There are great new businesses in Littleton. That is shown by stories about Rocker Spirits above, and about Lewis & Cluck in our previous issue. Add to that the new businesses announced in the Littleton Report which comes to you in the US mail. Commercial development is thriving in Littleton without out taxes being confiscated by Urban Renewal.
Yet, to hear the fans of Urban Renewal tell it, our city is blighted to the point that we must take tax money intended for schools and parks and hand it to developers and businesses. One of our favorite examples is handing money to King Soopers after they had already committed to renovate their store at Littleton Bvd and S. Broadway.
According to LIFT (Littleton’s Urban Renewal Board) member Kyle Schlachter, the solution to our “deteriorated, deserted and downright disappointing” commercial corridors is to fill them up with businesses that aren’t successful enough to stay in business without our tax dollars.
City Council member Bill Hopping explained on 10/4/2016 that the purpose of Urban Renewal is to fund, with our tax dollars, businesses and projects that would not be feasible without our help. Hopping repeatedly reminds us that he is a businessman, yet he insists that it is “good for the city” to support businesses that aren’t financially sound.
We wonder, what projects and businesses are they talking about, and who makes the determination that a project is “good for the city?”
While the few approved urban renewal plans are deliberately vague on specifics of projects, the accompanying impact reports do show the types of projects: more than 1,300 apartments. What our tax dollars would be funding through Urban Renewal is lots of new apartments which aren’t commercially feasible on their own. How is that good for the city?
Who makes the determination that a project is “good for the city?” The answer is LIFT, Littleton’s Urban Renewal board of unelected people who have already picked failed projects which have cost the city $9 million. This is not “good for the city.”
What can you do? Right now, email or phone the members of City Council and tell them to
repeal the urban renewal plans and to disband the LIFT Urban Renewal board at the Dec 6 meeting. You can find contact info for City Council at http://www.littletongov.org/connect-with-us/city-leadership/city-council-members. Or you can attend the meeting and express your opinion during public comment.