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Entry for October 3, 2007
KB Homes was told the City of Loveland doesn't believe in all residential metro districts in Sept. 2006 and denied and application for Aspen Knolls. In August of 2007, McWhinney received strong support from the City Council to form a metro district for Lakes At Centerra.

Now, the City Council barely approved (5-4 vote) a new metro district for Delta Investments' Cascade Ridge 451 homes to be built west of Hunter's Run. Unlike the McWhinney proposal, Cascade Ridge is only 45 mills for the development and 5 mills of property tax for the school and city parks budgets.

Developer Chris Fellows was shocked to encounter a City Council that didn't want the metro district to pay into school and city funds so "development pays its way." Is it your sense the Mayor was concerned when he saw his colleagues trying to kill a fiscally more conservative proposal than McWhinney's only one month after they approved Lakes At Centerra?

2007-10-03 16:52:57 GMT
Comments (31 total)
It is very clear by the chart that McWhinney gets more support than anyone from this council he bought through campaign contributions.

I don't care how many postings Ouch makes here. The facts don't lie. The Council is hard pressed to even consider $8 million debt for a Metro District when the $50 million for McWhinneys' residential project was OK. Give me a break.
2007-10-03 18:27:38 GMT
Everyone I meet running for office (liberal or conservative) claims to be a "fiscal conservative."

Well, God bless Walt Skowron for REALLY being a fiscal conservative and lets vote out all those bums who think Loveland is an island.
2007-10-03 18:29:48 GMT
Trying to STOP money from going to the schools? Are these people just insane?

My theory is they painted themselves into a corner by voting for mcWhinney's proposal and arguing against a much more modest and fiscally conservative approach.

Also, you failed to mention that Fellows offered to have "reimbursements for oversizing" go back to the Metro District that paid for the oversizing instead of back to the developer. in fact, someone on the Dais called it "double dipping."

Isn't that what they approved for McWhinney?
2007-10-03 19:02:36 GMT
First you all act like it's terrible to have the council vote for a metro district and now you thing it's terrrible not to vote for a metro district....make up your minds.

I fully agree with the 4 members who voted against this metro district. Do you really believe that its ok to have only a small segment of the population pay extra to the school district and to the city for parks?

How about if the city decided to place all subdivions into one large metro district (which they can't do) and then add ADDITIONAL mills to your property tax for city parks and the loveland shcool district.

Would that make you all happy? Or do you perfer to only charge those in this one subdivion?
2007-10-03 20:57:58 GMT
Ouch you don't get it. 15 years ago I enjoyed local parks with my family. Today, we can't get a table on weekends to have a picnic because the park is full. Yes, the current residents lose each time hundreds of new residents come to town to crowd our local services and the Council fails to properly plan for the growth.

The developer couldn't sell houses in the Pawnee National Grass Lands for $350,000 each since they would not be near parks, schools and have established city services.

Having development pay its way is what officials in every city down south demand. Here, the sprawl makers get to profit by selling our services to their homebuyers and payback nothing.

You cannot deny Kieth Reester said to the Council he saves money by NOT buying new trucks even when the city has many more roads to clear for snow removal. Last winter's disaster in Loveland was because too many roads and too few services available to clear them.

Mr. Fellow seems like a great guy who understands what is required when you develop in a town. I think the Councilmembers who voted no on this but for McWhinney's much riskier Metro Dist have a lot of explaining to do!
2007-10-04 02:18:43 GMT
Hey buddy, sign your post next time so we know who you are. Good points all!

I haven't said anything for awhile so i thought this needs attention. Metro Districts are always a bad idea. It means growth ISN'T paying its way but instead creating debt for future residents (who may not come) haven't even paid one dollar on. Loveland's current situation of borrowing for tomorrow isn't called progress.

I didn't watch the meeting but understand the council chased its tail like a confused dog for a couple hours.

I even heard people like Jan Brown who just voted to give McWhinney a residential metro district told this developer she didn't believe in Metro Districts.

McWhinney to our city policy is like Israel is to US foreign policy - none of the rules apply.

Ouch, did you read the story on the meeting? It says the guy admitted having worked with people who lost everything due to bonds like these going bankrupt. I thought you were the one arguing before they never do go bankrupt?

2007-10-04 02:27:17 GMT
I just have a question - will McWhinney be provided the "oversize agreement" refund from the city instead of the metro district that paid for the oversizing? Is these even legal? Sounds like a type of money laundering to me.
2007-10-04 02:32:38 GMT
Janey, I don't think it is legal.

What about McWhinney not providing public access when this developer says its required by law?

I was truly embarrassed to see a developer lecture the people who are supposed to be there for us on why he won't abandon his commitment to the school district or parks.

Our City Council doesn't have a clue what "custodians of the public trust" really means. They don't represent future homeowners they are supposed to represent us! Strange!
--Yellow Kitty
2007-10-04 02:38:24 GMT
Thanks for providing this information. I didn't know all this was going on. Finally, news about Loveland instead of the Repeater Herald puff stories.
2007-10-04 03:16:08 GMT
Anonymous: This is not development paying its own is the homeowner paying an unfair share for schools and parks. Those who voted no on this metro district and yes on McWhinneys was because of the additional 5 mills added to the property tax with this metro district.

Next time watch the council meeting.

Al: I never said developers don't go bankrupt....happens all the time. With the McWhinneys metro district, I said the city has no responsiblity for the bonds issued. With both developers, the bonds will not be issued until homes are in place and the increased property taxes are being collected.

Yellow Kitty: The council represents all residents of Loveland...this means those moving into this new subdivision. Did you ever think that maybe some of these future homeowners in this new subdivision may already be Loveland residents?

Carl: "trying to stop money from going to the schools"? How about trying to stop an increase in mills being added to the property tax of only some homeowners. Seem fair to you?
2007-10-04 13:06:37 GMT
Jess and others,

I often see the accusation that McWhinney "bought" the Council thru campaign contributions. Hate to say it, but there must be more than just campaign contirbutions going on here - no one gets this much just by making a few thousand bucks of campaign contributions. I'm sure some of them have businesses or friends that benefit from taxpayer-subsidized growth. Not to mention the City Manager - he earns more than the managers in Boulder or Fort Collins!
2007-10-07 03:07:23 GMT
You are probably right. Don Marostica is the character who became wealthy on City Council and even voted to support his own projects when the current group of YARDBIRDS voted to waive confict of interest rules for him!

He always defends this by saying its a small town. However, I doubt the McWhinneys ever went to Jan Brown's massage therapy parlor. Having a back rub from Jan Brown may be too high a price to pay no matter how important the Council's support is to you!
2007-10-08 16:37:38 GMT
Jon: Don Marostica was wealthy before he was elected to the Loveland City Council. He also excused himself from voting when he was connected to any issue. The council never voted to waive any conflict of interst rules.

Try getting your facts right before you post your comments.
2007-10-09 18:21:47 GMT
As a fairly new Loveland resident, I have heard all sides of these same issues (by the way, I apologize in advance for adding to the 'sprawl', paying my taxes and relocating my young family to an under appreciated area, via oh God, California). All kidding aside, I have studies several of the issues, gone to council meetings and would consider myself a well informed Loveland citizen. It seems to me that the old timers in Loveland still want a Loveland from circa 1980 or earlier. I moved here for a number of reasons and the growth is not going to stop. My family moved here before I even knew of the Promenade Shops, the Medical Center, etc. We obviously thought it through. Now, I will probably be accused of being a suck up to McWhinney but we need them. I'm guessing that Chad is around my age, he's brilliant (much smarter than me) and is taking advantage of opportunities. Some may question the tactics involved with these opportunities but unless wrong doing is proven, it's just talk. The alleged 'shell' that the McWhinney's hide under is increasing the tax rolls. Why is that such a problem for many? The way I look at it, the city and it's citizens have almost no risk. As much as I am not a big fan of paying extra taxes, I am a big fan of convenience. I like going going to Panerra with my family and yep, it costs me an extra buck or two (call it the Centerra tax). In California, I would equate this to the toll roads. The cost sucks but I would rather get where I am going than take the long road or sit in traffic.
The Lakes at Centerra is the same, you have to pay to play. But guess what, no one will be forced to pay into the Metro Taxing District. You have a choice and my guess is that the amenities in this community will be so hard to ignore that people will be happy to pay the extra tax. By the way, what's the risk to the city?
In closing, I found the Loveland Politics site just surfing the net and found the heading a bit curious, non-partisan. What? I have no issues with anyone that has an opinion but to say this site is non-partisan is (forgive me) a joke.
Loveland is a great small town that is growing. One of the reasons my family and I left California was the traffic, too many people, etc. I can assure you that Loveland is 20-30 years behind. This is inevitable with or without McWhinney.
--Doug Lindstrom
2007-10-10 06:09:05 GMT
Welcome to your new California in the Front Range.

No, the old timers are the ones who want development at any cost. You kind of got that part wrong.

Many California refugees like yourself don't want to live in a future Hawthorne, Lakewood or Garden Grove. We might be people who buy a house and would like to raise our children and stay in that house forever. Limited life sprawl that eventually becomes ugly and low-income is hardly a longterm plan for any city.

By the way, despite what you said, Metro Tax really doesn't add to the city's coffers but instead goes to the developer's pocket to do the work they are supposed to do anyway like roads etc...

Imagine Southern California sprawl but then add to it inadequate roads (no toll roads or freeways being built here) and also add taxes the developer can pocket so the "overhead" the city can have to raise taxes to pay to improve or maintain roads police and other services is missing.

The Metro Districts are NOT a Southern California model. Prop. 13 limited property taxes in California to 1% of purchase value.

Anyway, you might be the kind of crab that just moves from shell to shell as places are ruined. We would like Loveland to remain a nice place to live and have city fathers who understand the term "build-out."
2007-10-11 18:27:52 GMT
Walter, with all due respect you have mis-characterized what I stated and jumped on the 'I hate McWhinney" bandwagon. Let's go line by line shall we?!
Walter- "Welcome to your new California in the Front Range.
Doug- OK
Walter- "No, the old timers are the ones who want development at any cost. You kind of got that part wrong".
Doug- What? I'm not sure where you got this and what am I wrong about? Context please.....
Walter- "Many California refugees like yourself don't want to live in a future Hawthorne, Lakewood or Garden Grove. We might be people who buy a house and would like to raise our children and stay in that house forever. Limited life sprawl that eventually becomes ugly and low-income is hardly a longterm plan for any city".

Doug- The ugliest parts of this town were built in the 1990's or earlier. Nothing built in the last 0-20 years looks like Hawthorne, Lakewood or Garden Grove. Please tell me what sprawl has to do with ugly and low income? The fact is, Centerra will never, never, never get run-down. The metro taxing districts are laiden with amenities, thus the appeal. The cost of these amenities is passed on to people that want to live there. No one else picks up the tab!
Walter- "By the way, despite what you said, Metro Tax really doesn't add to the city's coffers but instead goes to the developer's pocket to do the work they are supposed to do anyway like roads etc..."
Doug- I never said metro taxing districts add to the city's coffers and to say the funds raised from the metro taxing district goes into the developers pocket is so naive. Let's deal with fact..... the metro taxing district has a board of directors that are responsible for the distrution and execution of the 'taxes' collected. In the end, I am pretty sure that McWhinney's influence will be on or part of that board.
Walter- "Imagine Southern California sprawl but then add to it inadequate roads (no toll roads or freeways being built here) and also add taxes the developer can pocket so the "overhead" the city can have to raise taxes to pay to improve or maintain roads police and other services is missing".
Doug- Sprawl is such an over-used word in Loveland. Responsible building practices should always be a priority but sprawl is not the appropriate word for Loveland and Northern Colorado for that matter. Many of the inadequate components are being addressed in Loveland by the McWhinney's, Martin Lind and many other's. The inadequate roads is the McWhinney's fault? The expression, if you build it they will come, should come into play here. The taxes generated will and do add to the city services. Pretty simple concept, more taxes generated, more city services.
Walter- "The Metro Districts are NOT a Southern California model. Prop. 13 limited property taxes in California to 1% of purchase value".
Doug- This is the only fact in Walter's argument but Prop. 13 does not prohibit extra taxes being generated in a Mello-Roos district. Many newer communities pay .25-1.0% over and above the mandated tax rate. Guess what, people were not forced to live in those districts but the conveniences and amenities add to the quality of life.
Walter- "Anyway, you might be the kind of crab that just moves from shell to shell as places are ruined. We would like Loveland to remain a nice place to live and have city fathers who understand the term "build-out."
Doug- In California, I lived where I wanted to. And, yes, I paid into a Mello-Roos district but I chose to live there. While I cannot speak for many that have lived here for years, I can tell you that my wife and I just had a great dinner at Bonefish Grill with 3 other couples (all natives). This is a great place to live! I cannot speak for the 'city fathers' but from my perspective many people are too uptight about this issue. Should the city stop all building and stop generating tax dollars?
Walter, I respect your point of view but strongly disagree with your mis-characterizations of what I said.
--Doug Lindstrom
2007-10-14 04:46:48 GMT
Doug, in the interest of brevity I will not try and restate everything you have written. Here are some few points you need to consider;

1. Mello-Roos taxes are terribly unpopular in California and have been known to damage the value of property. Comparable properties outside M-R districts are more valuable as a result. Pick-up any real estate magazine in California and you will find “No Mello-Roos!!” in the ads. Read explanation of how it impacts values. Famous Orange County builders like the Irvine Company and John Crean didn’t necessarily need to indebt the homebuyers with bonds before building the houses now worth millions.
2. Evidence the old-timers want development – The older families in Loveland who inherited farm land are anxious to sell the land at higher prices regardless of what is done with the property. Higher density means higher value for the land so it is a natural incentive to cram houses on small lots at the least cost to turn the biggest profit. Loveland Commercial, for example, is co-owned by Don Marostica from the Eastern Plains of Colorado. He tried and failed to bring gambling to Northern Colorado and later found success from his seat on Loveland’s City Council promoting and profiting from sprawl. He thinks WalMart is quality – that is because where he comes from it is. Those of us from nicer places are smart enough to know a strip mall doesn’t add longterm value to any community.
3. Doug, if you are the owner of that house on Monarch Circle, you picked a good builder. McStain builds nice homes but your 3,000 sq. ft. house on only .18 acre (7,644 sq. ft.) means roughly half (garage included) of your lot is covered by home which means it is higher than average density. Residents in Country Club Estates in Loveland’s “older” area might disagree with you that their ½ acre lots on the golf course with similar size homes are less desirable than yours.
4. While McWhinney developments are better than many in Loveland, they are also subsidized so you need to take that into account. You are like the artist claiming censorship when other people don’t want to subsidize your art. McWhinney is asking the city to subsidized everything he does (one candidate calls this “Manufactured growth”). The fatal flaw in your argument is pretending people just don’t want growth or McWhinney. No, we don’t want to subsidize it especially at the cost of other important city obligations. State and Federal Law requires the Metro Districts be approved by City Council since it will be the city that must pay the cost and fix the problem if the district goes broke. My HOA must pay a higher cost for loans since we don’t have city backing our debt.
5. Loveland (both east and west) is full of irresponsible development and poorly built houses and growth. An easy way to find the really crappy new houses that will likely only go down in value as the foundations heave and water damage worsens is every new structure being represented by Realtor Kevin Cook. These guys make quick money and leave problems. Everything in west Loveland over 30 years old is well built while everything in the last 10 years is garabage. Look at the declining values in Loveland if you need proof. Homes in Ft. Collins retain their value while Loveland is similar to Greeley now as the standards for development have disappeared with a “grow at any cost” city council.

2007-10-15 17:21:50 GMT
Walt, don't waste your time. Doug doesn't give a dam about our community - he is in the real estate business and newly arrived from California - . Here is what his website says -

I grew up in the construction & real estate industries. Because of this, I pride myself on assisting my clients in all phases of the real estate transaction. From purchasing the most appropriate lot for your new build, buying your dream home, finding an investment property and everything in between. -- Doug Lindstrom

His "client" references are all from California. OK, the truth is out.

Hey Commission junkie, this is a website for discussion about Loveland and its quality of life. I wonder how Lovelanders feel about a Remax agent who signs a blog that says,

"The ugliest parts of this town were built in the 1990's or earlier"

Well there you have it folks, a commission junkie working out of Remax on the 34 trashing everything in Loveland built before 2000. Thank you at least for being honest and providing an accurate insight into your real motives for this commuity.

2007-10-15 17:58:22 GMT
As a resident who lives in one of those "ugliest" parts of town I know which real estate office NOT to use.
2007-10-15 22:37:04 GMT
Wow! I don't know where to begin. One thing I do know is that honest dis-agreement on this site can turn into flat out lies. Walt, we have a difference of opinion and from out mutual posts can respectfully dis-agree.
Katty- Yep, you nailed me! I am in the real estate business. Therefore, I must be evil and greedy. How is what I said an innacurate statement with regard to older homes. That is true in just about every community and neighborhood. "To say that I don't give a damn about our community" is 100% false. I guess that because I have only been here a couple of years now, I don't care about my childrens education, crime and all the other things attached with being a concerned citizen. The other flat out lie is that only one of over ten client references are from California. When you state that all my client references are from California and that the truth is out, what does all and truth mean to you Katty? Thank you for stating that I was atteast being honest. My real motives means what?
To automatically trash me and lie about because I am from California says more about you then me. In the meantime, God bless you for having plenty of passion but for your own sake, throwing out generalities and lies makes you look complete non-credible. Any one else want to personally attack me for sharing my opinion, working in the real estate industry and being from California?
--Doug Lindstrom
2007-10-15 22:38:11 GMT
This is getting ridiculous and not on topic. Reading this makes me worry about Loveland as a whole. i mean the attacks. One thing we do know, Doug has the _alls to spell out his whole name.
--Maury Timms
2007-10-16 02:03:27 GMT
OK, I stand corrected, not ALL your client references are from California.

I find it incredulous that you would pretend to write on this blog as a concerned member of the community when your real motive is business. This is what has gone wrong with our city government, too many people wanting to get involved to better their odds of making money instead out of genuine concern for the community.

If you were trying to get involved to see more trees planted, better playgrounds or just volunteered at the school district to improve reading scores – that would be true civic involvement. When you fail to mention you live on sales commissions for homes sales and promote more sprawl it seems just a little too coincidental to me.

Doug, people in Loveland are not as stupid or backwards as you might imagine. Your opinion regarding tax incentives to initiate more sprawl is about as sincere as the Music Man telling River City they have trouble unless they buy his band instruments. Come clean my friend and admit you care about those commissions more than you do the long-term interests of our community.

There is nothing wrong with being a salesman but this community cannot survive if all our local growth is driven by commission junkies that are trying to get their next fix. Thoughtful, valuable and worthwhile planning comes from sincere people who want what is best for the community. Your motives are now clear so I make no apology for “outing” you to this blog community.

Welcome to River City Music Man – now clean-up your act or go home.

2007-10-16 16:11:08 GMT
I am not here to defend someone I don't even know but read what he said. I am not educated about tax districts but I know that generalizing about someone's intent or motives is not fair. It makes no sense to say that someone is just concerned about business when real estate people generally sell a product that epople either want to sell or buy. They do not control suply and demand. The namecalling is pathetic.
2007-10-16 19:27:39 GMT
Katty: Renter? Never bought a house? Never went shopping and purchased anything from a sales person who works on commission? Can't be a commission earning sales person and still want the best for the community? A sales person working on commission is a commission junkie?

You say that the people in Loveland are not stupid or backwars....I suggest you read your posting again.
2007-10-16 20:06:47 GMT
Anonymous, think about what you just said. “I am not educated about tax districts but I know that generalizing about someone's intent or motives is not fair.”
Are you kidding? You must buy Amway, Universal Life Insurance, hire “travelers” to do work on your home and lastly adjustable rate mortgages from predatory lenders since questioning a person’s motive for giving you advice wouldn’t be fair.
Thousands of families are losing their homes right now in our area because they took financial advice from predatory lenders and dare I say commission junkies working for local real estate brokers. Lastly, would you at least question the motives of a used car salesman telling you a Yugo is a dependable car? Oh, sorry – not fair!
How do you survive in this world with your very naïve views? I cannot imagine you even have the means to support yourself – you must be a nonworking spouse or student to even survive without the ability to reason.
Most realtors are honest, decent and hardworking people – they are not the commission junkies. The commission junkies (we all know who they are in our community) will do anything to shove a person into a house they cannot afford and pretend to be just a concerned citizens while promoting growth manufactured only by future debt. These are dangerous and predatory people who need to stay away from the public square when it comes time to argue our cities policies.

People with a conflict of interest must first disclose their primary motive. Yes! Of course you need to know if the view they hold happens to also result in more money for them! I only attacked Doug for misleading a nice elderly gentleman like Walt. Doug (I have met him before) really has an obligation to disclose his conflict of interest before promoting more house building in Loveland.

Remax may consider putting a leash on him as well.

2007-10-16 22:54:46 GMT
Well, thank you for the defense "Katty" but do I know you?

I didn't think I was that old nor does my wife believe that I am that much of a gentleman. As I said before, I also own property downtown so I must confess a strong proprietary bias towards helping downtown. Maybe that makes me a commercial lease junkie.

No, I think the previous post is correct. We need to think about these issues as a community and not rush into more debt without a fair and open process. Despite the many ramblings by my friend Ouch, the city buying so much land for so much money should never be done in a hurry or without any consultation from the community. Rushing it onto an agenda for final approval after who knows how many secret meetings hardly scratches the public's itch Ouch.

As I also said before, it is all political now and everyone knows it. The Council only postponed it because they knew people would be angry and too many mail-in ballots haven't been returned yet.

As to contacting Councilors? I have a number of times. I have sent emails and called on various issues and never received a single response from any of them. The letter to the Editor in today's Herald about Pielin ignoring citizen input while acting as Mayor is a perfect example of why people in this town are so angry with this Council.

I would never vote for Pielin, Heckel, Brown or Dozier for all the money in the world (even McWhinneys'S). It is something called integrity. We now need some on Council.

2007-10-16 23:06:11 GMT
Katty, I would love to buy you a cup of coffee. You know how to get in contact with me. I'm not sure that I will change your mind about who you think I am but it may make for interesting conversation.
Moving forward, I am most interested in solutions and not passing venom for differences of opinion.
I kindly remove myself from further discussion on this topic. By the way, what was the topic again?
2007-10-17 00:43:36 GMT
Doug - I don't think you are old enough to remember Woody Allen's movie "Take The Money and Run" but if not - go rent it. You will enjoy an evening with your family instead of talking to me.

My favorite part of the movie is when Woody Allen is in jail and given the worst punishment all the hardened criminals fear most, stuck in a hole with an insurance salesman for 24 hours.

Your offer just reminded me of that scene as Woody Allen screamed while the well dressed insurance agent introduced himself and started talking.

No thank you I would rather be a prisoner at Gitmo. Besides, I live in what you have already called the "uggliest" part of town so i wouldn't expect you to leave your dreamland of McWhinneyville.
2007-10-17 04:51:19 GMT
Please try and refrain from personal comments and stick to the issues. Off-topic, unsigned, vulgar and libelous postings have been removed.

2007-10-17 07:59:51 GMT
Katty, you are just bitter. The guy is trying to find a middle ground with you continue to name call and generalize what someone said. A perfect example is Doug saying The ugliest parts of this town were built in the 1990's or earlier. To me, that in not way says that all older homes are in the ugliest parts of town. A broad generalization. By the way, I live in an almost 60 year old home but I did not take it the same way you did. You are just mean spiritied and rude and I started reading this from the very beginning. Get a life.
2007-10-17 15:29:07 GMT
I agree that Katty is rude but I also don't agree with Doug that everything built in the 90's and before is ugly in Loveland. Our downtown buildings in twenty or thirty years will still have character and charm while all the stucco and fake buildings in east of town will be the old ugly stuff. We need to preserve out heritage and not be ashamed when told our older homes are ugly by Doug. He may also need to grow a little in his perspective.
2007-10-17 23:50:19 GMT
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