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Yorkville deliberating  development incentives

Updated: March 17, 2013 6:19PM

YORKVILLE — Aldermen say they want to make every effort to attract more development, particularly to the unfinished subdivisions in town.

Not only would that make for good economic development for the city, it would help take care of some of the problems residents in the partially finished subdivisions have experienced — from trying to get roads maintained and empty lots mowed to getting taxes paid on the properties.

This week, aldermen discussed some possible incentives or steps they could take to get more people interested in building in the city. Already, the city has run the successful BUILD program, which pays residents $10,000 to build a new house in the city.

That program requires that the residents be new, and build a new house on an existing lot.

Aldermen this week discussed some ideas to build on BUILD. The Economic Development Committee delivered four ideas to the full City Council.

Those ideas included:

Targeting the human resources department and relocation specialists within regional companies, to make sure they are aware of Yorkville housing market options, including the BUILD program. For instance, a couple Navistar employees moved to Yorkville and recruited others into the Autumn Creek subdivision, based on the success of the BUILD program, the committee said in its report.

Marketing the BUILD program to home contractors and trade journals, in hopes of attracting residential developers.

Letting potential buyers in Windett Ridge and other subdivisions with city liens know that the city is willing allow waivers of the liens in exchange for development of the property. The city has placed liens on many vacant lots in Windett Ridge because of the owner’s failure to mow the weeds there.

Reducing or eliminating building permit fees for model homes and spec homes.

Alderman Carlo Colosimo said the Economic Development Committee was thinking that if a custom builder wanted to buy a certain number of lots in a subdivision, the city would waive the fees for a house the company might build as a model.

In essence, Colosimo said, the city is giving the builder one house permit-free for building more. Colosimo said the committee also discussed ideas such as coming up with incentives for people to buy foreclosed homes.

The ideas were specifically for the south end of town, where development has been more sporadic than the north side, Colosimo said. But he said the ideas would work for the entire city.

The City Council did not take a formal vote, but the consensus was the city should move forward with the ideas.

“They’re all good,” said Alderman Larry Kot. “I’d like to see us move ahead with this.”

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