CRA district expanded to further development

By Greg Smart -

HUBER HEIGHTS — Monday night, the Huber Heights City Council passed a resolution to modify the boundaries of Community Investment Area #5 and to modify the tax exemptions available within Community Reinvestment Area (CRA)#5.

According to Assistant City Manager Don Jones, this would expand CRA district 5 by adding property to it and they would use CRA tax incentives as a means to further development in that area.

In 1993, CRA District #5 was created with Center Point 70 Boulevard included. This boundary amendment includes residential and agricultural properties along Brandt Pike, Shull Road, and Carriage Trails Boulevard. This boundary amendment has been found by a housing survey in which dilapidated and abandoned homes are causing a blighting influence on several properties, high foreclosure filings on multiple parcels, and conservation land are discouraging development in this area.

Within Area No. 5, tax exemptions for improvements to real property may be granted for periods of 10, 12 or 15 years with 15 years utilized for the construction of every dwelling, commercial or industrial structure as described in ORC Section 3735.67(D)(4).

Jones said that the majority of the land that is being added to the CRA District #5 is vacant land that is hard to develop. He said the developer will tear down the dilapidated homes and build something new as part of its development.

“They also get a tax abatement for 15 years, but they’re agreeing to pay us a payment in lieu of those taxes,” said Jones. “So, even though they’re getting an abatement, they’re still paying us…We get made whole basically…Depending on the development, it’s around 78 percent that the money comes back…In reality, if it was just property taxes and no income tax, we’re actually getting more money back through the combination of the pilot payment and income tax payments than we would have got back if we had just done straight property taxes because we couldn’t have gotten the project without the CRA if we didn’t have some incentives in there.”

Jones said the property involved has been bankrupt at least twice and has been undeveloped since 2005. He said this along with big assessments, made it hard to develop because of the cost, including the cost of infrastructure.

City Manager Rob Schommer told Council that the fundamental purpose for this legislation was to bring in a $37 million project into the community.

WaterStone Garden Apartments plans to invest $14.5 million into a new complex while Danbury of Huber Heights, a senior living facility, will bring a $23 million project to the community as part of the Red Buckeye Development, located in the Carriage Trails subdivision. Miller Valentine will develop WaterStone Garden, a multi-family housing complex with 192 one to three bedroom apartments. Lemmon and Lemmon, Inc. is the developer for Danbury which will have 101 units in phase one and 100 additional units in phase two.

Council voted 7-0 with Council member Tracy Dudley recusing herself from the vote, to approve an ordinance directing the appropriation of land located west of Brandt Pike and south of Carriage Trails for public road purpose. City Attorney Alan Schaeffer said the resolution of necessity was passed in the previous meeting for the appropriation of this land and that this was the second step. This ordinance to proceed with the “take” of 2.024 acres of ground in Carriage Trails for public road purposes is in furtherance of the DEC/ Miller Valentine Project with the record title owners of the fee simple interest being State Route 201 LLC. Council fixed the value of the property so taken as $99,700 which was to be deposited with the Court of Common Pleas in Miami County for the use and benefit of the owners of the property appropriated.

This two acre portion of 25 acres of land will allow for the extension of the roadway through this area and then continue the road across DEC property for approximately 2100 feet. It is expected to be a two-lane road, but there’s a portion that will widen out to three lanes for a turn lane right at the front with the Miller Valentine Project.

In other business, Council:

-Approved an amended motion to appoint Neal Zimmers as a liason to the Arts and Beautification Commission. Zimmers is a member of the Ohio Arts Council and could act as an advisor to the commission on securing state grants that may be available for arts and beautification activities. Council amended this motion after Mayor Thomas McMasters expressed concern over the original wording to appoint Zimmers as an “ex-officio” member.

-Rename Drylick Run Street located in Section 4 of the Carriage Trails Subdivision to Dry Run Street.

-Authorized disposal of one Class 7 heavy duty snow plow truck as surplus property and authorized the purchase or two Class 7 heavy duty snow plow trucks.

-Authorized the purchase of a one and one half ton class 4 dump truck and a half ton pickup truck for the Public Works Division to assist in the daily maintenance of city roads and property overall in an amount not to exceed $70,000.

By Greg Smart

Reach Greg Smart at 937-684-8088 or on Twitter

Reach Greg Smart at 937-684-8088 or on Twitter