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News for Norther Colorado and the world

Thursday, December 14, 2017

The end of Berthoud Downtown?

Letter to the editor 2

Will Berthoud’s Rapid Dispersed Development be the End of  Small Business in Berthoud’s Downtown?

 

Until recently I had no idea the amount of development that Berthoud has already approved and seemingly has plans to approve in the near future. As part of their comprehensive plan Berthoud anticipates a 4.8% annual growth rate. The Prairie Star development, which is under construction has multifamily housing and 300+ single family residences, with 1000-2000 people which represents a potential 40% increase in population for Berthoud. Berthoud Town Council will soon (Jan 13 6:30PM) be hearing a proposal on the Heron Point development which as currently proposed will in effect drop high density housing and commercial development including fast food and gas stations into the middle of a low density neighborhood currently zoned R1 with livestock and agriculture. This development will add another 800 to 1600 people (a 30% increase) to Berthoud.

If this level of development were occurring near downtown Berthoud it would be a potential boom for downtown. Instead Berthoud is pursuing these intense developments along the periphery of their planning area. Perhaps the thought is to draw business from Loveland or sustain these businesses in those new communities. The actual end result will likely be a drop in trade for downtown Berthoud as these developments will travel to downtown Berthoud more difficult from south Loveland, new residents will be utilizing the closest most up-to-date services, and there is potential for the development of a schism between Berthoud and existing residents, who feel they are being burdened with high density and commercial development that Berthoud doesn’t want closer to downtown.

While these developments may potentially provide desperately needed revenue to the town of Berthoud, it will be at the expense of the small businesses and their owner and employee’s livelihoods.

The question the Berthoud town council doesn’t seem to be asking itself is, why would anyone who lives in these new developments drive down to Berthoud to do their business when everything they need is right in their development or a short drive to the North in Loveland? The question businesses in Berthoud need to ask themselves is, does the Town Council have their best interests in mind?

Sam Amato

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