|McWhinney's Want to Bump-up by 850
Residences 'Grand Station'
|Why call it Grand Station?
The hope is that future commuter trains
will use existing railroad tracks thus
making Grand Station a commuter stop
|Concerns over public safety - police, fire and ambulance service for
3,050 residential units will need to cross the 34/I-25 interchange to
provide services in an emergency.
If the bridge is obstructed by traffic how will these city vehicles arrive in
time? One fire station is planned for the eastside of Centerra but
nochanges have been made to accomodate new residential units for
Loveland police or schools.
|City Council Agenda
April 17, 2007
McWhinney's Ask for More Houses
The Loveland City Council approved the proposed amendment to the Millennium General Development Plan
(popularly referred to as "McWhinney Agreement") to allow 850 new residential units in addition to the 2,200
already planned for the McWhinney's development East of I-25. Councilor Glenn Rousey was the only official to
vote against the amendment.
The addition will bring the total number of newly planned residential units depending on Loveland City services East
of I-25 to just over 3,000 households. As a comparison, Berthoud is a community with 3,800 total households. If
approved, the City of Loveland will need to provide services to a new population comparable to the City of Berthoud
but with limited resources since much of the future revenue has already been committed. Concerns raised by
emergency service personnel regarding response times being impacted if staffing levels are not adjusted were not
presented to the City Council. Nor were the objections by Southern Pacific Railroad discussed during the public
portion of the regularly scheduled City Council meeting.
The Millennium General Development Plan (GDP) governs the development areas controlled by the McWhinneys
and breaks them into various zones. It is unique and controversial because the GDP removes control of future
development from locally elected officials and Loveland voters for the next 25 years. The GDP places the power to
approve a final plat, issue building permits, dedicate easements and rights-of-way for public improvements and even
define and construct "public" improvements into the hands of the McWhinneys and their representatives..
The Master Financial Agreement (MFA) is another agreement that provides future tax revenue generated from these
properties back to entities controlled by the McWhinneys to finance much of the general infrastructure required to
build the planned developments. The McWhinney's have not offered to amend the MFA to accommodate for the
additional 850 residential units. No additional property is being offered for school construction nor is there a plan to
build any additional capacity to accomodate the 850 new residential units. Commercial properties normally provide a
positive cash flow for the city while residences normally cost more to service than they generate in new taxes. This is
especially true given current agreements to defer considerable tax revenue from develpments exlcusive for the
Union Pacific is opposed to the McWhinneys adding residential units in the area anmed A-1 in the GDP since it is
bordered to the East by Southern Pacific Railroad. According to a letter sent to the City of Loveland by Rod
Peterson, Senior Real Estate Manager for Union Pacific, the project is ill advised. Peterson stated in his protest letter
to the city, "The proposed use as residential is contrary to the objectives of public safety and general welfare and
conflicts with the Railroads adjacent industrial use." He did offer to surrender his opposition if the city burdened all
future residential property owners with a deed restriction on their property that prevents them from taking any legal
actions against the Railroad due to problems caused by noise and vibration.
Another concern is the fact the area proposed for 850 new residential units is in the flight path for airplanes taking-off
and landing from the Ft. Collins-Loveland Municipal Airport. The FAA prefers the location of "low-density"
industrial or commercial uses for areas impacted by the airport. Placing residences in the flight path sets the city up
for future conflicts between residents who want to sleep after 9:00 PM and airport authorities who may want to offer
a more varied selection of flight times.
Natural wildlife areas that exist between areas A-1 and A-4 may be in jeopardy according to the artist drawings
released by McWhinney Enterprises for Grand Station. The specific blueprints have not been released and are
expected in the planning department sometime in June or July.