LONGMONT, Colo. –

The Longmont City Council voted 5-2 Tuesday night to label 175 acres surrounding Twin Peaks Mall a blighted area.

The decision could allow the council to include the area in an urban renewal plan and increases the tax revenue available to the council to help redevelop the mall.

State laws outline 11 conditions that determine “blight” status. The property between Hover and Sunset streets and Nelson Road and Ken Pratt Boulevard â which encompasses the mall and several other retail outlets and restaurants â was determined to have nine of the 11 blight conditions.

The council declared 80 acres immediately surrounding the mall as blighted last spring, but the expanded area decided upon Tuesday night includes several other business. Those include Wal-Mart, Hobby Lobby, the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center and the Flower Bin Garden Center and Nursery.

The expanded area would bring in an additional $11.8 million in property tax value and $1.6 million in sales tax revenue. The total blighted area would bring in a total of more than $32 million.

City officials will organize meetings in April and May for property owners and residents.

Archived comments

It’s nothing a well-connected developer can’t fix!

orbison

3/25/2009 5:09:20 PM

Why did you go to all that effort detailing what constitutes “blight” only to stop short of listing them categorically so readers in the community and surrounding area since the dumbver pest exterminated the RMN could (dis)agree with the council?

windskull

3/25/2009 5:13:45 PM

ALL of Longmont is a blighted area!How many pawn shops are on Main Street?

wilson

3/25/2009 6:05:45 PM

The land inside the mall is pretty blighted as well.

Dr_Belfrey

3/25/2009 7:17:12 PM

If by “land around” you mean the town of Longmont, then I just can’t disagree with this. Raze it all and start over!

Jesus_was_a_socialist

3/25/2009 8:35:07 PM

Behold — the Real Land Grabbers !

TheBitterTruth

3/25/2009 9:54:27 PM

This will result in a big improvement in the area.The mall will get razed in the next year and turned into a ped mall.We’ll see if they do a better job on it than 29th and Orchard.

PCR

3/26/2009 1:45:20 AM

The definition consists of two parts.

First, it identifies eleven general physical factors or criteria that represent blight. They are:

Slum, deteriorated, or deteriorating structures

Predominance of defective or inadequate street layout

Faulty lot layout in relation to size, adequacy, accessibility, or usefulness

Unsanitary or unsafe conditions

Deterioration of site or other improvements

Unusual topography or inadequate public improvements or utilities

Defective or unusual conditions of title rendering the title nonmarketable

The existence of conditions that endanger life or property by fire or other causes

Buildings that are unsafe or unhealthy for persons to live or work in because of

building code violations, dilapidation, deterioration, defective design, physical

construction, or faulty or inadequate facilities

Environmental contamination of buildings or property

The existence of health, safety, or welfare factors requiring high levels of municipal

services or substantial physical underutilization or vacancy of sites, buildings, or other improvements

Second, the statute requires that for an area to be considered blighted, it must not only contain a certain minimum number of the above-referenced factors, but it must be shown that the presence

of those factors in the area “substantially impairs or arrests the sound growth of the municipality, retards the provision of housing accommodations, or constitutes an economic or social liability, and is a menace to the public health, safety, morals, or welfare….

oryoki@go.com

3/26/2009 10:07:58 AM

Oh goody! More corporate welfare!

nuggethillrd@skyxpress.net

3/26/2009 7:20:36 PM

Posted by Jesus_was_a_socialist on March 25, 2009 at 8:35 p.m. (Suggest removal)

If by “land around” you mean the town of Longmont, then I just can’t disagree with this. Raze it all and start over!

********

What is it with you constantly running down longmont? Hoping to keep the price of your crappy boulder home artifically high?

Flyonthewall

3/27/2009 12:19:28 AM

I’m glad they’re going to do something about this area as it is god awful, but it’s a little late now in this economy.

And so sick and tired of the “mixed use” developments that city councils all love but seem to know so little about the problems that exist for the people that live in them. It’s a real buzz word. “Mixed use”. Ugh. City councils are worse than real estate agents. Uneducated housewives that prattle on about the latest “hot thing” not knowing legal problems involved. It would be a good thing with light rail right next to it, but I hope they get a responsible developer and not approve any old clueless trust fund brat.

Longmont has a mixed use development-Prospect-and the city council and planning hasn’t done squat about getting that finished and they want another mixed use development? They even had national magazaines like Dwell lauding that as America’s coolest neighborhood, and they still haven’t been able to get it finished. And with all the foreclosures out there-why build more housing? And there is enough retail space-unrented and empty everywhere in this county. Why are we thinking about building more retail?

Why do we elect the dumbest people to run our towns? This area needs to be fixed, but is anyone thinking about this stuff? South Longmont could be a great place to live in the next decade, but then again, with idiots on the city council, it could just as well go the other way too.

If they were going to include the flower bin, they might have just gone ahead and included the Crocs place across street too as it seems they’re headed for no good. Sad.

Flyonthewall

3/27/2009 12:32:44 AM

that mall is worse than a bad dinner with the in-laws

vYRaL303

3/29/2009 9:56:22 PM

The Flower Bin? The Hotel?

These two businesses are BUSY and filled most of the time. The city and the county use the conference center all the time. I was just at the Flower Bin and as usual had to compete with others for my items. Not that there weren’t enough good things to buy, or not enough staff to help, but because the place was jammed with people – as usual.

Hobby Lobby is fun and I get most of the supplies for my business there. The place isn’t jammed with the number of shoppers that the Flower Bin is, but things seem okay. I never shop at Walmart, but I eat at China Buffet. Eye Expressions is where I get my glasses. The whole complex seems busy. Yeah so the lot could be repaved. Why is that the business of the city?

Bob Huntsman, who owns Eye Expressions, moved out of the mall because he was told he couldn’t get a new lease because Panatoni was working to be blighted and then they would bulldoze the mall. So he moved a block away. Wonder how long it will be before he gets the same story from his landlord?

The urban renewal cycle of building up then tearing down with tax relief was damned by businesses and most governments in the east 20 years ago. A number of books have been written on the subject, and the conclusion is that it only puts money in the pockets of large land owners and real estate developers. It saps that same money from cities and taxpayers, and above all it KILLS businesses.

Where will these great businesses go while the city council drives around in dozers? Where will the local shoppers go? Lastly, if the idea is to invite shoppers from afar, what invites them to Longmont if the whole place has been dozed? Oh, wait, they’ll go to the tattoo parlors and other “hobby” shops on Main Street. Sure …

HairTrigger

4/4/2009 2:07:03 PM

I have to agree with HairTrigger. The Front Range is growing but no where near enough to justify all these new retail developments…it’s simply shifting money around. First it was at the mall, then somewhere else, then to the new area just east of main street on the Diagonal…then if they “redo” the mall, it’ll shift there and kill the other areas.

And these aren’t primarily local businesses…it’s the same junk found everywhere else…like the 29th Street Mall, the Flatirons Crossing, the Orchard on I25. Not only is it totally wasted tax money on non-local, absentee business owners…it’s sprawling this area beyond belief…stretching already tight land and water resources. This stuff can’t continue..and I don’t mean like we need to even try to oppose stopping it…there’s just not enough resources (money, water, oil & fuel prices/supply, etc.) to support it.

Big-Box Swindle, Small-mart Revolution, Going Local…even if you take a small sampling of these books and others like it…the data’s there undeniably…this can’t keep going on.

surgite1971

5/31/2009 6:59:27 PM