Longmont considers deal with Church Development Fund/LifeBridge

Presentation to City Council, May 31, 2011

The purpose of State Highway 66 Regional Drainage Improvement Project is to detain storm drainage flows north of State Highway 66 between Main Street and Hover Road.

The purpose is not to reduce the expenditures for the developer who may eventually build out the Terry Lake Neighborhood.

CDF/Highway 119 Holdings: That name sounds like a straight-forward business entity. It may have business purposes, but the Longmont community needs to know WHO they are and what are the HOLDINGS.

LifeBridge Church borrowed $26 million dollars from CDF. CDF stands for Church Development Fund. LifeBridge mortgaged their properties known to the Longmont community as the Union Development. They mortgaged their properties north of SH 66 – two parcels: LifeBridge Church is on one of them; the other is to the west and is the property that contains the 20 acres that are the subject of Option 2 in the detention issue.

One of the three deeds of trust covering this $26 million was due in July of 2010. The other two were due in 2012. LifeBridge was unable to repay these deeds and so some of its properties were taken by the Church Development Fund as deeds in lieu of foreclosure. The Times-Call painted the transactions differently, but the prospectus for Church Development Fund investors identifies the transactions as, in fact, deeds in lieu of foreclosure.

Most of the Union Development properties went to Church Development Fund with LifeBridge retaining enough property for their religious campus and the very expensive “waterfront” houses originally planned. To retain its existing church LifeBridge, forfeited some additional properties in Weld County and the parcel next to the church.

Even though CDF now owns many of the properties that LifeBridge bought on speculation, Church Development and LifeBridge are still joined at their hips. Both need revenue if they are to accomplish their shared objective – to plant churches. “Plant” is the word they use to describe their religious growth objectives.

The council communication before you indicates that CDF/SH 119 Holdings is unwilling to accept the scenario that depends for reimbursement on development of the Terry Lake Neighborhood. Under current economic conditions, that development falls into the category of speculation. CDF wants reimbursement for the 20 acres for the expansion of the detention pond NOW, not at some unknown time in the future that may never happen. Who might have that $800,000, $40,000 per acre? The City of Longmont.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that Longmont does not need to accommodate Terry Lake, LifeBridge or the Church Development Fund. While the water flow in cubic feet per second is reduced, no additional properties in the City are removed from the flood plain south of Highway 66 beyond those that are removed following the construction of Option 1.

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