What Does the State Law Say Should be in an Urban Renewal Plan? Do Our Plans Meet the Requirements? NO!

Question: What does state law say should be in an Urban Renewal Plan?

An urban renewal plan should provide you with a vision on how the City, City Council and Lift plans on developing a property or a group of properties. The purpose of an urban renewal plan is clear slums and blight and the plan must adequately address how the urban renewal authority and the city plans to clear the slums and blight.

Ballot Amendment 300 merely provides you a vote so you can determine whether an urban renewal plan meets your vision of development in Littleton. It is important to get these plans “sufficiently complete” because LIFT will use the plans to implement and guide future development in the City.

Vote Yes on Amendment 300 for your right to vote on urban renewal plans.

Four plans have been already approved by City Council: Columbine Square, Santa Fe Corridor, Littleton Boulevard and North Broadway. Not one of the plans meets the requirements in the state law.   Littleton’s urban renewal plans should at least follow the state’s urban renewal law as to the contents of the plan. The table below tells you what the state law says each urban renewal plan should contain.

These plans are, according to the urban renewal authority’s consultant, are not plans but “financing documents.” to allow the City to begin using financing mechanisms to fund the urban renewal authority and collect new sales and property taxes from the City, the County, and South Suburban Parks and Recreation District for 25 plus years. The county agrees the existing urban renewal plans are not adequate for them to determine how the plans will impact county services. They have challenged the content of the urban renewal plans and the City and County will be meeting with a mediator.

 

Here is what Colorado State Law says:

Section 31-25-103 (9) and (10) says the plan must include the following

 

What does the law sayan urban renewal plan must include: Do existing urban renewal plans meet state law? Comments
A plan which includes urban renewal project. No No projects are defined in any of the urban renewal plans
Which conforms to a general or master plan… No The plan does not have sufficient details to determine whether it will meet the goals and policies of the comprehensive plan.
The plan is sufficiently complete to indicate in the urban renewal area:–Land acquisition

–Demolition

–Removal of structures

–Redevelopment

–Improvements, and

–Rehabilitation

 

No The four plans do not show the impact to redevelopment, improvements and rehabilitation 

Note the law says “sufficiently complete”. Merely mentioning these in an urban renewal plan does not adequately demonstrate how the plan will accomplish these objectives.

Includes zoning and planning changes with

  • Land uses
  • Maximum densities
  • Building requirements
No None of the plans includes these.
Clearly articulates the plans relationship to local objectives respecting

  • Appropriate land uses
  • Improved traffic
  • Public transportation
  • Public utilities
  • Recreation and community facilities
  • Other public improvements
No None of the plans mentions how the plan will meet these objectives.
Urban renewal project” means undertakings and activities for the elimination and for the prevention of the development or spread of slums and blight and

  • may involve slum clearance and redevelopment,
  • or rehabilitation, or
  • conservation, or
  • any combination or part thereof, in accordance with an urban renewal plan.
No Projects have not been defined in the plans and the plans don’t tell us how blight will be prevented and eliminated.
Such undertakings and activities (to eliminate slum and blight) may include: 

(a) Acquisition of a slum area or a blighted area or portion thereof;

No There are no details in the plans that tells us how and which properties will be acquired.
(b) Demolition and removal of buildings and improvements;  No Other than mentioning buildings can be demolished, no details have been provided
(c) Installation, construction, or reconstruction of streets, utilities, parks, playgrounds, and other improvements necessary for carrying out the objectives of this part 1 in accordance with the urban renewal plan; No No details have been provided other than one of the benefits of urban renewal is infrastructure investment. But there is no guarantee in the plans or elsewhere that infrastructure will be improved.
(d) Disposition of any property acquired or held by the authority as a part of its undertaking of the urban renewal project for the urban renewal areas (including sale, initial leasing, or temporary retention by the authority itself) at the fair value of such property for uses in accordance with the urban renewal plan; No The plan says the urban renewal authority has the powers to dispose of property. This includes eminent domain and condemnation. Again, no details are provided.
(e) Carrying out plans for a program through voluntary action and the regulatory process for the repair, alteration, and rehabilitation of buildings or other improvements in accordance with the urban renewal plan; and No No details are provided.
(f) Acquisition of any other property where necessary to eliminate unhealthful, unsanitary, or unsafe conditions, lessen density, eliminate obsolete or other uses detrimental to the public welfare, or otherwise remove or prevent the spread of blight or deterioration or to provide land for needed public facilities. No No details are provided.

Read the law for yourself

Here is the actual text of the law

Section 31-25-103 (9) of the Colorado state law defines an urban renewal plan as follows:

“(9) “Urban renewal plan” means a plan, as it exists from time to time, for an urban renewal project, which plan conforms to a general or master plan for the physical development of the municipality as a whole and which is sufficiently complete to indicate such land acquisition, demolition and removal of structures, redevelopment, improvements, and rehabilitation as may be proposed to be carried out in the urban renewal area, zoning and planning changes, if any, land uses, maximum densities, building requirements, and the plan’s relationship to definite local objectives respecting appropriate land uses, improved traffic, public transportation, public utilities, recreational and community facilities, and other public improvements.” (emphasis added)

Section 31-25-103 (10) further defines an “an urban renewal project as”

(10) “Urban renewal project” means undertakings and activities for the elimination and for the prevention of the development or spread of slums and blight and may involve slum clearance and redevelopment, or rehabilitation, or conservation, or any combination or part thereof, in accordance with an urban renewal plan. Such undertakings and activities may include:

(a) Acquisition of a slum area or a blighted area or portion thereof;

(b) Demolition and removal of buildings and improvements;

(c) Installation, construction, or reconstruction of streets, utilities, parks, playgrounds, and other improvements necessary for carrying out the objectives of this part 1 in accordance with the urban renewal plan;

(d) Disposition of any property acquired or held by the authority as a part of its undertaking of the urban renewal project for the urban renewal areas (including sale, initial leasing, or temporary retention by the authority itself) at the fair value of such property for uses in accordance with the urban renewal plan;

(e) Carrying out plans for a program through voluntary action and the regulatory process for the repair, alteration, and rehabilitation of buildings or other improvements in accordance with the urban renewal plan; and

(f) Acquisition of any other property where necessary to eliminate unhealthful, unsanitary, or unsafe conditions, lessen density, eliminate obsolete or other uses detrimental to the public welfare, or otherwise remove or prevent the spread of blight or deterioration or to provide land for needed public facilities.

Submitted by Linda K

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