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Rich Folk Welcome, Poor Folk Not

"It's not often that 'diversity' is used successfully as a justification for building McMansions," writes a former member of the Loveland Planning Commission. "Try not to tear up as you envision homeless entrepreneurs, forced to sleep in their Porsche Cayennes on the Wal-Mart parking lot for lack of suitably pretentious housing."

What has our friend's goat is this article in the Loveland Daily Reporter-Herald, which focuses on the city council's approval last week of Loveland's first gated community, a 67-unit subdivision known as the Overlook at Mariana, where home prices range from $400,000 to $700,000. According to reporter Jon Pilsner, council members defended the decision by suggesting that the Overlook's access gates and private security guards would bring needed "diversity" to the housing mix.

"In my opinion, there is a niche to be filled," council member Daryle Klassen said.

Yes indeedy. Although Mayor Larry Walsh and fire officials expressed some reservations about bringing the gated crowd to once-homey Loveland, the developer warned that turning down his plan would drive away those very desirable neighbors who want to live -- well, near the common folk but not too near them, if you know what I mean.

At the same meeting, the council approved a waiver of construction fees for six Habitat for Humanity homes proposed for Loveland. The group had sought waivers for seven homes. But everybody knows the niche for affordable housing is a lot smaller than the niche for pretentious housing. -- Alan Prendergast

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts