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The Kalona News
Kalona, Iowa
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Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News

September 20, 2018 Riverside council OKs agreement for Northern Heights development
Article Pages -- as published on the The Kalona News website.

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ARTICLE DESCRIPTION:

The Riverside City Council approved an agreement with Apex Development Group for a 31½-acre development on the north edge of the city.

The approval, which came on a 4-1 vote with Councilman Tom Sexton dissenting, is pending approval of the final contract language by the city attorney.

The agreement is another step toward the development of 70-plus housing units north of the current city limits. The project will be built in phases, with the first phase calling for 14 single-family homes. Future phases would include duplexes – called zero-lot line homes – and multi-family residences.

The council has more work to do. The property needs to be annexed to the city, the urban renewal plan needs to be updated and a tax increment financing district created for the development.

The tax increment financing was a key part of the agreement approved by the council. It calls for the city to fund infrastructure improvements for the project, which will be paid by the increased property taxes generated from the new houses.

Riverside resident Christine Kirkwood objected to the city financing the development in comments during a public hearing prior to the vote.

“These houses are going to cost $275,000 to $300,000, but if they aren’t built as expected, then we face a situation where increased tax revenues won’t materialize,” Kirkwood said. “The nature of this agreement is not a good thing – it lopsidedly favors the developer, but it probably won’t bring children into the school district as it is currently planned.”

The city committed up to $621,000 in financing that would be paid back over a 10-year period. The project is expected to generate just under $4 million in additional property taxes over that time period, according to Mayor Allen Schneider.

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