Arlington Heights will hold a public hearing tonight to discuss plans and a timeline for the proposed new tax increment financing district in the Hickory-Kensington area of town.
The area -- defined by Dryden Avenue to the east, Miner Street to the north, Belmont Avenue to the west and Northwest Highway to the south -- is largely industrial, but it has seen some redevelopment in recent years with the addition of Mariano's, Walgreens and new townhouses.
The Hickory/Kensington Area Plan was approved by the village board in 2012 to create "a vibrant, mixed use neighborhood which complements the downtown area, providing new housing and commercial opportunities in a walkable pedestrian friendly environment."
According to the village, all of the buildings in the Hickory-Kensington area are at least 35 years old, with the exception of recent properties such as Mariano's, Walgreens and the townhouses. Many are more than 50 years old.
Goals of the redevelopment include enhancing the tax base, providing new housing opportunities at various income levels, eliminating blighted conditions, constructing infrastructure improvements and encouraging sustainable development, according to the plan.
To achieve those goals several businesses may have to upgrade or relocate. At the time of the plan's approval there were 20 businesses in the core area that would be affected by redevelopment.
"There are certain property owners who don't want this to happen," Bill Enright, the village's deputy director of planning and community development, said in June 2013 when the village board approved zoning changes to allow redevelopment. "They've been there for a long time, and there's a perspective that we should leave well enough alone."
If a TIF district is approved for the area, property tax disbursements to local governments from those properties would be frozen at current levels. Any revenue growth through the life of the district would go to a special village fund to pay for various improvements within the district. Village trustees say the redevelopment fits into the village's long-range plans and would benefit the entire community over time.
Tonight's meeting will include a summary and description of the plan, a timeline of next steps for the project, an explanation of how the TIF would work, and time for questions and comments from the public. It begins at 7 p.m. at village hall, 33 S. Arlington Heights Road.