Butterworth Deal Pushed Prior to Recall Election
The Brandywine Land Transfer
The proposal is to transfer the city-owned, undeveloped land (Butterworth Property) to the Community Improvement Corporation (CIC). The CIC would then sell 1.5 acres to Drees in order to open access. This would then allow Drees to construct an additional 56 housing units – 50 on adjacent property it owns but cannot build on due to lack of access, and 6 on the 1.5 acres. Drees would construct a walking trail and parking lot that all residents of Loveland can use. The intention is for the CIC to then return the remaining property to the city for use as a park.
There are many important, unanswered questions regarding the Butterworth land deal. Have there been traffic studies to see how downtown Loveland will be impacted by additional cars on State Route 48? What will be the impact on our infrastructure and services – fire, water, sewage, trash, and electricity? Has this impact been assessed and if so by whom? If that analysis exists, how can citizens access it?
More, has an environmental assessment been done? Does the Butterworth land have unique value for the Little Miami watershed or for native vegetation? What is the value of this land as open space, meaning will keeping it open and developing the park concept add more value to the city overall than another housing development?
Perhaps the most important question is why is this the only resolution being proposed? And why must the sale of the access to the Butterworth land take place now, when residents are actively circulating petitions to recall Mark Fitzgerald, who controls the majority vote that determines this land transfer?
Why have the residents not been engaged in a conversation about our vision for Loveland, its future, and what we value? Not everything of value comes down to dollars and cents; although, that is important. In fact, most things we value most have no monetary value and are irreplaceable – just like this land slated for development in our town.
Here is another option. Loveland doesn’t sell the land to Drees. Instead, Loveland purchases the land Drees is holding but cannot build on due to lack of access. Add that land to the Butterworth property and create a larger park. The City of Loveland develops the park for residents and visitors, creating significant value for everyone. More green space is protected in an area under enormous development pressure.
The City of Loveland and the CIC seem dead set on pushing through as many land deals as possible before the November election. Can it be that some on council are aware that opposition to their policies is building daily and they conclude as many deals as possible before November?
One thing is certain; they are not making any more land. Residents need to make our voices heard clearly that the City of Loveland needs to stop all land deals until there is a genuine community driven process in place. We need a vision for Loveland, and that vision should be based upon what current residents most value about living here – the small-town feel, green space, and other natural resources.