January 2017 What’s New In The Old Towne Neighborhood

  • After over a decade of discussions, plans, and studies it looks like South Boardman Street is DOA at the City Commission. It was ranked as a low priority in the 2017 lists of potential capital projects. This, in effect, keeps it well off the radar for this city commission and may well re-direct future funding away from the connector street. The TART trail connection, Boardman Lake Trail, however is alive and kicking after being ranked as a number one priority by the current commission. This project is an attempt to complete a biking and walking route around Boardman Lake and provide access to developments and public amenities on, or near, the lake.
  • The Downtown Development Authority has approved an Old Towne TIF (Tax Increment Financing) district for the Old Towne area. The TIF’s deal with lots of public improvements and are a great way to get projects done quickly. The TIF plan will soon be in place and the bridges, parks, roads, are to be the beneficiary of this use of incremental taxes from new development. It’s not without it’s detractors but on a whole the entire community benefits from the infrastructure improvements and from letting investors know we want to work with them.
  • Prop. 3 passed which pleased a number of the Old Towne Neighborhood folks but still leaves several unanswered questions (how do we measure 6o ft.? Do the citizens have to vote before a developer knows whether the city will approve their design? What happens to changes in the project after a vote passes? Do we need another vote if the design changes?) I’m sure we eventually will work it out unless the courts do it for us (see lawsuit filed) . Hagerty and their building plans become potential victims of this new zoning regulation if they plan on future development. Going to a public vote before you even have approval from the city for a proposed development may be more risk than local business wants to absorb.