Dear Loveland Magazine Readers,
Recently there has been a lot of media coverage regarding the City of Loveland and Loveland Kayak and Canoe [sic] (VIDEO: Will Loveland Canoe and Kayak survive the progress in Historic Downtown Loveland?). As the Mayor of Loveland I feel it is very important to clarify the facts surrounding this issue.
Here is a brief outline of the facts:
- In 2004, the City of Loveland paid Mark Bersani, the owner of Loveland Kayak and Canoe [sic], $137,500 for two parcels totaling less than ½ acre needed for the establishment and operation of his business.
- Subsequent to that sale, Mr.Bersani determined he would in fact need access to the city -owned parcels to accommodate his continued operations and growth. Since the property was not needed by the city at that time, the city agreed to lease the parcels to Mr. Bersani for a nominal fee.
- Fast forward to today: As the city continues to grow additional parking is necessary downtown. As a result, this city- owned property is now needed for a new parking lot the city is building to benefit all downtown businesses including the Canoe Livery.
- Throughout this process, the city’s communication with Loveland Kayak and Canoe [sic], through its City Manager, has been ongoing and consistent.
- City engineers have been communicating with Mr. Bersani to address his concerns regarding the design of the new parking lot and have incorporated those ideas into the design to allow Loveland Kayak and Canoe [sic] to operate safely and effectively, both now and in the future.
- The city was instrumental in facilitating the Loveland Board of Zoning Appeals to allow Mr. Bersani to relocate buildings he currently uses that are situated on city-owned property to property he owns.
- The city is also proposing an agreement whereby the canoe livery can use a portion of the unused road, possibly as a right-of-way, to facilitate safer ingress and egress.
The City of Loveland has a long history of partnering with all of its businesses – large ones like CMC properties (developers of the new Downtown Loveland retail and residential development), and small and start-up companies such as Loveland Kayak and Canoe [sic] and The Works Restaurant. For example, in the early 2000’s, the city leased the old public works building to The Works Restaurant for $1/year to help them get started; subsequently they purchased the building from the city for fair market value and today operate a successful restaurant that draws people into Loveland. Another example of the City’s successful partnerships with businesses is the restoration of the Bronner Building, located along the Little Miami Bike Trail. The city sold this property to a developer who renovated the building; it was subsequently sold to the Little Miami Inc. to be used as a nature and information center. Because of the city’s involvement, this once dilapidated building is now a beautifully restored building along the Little Miami Bike Trail.
As Loveland continues to grow and prosper we are taking steps to plan for and accommodate its growth and development. A vital component of this plan is parking. The city acquired a matching grant to build over 100 new parking spaces on the city-owned property next to the Loveland Kayak and Canoe [sic].
All of our businesses, both existing and new, are vital to our quality of life and tax base. We work hard to balance the needs of our long time existing businesses with our future business growth.
Linda Cox, Mayor
City of Loveland