On April 18, 2023 Loveland's 8 member City Council had a seven hour marathon session dominated mostly by the Centerra South development proposal by the McWhinney Development Corporation. The Council voted to extend the vote to May 2, 2023 on the Urban Renewal designation for the 149 acre parcel currently designated as agricultural land and located between Rocky Mountain Boulevard and Hahn's Peak Drive on the south side of U.S. 34. This extension was voted in despite Mayor Marsh's negative vote and belief that another 30 day public notice would have to be given. So city staff decided to reach out to inform the public via the Communication & Engagement Office about the delayed public comment opportunity on May 2nd.
Public comment was allowed and it was mostly negative with concerns about the 155 million dollar City of Loveland price tag with no guarantee of projected generated profit revenues among other things. The Larimer County Commissioners have also stopped negotiations as a tax partner to the development pending the ruling by the State Legislature on SB23-273 concerning the inclusion of agricultural land in urban renewal areas.
There is Council disagreement with Councilman Mallo and Mayor Marsh about meeting the "blight" criteria of the URA. The Council did vote to approve, with Mayor Marsh and Councilman Mallo voting no, on the Finance Resolution authorizing execution and delivery of the Tax Increment Revenue for the project. The Council also passed a Proclamation for Crime Victim's Rights Week and police Chief Tom Doran made a statement giving credit to his staff for making everyday a day for victim's rights.
The Council also did a Proclamation designating May as Historic Preservation Month. They will have a citizen scavenger hunt to celebrate the event in May with prizes given out by local merchants. Council also did a quick mid-year budget review whose discussion was cut short by the late hour. The agenda had a review of the 5.5 million dollar Pulliam Community building, the McWhinney Boulevard maintenance and financial supplementation of contract work not yet completed. Council adjourned a little after 1 am in the morning.
Watch the meeting here:
See the meeting minutes and agenda of the Loveland City Council April 18, 2023 meeting at the following link: https://cilovelandco.civicweb.net/Portal/MeetingInformation.aspx?Id=1929
Proclamation for Crime Victim’s Right Week. Chief Tom Doran https://cilovelandco.civicweb.net/document/138076/Crime%20Victims_%20Rights%20Week%20Proclamation%202023.pdf?handle=D0714EF021C648B087BB8B6ACEA32334
Archeology & Historic Preservation Month with scavenger hunt in May with prizes from local merchants https://cilovelandco.civicweb.net/document/138080/Archaeology%20_%20Historic%20Preservation%20Month%20Proclama.pdf?handle=F68DDE1835714F4F9B06786FE9B0755F
Northern Colorado Conservancy District
Larimer County Pest Control District
Loveland’s proposed financial contribution = 155 million Public comment on URBAN RENEWAL designation for Centerra South. Urban Renewal factors as follows;
Inadequate Street Layout
Inadequate Public Improvements or Utilities
Underutilization/Vacancy of Sites, Building or other improvements
Other pertinent factors for CENTERRA SOUTH are the Metro District and Tax Incentive Fund (TIF) along with impact on “tax partners”:
Thompson School District
The City of Loveland
Thompson Valley Emergency Medical Services District
Public comment was both negative and positive reference CENTERRA SOUTH. The NEGATIVE was as follows:
Critique of Developer McWhinney’s proposal to throw in incentives like the Children’s Museum in order to appeal to the public for support of the development.
The above criteria for Urban Renewal considerations do NOT match the existing farmland in question for the development.
A concern about the integrity of the consultant hired by McWhinney to give accurate financial numbers to the council and whether or not the council has their own numbers on the project generated independent of McWhinney’s input. The citizen was advised that the City of Loveland staff gave a presentation to the council recently and she could access it.
There was a concern about the loss of agricultural farmland
Distrust of corporate development at the expense of taxpayers
The POSITIVE was as follows:
Loveland has surpassed Fort Collins with its intentional development, planning & affordability due to McWhinney’s contribution among other things.
Centerra is an enhancement to the intersection of Highway 34 & I=25.
The additional housing is needed for Loveland and does include some spaces for veterans.
7.1=Municipal Judge Geri Joneson; amendment to executive session to discuss his employment contract with personnel matters not subject to public hearing with respect to new personnel compensation
7.4 = City Attorney/Manager presentation for Termination for downtown renewal program for city of Loveland-URA 2002 Creation-DDA formed in 2015 to replace URA & allowed to borrow funds for projects – financial overview & revenue projection-revolving line of credit proposal to DDA who can then repay city of Loveland-City Council would have oversight of DDA loans & TIF – COUNCIL & DDA cannot vote if conflict of interest exists due to personal gain-NO PUBLIC COMMENT ON TOPIC – UNANIMOUS VOTE TO PASS
7.5 -Amendment to approve 5/2/23 to create new URA for US 34 corridor & Centerra South -continued -30 day notice requirement for public notice so motion will not pass per mayor – No presentation ready -opened to public comment -citizens asked for 30 day proper notice be given again, (challenge to mayoral ruling=VOTE 7 AGAINST MAYORAL RULING) -Office of Communications & Engagement will reach out to advise public of 5/2 public comment on 7.5
7.6 -FINANCE - Resolution authorizing execution & delivery of TAX INCREMENT REVENUE reference Centerra South presented by Deputy City Attorney (negotiator), Legal Counsel for LURA & McWhinney-Financial LURA- Mr. Arnold created the numbers for the McWhinneys and deduced 155 million input needed -367 million invested by McWhinney who cannot sell & walk away per contract -Whole Foods & other retail interested -1.5 million revenue annually predicted – 12 million for state of Co. over 25 years – other districts like Water district,% Health district, Pest District operate as “pass through entities” with no additional cost – NDA (non-disclosure agreement signed by LURA financial advisor & 2 others who asked Mr. Arnold to help with numbers in order to do due diligence) – Mr. Arnold a developmental contractor who projects cost for service, ROI, & performa of McWhinney in order to achieve resolution.
MALLO -How do we prove URA criteria like BLIGHT factors (11 conditions) -arrests growth, menace to public health safety TRACY VS CITY OF BOULDER = dilapidated properties & deterioration-city council will make legislative determination as to BLIGHT of proposed development – Councilman Mallo questioned why there was no pro/con in the report & asked Arnold where his loyalty lies (he advises he is being paid by Loveland URA) – Arnold advises is customary for city to pay with contract intent from developer –is the UR plan consistent with the comprehensive plan-they didn’t have traffic plans, Geotek etc. so need more info -County Assesor must review ag land under URA-KENDLE PKWY status =under design-I will vote NO cause don’t think it’s urban or blighted-don’t like financing part of it-McWhinney website is full of development & don’t think they need us
FOGLE asks where $ coming/going -Metro -Property tax -Credit PIF=investment fee derived from 3% sales tax (1.5%)-Fogle also questions cost of development i.e. Blogs saying 400k to build -Arnold says cost index for development types to figure out average assumptions-placement of retail downtown?-Anchor stores not likely to move downtown -how many other jurisdictions will be affected by attempt to shut down CENTERRA SOUTH – adopted URA prior to 2010 for exemption under current legislation SB-23-273-maybe 8-9 cities? -Sewage lagoon resolution-nothing definite since 1973 per councilman – CENTERRA existed since 1990 & McWhinney was asked if they ever asked city to pay their bills=NO-The county & city relationship may be damaged cause they are refusing $ so we should refuse future taxes-Timnath development beat out Ft. Collins -Loveland lost Bass Pro Shops -City lost out on Johnstown development-McWhinney’s don’t need us but we need them
Councilman BALL -City Council determines adoption of UR plan but tax partners must cooperate but Larimer County has suspended negotiations pending further research
Councilman OLSON- need additional detail like TRAFFIC study, agricultural land elsewhere being considered as URA & ARNOLD replies such is case in Pueblo & Durango – equity & debt partners for loan closing 89% gap-155 million by city meets the remainder-why was FORD dealership able to develop without asking for city funds -city established water pump underground station south of 34 & east of Boyd so infrastructure installed by city as capital project along with sewer & roundabout shared reimbursement with FORD & other development per City Mgr -sewer lift station & other infrastructure needed for CENTERRA SOUTH-tax paid by people visiting/using the site-revenue sharing with tax partners makes development feasible along with revenue generated by site-Some are using legislation as tool to prevent development just as county withdrawing from negotiations is causing delay-reached out to commissioner but he refused to talk pending state legislation-state shouldn’t weigh in on this
COUNCILMAN McFall VIA VIDEO-asks about impact on retail in area -McWhinney says no negative but rather more revenue-FORD dealership sold-Planning Commission will make recommendation to council – WHO LIVES THERE NOW? -Gateway for Loveland should be notable-Ag land blight has been justified-Moses (legal) & staff have gone above/beyond
COUNCILMAN FOLEY -revenue tight for farmers due to development surrounding them especially water-this is no longer ag land -difference between Iowa farm & Colorado one is WATER-top 4 URA attorneys working on this project -helps with affordable housing, desired retail, continuance of community & governor’s agenda with higher density & affordability
COUNCILMAN OVERCASH- McWhinney & partner PRISM bought FFM listed as URA & wants to know what done to revitalize=URA & METRO-WHOLE FOODS deadline on 4/1 but told they are still willing to negotiate-Office/technology/innovation jobs along with retail-reality is 7k people live in Centerra-tax dollars benefit school, city, health, jobs, retail, homes etc.-I support this huge win
COUNCILWOMAN SAMSON-tax update on farm-market value based on production-1 million in revenue after property surpasses 12 million -projection of 2026-Fracking proposal pulled for CENTERRA SOUTH-the missing middle has moved to Weld county because city lacking accommodation
Mayor asks if McWhinney will make Loveland whole with any shortfalls because 2004 projections for retail space fell short by 50% with current CENTERRA-projections subject to external impacts-what is source of 8500 jobs proposed for development-McWhinney needs to pay their own way-call for VOTE -Marsh & Mallow vote NO so council passes proposal
149 acre parcel targeted for development but why delayed until now
How much tax incentive needed by McWhinney so city needs to review their financial profile i.e., what have they collected on multimillion lawsuit from former partner. Hidden profit needs to be on ROI calculation on property valuation owned by McWhinney-cost of management-income of sale/leasing of residential housing & recovery cost of 64% to McWhinney -you have NOT exercised your fiduciary responsibility (McKnight)
(Olivia)-Many cities said NO to URAs i.e. Estes, Steamboat etc. and ARNOLD only told you about cities he represented – Ag land is being surreptitiously abused by putting into URA
Term value vs present value in your numbers
Schools need money being used for this project -we’re a struggling town-feel like we’re getting played (Gayle)
(Matthew)-Why do these meetings occur so late on school/work nights-this property is the most valuable real estate in the state -people not returning to offices
Conflict of interest with city attorney -25 year profit projection unrealistic -financial constraints for future (Lori)
(Rosalind) -Ag land in URA in violation of state statute-anchored by vacant outlets & promenade bankrupt-they had 25 years for development but did not- land not annexed yet also problematic-this plan is illegal
Mid Year budget review (Matt Elliott & Bryan (FINANCE)
McWhinney Boulevard maintenance & consultation on URA
Pulliam Community Building 5.5 million
NO PUBLIC COMMENT
Supplement for contracts not yet completed -VOTE YES
ADJOURNED (7 hours 11 minutes 23 seconds)