, including Ward 1 councilwoman Karen Kellen, Ward 2 councilwoman Cindy Baroway and Ward 5 councilman Tom Quinn, as they are all term-limited. Each took the opportunity to endorse the project, even though they wouldn’t be voting on it when the issue returns in the spring.
One of the most frequent community concerns about the project was that the outgoing councilmembers were making such an important decision.
“This was the right thing,” said Ward 1 councilwoman Ramey Johnson. “You, the people, are the winners tonight. You were heard.”
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