Glen Ellyn edges ahead with Roosevelt Road redevelopment plans

Updated 7/10/2013 4:19 PM

Glen Ellyn has taken another step in its efforts to increase economic development along Roosevelt Road with plans that have drawn fire from some residents who may be in the path of the proposed changes.

The village this week formally established a date and time for a public hearing in which residents will be able to offer feedback on a proposed tax increment financing district.

The hearing will take place at 7 p.m. Sept. 9 during a meeting of the village board, which is expected to vote later that month on a series of ordinances that would establish the district.

The village held an informal meeting last month attended by about 200 residents of the Parkside Apartments and supporters from area organizations. They expressed frustration that their buildings likely would be included in the TIF district and, as such, it was "reasonably expected" redevelopment could result in their displacement, according to a notification letter from the village.

Village officials said there aren't any plans to displace residents, though it is one option they may use to spur economic development along the Roosevelt Road corridor.

The apartments are behind a used car dealership on Roosevelt, from Parkside Avenue on the east to Main Street on the west.

Under the TIF process, the assessed value of property is frozen for the purpose of distributing tax money to local units of government. But the increase in taxes created by the improved or redeveloped properties are funneled back into improvements, such as roads and other infrastructure.

By establishing the TIF district, Glen Ellyn officials say they hope to stimulate new retail, mixed-use and commercial development in an effort to increase the local tax base and bring in sales tax revenue.

The village board this week not only approved establishing a date and time for a public hearing on the TIF district, but also set up a meeting of a joint review board featuring representatives of local taxing bodies and a member of the public who lives within the district boundaries. That panel is expected to meet at 2 p.m. July 31 at the Glen Ellyn Civic Center.

It is charged with reviewing planning documents and proposed TIF ordinances and issuing an advisory, nonbinding recommendation to the village board.

"I had a lot of input from residents," Village President Alex Demos said. "We're moving forward with the process that will allow us to create a joint committee and venue for public hearings. This is part of the process and there will be ample opportunity for public input. I will be available to anybody who wants to discuss this."

Village Manager Mark Franz said the TIF district is in draft form at this point, and it's still possible the boundaries could be modified. A draft TIF district redevelopment plan, eligibility study and housing impact study is now available at the Civic Center and on the village's website.

The housing study states there are 186 residential units the village may displace within the proposed redevelopment area. That includes eight buildings at the Parkside Apartments, four buildings across the street at 583-605 Park Plaza, and a motel at 675 Roosevelt Road.

The study states that while "the village does not contemplate any displacement as of the date of this study, at a future point in time it is possible the village could pursue redevelopment that results in displacement."

If that's the case, officials say the village would have to provide relocation assistance and make arrangements for residents to find comparable replacement housing.

The TIF redevelopment plan estimates project costs at a total of $50 million, including $16 million for land acquisition, assembly costs and relocation costs, $8 million for interest rebate costs for developers, $7.5 million for utility improvements, and $6.6 million for rehabilitation programs.

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