Loveland, Ohio – City Council voted to move ahead with the sale of the city-owned Christman Farm on Butterworth Road after a public hearing on October 13. Taxpayers bought the former Warren County horse farm from Terry and Mary Christman in 2007 for $800,000. The property is within the boundary of the Little Miami School District. Loveland Schools will receive no property tax income from the development.
The next Community Improvement Corporation Meeting is at 5:30 PM Tuesday, October 20. The sale of the Christman Farm property is on their agenda.
The property consists of 9.8389 acres. The developer of the property will be the Campbell Berling Development Company. The proposed use of the property is for 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. The owner of the property will be CB Butterworth, LLC.
CB Butterworth, LLC was incorporated on September 16. Here is the business filing: Business_Details.
City Manager Dave Kennedy started the public hearing by spelling out what he believes are the advantages of the sale. Kennedy said that most of the “Estate Homes” will sell in the $1.2 M range with side entry garages. The empty-nester homes to be on the Christman Farm would not be built until after the 2022 HOMEARAMA was over. Kennedy said that Council wanted him to come up with a home product they could be proud of.
Kennedy proposed the transfer of the 9.8 acres to the Loveland Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) for eventual purchase by CB Butterworth, LLC, and prepared the legislation that was presented to City Council as an emergency measure. Emergency legislation cannot be overturned at the ballot box as they become effective immediately. Kennedy said the urgency was so he could begin constructing the sewers that will serve the development as soon as possible.
Bethany Wiegand spoke about the ways the proposal will affect her home and urged the Council to address traffic problems. She said it currently take her 20-25 minutes to leave her home in Butterworth Glen and get through the traffic in Historic Downtown. Wiegand grew up in Loveland, moved back – and asked that Council take care of the people that already live here and have already invested in the City. “Let’s solve the current issues for the current residents like myself,” said Wiegand. She also expressed interest in having a park on the property so she doesn’t have to go through Historic Downtown to use other recreation spaces.
Kennedy said in a memo to Council on October 13, “Per City regulations, all funds from the sale of the property from the CIC to CB Butterworth, LLC, will be transferred back to the City.” The sale will be contingent upon Planning and Zoning Commission approval of a re-zone to a Special Planning District.
There will be a request for a zone change and the “Estate” homes built on the Crane property will be a 2022 HOMEARAMA site.
CIC has been presented with a draft “Real Estate Purchase Agreement”.* $5,000 in earnest money will be due upon execution of the agreement. The sale will be continent upon Planning and Zoning Commission approval of a re-zone to a Special Planning District. The purchase price will be $350,000.
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Resident Todd Osborn spoke in favor of the sale during the public hearing.
Taxpayers originally bought a total of 10.737 acres. The justification given at the time 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 the financing. The TIF consists of approximately 27 acres and includes the taxpayer-owned property known generally as the Christman Farm as well as the Crane property which is privately owned.
The Christmas Farm and the Crane properties are within the boundaries of the Little Miami School District. City Manager Dave Kennedy told Loveland Magazine on Friday that the District is “made whole” by the Recreation TIF. He said, “ Little Miami School District receives 100% of revenue as if there had been no TIF.” Read the TIF ordinance that Council passed in 2008. REC TIF
The TIF provides financing for the property purchase that the City recoups through increased property tax revenues generated from future development within its boundaries. Kennedy said during the public hearing that the debt service that has been paid out of the general fund over the years is $632,000 and that when the TIF funds start coming into the Recreation TIF fund, it will be transferred back out and returned to the general fund. He said that to finish the debt service will require an additional $347,000.
Tom Carroll, the City Manager at the time of the purchase, 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 around $50,000 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. They plan 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)
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.
- Jay Stewart, Chair
- Kathy Bailey, Mayor
- Neal Oury, City Council Member
- Kent Blair, City Council Member
- Dr. Jeffrey Kemmet, Chamber Representative
- David Parker
- Michele Pettit, Board of Education Representative
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 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 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 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 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 Planning 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 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 include 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.
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 undeveloped real 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 determines that the undeveloped real property located on Butterworth Road known as Parcel 1607200055 and further described in Exhibit A attached hereto (the “Property”) is no longer needed 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.
REAL ESTATE PURCHASE AGREEMENT
This Real Estate Purchase Agreement (“Agreement”) is entered into this _____ day of October, 2020, by and between the Community Improvement Corporation of Loveland, an Ohio not-for-profit corporation, whose address is 120 West Loveland Avenue, Loveland, Ohio 45140 (“Seller”), and CB BUTTERWORTH, LLC, an Ohio limited liability corporation, whose address is 3333 Madison Pike, Suite C, Ft. Wright, Kentucky 41017 (“Buyer”).
1. Purchase and Sale: Subject to the terms, conditions and provisions hereinafter set forth, and good and valuable consideration, the sufficiency of which is hereby acknowledged, Seller agrees to sell and Buyer agrees to purchase a certain parcel of land containing approximately 9.8389 acres, known as Parcel No. 1607200055 and located in the City of Loveland, Warren County, Ohio, more particularly described in the attached Exhibit A, together with all improvements thereon and all appurtenant rights, privileges and easements (“Property”).
2. Purchase Price and Terms: The purchase price for the Property (“Purchase Price”) shall be Three Hundred Fifty Thousand and No/100 Dollars ($350,000.00). The Purchase Price shall be paid as follows:
a. Buyer shall pay the amount of Five Thousand and No/100 Dollars ($5,000.00) upon the execution of this Agreement as earnest money (“Earnest Money”) to apply toward the Purchase Price, and the Earnest Money shall be held by the Seller, without interest, pending the closing of the transaction contemplated herein. Except as otherwise provided herein, if the transaction contemplated herein does not close for any reason, other than the title to the Property not being marketable or a default by Seller, the Earnest Money shall be retained by Seller as liquidated damages and Buyer shall not be entitled to a refund of the Earnest Money; and
b. The balance of the Purchase Price shall be paid in cash or certified or cashier’s check, and shall be payable upon delivery of the deed at the closing time set forth herein, or at such sooner time as is mutually agreeable by the parties.
3. Property to be Conveyed: The Property shall include the land, together with any improvements thereon, all appurtenant rights, privileges, and easements.
4. Personal Property. No personal property shall be included in the sale of the Property.
a. The closing shall occur at the location selected by Seller, on or before thirty (30) days after Buyer obtains zoning as provided for in paragraph 8, or May 7, 2021, whichever occurs sooner, or at such date, time and place as mutually determined in writing by the parties. At closing, title to the Property herein described shall be conveyed by Seller to Buyer, by a General Warranty Deed, in fee simple, and shall be transferable, recordable, marketable and shall be free, clear and unencumbered, and shall be subject to easements, restrictions and reservations of record, and real estate taxes and assessments of record.
b. Buyer shall be responsible for payment of any and all fees or costs of closing with respect to the Property, including, but not limited to, transfer taxes (if any), escrow fees, settlement fees, and recording fees.
6. Real Estate Taxes and Assessments: All real estate taxes and assessments, if any, shall be prorated effective as of the date of closing.
7. Occupancy and Possession: Subject to further terms, conditions, and provisions of this Agreement, Seller shall grant Buyer possession and occupancy of the Property herein described on the date of closing.
8. Contingencies: The purchase of the Property is contingent on Buyer obtaining zoning approval to the satisfaction of the Buyer from the City of Loveland for the construction of a single family residential development. Any such zoning shall include an obligation for payment of the sewer assessment provided for in paragraph 9 of this Agreement.
Buyer shall have the right to enter the Property and conduct any environmental testing deemed necessary by Buyer for Buyer’s proposed use of the Property. In the event the Property is not able to be used for Buyer’s proposed use of the Property as a result of any environmental conditions discovered prior to Closing, Buyer shall have the right to terminate the Agreement.
9. Sanitary Sewer Assessment by the City of Loveland: It is understood and agreed to by the Buyer that there shall be a twenty (20) year assessment placed on the Property as a lien, or on each of the parcels making up the Property if it is subsequently subdivided by Buyer, for all costs and fees associated with the construction of a sanitary sewer line by the City of Loveland to provide sanitary sewer service to the Property. The payment of the sewer assessment shall be due and payable to the City of Loveland by each property owner located within the Property.
10. Warranties and Representations: Seller makes no certifications of any representations or warranties with respect to the Property; as such, the Property is being sold “AS-IS, WHERE-IS AND WITH ALL FAULTS”, and without any representation and/or warranty from Seller whatsoever. Notwithstanding the above, Seller represents it is not aware of any adverse environmental conditions on the Property.
11. Brokers: Buyer and Seller each hereby represent to the other that it has not involved or worked with any brokers, agents or finders in the negotiation of this Agreement or the consummation of this transaction and that there are no brokers, agents or finders that have any right to claim a commission or fee due to the consummation of this transaction.
12. Notice: All notices, communications, requests, approvals, consents, and demands are herein required to be given or made in writing and shall be deemed to be served when delivered personally or when deposited in the U.S. mail, registered or certified mail, postage prepaid, to the address of the appropriate party as set forth above.
a. Time of Essence: Time is of the essence hereof. 2
b. Governing Law: This Agreement is made and shall be construed under and in accordance with the laws of the State of Ohio without regard to its conflicts of law principles.
c. Entire Agreement; Modification: This Agreement supersedes all prior discussions and agreements between Seller and Buyer with respect to the Property and contains the sole and entire understanding between Seller and Buyer with respect to the Property. All promises, inducements, offers, solicitations, agreements, commitments, representations, and warranties heretofore made between such parties are merged into this Agreement. This Agreement shall not be modified or amended in any respect except by written instrument executed by or on behalf of each of the parties to this Agreement.
d. Counterparts: This Agreement may be executed in one or several counterparts, each of which constitute an original and all of which together shall constitute one and the same instrument.
e. Rights Cumulative: Except as expressly limited by the terms of this Agreement, all rights, powers, and privileges conferred hereunder shall be cumulative and not restrictive of those given by law.
f. Benefit: This Agreement shall inure to the benefit of and shall be binding upon the parties hereto and their respective representatives, successors and assigns, as the case may apply.
g. Survival of Provisions: All representations, covenants, warranties and agreements set forth in this Agreement, if any, shall survive the execution or delivery of any and all deeds and other documents at any time executed or delivered under, pursuant to, or by reason of this Agreement, and shall survive the payment of all monies made under, pursuant to, or by reason of this Agreement.
h. Severability: If any provision of this Agreement is judged by a court of competent jurisdiction to be illegal or unenforceable, that provision is severed from this Agreement and the remaining provisions remain in force.
i. No Waiver: Either party’s failure to object to any default on the part of the other party shall not be construed as a waiver of such default.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties hereto have executed this Agreement as of the last date written below (“Effective Date”).
The Community Improvement Corporation
of Loveland, an Ohio not-for-profit corporation
By:________________________________ Name: Jay Stewart
CB Butterworth, LLC, an Ohio limited liability
By:________________________________ Name: _____________________________ Title: ______________________________ Date:_____________