|by Mary Ann Huffines
Seeking residential or commercial building services in Loveland, CO? Head to the Fire Administration Building located at 410 E. 5th Street in Loveland. You will find Fire Administration on the second floor, but the building has a new name, the Development Center. The Development Center (DC) will unite Loveland’s planning, permitting and inspection functions. If it is related to building in Loveland, you should be able to find assistance at this new center.
During the Development Center Open House and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Friday, June 10, 2016, Brett Limbaugh spoke about the new streamlined processes that are now in place for building development and review. There was an impressive gathering of local officials, community partners and citizens to celebrate the opening of the DC. Brett, a Colorado native, was Director of Community Planning and Development Services for Rapid City, South Dakota and replaced Greg George as Loveland’s Development Services Director in March, 2016.
I had the opportunity to meet Brett at the Open House and he offered the following tips to best utilize the services of the DC:
“The best advice I would give to a prospective property purchaser or lessee would be to come in and talk with one of the planning staff regarding their business and the property or properties they are interested in buying or leasing. Apart from the basic building and zoning requirements we can also research past building permit and zoning applications to determine if there are any specific issues with the use or reuse of a property. Planners can produce a formal “Zoning Verification Letter” upon request detailing whether the use is allowed, not allowed or may require a specific application and approval process. This service will dramatically improve the due diligence phase for any property transaction and development or redevelopment.
Our new Development Center is designed to facilitate the process by combining the planning, building, transportation development, and fire district plan review processes and staff in a single location.
Our new process has eliminated the need for paper submittals of building and land use applications which can now be submitted and reviewed using electronic files.
Staff has recently hired a consultant to assist in re-writing and consolidating our annexation, zoning, and subdivision codes into a single “Unified Development Code.” This process will take approximately 18 months to complete but will be targeted at simplifying and streamlining our code and application processes. Staff will also be making several quick fixes to our code in the next several months to expedite the adoption of streamlined procedures.”
One of the first things I noticed when I entered the DC was the impressive logo on the t-shirts that all staff members were wearing. The logo for the Development Center
was designed by Andrea Maxwell of Speakeasy Studios
A draw to the DC Open House was the dedication of the 18’ x 7’8” wall mural, “Creating Loveland,” by artist Daryl Thetford
. Daryl grew up in Bradford, TN and currently lives in Chattanooga, TN. The mural was created on four aluminum panels with three coats of high gloss varnish and includes historic buildings and vintage painted advertisements on the sides of Loveland buildings.
It warmed my heart to see Nikki Garshelis, Business Services Coordinator for Development Services, roving through the crowd. Nikki was giving tours to attendees, making introductions and being a spectacular ambassador for both the DC and the City of Loveland. She began working with the City of Loveland in 2006. Nikki has been a colleague of mine for seven years and I rely on her for her vast knowledge of the services that the City of Loveland provides and information on key staff members.