|City planning continued as a major concern of the
city of Fort Collins in the 1980s. Unincorporated border
areas were a special problem. These areas often developed
in ways inconsistent with standards established by the
City, which created problems when these areas were
annexed. To obtain some control over this development and
avoid inefficient urban sprawl, the cities of Fort
Collins and Loveland, joined by Larimer County,
instituted the Urban Growth Area Plan in 1980. This plan
designated a growth area boundary to accommodate expected
development, provided guidelines for development within
the boundary, established zoning regulations for
development in the growth area, and contained an
agreement which assured that land would be annexed by the
appropriate adjacent city.
Efficient community development was the goal of the Land
Development Guidance System (LDGS) instituted by the City
of Fort Collins in 1981. Under this system commercial
centers and services are evenly distributed throughout a
community. The population density permitted in an area is
based on the presence of shopping centers, parks,
employment centers, day-care facilities and transit
routes in the vicinity. If these are nearby, then
projects are permitted a higher density.
The development and restoration of downtown Fort Collins,
a consideration begun in the 1970s, continued in the
1980s. In March, 1981, voters created the Downtown
Development Authority, made up of downtown property
owners. Its' board included one city council member.
Their initital concerns were for parking and the
undergrounding of utilities. The DDA encouraged downtown
development with financial incentives. It also supported
projects with money from a five mill tax levy in the DDA
district and from tax revenue generated by new
development. Projects the DDA has completed or supported
include the parking garage on Mountain Avenue near Old
Town, Old Town Square on Linden, and plans for a downtown
hotel and convention center.
The renovation of Old Town was the goal of Mitchell and
Company of Denver in 1981 when they revealed plans for
turning Old Town into a viable business district. 200,000
square feet of business space was included in the
project, which sought to preserve historic buildings and
build new structures compatible with them.
The oldest surviving business in Fort Collins is City
Drug, which can trace its' origins to 1873, when a
Wyoming pharmacist, M. E. Hocker, and Fort Collins
businessman William C. Stover opened a drug store in the
old sutlers' store, Old Grout. The business has changed
hands and been moved several times. It is now located on
the southwest corner of College and Mountain.
Increased growth was blamed, in part, for a two-thirds
increase in felony crimes in Fort Collins between 1978
and 1981. The District Attorney felt the crime rate was
still "relatively" low. He linked the increase
to the country's economic difficulties and to the area's
An incident of crime in Fort Collins received worldwide
attention in 1981 when Eugene A. Tafoya, of Truth or
Consequences, New Mexico, was convicted of third-degree
assault and conspiracy to commit third-degree assault. He
had been charged with first-degree attempted murder and
conspiracy. Investigators suspected that Tafoya had been
hired by a former CIA agent to kill Faisal A. Zagallai, a
Libyan dissident who had been critical of Mohammar
Khadafy. The agent had been an arms supplier to Libya for
terrorist activities. However, there was not enough
evidence to connect Tafoya with the agent.
Zagallai, a former CSU student from Libya, received two
bullet wounds in the head, causing the loss of sight in
one eye. Tafoya claimed self-defense while testifying
he'd been sent by the CIA to tell Zagallai to stop his
pro-PLO activities. Zagallai denied such activities.
Jurors believed Tafoya meant to "rough up"
Zagallai, not to murder him. Tafoya was sentenced to two
concurrent terms of two years and six months. *He was
released on an appeal bond of $10,000 after spending five
hours in jail after the conviction.
The famous Fort Collins Subway Hoax was perpetrated in
1982. Bob Terrill of Poudre Magazine wrote a fictional
account of a visit to a Fort Collins subway which
supposedly was in operation from 1904 to 1918. In great
detail Terrill described the eleven mile underground
system, including shops and signs. He stated the subway
was built to attract the 1904 World's Fair. City
officials received many requests for additional
information, even from longtime residents.
In April, 1984, Fort Collins experienced the strongest
winds ever recorded in its history. Trees were uprooted
and sheet metal siding was torn from buildings by winds
which reached 95 miles per hour at the CSU campus and 143
miles per hour at the Rawhide Power Plant, about 25 miles
north of town. The wind caused at least one million
dollars in damage.
Oldest Business. Also see "Early Drugstores -
Article attached to draft copy.
DENVER POST ARTICLES
Fort Collins to get new $15 million hotel (1-2-1980 58/6)
ALLBRANDT: Jim Parish family moves to Ft. Collins to open
restaurant (10-26-1981 2/4)
SUGAR BEET DECLINE
Sugar beet industry on decline in Colorado.
Great Western Sugar Company still operated factories at
Loveland and Greeley but they may close, if they do,
Colorado farmers will lose millions of dollars.
Beets had big profit potential, but in 1982 Great Western
contracted for greater split of net proceeds - said needs
new equipment and competition from foreign sugar and corn
syrup forcing them to cut payments to farmers.
New contracts (split) only allow farmers to break even,
according to local grower.
Great Western slowly reducing acres contracted between
1980-1982, 37.5%. Negotiations and litigation in process.
Future uncertain for beets in Colorado.
TYPICAL FORT COLLINS RESIDENT
COLORADOAN (6/21/1981 - "Choice City
"A recent survey of the Fort Collins area shows the
average resident is 39 years old, lives in a
single-family home, makes between $10,000 and $20,000
annually, and has lived here between three and ten years.
Survey by a "private marketing firm."
SENIOR CITIZEN NEWS (1/1981)
Fort Collins rated among top ten small cities by
forecasting firm. Cites Fort Collins as having
"strong sense of history, community, and
"Strict zoning ordinances allow only non-polluting
Biggest employer - CSU. Others include Eastman Kodak,
Hewlett-Packard and Teledyne Water Pik.
Real household income has risen 8% a year since
CRIME RATE UP
COLORADOAN (6/21/1981 - "Choice City
"Felony criminal cases in Fort Collins courts have
risen by two-thirds since 1978." District Attorney
Stuart Van Meveren felt rate still "relatively"
low. Violent crimes had not increased as rapidly.
District Attorney's opinion on rise of crime points to
"links between the amount of crime and the area's
increasing population and the effects of recession and
Eugene A. Tafoya, of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico,
was convicted of third-degree assault and conspiracy to
commit third-degree assault, misdemeanors. He'd been
charged with first-degree attempted murder and
conspiracy, which are felonies.
Investigators suspected Edwin P. Wilson, an ex-CIA agent,
hired Tafoya to kill Faisal A. Zagallai, a Libyan
dissident, because he criticized Mohammai Khadafy. Wilson
had been indicted for supplying Libya with military
hardware and explosives to be used in terrorist
activities. However, there was, apparently, not enough
evidence to connect Tafoya with Wilson.
Zagallai received two head wounds and lost sight in an
eye from bullet wounds. Tafoya claimed he shot in
The jurors said they believed Tafoya went to Zagallai's
apartment to 'rough him up,' but not to kill him.
Tafoya testified he was sent by the CIA to tell Zagallai
to stop his activities in support of the PLO. He said he
shot Zagallai in self-defense.
Zagallai is a former CSU student from Libya.
Zagallai and wife were shocked by decision. Said no
evidence brought showing Zagallai supported PLO.
(1/6/1982) Tafoya was sentenced to two concurrent terms
of 2 years and 6 months.
Was released on appeal bond ($10,000) after spending only
five hours in jail after conviction.
Trial attracted worldwide attention. (12/6/1981)
AIR POLLUTION MEASURES
COLORADOAN (2/22/1981 "Profile" Section,
"Quality of Life" sub-section)
Little danger of air pollution from other cities.
While Fort Collins met federal air standards, it has
violated carbon monoxide standards in past years.
Emission tests in accordance with Colorado State Bill 231
Computer to synchronize traffic lights to control traffic
flow, especially on College Avenue.
Two more buses, reduced incentive rates for buses, buses
to run more often.
COMMON CAUSE MAGAZINE (Oct./1981)
Fort Collins third fastest growing city in U. S.
Fuel shortages in 1970s prompted City Manager, John
Arnold, to develop strategies to create new fuel sources
and conserve energy.
65 cars running on methane-non-polluter.
15 electrically powered vehicles.
City purchased farm for sewage sludge disposal to convert
crops to alcohol to be used in pure form or to help make
Solar energy provided 65% of City Hall's heating needs.
Various programs to conserve energy and promote
conservation among residents.
HOUSING REHABILITION DEPARTMENT
BROCHURE - (Library files)
"The Housing Rehabilitation Department of the City
of Fort Collins was created with the idea in mind of
eliminating substandard and unsafe housing within the
City. With money received from the Department of Housing
and Urban Development (H.U.D.) in the form of a Community
Development Block Grant (CDBG), the program helps low and
moderate income persons rehabilitate their homes with
grants and/or low interest loans."
OLD TOWN RENOVATION
DENVER POST (9/28/1981)
Mitchell and Company of Denver revealed plans for a
renovation of Old Town into a viable business district.
200,000 sq. ft. of business space included in project.
Preservation is goal--hope to save most of existing
buildings -- many over 100 years old, though some which
are "neither valuable historically nor effective
economically" will go. "New structures"
compatible with the color and texture of existing ones
"will replace them." "If completed as
projected, Old Town Center will be of significant
magnitude, one of the larger such projects in the
OLD TOWN RENOVATION
TRIANGLE REVIEW (7/23/1980)
"Planning began last winter for the Historic Old
Town Parking and Street Beautification project, and
construction should begin around the end of August, with
completion planned for October, according to Ted Johnston
of EDAW, Inc., consultants on the project."
Intersection of Linden and Walnut targeted for most of
beautification which will include trees and shrubs, brick
paving for sidewalks and crosswalks and light fixtures
with cast iron posts similar to originals. Primary aim of
renovation - ease traffic congestion, especially on
Walnut; make area more of a plaza. Linden and Walnut
streets to become one lane.
"Funding for the parking and street beautification
project is from a grant of nearly $200,000 in Community
Development Funds from Fort Collins through the federal
government....Old Town merchants are also participating
in returning the original charm and appeal, with plans
for buildings and facade renovation, all of which are
approved in an area plan, Johnston said."
DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
Formed in 1981. Group of people who have property
Board made up of members (originally 11, cut because of
attrition) appointed by City Council for four year terms.
From brochure in file:
"The Downtown Development Authority is a public
non-profit agency with one overriding goal: to improve
downtown Fort Collins. The DDA provides financial
incentives to encourage development and redevelopment in
downtown Fort Collins. These incentives are needed
primarily for two reasons:
(1) It is more expensive for developers to build downtown
than in other areas. Land is scarce, and existing
improvements add to its' cost.
(2) Decay of the downtown area makes developers and
businesses more likely to locate elsewhere. Financial
incentives are needed to attract new life and to stop
Board decides on projects.
Money from 5 mill tax levy in DDA district and increase
in taxes (tax increment) generated by new development.
Built parking garage on Mountain near Old Town.
Provided funds for Old Town Square on Linden.
Working on plans of Downtown Hotel and Convention Center,
housing and street development, etc.
CHOICE - (Dec. 1981)
Created by vote of the people in March 1981. Initial
concerns - parking and undergrounding of utilities.
Wanted to create favorable atmosphere to attract
FORT COLLINS SUBWAY HOAX
ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS (11/12/1982)
Columnist Bob Terrill of Poudre Magazine wrote a
fictional account of a visit to a Fort Collins subway
which supposedly was in operation from 1904 to 1918.
"On precise and convincing detail, Terrill described
signs and shops along the 11-stop, $1 million-a-mile,
underground transit system. The subway was built to help
the city land the 1904 World's Fair. An elaborate plan to
redraw state lines and make Fort Collins the capital of
Wyoming by stealing the state constitution was hatched
for the same purpose, Terrill wrote." Fort Collins
officials were "hounded by dozens of requests for
more information"--even from longtime residents who
thought they might have missed a portion of Fort Collins
DENVER POST ARTICLES
Fort Collins to vote on lowering marijuana penalty
MOTT: Ft. Collins voters defeat liberalization of
marijuana laws and new swimming pool and ice skating rink
MOTT: LaPorte and Ft. Collins residents challenge
proposed Fort Collins Expressway route (3-9-1980 17/1)
MOTT: Fort Collins Chamber of Commerce endorses area
water resource feasibility study (3-27-1980 21/1 Cy)
MOTT: Larimer county residents oppose Ft. Collins growth
plan (3-30-1980 11/1)
MOTT: To negotiate restoration of Fort Collins Birney
Trolley car (4-10-1980 16/1 cy)
MOTT: Fort Collins officials resent cutting of Fort
Collins Expressway from State 5 year plan (5-1-1980 43/1)
MOTT: Ft. Collins government to use electric powered
vehicles (8-2-1980 22/1 w/PIC)
Ft. Collins has second largest growth rate of U. S.
cities in 1970s (8-14-1980 43/3)
ALLBRANDT: Fort Collins undertakes large street repair
project (8-19-1980 14/1)
MOTT: Larimer County jail not to be built in downtown
Fort Collins (9-4-1980 2/3)
Rated as one of the 10 best small U. S. cities by Money
Magazine (9-30-1980 27/3)
Investigators probe fire at Ft. Collins Fiberglass
Company (11-15-1980 33/1)
Approves joint fire district with Poudre Valley Fire
Protection District (11-19-1980 25/1)
MOTT: Consolidation of Fort Collins and Poudre Valley
Fire Departments draws praise (11-30-1980 43/3)
Fort Collins Housing Authority to separate from city
To consider upgrading city fire and building codes
MOTT: Fort Collins residents oppose routing plans for
Fort Collins Expressway (1-29-1981 48/6)
MOTT: Results of Fort Collins city election (4-8-1981
Fort Collins Chamber of Commerce hears testimony on
conflict of interest by Mayor Elery Wilmarth (5-7-1981
Owners of Book Ranch challenge new anti-obscenity law
MOTT: Profile of John Powers (7-19-1981 6/4 R w/pic)
PANKRATZ: Colorado Supreme Court overturns dismissal of
libel judgment by Colorado Appeals Court re William C.
Manuel (7-27-1981 3/6)
ALLBRANDT: Ft. Collins Downtown Development Authority
studies revitalization of downtown Ft. Collins (8-13-1981
PANKRATZ: Marion Albert Pruett arrested for murders of
7-Eleven clerks (10-19-1981 1/1 A)
Planning Commission gives preliminary approval for
expansion of University Mall (11-2-1981 10/4)
DENVER POST ARTICLES
KCOL Marathon for the Arts nets $13,000 for Ft. Collins
art events (2-15-1980 2/3)
Tom Horn dreaded by Fort Collins residents (5-18-1980
ALLBRANDT: Joy Davidson sings in Fort Collins (5-25-1980
Programs promote fuel conservation in energy contests
ALLBRANDT: Fort Collins Symphony grows (8-29-1980 25/1)
SCHMIDT: Solar Action Week to promote use of solar energy
PRICE: Anniversary open house demonstrates variety of
offerings at Lincoln Community Center (10-12-1980 14/1)
City and Fed officials to dedicate new taxiway
(4/2/1982) "The strongest winds ever recorded in
Fort Collins blasted the city that day and ripped trees
from the ground and sheet metal siding from buildings.
Winds clocked at 95 mph were recorded at Colorado State
University's main campus. At the Rawhide Power Plant
about 25 miles north of Fort Collins, winds of 143 mph
At least $1,000,000 damage - COLORADOAN (4/4/1982)
DENVER POST ARTICLES
ALLBRANDT: Railroad makes Fort Collins divided city
Plane crashes on residential street (6-30-1980 20/1)
Airwest Helicopters Inc. wins 25 year contract to manage
Fort Collins-Loveland Airport (11-2-1981 10/5)