Archive for Thursday, April 12, 2007

Council annexes possible TIF land

April 12, 2007

The Eudora City Council unanimously agreed to annex 30 acres of land near the corner of Douglas County Road 442 and 1400 Road.

The parcel of land is part of a prospective tax increment financing district at the city's eastern limit. The land will in the future be part of Wilson and Hoover LLC's Deer Valley subdivision.

"I'm all for the annexation," Eudora Mayor Tom Pyle said.

The city needs to add more commercial development and by annexing the land and moving forward with the TIF district the city could do that, Pyle said.

Eudora City Administrator Cheryl Beatty and the city's planning consultants at Bucher, Willis & Ratliff trimmed the original district down at the advice of the city's bonding counsel. The earlier version of the TIF district would have been larger, and would have brought more land into the city.

The annexation makes way for the formal presentation of a blight study drafted by Bucher, Willis & Ratliff, written to justify the formation of the TIF district. The district's final adoption will be subject to a public hearing 30 days later in May.

The blight study could go before the council at its April 23 meeting, Beatty said.

If approved by the council after the public hearing, the TIF district will help pay for needed infrastructure for commercial development in the area.

The district works by freezing the area defined within the district at a certain property tax rate. Any property tax generated in the district in excess of its valuation in the first year goes toward retiring a bond used to pay for the improvements.

The 30 acres annexed will be brought into the city zoned for agricultural use.

"I think the intent is that they are going to request zoning for commercial," Beatty said.

Both Stan Wilson and Jimmy Hoover have kept close watch on the continued progress of the district's formation. The duo originally delayed progress on their subdivision to benefit from the district.

"We realize everything takes time, so you have to be patient to deal with it," Wilson said.

In addition to watching the district progress, Wilson and Hoover committed to guaranteeing the bond should the TIF district fail.

"We're taking a gamble," Wilson said.

If the district is formed in May, Wilson and Hoover plan to start construction on the first phase of their subdivision in July, he said.

The city would still need to accept a project plan from Wilson and Hoover before construction could begin, Beatty said.

If everything goes smoothly, the duo could have lots ready to sell by November, Wilson said.

"It's finally moving," Wilson said.

Although Deer Valley's initial phases could be breaking ground within months, the plans for the property annexed Monday will be farther down the road.

Wilson confirmed the area is slated for commercial use.

"I think the city of Eudora needs commercial property," Wilson said.

Both he and Hoover have been contacted by several commercial entities wanting to develop in the area, Wilson said.

"I think it's a prime place to be," Wilson said.

The next council meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. April 23 at Eudora City Hall, 4 East Seventh St.

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