Prospect Heights to consider agreements for 69 townhouses, impact fees on April 11
Prospect Heights City Council members on April 11 will vote on a redevelopment agreement with Lexington Homes for 69 townhouse units north of Muir Park on Oak Avenue.
The council also will consider a further pair of agreements ensuring impact fees for both the park and fire protection districts to help them prepare to serve the new residents before the first property taxes are collected.
Negotiations with Lexington Homes for the redevelopment of the former Jolly Fun House Academy site at 1001 Oak Ave. have been going on throughout the pandemic but appear to be entering the final stages.
Despite a planned land swap with the Prospect Heights Park District that would enhance the neighboring Muir Park, some neighbors have criticized the increased density the project would bring.
The pending intergovernmental agreements would require Lexington Homes to pay the park district $13,000 per unit for a total of $897,000, and the Prospect Heights Fire Protection District $1,522 per unit for a total of $105,018.
The impact fees acknowledge not only the delay in collecting the first property taxes from the new residents, but also the fact the tax increment financing district approved for the project will affect the amount local governments receive for up to 23 years.
A TIF district freezes the amount of property taxes local governments receive at the level of the first year. As property is improved and values go up, the increased taxes go to a municipally held fund to pay for public improvements related to the development.
The use of TIF districts is debated even when they're intended to lure major commercial development. But that debate grows stronger when they're used for residential development, which often increases the demand for services on local governments.
Prospect Heights officials and their consultants have cited two mitigating factors with the Lexington Homes project. Not only would school and library districts get a share of annual TIF funds as new residents move in, they said, but the Jolly Fun House Academy site previously generated no property taxes at all.
Prospect Heights Building & Development Director Dan Peterson said Lexington Homes anticipates a 3½-year build out of the project once all the necessary approvals have been received.
The April 11 council meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. at city hall, 8 N. Elmhurst Road.