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Governor vetoes urban renewal amendment that targeted Centerra South

LOVELAND — Gov. Jared Polis has vetoed the bill that sponsors had intended to stop the use of urban renewal law to finance infrastructure for Centerra South in Loveland.

Polis said in his veto statement that he recognized that use of URA law to develop agricultural land is a “legitimate issue.”

“However, my understanding is that this bill was intended to target a single urban renewal plan, which was later approved. While this bill may not actually affect that plan anymore, we must also carefully consider the ramifications that retroactively altering existing statute could have on planned development proposals and future urban renewal plans. This conversation is complex and must consider the unique circumstances related to each urban renewal area and how the policy relates to the need to protect agricultural lands and the very clear need for increasing housing options across our diverse state. Passing a law that retroactively changes the playing field would create greater uncertainty across our state and discourage investment in housing,” Polis said.

He said he would work with sponsors to protect agricultural land “without prejudice to a particular project or plan.”

The bill, Senate Bill 23-273, was a late-appearing bill sponsored by Sen. Janice Marchman of Loveland. It came during the heat of the debate over Centerra South, a project brought by McWhinney Real Estate Services Inc. The $1.04 billion development would include both commercial — grocery store and other retail, new employer — and residential components. The city and Loveland Urban Renewal Authority determined that it would require $147.5 million in public participation in the form of tax increment financing and sales tax diversion to finance infrastructure such as streets, utilities and landscaping. 

Marchman’s bill sped through the Legislature and was passed on May 9 in hopes of becoming law prior to the Loveland council’s approval of Centerra South. It sat on the governor’s desk until Tuesday.

Source: BizWest