Loveland Planning & Zoning Commission voted unanimously to reject a SPD zoning change for proposed development at Oak Street and Second Street in Loveland

By Chuck Gibson

LOVELAND – Plans for development and design of a proposed 64 unit multi-family development at Oak Street and Second Street in Loveland were squashed Tuesday, February 4, at Loveland City Hall.

A crowd of about 50 Loveland citizens listen as Rod Sabo, Sabo Design Associates presents to Loveland Planning & Zoning Commision Tuesday, Februrary 4, (Photo By Chuck Gibson)

Loveland Planning & Zoning Commissioners unanimously rejected a request for Special Planned District (SPD) zoning change following a public hearing on the matter.

Nearly 50 Loveland residents were on hand to hear the presentation and to be heard themselves on the matter of proposed development at Oak Street and Second Street. Rod Sabo of Sabo Design Associates presented the development plan proposal for a requested Special Planned District on behalf of the developers Hunt & Whitacker. Following his presentation of the conceptual development plan to meet the SPD guidelines, Sabo responded to a variety of questions posed by members of the Planning & Zoning Commission.

The presentation and questions focused particularly on concerns of land use, parking, traffic and design and construction elements of the proposed four apartment buildings and underground parking structure. Sabo responded with details of the 105, mostly underground, parking spaces, a widening of Oak Street, and walkability as a reason for minimal impact on traffic and parking issues. He deflected questions regarding design and construction elements for later in the development process.

Once direct questioning by Planning & Zoning Commission was complete, the floor was opened for the public forum. 

Loveland Planning & Zoning Commissioners listened to the presentation and asked several questions of Rod Sabo regarding the proposed Oak Street development concept (Photo by Chuck Gibson)

The commission had names of 16 citizens who requested to be heard for a maximum of five minutes each. The commission asked speakers to be as brief as possible. It was immediately evident the citizens wished to voice concerns about seeing their quiet cozy corner of old Loveland disappear into a four-story concrete jungle. Not only that, but concerns for safety regarding stability and potential collapse of the hillside. The same worries about parking and traffic in such a small area were expressed repeatedly. Another reason citizens cited for rejection of the proposed SPD, was loss of the views overlooking historic downtown Loveland.

 Former Loveland City Councilman Todd Osborne was among the many citizens voicing opposition to the proposed SPD for Oak St & Second St. development (Photo by Chuck Gibson)

Not all took the full five minutes to express their thoughts on the matter. In fact, at least one person deferred passing on her turn to address the Commission. After all was said and done, no one person stood up and spoke out in favor of approval for the Special Planned District. Rod Sabo was given the opportunity to respond to the public before Planning & Zoning Commission motioned for a vote. In his final remarks, Sabo addressed the concerns regarding stability of the hillside. He also repeated points made about a walkable downtown development. After nearly two full hours of presentation and public hearing, Loveland Planning & Zoning Commission apparently heard the voice of the citizens and voted 5-0 to reject approval of an SPD for the development of Oak Street and Second Street.