Proposed Private Development 777 S Yarrow St


This section will be updated periodically as new information is available.

  • March 12, 2024: City statement(PDF, 87KB) regarding the referral to the city's Planning Commission. 
  • March 8, 2024: Planning director emailed(PDF, 115KB) City Council that this case will be referred to Lakewood’s Planning Commission because of the indication of an appeal as part of the city’s review of the project.
  • Feb. 12, 2024: Kairoi submits letter(PDF, 2MB) outlining its commitments on the project as part of the facilitated discussion and a response from the Belmar Commons Homeowners Association is pending.
  • Jan. 8, 2024: Low and Stewart Letter to Kairoi(PDF, 162KB)
  • Dec. 14, 2023: Dec. 6 meeting minutes(PDF, 326KB).
  • Dec. 6, 2023: The first facilitation between the Kairoi Residential development team, adjacent neighbors, and the city occurred on Dec. 6 and was productive.
  • Nov. 27, 2023: Kairoi Residential, the owner and developer of this private property, will begin a facilitated discussion during the first week of December with neighbors of 777 S. Yarrow St. Please see the facilitated discussion section for more information. The members of the discussion group will decide what their meeting schedule will be. During this process, the developer has paused the proposed development, as was announced in an Oct. 18 a letter to City Council(PDF, 113KB).


The four acres at 777 S. Yarrow St. is privately owned land that has an older dilapidated and abandoned two-story office building surrounded by a parking lot. The office building has been there since the 1970s, and it is adjacent to Belmar Park. The office building’s parking lot abuts the park, and visitors to Belmar Park have used the office building’s parking lot as the parking location to access the park for decades. 

The proposed development of this property does not involve or include any parkland, and this property was never part of Belmar Park and has always been private property. The owners of the office building and the surrounding parking lot recently sold to another private owner. Any statement that parkland has been sold is incorrect. The zoning on the property has remained the same with the sale of the property, and it allows multistory buildings such as this proposed development as part of downtown Lakewood. 

Due to the development’s proximity to an existing multifamily residential complex and the park, community members have voiced concerns about the possible impacts of this project.

There are 1,400 housing units within 500 feet of the park. Developments adjacent to the park include the following:

  • Two-story multifamily town home complexes on the east, west and north side of the park.
  • Duplexes and single-family homes on the east and south of the park.
  • Belmar Library on the east side of the park.
  • Lakewood’s Public Safety Center on the north side of the park.

Facilitated discussion 

  • The facilitated discussion is a way to conduct in-depth discussions between parties to find jointly acceptable resolutions to issues causing a conflict.  

  • The discussion for the proposed development at 777 S. Yarrow St. will encourage dialogue between Kairoi and the immediate neighbors to have residents’ concerns discussed and better taken into consideration. This kind of negotiation can’t be conducted at a public meeting, and public meetings are not designed to resolve conflicts. 

  • Lakewood has hired a professional facilitator to conduct this process. The facilitator does not act as a judge or arbiter, but rather acts as a neutral third party to keep the discussion productive. 

  • Kairoi, Belmar Commons HOA and Lakewood have been asked to provide up to three representatives for this facilitated discussion. 

  • Residents from across the city and even those who live outside Lakewood have expressed concerns about this proposed development. The representatives participating in the facilitated discussion are informed of those concerns, particularly because an email and other campaigns have been conducted to convey those concerns. 

  • Prior to convening as a group, all the representatives have the opportunity to meet privately with the facilitator to discuss the issues and familiarize themselves with the process. 

  • All representatives will be provided with stipulated facts concerning 777 S. Yarrow St., including information related to history, zoning, and currently proposed site plans. 

  • A meeting agenda will be created and shared with all of the representatives. 

  • During the meetings, all representatives will have an opportunity to discuss the issues with the assistance of the facilitator. 

  • If some consensus emerges that all representatives in the discussion wish to include in a written agreement, they may do so.  

  • At the end of the discussions, the facilitator will share meeting notes that will be made available to the public.  

Private property rights information

As with any homeowner in Lakewood, this privately owned property has property rights. In this case, those property rights include allowing the owner to develop a multistory building for residential use in Lakewood’s downtown. The right to develop the multistory building is known as a “use by right,” meaning this use is tied to the property as an inherent property right and requires no rezoning or review by City Council to develop it with that use.  

Also similar to homeowners in Lakewood who have a “use by right” on their properties, there is not a process where adjacent neighbors have a say in how a property owner develops the property under this “use by right.” These are the same property rights that you as a homeowner in Lakewood have on your property.  

This property has had this property right to build multistory uses for a long time, and courts have been quite clear that elected officials and cities can’t impinge or impede a private property owner’s property rights allowed under a “use by right.” Courts have viewed efforts to do this as a “taking” of property rights.

Because development is occurring under the existing property rights, the proposed development will occur solely through the administrative process managed by the Planning Department. That means the Planning Department will review the development to ensure it is meeting the city’s regulations for setbacks of the building, heights, green space requirements, landscaping, etc. This administrative review process typically takes numerous rounds, and in this case is expected to continue for several months. Kairoi Residential has agreed to pause the submittal and review process for two months. 

Please see the answers to frequently asked questions for additional information. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Now that the decision has been made to refer this case to the Planning Commission, when will the commission have the hearing?
The referral to the Planning Commission will occur when the proposed development submits plans for final review and approval as part of the administrative review process, which is expected to take several more weeks. Once those final submissions are made, the Planning Commission has 45 days to have a public hearing. 

Who owns the property?

The property is privately owned and is not part of Belmar Park. No portion of Belmar Park will be used in the development of this property, except to allow for tree, shrub, and native grass plantings adjacent to the site.

What is the zoning at 777 S. Yarrow St.?

Multifamily residential development is a permitted use, or use-by-right in the Mixed-Use Core Urban District(PDF, 423KB) subject to administrative review. No public hearings are required. This private property has had the multistory uses available to it for several decades.

What type of development is proposed and is parking on-site?

The proposed development is 412 residential units with 542 parking spaces internal to the building. The developer is planning market-rate units.

What is the City of Lakewood doing to minimize the impact on Belmar Park? 

Community Resources staff members are exploring opportunities to enhance and protect wildlife habitat in the park, which may include elements like additional signage, outdoor education opportunities, facility upgrades, and additional plantings. 

Belmar Park has a bird nesting area on an island in Kountze Lake, which is a human-created lake. Parks crews recently replaced some of the cottonwood trees that were old enough that they had fallen and no longer supported nesting. The replacements were human-made structures that support nesting. The park, however, doesn’t have any official designation as a bird sanctuary. 

What did the developer commit to with the pause in the development process?

As stated in the letter from the developer, Kairoi said it was working with City staff “to schedule these discussions and to reach out to concerned residents about participating.” This process has occurred and is outlined in the facilitated discussion section of this webpage.  

Have the traffic impacts from this development been studied?

A traffic impact study was reviewed and approved by Lakewood’s Transportation Engineering team as part of the formal application for development. It was determined that the existing street design and transportation infrastructure can accommodate the vehicular traffic from the proposed development with no significant public improvements required.

Are housing allocations required for this proposed development?

The proposed development is exempt from the Residential Growth Limitations Ordinance because it is located in the West Alameda Corridor Redevelopment Area. No allocations are required.

What will happen to the trees on the property?

The property has been surveyed for existing tree species, diameters, and conditions. The current iteration of the proposal will result in the removal of 69 trees on the private property; however, staff members are working with the applicant to preserve additional mature trees on-site of the development. No trees will be removed or affected in the adjacent Belmar Park. 

The City of Lakewood’s currently applied method in the review process includes an inch-per-inch replacement for trees removed from the private property at 777 S. Yarrow St., with a minimum 2-inch tree. For example, if a 20-inch tree (as measured one-foot above grade) is removed, then it must be replaced with 10, 2-inch deciduous trees or 10, 6-foot evergreen trees, or a combination thereof.   

The city requires tree replacement on or near the project site, or a fee in-lieu of planting trees when it is not reasonable to plant the replacement trees on or near the site. The collected fee would go toward planting new trees in the park, Belmar Trailhead, or in Ward 3. 

For this project, which is still under review, 204 new trees are proposed in and around the private property, which do not include an additional 25 or more trees just north of the site at Belmar Trailhead.  The city is considering the following strategy to restore lost canopy and habitat: 

  • Accept tree plantings in Belmar Park, immediately adjacent to the development, to help buffer the park and proposed Belmar Trailhead.
  • Plant trees and shrubs in Belmar Park to support wildlife habitat and park use where appropriate.
  • Accept a fee for the remaining replacement trees to be used in Ward 3.

Trees planted in the park will only be accepted if they can be properly maintained and where site conditions are favorable for thriving. 

What other sustainable design elements are proposed for the project?

The project will include design features and elements that will reduce the site’s urban heat island impact. Roof coatings, exterior materials, and anticipated tree canopy all contribute to the reduction. 

The project will include comprehensive plantings and pollinator gardens consisting of indigenous, low-water plants to support at-risk pollinators and provide additional forage and habitat opportunities for birds. 

What will the city require for parkland dedication?

Parkland dedication is intended to mitigate the impact on parks by new residents in a new development. The fee-in-lieu of parkland dedication law is being followed, and information indicating anything to the contrary is not correct. As the name indicates, there is the option for developers to provide a payment or improvements rather than, or in addition to, dedicating acres from within their privately owned property for parkland. This is particularly allowed for developments that are less than 15 acres. In this case, Belmar Park is directly adjacent to the development, and there was not a recognized need for land dedication. The city has agreed to accept a fee-in-lieu and improvements-in-lieu of dedicated parkland to make improvements to the historic pumphouse and construct a parking lot to support attendance for city-sponsored events and develop a new trailhead with improved access to Belmar Park.

What happened to the historic iron gates that were on the property? Will the pumphouse be preserved?

The city worked with the developer to preserve the iron gates formerly located on the property. The gates were carefully removed and are in storage for future placement in Belmar Park.  The developer will also restore the exterior of the historic pumphouse as a part of its fee-in-lieu of parkland dedication.

What does Lakewood do to maintain the natural wildlife habitats at Belmar Park?
Lakewood parks has worked diligently for the last three years to enhance wildlife habitats at Belmar Park. Last year, staff installed an artificial rookery to enhance the bird habitat on the island of Kountze Lake in the park. Parks staff have added five duck nesting tubes along the bank of Kountze Lake and throughout the park staff have maintained and installed new bluebird boxes, which are used by bluebirds as well as several other species. Noxious weed control takes place each year at Belmar Park and allows our native species to flourish. Parks staff are also taking an active approach to keeping failing trees, when safe, for habitat of our local fauna.

Plans for the future include additional rookery poles to be added to the Kountze Lake island. Staff will also be installing bat and raptor nesting boxes in various locations throughout the park. All these improvements improve habitats in Belmar Park and maintain the biodiversity wildlife that visitors enjoy.