Archive for Wednesday, December 5, 2001

City Council postpones hearing on revitalization

December 5, 2001

Although approval seems almost certain, the Basehor City Council again continued a public hearing on a proposed neighborhood revitalization program.

The revitalization program gives property owners that make improvements to their homes a tax abatement on their property taxes.

Similar programs exist in Leavenworth and Bonner Springs.

"Our objective here is to get people to improve their property or build on the vacant ones," Basehor Mayor Bill Hooker said.

Before having the public hearing Monday, Dec. 3, council members continued the hearing until Monday, Dec. 17, saying the matter needed further research.

At the latest meeting, council members were given an informational sheet on what areas would be included and excluded from the program. It was previously believed the entire city, minus the Basehor Wastewater Treatment Facility would be included.

According to the information council members received, the treatment facility along with new developments will be excluded from the program.

"The developments were excluded because the program is designed to encourage building on vacant lots or for people to improve their homes," Hooker said. "We don't want new subdivisions to use this program because we lose out on that tax money for several years."

Included in the program will be any vacant lot currently in the city. Hooker, along with council members, felt there was a need to spur development on these lots and include them in the program.

"We have a lot of empty lots that we need to put houses on," City Council member Burl Gratny said.

At a meeting in November, the City Council discussed the program and concluded some items still needed to be clarified before implementation.

One issue currently under discussion is whether to allow multiple improvements to residential, commercial and industrial properties.

City Council member Chris Garcia said he was in favor of allowing only one improvement for residences, but multiple projects for commercial and industrial properties.

"We kind of want to encourage commercial and industrial properties to expand," he said.

Although the program has yet to be approved and council members are still ironing out details, the city hopes to have the program implemented at the beginning of the year.

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