Loveland's Independent News Source
Loveland, April 24, 2017

While Loveland's downtown has long suffered a reputation for being a hangout for vagrants and
drug addicts, Loveland's City Council is acting on a little known scheme to keep their heavily
subsidized "Foundry" project (formerly known as the South Catalyst) in Loveland's downtown
bum free" according to one member of the City Council.

Last month Loveland's City Council put up as collateral our City Hall building, fire administration
building and municipal operations center for a $17.1 million "
lease financing agreement" to
build a 460-space parking garage at Lincoln and
2nd Street for the private tenants that will
populate the downtown Foundry project.  Among those tenants is a movie theater, 155
apartments, office space and 100 room hotel.  Following the departure of Larimer County from
the project, the city has not identified any significant public use for the property they obtained
under threats of eminent domain from previous owners.

The "
bum free" zone for the downtown's newest project is the brainchild of Brinkman & Brinkman
Construction President Jay Hardy, according to a city
official who asked not to be identified for
this article.  Brinkman is the company being subsidized by Loveland to construct the project that
Brinkman will own and lease to the commercial tenants and likely later sell at considerable profit.  
Loveland has successfully kept their "
bum free" scheme under the radar as former Loveland
City Councilman now State House Representative Hugh McKean
also battles advocates of the
Right to Rest" bill (HB 17-1314) currently under consideration by Colorado's State Legislature.

The "
Right to Rest" bill was introduced by State House Representatives Melton and Salazar to
combat increasing ordinances by municipalities across the State of Colorado to tighten
anti-loitering laws
in response to increasing constituent complaints.  Cities and small towns have
experienced an epidemic of homelessness in their urban corridors following the legalization of
marijuana in the state
as reported by CBS News.

The legislation attempts to nullify such ordinances by declaring resting in public a right enjoyed
by all citizens at any time and in any public space thus creating a business risk for projects like
the Foundry.  Brinkman has argued, according to city staff, that future commercial tenants want
assurances the city will prevent homeless people from occupying public spaces in front of their
 Loveland's Foundry Project is one step ahead of the advocates for the Right to
Rest bill since even if passed the homeless will not be allowed into the Foundry Project.

Foundry's "Bum Free" Scheme

The Monday following the long Thanksgiving weekend last year, Loveland's Planning
Commission gathered to welcome their newest member, Jeffery Fleischer, while also receiving an
otherwise mundane update on the negotiations surrounding the Foundry project for downtown.

As described by city staff, they had been discussing with Brinkman during weekly scheduled
meetings plans for submittal of the final development approval of the roughly 4 acres for early
2017.  Among the topics listed in the notes of the meeting is
"edge treatments along buildings
and sidewalks facing Lincoln / and Cleveland, subdivision of land vacating
easements/rights-of-way, and utility designs."
 On March 13, 2017 the Loveland Planning
Commission voted unanimously to
recommend the Foundry site development plan which includes
the city vacating existing public Rights-of-Way along 3rd Street and Opera Alley in downtown.  
Weeks later, Loveland's City Council unanimously approved the request under their Consent
Agenda without any comment from the public.

Simply explained, the city abandons
the government's Right-of-Way of the adjoining city
(like 3rd Street) to the developer who becomes the private owner of the former
public Right-of-Way.  Unlike the city, a private owner may have anyone removed by the police he
determines is unwelcome.  According to our source, an agreement to have taxpayers maintain
the "public" walk-ways and former public spaces is also in the works but not yet disclosed.

City staff and members of Loveland's City Council kept the scheme under wraps likely to avoid
backlash from homeless advocates but more importantly other downtown business owners.  
According to our inside source, city officials fear the reaction of
nearby businesses in the areas
where homeless people can still congregate because the sidewalk is public property.  
would you like to find out 100% of the bums will be moved into your 40% of the pedestrian
areas downtown after we finish the Foundry."
 Stated our city source.

Rep. McKean has come under attack by Representative Salazar and the
Herald's Saja Hindi for his tweets during a committee hearing on the "Right to Rest"
bill  which applies to people loitering in public spaces.  McKean mocked a woman who appeared
to be sleeping in the hearing as "
resting" during the committee hearing on the legislation while
he also notified a JROTC Commander that an activist student wore his uniform to testify in the
(a violation of the UCMJ - Uniform Code of Military Justice).

Ironically, the Larimer County Board of Commissioners
recently limited the free assembly of
citizens on private property to no more than three times in any calender year if the gathering
reaches 40 participants.  
As city governments transfer public property to private hands to avoid
enforcement while routinely maintaining the same sidewalks like public their ones and private
owners are now being told how often they can assemble with friends and family on their own
property, it becomes a confusing mess for the public to comply.
Council Declares Part of Downtown
"Bum Free" Zone
February 17, 2017
Staff Recommendation to Loveland
Planning Commission

"Vacation of Rights-of-Way Request
This is a public hearing item on a
legislative matter concerning the
vacation of right-of-way in the
downtown area associated with The
Foundry redevelopment project. The
proposal is to vacate Opera Alley and
portions of East Third Street to
accommodate this project.  The
rights-ofway proposed for vacation will
no longer be needed.  Plans
associated with The Foundry project
will ensure the provision of adequate
vehicular and pedestrian circulation as
well as adequate utility provision.  The
Planning Commission's role is to make
a recommendation on the vacation
request to City Council for final action.  
Staff believes that all key issues have
been addressed and staff supports the
proposed vacation."
Circled in red are the non-public pedestrian areas where homeless or any other member of the public cannot remain for any period of
time without consent of the property owner.  The Loveland City Council voted unanimously to abandon the city's "Right-of-Way" from most
of 3rd Street between Lincoln and Cleveland and the Opera Alley on the north end of the project.

In addition, widening of sidewalks and additional pedestrian areas on the previously city owned property was conveyed to the developer
as private therefore the public is only allowed with permission of the property owner onto the Foundry Project pedestrian areas.

Areas circled in yellow (see image above) near the proposed hotel along 2nd Street and the theater on Lincoln Ave. are still city owned
Rights-of-Way open to public access.  However, the specific detailed site development plan for each (which has not been presented yet)
will include a staff recommendation to abandon the city's Right-of-Way for roughly these areas as well as a condition of development
going forward.  Both hotel and theater operators prefer to control the "public" areas around their establishments.

When completed, the entire city subsidized development will be in private hands with the exception of the parking garage thus access by
the public a privilege granted by the new property owners.