NEWS BLOG
LovelandPolitics
Loveland's Independent News Source
December 12, 2012

Last May the Loveland City Council rushed through sweeping changes to the *Millennium GDP (special
zoning regulations specific to McWhinney's Centerra developments) advertising a false motive that the 9th
Amendment to the city's agreement with McWhinney was needed to "level the playing field" with the rest
of the community.  Passed May 1, 2012 on its first reading by a 9-1 council vote (Councilman Ralph Trenary
voting against), Amendment 9 includes elimination of council approval and thus public hearings for
large-scale industrial and commercial developments in Centerra.  Now the authority for such decisions is at
city staff's discretion with no council review or the necessary public process that accompanies council
approval.

On May 3, 2012 LovelandPolitics' story
Secret Motives Behind Amendment #9 contradicted McWhinney's
publicly stated reason for the requested Amendment as a general move to make Centerra more
competitive which was also being reported in the Loveland Reporter-Herald.  LovelandPolitics learned
from city staff McWhinney's private pretext was to attract the corporate headquarters of Woodward Inc. to
a "build to suit" site in east Centerra near the Promenade Shops.  Privately, Loveland councilors were
briefed the change was necessary for McWhinney to attract a light industrial manufacturer (narrow scope)
to the area under a strict time-line allegedly imposed by Woodward Inc. for their development to be
completed by mid-2014 or risk losing the opportunity to another community.  However, the Millennium
GDP changes allow up to 100,000 sq. ft. of development without council review or public hearings for many
potential uses not just light industrial manufacturing thus making Amendment 9 a Trojan horse.

Despite opposition to the amendment by the new owners of the Promenade Shops (adjacent property
owners), the Chairman of Loveland's Planning Commission and another developer - all who testified at the
May 1, council meeting - Loveland's Council passed Amendment 9 at McWhinney and city staff urging.  As
reported previously by this website, Mayor Gutierrez struggled with his own private decision before
capitulating to Jay Hardy, President of McWhinney, and advocating to council the broadly defined changes
to the Millennium GDP while not disclosing to the public McWhinney's narrowly construed pretext for
seeking the change.

While Centerra was certainly in consideration as a potential future site for Woodward's corporate
headquarters, time was apparently not of the essence as the site chosen in Ft. Collins is in a flood plain and
crossed by major utility lines.  Woodward has embarked on a complicated approval process to change the
grade of the 101.5 acre site chosen in Ft. Collins while also applying to move major power lines which will
take the better part of a year.  Arguing the council needed to abdicate its own less than 30 day approval
process required for larger developments in Centerra looks even more absurd now with full hindsight.

Woodward Inc. Choices

Woodward employs approximately 700 people at its headquarters located at 1000 East Drake Road in Ft.
Collins but also maintains a campus in Loveland located at 3800 Wilson Avenue.  Woodward's stated
reasons for leaving the Loveland site it has occupied for many years is shifting soil problems creating
instability for highly sensitive test and measuring equipment at the facility.

Code named "
Project 2012-01" the efforts by the City of Loveland to lure Woodward Inc. to Centerra were
kept largely secret; even from some members of Loveland's City Council and the local media.  In fact,
Woodward was looking into a number of proposed sites for most of 2012 including;

1. The Link-N-Greens private golf course site, a 101.5 acre floodplain located on the southwest corner of
East Lincoln Street and South Lemay Avenue in Ft. Collins. (the site they finally selected to develop 70
acres)

2.  A parcel near Hewlitt Packard in Ft. Collins

3.  A "build-to-suit" location in east Centerra (Loveland)

4.  Consolidation into new facilities to be built in Love Park, Illinois (
see column right)

Woodward has forecasted a workforce increase of approximately 500 additional employees at the new
facility (in addition to the 700 already working in Ft. Collins) which likely includes the jobs being taken
from the Loveland campus.

Woodward decided to divide each proposed location into two separate bids, one for the real estate portion
of the deal and another for the development proposal.  This created an opportunity for the company to
receive multiple development bids for a single parcel of land.  This may have hurt McWhinney's
build-to-suit Centerra parcel as they normally roll the real estate, development proposal and city/Centerra
tax incentives into a single package.

You Can't Teach an Old Dog New Tricks

In the summer of 2009 McWhinney's lead lobbyist for Loveland public affairs, Rocky Scott, departed the
organization following a series of public relations calamities for McWhinney in Loveland.  By January the
following year Scott landed a new job at Woodward doing similar public affairs work described on his
Linkedin webpage in part as "
external and internal knowledge dispersion" for Woodward.

As if he was trying to make amends with his old employer, Scott sought to qualify a potential site in
Centerra as a candidate for Woodward Governor allowing McWhinney to tell council time was of the
essence to approve the changes.  By creating a pretext for the change the public hearing to consider the
change was disconnected as those arguing against it were not given the benefit of McWhinney's exparte
communication with Loveland's Mayor and City Council.

While members of the council supported Amendment #9 believing it was necessary to retain Woodward in
Loveland, the lack of a public discussion or review instead allowed McWhinney to make desired changes
that will apply to future applicants for industrial developments in Centerra neighboring businesses and
residents will not be able to argue against before council.  While some say Scott added Centerra to the list of
candidate locations for Woodward simply to assist his old employer to achieve a long desired change to the
Millennium GDP, we are not so cynical and believe the site was under serious consideration though the
time-line argument used by staff now appears to have been a convenient and imagined requirement that
caused the council to act before fully vetting the proposed changes.

While the changes were made to accommodate only Woodward Inc, it appears any company except
Woodward (which decided on Ft. Collins) can now take advantage of the relaxed public review process for
Centerra making the May 1, 2012 council vote a law made for the exception and not the rule.
Loveland Developer
Ed Klen
See comments by Ed Klen
Woodward To Invest $200 Million
in Loves Park, IL

While cities in Northern Colorado
were looking to attract Woodward Inc.
headquarters, the states of South
Carolina, Wisconsin and Illinois were
competing to land the company's
newest design and manufacturing
facility.

The high-stakes competition for
Woodward's aerospace division which
makes energy control and
optimization systems mostly for
aircraft resulted in a $200 million
facility being announced last August
for the incumbent city, Loves Park,
Illinois.

The new plant will transfer some
1,500 existing employees from the
current Love's Park facility built in
1940 along with an additional 660
employees from other locations.  By
2021 the company expects to double
that number to 4,000 high-tech
aerospace manufacturing jobs in the
Rockton, Illinois area.

The new 60 acre facility will provide
300,000-square-ft. of production
facilities and offices.  Woodward has
told employees the move will occur by
late 2013.

Like their Ft. Collins headquarters
move, Woodward courted two
alternative sites while finally selecting
the incumbent city by moving only a
short distance likely as a convenience
to its employees.

Woodward's roots are deep in the
Rockton area of Illinois where the
company was founded over 100 years
ago.  While the company is now
headquartered in Ft. Collins, many of
its senior executives emanate from
Illinois where they first started with the
company.

After rumors of significant lay-offs in
2009 during the country's great
recession, Woodward reported
annual sales in 2011 at $1.71 billion
up from $1.43 billion on 2009.  As a
first tier supplier to Boeing and
Airbus, the company brags nearly
every commercial aircraft built in the
world will contain Woodward parts by
2016.  

None of those parts will be
manufactured in Loveland.
Woodward: When The Exception
Makes the Law
* The Millennium GDP is the governing document for future developments
within the PUD (Planned Unit Development) of Centerra which acts instead of
zoning restrictions used in other parts of Loveland.  McWhinney's Centerra
development contains 2,916 acres within the PUD.  Any future developments
within this area are governed by the Millennium GDP which McWhinney is
seeking to change in many aspects under the name of "Amendment 9."