Petition Urges Woodstock City Council To Kill New Dense Development Next to Downtown

The following petition to the Woodsotck City Council is circulating by Colleen Connally in Woodstock opposing a new large, dense development near Downtown:

Stop! The Development Founders Crossing in Downtown Woodstock IL.

The Founders Crossing development, if approved, will be the demise of this quaint historic town!

The developer is presenting the Founders Crossing subdivision plan that has been rejected 3 times by the planning commission to the city council on Tuesday Nov. 19th.

The mayor is strongly in favor of this development and it appears he has persuaded other people serving on the council to vote to pass this plan.

The plan is extremely NOT suitable for the premium land which is located next to the downtown historic square.

It consists of highly compacted single family homes set 6 feet apart with 10 foot setbacks with no green space.

The design and materials do not comply with the regulations of the historic district.

This is not the developer for this premium property!

He has been rejected by our neighboring towns many times over the course of many years.

One in fact rejected him 5 times! 

The developer needs the approval of the city council in order to close on the property.

The deadline on their contract to purchase is at the end of November.

This is the last extension from the bank.

So therefore, the developer will NOT be going back to the Planning Commission with the revisions and the market studies that they have requested 3 times and the developer will NOT be putting the plan in front of the Historic Preservation Commission for their review.

This has been going on for a year and the developer still hasn’t done the required market studies!

The city of Woodstock is the only municipality in the county that does not follow the recommendations of their commissions!

This is a very dangerous practice for the future of the city economic stability and growth not to mention the aesthetics.

If this plan is approved it will be the ruin of this town!

The parking and traffic congestion will be unbearable since it is already a major problem for our downtown area, the square, and the neighborhood.

The mayor is making a major decision that can effect our town indefinitely and his term expires in 6 mos. and he has announced his run for state rep.

His sights are on moving to our state capitol. 

= = = = =

The petition can be found here.


Petition Urges Woodstock City Council To Kill New Dense Development Next to Downtown — 18 Comments

  1. Math:
    Woodstock TIF 2 Crossing Development Net loss (Cost) to Taxpayers based upon present valued assumptions:

    a function of:

    Categories of TIF Cost and Projected Revenues:

    Categories of TIF COSTS:
    1. The cost of TIF itself: legal, accounting, TIF consultants, OMA and public disclosure compliance, initial and ongoing.
    2. The gifts given to a specific few developers and landowners chosen by municipal officials to receive free TIF money, free land and buildings, waivers, free infrastructure built for benefit of private ownership, tax abatements, etcetera.
    2.a. Additional costs if public debt is issued using NON-TIF taxpayers as obligated payors (default insurance, municipal credit rating lowered, portion of municipal debt cap used up for private interests’ profits rather than public interests).
    3.The cost of inflationary (having nothing to do with TIF development) property tax revenue lost to TIF over the next 35-23 years, which must be “replaced” by NON-TIF taxpayers in that school district, fire&rescue, County, etcetera.
    4. Costs of FREE social service provision for TIF Free-riders, for 35 or 23 years. School costs, police, roads, fire&rescue, County government, township, and all other publicly funded mandatory social service provision for new TIF developments must be funded by NON-TIF taxpayers for 35 years (at minimum 23 years).
    4.a. The category of ‘New Costs to Taxpayers Engendered By TIF Development’ can be broken into 2 parts: School costs and Other. In Residential TIF Development, School costs comprise the majority (~2/3rds) each new student created by TIF development is entitled by law to a free education; by law TIF development projects are prohibited from paying all but a minuscule portion of these costs via property taxes.
    The Category ‘’All Other’ New Costs to Taxpayers Engendered by TIF Development’ encompasses the costs of government, roads, police, fire&rescue, libraries, etcetera which must be provided, at no cost to them, to all TIF Free-riders
    5. Devaluation of properties and businesses book values outside TIF footprint but within taxing districts FORCED to subsidize TIF spending. At the very least this can be quantified as the amount of NON-TIF EAV multiplied by the property tax rate increase directly attributable to TIF formation.
    6. Opportunity cost due to rational self-exclusion of taxable development outside TIF footprint but within taxing districts obligated to subsidize TIF spending. (What idiot will ever develop in a region with a TIF, without receiving similar grants, gifts, abatements and other TIF-related perqs?
    Any community obligated to a taxing district containing TIF must assume that their property tax rate denominator (taxable EAV) will NEVER increase at pace of inflation, or with any taxable development, within TIF lifetime.

    Categories of TIF REVENUES:

    1. TIF Year 1 through 35 (Year 23 for this analysis’ purposes, but there is virtually nothing taxpayers can do to limit TIF legal 35 year lifespan to 23 years) TIF property tax revenues and sales tax revenues flowing directly to TIF and withheld from taxing districts. These revenues are what the Mayor proposes Woodstock will use for TIF to ‘pay for itself’ when new TIF development is discussed. However Mayor and City Council often decline to cite actual numbers, and so obfuscate costs to taxpayers because the value of tax dollars 35 or 23 years form now are worth less than the dollars demanded of taxpayers today to give as gifts to lucky TIF-money recipients.

    2. Present value of an annuity in perpetuity beginning payments at year 35 (Year 23 for this analysis’ purposes, but there is virtually nothing taxpayers can do to limit TIF legal 35 year lifespan to 23 years); future promised payments include property taxes and sales taxes.

    3. INFLATIONARY TIF REVENUES: This is money that flows to TIF because it would ordinarily, BUT-FOR TIF, have flowed to taxing bodies and decreased taxpayer obligations and thus decreased tax rates. This is the property tax payments of properties which are included in TIF footprint in order to divert their inflationary tax revenue into control of local government. Without TIF, these properties’ tax payments would have gone to schools and other taxing districts to pay for social service provision; instead the money is spent at the whim, and pleasure of municipal officers, and may be considered to have zero value to the taxpayer community at large (because the alternative exists for the Municipality to simply tax to pay for ‘infrastructure for public welfare’; in choosing the non-conventional TIF methodology of double taxation the Municipal government is admitting that such expenditures would be considered frivolous -at -best by the voting population).

    Math available upon request, but only after the highly paid (and I do mean HIGHLY PAID, in proportion to their negative contribution to Woodstock economy/tax rates) Woodstock Economic Development Department team presents their cost/benefit analysis to support their presumed thesis that Woodstock TIF 2 Development is somehow beneficial for Woodstock (aside from those few property owners, developers and consultants paid by Woodstock to provide legal and accounting and public debt obtainment consulting services to Woodstock paid for by taxpayer dollars).

  2. For one example of Woodstock TIF 2 costs to taxpayers:
    the Lohmeyer Insurance Building Commercial-To-Residential TIF conversion will cost Woodstock D200 taxpayers over $3 million in present-valued tax dollars if it lasts only 23 years (exponentially more when Woodstock TIF 2 is extended for the 12-year Springfield rubberstamp).

    The Lohmeyer Building is converting commercial space to residential 24 rental units.

    Looking at Dorr Township assessment of rental properties, we can assume an assessment of $1.2 million for such a property; but the current existing properties are assessed at $250,000 so we deduct that (because if Woodstock simply taxes those buildings for 23 years without TIF, that tax revenue will be obtained for benefit of taxpayers).

    The present value of an annuity paying those (presumed inflated at 2% annually compounded) property taxes at Year 23 is~$613,000. (that is if Woodstock taxpayers just write a check for that gift… it is MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE to taxpayers if public bonded debt is issued, interest must be paid, NON-TIF property is used as risk-collateral)

    Woodstock TIF 2 is giving Lohmeyer Building stakeholders over $1.1 million of taxpayer dollar value for this project.

    Woodstock taxpayers are required by law to fund the costs of Lohmeyer Building Residential TIF Development TIF free-riders’ social service provision (schools, roads, police, fire&rescue, County, parks, libraries, liability insurance, and more) resulting from this residential development: those costs will exceed $3.5 million IN 2019 dollars!


    (Yes TIF taxpayers pay increased tax burdens…but all that money goes to TIF! Or if it is easier to comprehend, all that money goes to the Mayor and City Council to decide how to spend,,,so long as these politicians spend it NOT on the actual taxable costs of the service required and legally mandated by TIF Free-riders. Sounds complicated ? Congratulations, you just realized how TIF has survived and thrived in Woodstock Illinois with its 4% property tax rate).

    Math available upon request, but only after the highly paid (and I do mean HIGHLY PAID, in proportion to their negative contribution to Woodstock economy/tax rates) Woodstock Economic Development Department team presents their cost/benefit analysis to support their presumed thesis that Woodstock TIF 2 Development is somehow beneficial for Woodstock (aside from those few property owners, developers and consultants paid by Woodstock to provide legal and accounting and public debt obtainment consulting services to Woodstock paid for by taxpayer dollars).

  3. The next time you ever are asked to vote on a school bond referendum to build new buildings for future residents:

    YOU and ONLY YOU will be nburdedned wirth debt payments for the new buidlings to provide FREE service to TIF Free-Riders.

    Illinois Law prohibits TIF Free Riders from paying for schools and other services they will be entitled by law to receive.

    For the next 35 years.

    (Ask the Woodstock Economics Development Team to QUANTIFY the annual dollars Woodstock TIF 2 will send to Woodstock D200 to pay for provision of school services (now taxed at $9000 per student per year as property tax obligations, but that is staggeringly low because the accrued liability for unfunded pensions and OPEBs lies with homeowners….and that amount is so staggering it will destroy you unless you have a government -guaranteed-defined-benefit-pension-and-free-health-insurance entitlement like a teacher or a government employee).

    If the Woodstock Economic Development Team cannot or will not produce present-value dollar cost/benefit analysis of TIF effect on Woodstock taxpayers, ask them how much did Woodstock TIF 1 pay to D200?

  4. You have to question why the orange mayor is insisting this development is pushed through?

  5. 92 houses on 10 acres with spacing 6 feet apart. This is crazy. A better idea would be put 20 houses on lots of one-half acre each and make the houses high end such as $400-$500K. That would go a long way to improve the neighborhood and bring in great people who could afford these types of houses.

  6. No homes in high price ranges can EVER be built in Woodstock, because no rational person would buy one.

    No rational consumer will pay premium prices for a home in a 4% property tax rate municipality.

    The only buyers for residential property are rental property investors.

    In Woodstock, such investors need a Cap Rate of 150% or more than in other Illinois regions (and even higher in all America outside Illinois, where ‘public spending relative to means of the taxed community’ (aka property tax rates) are fair valued.

  7. I knew something was wrong with the Woodstock city council when they approved the plastic bag tax.

    Backward snowflake dumb ass move, IMO

  8. Bred, that would make sense, except Sager needs section 8 Chicagoans on welfare to keep his political empire in clover

  9. In Woodstock about 3 yrs ago wasn’t it determined that in order to just break even, a house couldn’t be less than $160K ?

    Anything less than that and it hurts all the other taxpayers, I believe. Woodstock is the highest taxed in McHenry County now!

    It’d be irresponsible to allow this.

    AND isn’t this part of the TIF pt 2?

    That makes it even worse!

  10. Susan is wrong. There would be many people of means who presently commute to Chicago who would love to have a high-end house (on a big lot with privacy) close to the train station and be near the HISTORIC downtown Woodstock. Dense development would not bring high income earners to the 10 acres in question. Woodstock needs to attract high income people with proper development rather than panhandlers. Think of Michigan Avenue and the Gold Coast in Chicago that has high income people.

  11. Oak harp:
    In Woodstock D200, each student costs $9000 per year, and each new residential unit is expected to produce .6 new students.

    Therefore each new residential unit must pay $5400 to pay for costs to taxpayers for school provision, just to break even for schools.

    Now add to that additional costs of providing all the other services that taxpayers are forced to fund: at present that amount can be quantified as ~33% of property tax rates.

    Each new residential unit will cost society $8100 the first year, and that rises with inflation, and that does not consider debt-per-household of D200 oustanding debts, (over $150 million including the CAB interest cominf due soon: $50 million interest on a $13 million debt), or unfunded D290 pensions and OPEBs.

    At 4% property tax rates (2018), and assuming the home takes $18,000 homestead exemption, that equates to a breakeven price of $220,000 per new home.
    Assuming that new home is fairly assessed.

  12. Ouch Susan$! On top of that>

    Lawmakers can currently work one day to qualify for a whole month’s pay. A bill to change that has been stuck in committee since the spring.

    No work, no pay: That’s the intent of a bill proposed by Illinois state Rep. Mike Murphy, R-Springfield, that would ensure lawmakers are only paid for days they actually work, according to WCIA-TV.

    Murphy introduced the bill in January, but it has not seen action in the House Rules Committee since March. He believes now is a good time to take action on it in light of former Chicago state representative Luis Arroyo’s resignation on Nov. 1 after he was charged with bribery.

    “We had a representative recently resign the first of the month, so he’s going to be paid for the entire month,” Murphy told WCIA. “He’s going to get medical benefits, you know, insurance for the whole month. One more month will be added to his retirement and it’s just not right.”

    Murphy called it “silly” that Illinois legislators can work one day of the month and still receive compensation as if they had worked for the whole month.

    Former state Rep. Sarah Jimenez, who’s seat Murphy now holds, got the ball rolling on the issue in her time in the House after noticing she was paid for the entire month in which she took office, even though she began working at the end of it.

    Illinois lawmakers are among the highest paid in the nation after they voted to raise their pay $1,628 in the most recent state budget. The 2.4% cost-of-living increase brought the average Illinois lawmaker’s pay to $69,464. The national average for lawmaker pay is $38,434.

  13. Or another creeper bizness (they call it church, 501C is all it is) but you tax payers will get to foot the bill…

  14. What I said, or meant to convey, was that No sane home buyer would purchase a luxury home in a 4% property tax rate region.

    Every year, Woodstock real estate (unless enjoying special exemptions) loses 2%- 3% of value relative to h[mes in Chicago and America respectively.

    This is due to property tax rate capitalization.

    That is because People have a choice where to live.

    Wherever one lives, one pays for social service provision ( schools, police, government, etc.).

    Every Where But Woodstock, such average quality social services cost about 1% of home value annually in property taxes,

    The 3% additional property tax rate differential demanded in Woodstock is capitalized as negative home values.

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