MT. VERNON — An amendment to the Tax Increment Financing Redevelopment Plan and Project for the Industrial Park Conservation Area was recommended by the TIF Joint Review Board on Wednesday.
The scope of the project has changed in recent months from industrial to residential, due to the acquisition of land immediately to the south of the District by the Mt. Vernon Township High School District, and a developer has expressed interest in building new housing units in the affected area, it was explained.
According to information presented “a natural location for new housing development would be in proximity to the new high school facilities, provided that such residential development could be served with the necessary streets and utilities.” The new residential development, approximately 70 acres, would be developed on the north side of East Ambassador Road, across the street from the future MVTHS.
The developer will not proceed with the project without financial incentives that tax increment financing can provide. As a result, the amendment was recommended, which will now move to the city council for approval.
City Manager Ron Neibert indicated a public hearing will have to be held first, followed by council action, which is likely to occur during the Aug. 5 meeting.
Only three members of the JRB voted on the recommendation, including Neibert, District 80 Superintendent Mike Green, and Paul Lynch, who was appointed as a public member of the body.
“There is nothing here that any significant ways alters the purpose of the TIF,” Lynch said. “Fundamentally, it looks like a good idea to me.”
Green added, “I agree with Paul. It looks a good idea. Residential would be beneficial, and it doesn’t change the goals of TIF.”
“We left enough flexibility in our comprehensive plan to allow us to do this,” Neibert said.
“I like it because it creates places for people to live who actually work nearby there,” said Mike Weber of Peckham, Guyton, Alberts and Viets, Inc. Planners, the city’s TIF consultant agency. “You might actually get back to the days where people can walk to school or walk to work.”