Loveland, Ohio – City Council has scheduled a public hearing for October 13, at 7 PM to hear from the community on a proposed sale of city-owned property on Butterworth Road, in Warren County. Council voted in a special session on September 29 and voted unanimously to set the public hearing date after a motion by Tim Butler. The meeting lasted 141 seconds and there was no discussion about the sale.

The property consists of 9.8389 acres. The purchaser of the property would be the Campbell Berling Development Company. The proposed use of the property is to accommodate a single-family residential development of no more than 35 single-family homes. The company address is 333 Madison Pike, Suite C in Ft. Write Kentucky.

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Taxpayers originally bought a total of 10.737 acres. The justification given at the time for the $900,000 expenditure was that it would be the last chance for Loveland to have recreation space in fast-developing southern Warren County. In 2010, 0.8981 acres of the property, which included a home, was portioned off and sold to Judith Lund for $102,000.

A Recreation Tax Increment Financing District (TIF) was created by Ordinance 2008-38 to pay off financing of the $900.000. The TIF consists of approximately 27 acres and includes the property known generally as the Christman Farm as well as the Crane property.

The TIF provides financing for the property purchase that the City recoups through increased property tax revenues generated from future development within its boundaries.

Tom Carroll, the City Manager at the time said, “The City will continue to slowly retire the debt on this property and the remaining ten acres of the Christman Farm will be land-banked until the Crane property is developed and a municipal park can be constructed. Continued patience is therefore necessary before Loveland can build its first park in Warren County.”

Taxpayers have been paying close to $48,000 annually in debt service for the Christman Farm purchase.

In their offer letter, Campbell Berling says the development will have a buildout value of $25,250,00 with an assessed valuation of $6,860,000.

Campbell Berling will be paying $350,000.00 for the land.

Their plan is to build fifteen $550,000 and up “empty nester” homes on the parcel they would like to buy from Loveland taxpayers. The lots would be between 11,000 and 18,000 sq ft.

The Crane property would have 20 homes and two styles of “Estate Homes” valued at $850,000 and up on lots that would average 32,000 sq ft.

Campbell Berling is proposing that future homeowners be allowed to pay the cost of sewer line extensions over 20-years.

Access to the development would be from Butterworth Road across from the Brandywine subdivision. The developer already has a “Crane family property”, parcel number 16074000240 under a purchase contract.

There have been 57 previous HOMEARAMA showcases

The 28th was in 1989 at The Glen of Claiborne (Loveland)

The 29th was in 1990 at Chatham Woods (Symmes Township)

There will be a request for a zone change to a Special Planning District and the “Estate” homes built on the Crane property will be a future HOMEARAMA site.

HOMEARAMA is an annual event that is billed as the “latest and greatest” in home and landscape design.

HOMEARAMA® offers you the opportunity to not only see the latest trends in home design and decorating, but also learn why buying a new home continues to represent an excellent value. Today’s new homes offer the latest trends in technology and more energy-saving features than ever before.

City Manager Dave Kennedy proposes a transfer of the 9.8 acres to the Loveland Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) for purchase by CB Butterworth, LLC and has prepared legislation and it will be presented to City Council as an emergency measure. Emergency legislation cannot be overturned at the ballot box as they become effective immediately.

Section 4 of the emergency legislation states:

That this Ordinance is hereby declared to be an emergency measure necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, safety and general welfare and shall be effective immediately upon its passage. The reason for said declaration of emergency is to allow for the property to be transferred and sold as soon as possible so that infrastructure can be installed to allow for its development for the benefit of the City.

The CIC is a quasi-government arm of the City. Once they take possession of the land their actions are not subject to Council approval and their actions cannot be overruled by a vote at the ballot box.

A 2007 proposed development, Summit Pointe, was for 70 attached units, and later reduced to 58 units, however it never came to fruition.

Kennedy in a memo to City Council today said, “Proposals also included multiple high-density townhome type projects which would be rental occupied. These proposals were never accepted, due to the fact that City Council and staff did not see high density, much less rental type projects, as a good fit for the surrounding neighborhoods of Brandywine on the Little Miami and Butterworth Glen.”

Kennedy says in the memo that he and staff met with numerous Cincinnati area home builders in the hopes of creating a low density project, and that one message from the developers that continued to surface was that the cost of  bringing utilities to the properties was expensive. Therefore, most developers saw a higher density project as a way to recoup those expenses.

“With that consistent message from developers, and a low-density project clearly being the choice of City Council and staff, a possible option was created,” said Kennedy. The option is to include the City extending the sanitary sewer collection main up State Route 48 to the properties and placing an assessment on the parcels within the residential development so that the City would be reimbursed for the project costs.

An assessment on each parcel, for a period of 20 years would allow for Loveland taxpayers to recoup their subsidy of the sanitary sewer main extension and to the Campbell Berling Development Company. Kennedy has not said what what the sewer extension will cost nor said how the initial sewer construction will be financed. It remains unclear if Loveland taxpayers can recoup the cost of borrowing money for the sewer construction.

After the taxpayers bought the land to be used as recreation and formal proposals for how it would be developed as ballfields and passive recreation came forward, opposition from many in the Brandywine subdivision doomed its development. Traffic concerns and “strangers” coming to a public park in their neighborhood distressed many homeowners. Many said they did not want to come across strangers as they were on walking trails and said they would not let their children play where strangers would be using the public park as well. Currently anyone wishing to use city or school recreational fields, tennis and basketball courts, etc., in the immediate neighborhood must drive through Historic Downtown to facilities in Clermont or Hamilton County.

Kennedy told Council, “The proposed legislation, (was) being requested as an emergency to allow infrastructure work and planning to begin immediately.” Normally passed ordinances must be read at two separate council meetings and don’t become law until 30-days after the vote at the second meeting.

The developer wants to rezone all of the property as a Special Planing District which would require Planing and Zoning Commission and City Council approval.

Kennedy presented this “Fiscal Impact” study in the package of information he presented to City Council:

The agreed purchase price for the property is $350,000. As the project begins to develop it will begin to produce TIF revenues until such time as the TIF expires in 2037. TIF revenue is calculated based upon an increasing scale as the development is completed and placed on the tax rolls. After the development is completed, TIF calculations includes a 0.5% to 1% appreciation over the life of the TIF. Based on these calculations, the TIF at buildout, will produce revenue for the City in the range of $135,000 to $143,000 annually. If the project goes as scheduled, it will produce a total revenue over $2,000,000 to the City over the life of the TIF. A summary of projected TIF revenues to the City is shown below.

The Public Hearing is this Tuesday, October 13, at 7 PM at City Hall.

Ordinance 2020-_____

Ordinance transferring the real property on Butterworth Road located in the City of Loveland, Warren County, Ohio to the Community Improvement Corporation of Loveland and declaring an emergency

WHEREAS, the City of Loveland (the “City”) desires to see certain undevelopedreal property owned by the City located on Butterworth Road known as Parcel No. 16072000550 used for a combination of residential and recreational purposes; and

WHEREAS, the City has determined that the Property is no longer needed for municipal purposes; and

WHEREAS, the Property should be transferred to the Community Improvement Corporation of Loveland without competitive bidding pursuant to Codified Ordinance Section 107.01(f) to dispose of as that organization shall best determine; and

WHEREAS, City Council conducted a public hearing on October 13, 2020 as to the disposition of the Property.

Now, Therefore, Be It Ordained by the Council of the City of Loveland, Hamilton, Clermont and Warren Counties, Ohio.

Section 1. Council of the City of Loveland (“City Council”) hereby determinesthat the undeveloped real property located on Butterworth Road known as Parcel1607200055 and further described in Exhibit A attached hereto (the “Property”) is no longerneeded for municipal purposes.

Section 2. City Council hereby authorizes the Property be transferred to the Community Improvement Corporation of Loveland to be used to promote the welfare of the people of the City, stabilize the economy, provide employment, assist in the development of industrial, commercial, distribution, and research activities to the benefit of the people of the City, provide additional opportunities for their gainful employment or will promote the reclamation, rehabilitation, and reutilization of vacant, abandoned, tax- foreclosed, or other real property in the City. The City Manager is authorized to execute any and all documents on behalf of the City consistent with this transfer.

Section 3. Council hereby finds and determines that all formal actions relative to the passage of this legislation were taken in an open meeting of this Council, and that all deliberations of this Council and of its committees, if any, which resulted in formal action, were taken in meetings open to the public, in full compliance with applicable legal requirements, including Section 121.22 of the Ohio Revised Code.

Section 4. That this Ordinance is hereby declared to be an emergency measure necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, safety and general welfare and shall be effective immediately upon its passage. The reason for said declaration of emergency is to allow for the property to be transferred and sold as soon as possible so that infrastructure can be installed to allow for its development for the benefit of the City.