Unified Development Code
Where is the project now?
The initial development phase of the Unified Development Code (UDC) occurred from August 2016 through January 2018. During this 15-month period, the primary objective was to develop new elements for inclusion in the UDC to achieve policies in the Loveland Comprehensive Plan. The following new elements were developed:
- Standardized procedures for approving development projects;
- An enhanced corridor overlay zone to promote redevelopment and business reinvestment on properties along Loveland’s highway corridors;
- Scale threshold standards for infill development in Loveland’s existing neighborhoods;
- A Housing Palette to facilitate the development of a broader range of housing types in Loveland;
- Standards for Complete Neighborhoods to promote the development of neighborhoods that include a mix of housing types and densities at a variety of price points, with a focus on a centrally located activity area and a highly connected network of pedestrian and bicycle facilities; and
- New development standards to improve land use compatibility so more projects can be approved at the administrative level;
This initial phase culminated with a City Council study session on January 23, 2018. City Council agreed at the study session to move forward with the UDC Fist Draft, date January 5, 2018. The project team requested additional time at the study session to give the City’s Development Review Team time to conduct a thorough technical review of the draft document to ensure that all the standards and procedures in the City’s three existing development codes were incorporated properly into the new format of the UDC.
Once the technical review is complete, the UDC Second Draft will start through the process of review by the Title 18 Committee, Stakeholder Committee, Technical Committee, Planning Commission, and City Council. The final adoption process for the UDC will commence once this technical review is complete. The adoption process, which includes a Planning Commission public hearing and two City Council public hearings, will take approximately 10 weeks.
Will there be further opportunities for public review?
A schedule for further public review of the UDC will be available on this webpage once the City’s Development Review Team has completed its technical review.
What is the development codes update project?
The City of Loveland has initiated a significant project to update, modernize and combine the City’s Subdivision, Annexation and Zoning codes into a Unified Development Code. The goal of the update is to establish development standards to achieve policies set forth in the recently adopted Loveland Comprehensive Plan (Create Loveland) and the 287 Strategic Plan.
The City has hired Todd Messenger, a land use attorney with the Denver firm Fairfield and Woods, as the prime consultant for developing the Unified Development Code. Todd brings sixteen years of experience in planning and land use law – nine as a planning law and real estate attorney and seven as the Development Code Practice Leader for a national planning and plan implementation firm. Todd has worked on more than two dozen code projects in twelve states. He was the principal draftsperson and project manager for four award-winning land development codes and three award-winning comprehensive and special areas plans.
What has been the process?
The process for reforming Loveland’s development codes includes an outreach program, consisting of three working committees and regular distributions of information to an e-mail list of more than 260 individuals and organizations representing the “Development Community” and other citizens interested in development in Loveland.
Working Committees. The following committees worked with the project team to review and revise draft elements of the UDC during the 15 month period from September 2016 to December 2017.
- Title 18 Committee, consisting of three City Council members, two Planning Commission members and two private sector developers.
- Stakeholder Committee, consisting of sixteen members representing the development community.
- Technical Committee, consisting of thirteen members of the City’s Development Review Team.
Public Outreach. A public outreach plan provided the community more detail on the changes proposed in the UDC. The following is a list of outreach events conducted from October 2017 through March 2018:
- Kendal Brook HOA
- Waterfront HOA
- Harvest Gold HOA
- Alford Meadows HOA
- Seven Lakes HOA
- Commercial Realtors
- Loveland Chamber of Commerce
- Four Public Open Houses
- Developer Workshop
- Sing Along Loveland & People’s Market
- Loveland Housing Authority
- City’s Boards and Commissions
- Transportation Advisory Board
- Loveland Housing Authority
- Affordable Housing Commission
- Loveland Utilities Commission
- Historic Preservation Commission
Planning Commission. The Planning Commission provided invaluable input throughout the UDC development process to ensure that the new UDC reflects the values of the Loveland community. The Planning Commission held 21 study sessions and 5 public hearings to reviewed drafts of the UDC from November 2016 to January 2018.
What is the Project's Scope?
The project scope describes the purpose, key goals, process and six specific tasks for completion of the update by the end of 2017. New code elements developed in Task 2, 3, 4, and 5 were put on hold as final working drafts, to then be incorporated into the a new unified development code as part or Task 6 – General Modernization. The existing provisions in the subdivision, annexation, and zoning titles that are not being revised in Tasks 2, 3, 4, and 5 were then integrated into a new unified development code in Task 6. Click here for the Scope of Work.
Task 1 - Code Assessment: On August 26, 2016, Todd Messenger submitted a comprehensive assessment of Loveland’s three development codes, identifying code elements and reforms necessary to accomplish the key goals of the update project. Click here for the Strategic Assessment.
Task 2 – Standardized Procedures: At a public hearing on February 27, 2017, the Loveland Planning Commission approved the final working draft for new Development Review Procedures. The new procedures will:
- Create three new review procedures (Limited Use, Adaptable Use, and Conditional Use) to replace the current Special Review process. These new procedures provide more options for designating the most appropriate level of review for each land use in each zoning district.
- Minimize the cost to applicants of preparing and revising development applications until the granting of all discretionary decisions. Two new application types (Sketch Subdivision Plat and Sketch Site Development Plan) allow applicants to obtain discretionary approvals, including resolution of any appeal, prior to incurring the expense of preparing public improvement construction drawings.
- Provide for effective citizen participation in all discretionary decisions. A neighborhood meeting is still required for all development applications requiring a discretionary decision. Property owners receiving notice of the neighborhood meeting and the applicant have standing to appeal the decision to the Planning Commission.
The standardized procedures were presented at an open house on November 14, 1017 and reviewed by the Technical Committee, Stakeholder Committee, Title 18 Committee (6 meetings), Planning Commission (2 study sessions and 2 public hearings), and City Council at a study session on December 13, 2017. The new Development Review Procedures are in PART 4 of the UDC First Draft.
Task 3 - Infill and Corridor Development Standards: At a public hearing on May 8, 2017, the Loveland Planning Commission approved the final working draft for Scale Threshold Standards and Enhanced Corridor Overlay Standards. The overlay standards encourage redevelopment and business reinvestment along Loveland’s highway corridors by increasing development options, the building envelope available for development, including an increase in allowable building height. The Enhanced Corridor Overlay Standards are in Division 18.06.09 of the UDC First Draft.
The Scale Threshold Standards facilitate infill development through the application of scale and massing standards to protect the character of the Loveland’s existing neighborhoods and Downtown. The Scale Threshold Standards are in Section 18.02.401 of the UDC First Draft.
On May 8, 2017, the Planning Commission also approved the final working draft of a Housing Palette. The Housing Palette provides an opportunity for a broader range of housing types in Loveland, along with standards to ensure compatibility with existing neighborhoods. The Housing Palette is in Division 18.04.02 of the UDC First Draft.
The Enhanced Corridor Overlay Standards, Scale Threshold Standards, and Housing Palette were presented at an open house on March 13, 2017 and review by the Technical Committee, Stakeholder Committee, Title 18 Committee (6 meetings), Planning Commission (2 study sessions and 2 public hearings), and City Council at a study session on April 11, 2017.
Task 4 – New Residential Districts (Complete Neighborhoods): At a public hearing on July 24, 2017, the Planning Commission approved the final working draft of standards to encourage the development of Complete Neighborhoods in Loveland. These new standards encourage the development of mixed-use residential neighborhoods that include a variety of housing types and densities at a variety of price points. Complete Neighborhoods may include non-residential uses, such as stores, offices, and entertainment. The neighborhood includes clearly defined edges to ensure compatibility with adjacent land uses and sidewalks, and pathways that provide pedestrian and bicyclist a high degree of mobility. A Complete Neighborhood may also include prominently sited civic or community buildings and public open spaces. Schools and other public facilities may also be included in a Complete Neighborhood. Complete neighborhoods provide a balanced mix of activities in close proximity to each other and have a recognizable center (or centers). The standards for Complete Neighborhoods are in Division 18.06.04 of the UDC First Draft.
The standards for Complete Neighborhoods were presented at an open house on May 8, 2017 and reviewed by the Technical Committee, Stakeholder Committee, Title 18 Committee (4 meetings), Planning Commission (4 study sessions and a public hearing), and City Council at a study session on July 11, 2017.
Task 5 - Development Standards: New development standards improve land use compatibility by mitigating adverse impacts on properties affected by new development. Compliance with these new standards allow more land uses to be approved at the administrative level, instead of through the current Special Review process. Tables referred to as “Land Use Tables”, designate the approval procedure for each land use in each zoning district depending on the degree to which the new development standards adequately mitigate external impacts. The new development standards are in Division 18.02.04 and the Land Use Tables are in Division 18.02.03 of the UDC First Draft.
The Title 18 Committee reviewed the new development standards on December 7, 2017 and December 14, 2017. The Planning Commission review the standards at study sessions on October 31, 2017, November 20, 2017, December 4, 2017, and December 18, 2017. The Stakeholder Committee reviewed the standards on December 12, 2017.
Task 6 - General Modernization: This task updates and reformats the existing standards and procedures in Loveland’s three existing development codes for inclusion in the new UDC. The initial draft of the entire UDC, including modernization, was available for review in January 2018. City Council considered the UDC First Draft, dated January 5, 2018, on January 23, 2018. It was at this meeting that the project team requested additional time to allow the City’s Development Review Team time to conduct a thorough technical review of the draft document.
This page will be updated as the code update project proceeds.
To be placed on the e-mail list to receive material in the future, please contact Nikki Garshelis at: Nikki.Garshelis@cityoflovleand.org
For more general information, please contact Greg George at: