March 18, 2011
Dear Neighbors –
As you may be aware, over the past several weeks the future of the Heideloff estate at 13474 Edgewater Drive has been discussed and debated. In late January, the administration was approached with a concept from Abode Living to redevelop the two and a half acre, bank owned property for single-family homes.
Though only a rudimentary concept and nothing more, I felt it important to ask the neighbors to weigh in on this early discussion, and held a public forum on February 24th at Emerson Elementary. At that meeting, City staff outlined the history of redevelopment in the neighborhood over the last one hundred years, the rights afforded to all property owners under zoning law and the public process required for development in Lakewood. Andrew Brickman from Abode Living then presented their concept for fourteen bungalow style houses that proposed first floor living and targeted the empty nest and senior populations.
On March 4th, I and my staff met with the developer to recap and have a frank conversation about the proposal and whether it met the long term best interests of our city. Acknowledging that the comments we received at and since the forum were varied and wide ranging, we shared with Abode that as a community and an administration we’ve generally come to consensus on two key points.
The first is that the type of housing proposed is significantly lacking in Lakewood’s market and it will be necessary to cultivate opportunities to fill that need. The second is that the proposed density of fourteen houses was not only beyond what the zoning permitted but more importantly would not be compatible with the neighborhood context.
Our obligation as local government is to always be good stewards of the community’s health and well being. Part of that responsibility involves evaluating development opportunities as they arise by consistently balancing the property rights of an owner, neighborhood stability, good design, market demands, population changes and public safety.
We learned yesterday that Abode Living, upon reflection of our discussion, has decided that the economics of the project will not work with fewer than fourteen houses and will no longer be pursuing this opportunity. I appreciate Abode’s consideration and effort and would welcome the opportunity to work with Mr. Brickman in the future.
I would like to thank the residents of Lakewood and our community partners who contributed to the discussion with thoughtful comments and ideas.
Mayor Mike Summers