Proposed South Village site use. Courtesy Loveland Planning Commission documents

‘402 Corridor’ heats up: Three actions, some 1,300 homes

LOVELAND — Look for new housing in the next few years along and around Colorado Highway 402, with the city recently moving ahead, sometimes somewhat sideways, on three proposals and more parcels in the works.

Most imminent of the three is South Village, with developers Michael Blumenthal and Bob Quinette aiming for an early 2022 start, Quinette said, on 90 acres bought from McWhinney for about $1.5 million. The land sits at the southeast corner of U.S. Highway 287 and Colorado 402. It’s been zoned PUD but undeveloped since Loveland annexed it in 2005, and it looks to bring about 570 homes. A metro district is planned, Blumenthal said.

Two other developments are likely to follow.

Halcyon Hills is just under 205 acres for up to 726 homes. The dirt is being shepherded through an annexation and zoning request, which this week moved toward city council consideration.

A third community could rise from 42 city-owned acres known as the Ehrlich parcel. Loveland rezoned it with a city council vote Aug. 3 to enable future development.

Going south

“We need more inventory and that’s going to come where land is available,” said Paul Matthews, a residential broker and partner in The Group, who has worked out of its Loveland office and is now in Fort Collins.

He cited south Loveland as a prime candidate for development; Neighboring cities could share in new demand. “As you keep going south, you hit north Berthoud,” he said.

Pending projects are in part fruits of Loveland’s Highway 402 Corridor Plan, completed in 2018. The city rezoned the 42 acres to PUD to align it with that plan “and to improve marketing potential of the site to a future developer,” according to the Aug. 3 city council agenda.

In the meantime, said Jennifer Hewett-Apperson, senior planner with the city, “We did that zoning to exclude storage uses,” an aim that emerged from community planning efforts with residents.

The overall corridor plan takes “a hard look at the last big corridor in our growth management area,” she said.

Halcyon Hills gets a city council first-look Sept. 7. It needs what Hewett-Apperson called a serial annexation — a single action for all 205 acres but done in five parts to ensure that enough of the border of land to be annexed at each step touches current city borders. State law requires that annexed properties be adjacent existing property within the city.

“It’s to achieve the contiguity,” she said. “You move forward on the right-of-way until you get all of it.”

Loveland planning commissioners moved the process forward on Aug. 9.

The land is in unincorporated Larimer County with rural residential zoning and current agricultural use. Along with annexation, acreage will be rezoned to low-density residential on two-thirds of the northern portion, for a maximum of 622 units, and a lower-density estate residential designation for the rest, producing 104.

John Mathey is moving the parcel through city channels for the owners. “They are managing an estate,” he said. “This is a way of protecting and maximizing the asset.”

The side hustle is unconnected to his day job with Premier Lifestyle Realty in Loveland. “This is not a real estate transaction in any way. My clients have no intention of developing it on their own.”

Mathey said owners Halcyon Hills Investments LLC could snag a developer once it’s annexed and rezoned. Halcyon Hills is a half-mile from South Village.

Taking a Village

South Village land has seen several iterations over the years — dormancy being most prominent, going by length of time. Site planning has also shifted about a bit since the work warmed up under Blumenthal and Quinette.

Planning documents in February noted a max of 758 units and about 16 acres of commercial. Quinette said it’s now 568 units — 288 apartments and 280 homes in single-family and duplex — and 23 acres of commercial.

The current layout is less commercial and more residential compared with the site’s general development plan, dating to 2005.

Quinette said the partners bought the land last year and have been working with the city since, moving through multiple changes in that time.

There may be a few more.

Planning commissioners on Aug. 9 pushed consideration to Sept. 13.

They want to know more about setbacks from abandoned oil and gas wells and an affordable-housing payment hashed out between developers and the city, Hewett-Apperson said.

On the first, the city requires 500 feet; developers want 100 feet. Staff said 100 is consistent with a statewide norm and enough for any work the abandoned wells might need, planning documents show.

On the second, the city doesn’t set a minimum amount of affordable housing to be built in new developments, but this land’s 2005 PUD zoning did, at 20% of homes built. The February iteration of South Village included a request to reduce it to 10%.

The current proposal would establish for this project a “cash-in-lieu” fee of $1.61 per square foot on rental units and 65 cents per square foot on for-sale housing, with the money “deposited in an affordable housing account and made available for eligible projects,” planning documents said.

Quinette said this would generate about $400,000 to $500,000.

Hewett-Apperson said the idea emerged in the usual back-and-forth between applicants and planning staff, and it was the first time it had been tried in a proposal.

Commissioners also asked for more information on a developer request to forego some road improvements.

The developers have worked on other projects together, including Johnstown Village, with about 600 units.

Both agreed that 402 will be big.

Quinette called it “the southern gateway” to Loveland.

Blumenthal said other nearby parcels were under contract with developers.

Hewett-Apperson echoed the assessments. “Long term we’re going to see more on 402.”

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LOVELAND — Look for new housing in the next few years along and around Colorado Highway 402, with the city recently moving ahead, sometimes somewhat sideways, on three proposals and more parcels in the works.

Most imminent of the three is South Village, with developers Michael Blumenthal and Bob Quinette aiming for an early 2022 start, Quinette said, on 90 acres bought from McWhinney for about $1.5 million. The land sits at the southeast corner of U.S. Highway 287 and Colorado 402. It’s been zoned PUD but undeveloped since Loveland annexed it in 2005, and it looks to bring about 570 homes. A metro district is planned, Blumenthal said.

Two other developments are likely to follow.

Halcyon Hills is just under 205 acres for up to 726 homes. The dirt is being shepherded through an annexation and zoning request, which this week moved toward city council consideration.

A third community could rise from 42 city-owned acres known as the Ehrlich parcel. Loveland rezoned it with a city council vote Aug. 3 to enable future development.

Going south

“We need more inventory and that’s going to come where land is available,” said Paul Matthews, a residential broker and partner in The Group, who has worked out of its Loveland office and is now in Fort Collins.

He cited south Loveland as a prime candidate for development; Neighboring cities could share in new demand. “As you keep going south, you hit north Berthoud,” he said.

Pending projects are in part fruits of Loveland’s Highway 402 Corridor Plan, completed in 2018.…