|At its June 5th Council meeting, the Loveland City Council passed final approval of the â€œMillennium
Addition Planned Unit Development â€“ General Development Plan 6th Amendmentâ€� which is city talk
for the addition of 850 residences planned for an area where McWhinney Enterprises intends to build the â
€œGrand Stationâ€� development.
First adopted on April 17, the final passage didnâ€™t come until June 5, 2007. The long lapse in time
between the first reading and final approval was the result of numerous delays requested by the applicant,
McWhinney Enterprises, they said to further educate some potential investors about the proposed change
while also trying to better amend current agreements to the reflect the change.
The City Manager distributed a memorandum to the City Council explaining the need for the change in the
â€œThe applicant has determined that residential uses are critical to the success of the mixed-use Grand
Station project to be developed on Parcel A-1. In addition, the amendment revises several sections of the
GDP standards to clarify wording and procedures relating to Mixed Use Village Centers.â€�
What the City Manager did not acknowledge in the above memorandum were the 2,000 residential units
already approved for the general area that the McWhinneys could have added to Grand Station. None of
the approved residential units have been built to date but all of them were approved under the overall
public process where city staff and the public carefully considered the mix between residential and business
uses in the area and the consequences of that mix on city revenues.
Former firefighter and college instructor, Councilman Glenn Rousey, voted against the proposed addition of
residences at Grand Station due to the fact the request wasnâ€™t included in the long and detailed public
process when the developments east of I-25 were first approved.
Rousey had to reiterate several times to his colleagues both his enthusiasm and support for the project. He
stated his only objection was that the McWhinneys already had ample residential units approved thus they
could proceed with their plans by simply amending which lot these units will be built on. Instead, they chose
to use Grand Station as a vehicle to augment not only the total number of residences but to increase density
and change the previously agreed upon commercial to residential mix for east of the I-25.
The City Council voted 7-1 (Steve Dozier was absent and Rousey voted no) in favor of the addition of 850
residential units absent any additional planning, review or public comment regarding the impact on public
safety and other critical public services.
Councilman Rousey questioned a spokesperson for McWhinney Enterprises regarding her earlier statement
that the Grand Station had been in the planning process for the past two years. Rousey asked, â€œthen why
werenâ€™t the residences added at the time we considered the entire project.â€� Back peddling on her
earlier comments, the McWhinney spokesperson said maybe she meant â€œTroy and Chad McWhinneyâ€�
were considering this internally but that no one involved had any details.
Mayor Pro Tem Gene Pielin tried to argue that the Loveland City Council asked the McWhinneys to go
back and better refine their concepts for a mixed-use (meaning residential mixed with commercial)
development was a good idea. Rousey pointed to the figure of $850 per rooftop being the cost of new
residential units to the city since residential usually costs more in services than they pay in taxes.
Mayor Pro Tem Gene Pielin interjected his belief that the 850 units for Grand Station will not be free
standing homes therefore as multi-family residential units they will not cost the city any additional revenue.
In theory, multi-family units could cost a city less money since less roads are needed to be maintained and
sewer lines are shorter etcâ€¦
In reality, co-locating multi-family residential inside a commercial building (as opposed to adjacent or near)
could cost the City of Loveland considerably more for public services than Mayor Gene Pielin understands.
Isolated commercial districts are easy to patrol for police when closed since no one is supposed to be on the
property. Co-locating residential inside commercial areas (like large urban centers) requires a much
higher frequency of policing for the commercial areas to protect both the commercial businesses from
vandalism and the residents from crime.
Councilwoman Brown explained her colleagues that according to Rocky Scott "these projects are doing
great" in reference to a question about occupancy. Contrary to the information provided to the City
Council, the comparable develops did not experience a 100% occupancy rate as was indicated.
|June 5, 2007
Centerra Is Granted 850 More Residences
Some Dissention On City Council
|Councilman Glenn Rousey was the only
member of the City Council to ask questions
and also to vote against the amendments to the
McWhinney / Centerra Agreements.
|Councilors Brown and Pielin attack
Skowron on related matter click here
to read the story.