LOVELAND — With several council members left unsatisfied with the answers they got from the developers’ staff and after nearly two dozen often angry comments from the public, the Loveland City Council on Tuesday night voted 8-1 to continue until Oct. 3 consideration of McWhinney Real Estate Services’ request to further amend the Millennium General Development Plan.
That document sets standards for buildings and land uses for McWhinney’s sprawling Centerra development, which encompasses around 3,000 acres — or about 13% of the total land area of Loveland.
McWhinney was asking the council for an 11th amendment to the GDP that was originally enacted in 2006 but then periodically updated. At Tuesday’s meeting, it was being referred to as the 12th amendment, but only because McWhinney earlier this month had withdrawn its effort to include in the GDP a proposed development it called Centerra West, which would have included high-density zoning of a 52-acre parcel on the shores of Boyd Lake.
McWhinney’s 12th amendment raised the eyebrows of some council members and the voices of members of the public who aimed sometimes vitriolic barbs at both the developer and members of the city council who had supported its developments in the past.
The most contentious part of the 12th amendment calls for an increase in the number of residential units to be allowed in the proposed Millennium development – from 7,721 in the current GDP to 12,878, or 60% more units. That higher density sparked concern from council members, especially Patrick McFall and Jon Mallo, about the potential for adding even more traffic congestion to already heavily used U.S. Highway 34 (Eisenhower Boulevard), as well as a firestorm of opposition from neighbors who took turns at the microphone until nearly 11:30 p.m. to rail against the developer and the prospect of increased traffic on U.S. 34.
The amendment also would change the rules to allow an accelerated timeline for city review of Millennium developments and let McWhinney substitute commercial square footage for residential units at a ratio of 1,000 square feet to one unit.
More public comments will be allowed on the issue at the Oct. 3 meeting, which also faces a backlog of council business because members Tuesday night didn’t get to an item on the agenda, consideration of a revised tax-increment revenue-sharing pact for McWhinney’s Centerra South development.