September 18, 2013 - Crestwood officials no longer have the authority to convene a Tax-Increment Financing Commission for the proposed redevelopment of Crestwood Court after selecting a planning services consultant.
The Board of Aldermen agreed in a 6-2 vote last week to rescind the second paragraph of Resolution 12-03, which gave city officials authority to move forward with convening the Tax-Increment Financing, or TIF, Commission. Centrum Properties, Crestwood Court's owner and the preferred developer, indicated in its redevelopment proposal it would seek the use of TIF, along with other tax incentives.
The rescinded paragraph also authorized and directed city officials, staff and consultants to prepare a redevelopment plan for the site.
Ward 2 Alderman Mary Stadter and Ward 4 Alderman Dan Tennessen were opposed to removing the paragraph.
Mayor Jeff Schlink said he brought the possibility of rescinding paragraph two to the board because the first paragraph designates Centrum as the project's preferred developer and his intention is not to remove Centrum from the project.
"My objective is to put a hard stop in there that if we were to approve the planner, an RFP for a planner and then approve a planner, that there would still be that hard stop in there because there were concerns, not only from the board but from members of the public, that once that planner was selected that this train would then be going downhill and there was no way of stopping it," he said. "This is a way that (Centrum) agreed to put that hard stop in there, try to bring some comfort to some folks that might have had that concern."
The board approved the resolution last October.
The reason for not rescinding the entire resolution, according to Schlink, was because "it wasn't an attempt to remove (Centrum) as the preferred developer."
But Duchild said he disagreed with the "hard-stop concept."
"A resolution is not an ordinance ... A resolution is just that," Duchild said to Schlink. "It's just — it can be a voice vote of the board. So I don't know that rescinding paragraph two would really do a whole lot or rescinding the whole resolution would do a whole lot in my eye to, as you stated, stop the train from rolling down the hill."
City Attorney Lisa Stump said rescinding the entire resolution "could possibly create a legal issue."
"I do agree with your former attorney that resolutions are different than ordinances, but I don't think that as a body either we want to ignore our resolutions ...," she said. "I don't really agree that they're worthless either because they are an expression of opinion of the majority of the board at the time ... I do think that there could be an argument that in paragraph one you did create some rights under there ..."
Ward 1 Alderman Darryl Wallach said that regardless of whether aldermen support Centrum's current proposal, they need to come together.
"At the next proposal that's presented by the developer, we're going to have to have a consultant or a planner to assist us," he said. "I don't understand the reasons why we don't go to that next step ... I think that's a compromise from this board that we (as) step one rescind the paragraph ..."
However, Duchild did not see Wallach's statement as a compromise.
"The idea of a compromise, good try, but that's not a compromise to me," he said. "You just want to try to push this through for the fourth time, and it goes back to the plan. It's a bad plan. I'm not in favor of the plan and I will not be in favor of planning services with this current plan. That's all there is to it."