Lakewood TIF Timeline

Rural Woodstock resident Susan Handelsman offer the following summary of Lakewood’s Tax Increment Financing District:

Lakewood TIF Timeline:

1.Late 2014-Early 2015; Lakewood announced plans for, and voted into existence, a 600+ acre tif district which would include a Sportsplex on one operational golf course acreage.

The acreage of Lakewood tif encompasses two operational golf courses, cornfields,  a few homesteads, and two plant nurseries. There are about 3 miles of road frontage on two State roads included in Lakewood tif.

2. Early 2015: Citizens began asking Woodstock CUSD 200 (and other affected taxing bodies) to investigate legal options to invalidate this tif (based upon shaky ‘blight’ and ‘but-for’ designations, as well as ambiguous tif statute language barring development of tif golf courses).

Woodstock Citizens pleaded with D200 Superintendent for D200 to investigate detachment-annexation procedure in order to transfer tif area into the school districts which educated all Lakewood children and received all Lakewood property tax revenue. If the tif was an benign as Lakewood insisted it would be, there should be no problem getting Lakewood school districts to agree.

3. Early 2015: Citizens predicted (time-stamp memorialized onmchenrycountyblog.com) that the Sportsplex was a shill in order to get a free shot (different school district placement) for low income housing well away from the poshy golf course community of Lakewood, with education costs paid for by non-Lakewood taxpayers.

Illinois Affordable Housing Act demanded a July 2015 report on how Lakewood would comply with 10% affordable housing when Lakewood’scurrent ratio was about 2.5%.

4.July 2015: Lakewood passed resolution to site minimum 100 low income housing units in tif.  (Tif is in Woodstock school D200, which is paid for entirely by non-Lakewood taxpayers. Lakewood sends all its own children and tax dollars to Crystal Lake school districts.)

Citizens renewed pleas with D200 to initiate detachment-annexation proceedings to transfer the tif area into the school districts in Crystal Lake which educate all Lakewood children and receive all Lakewood property tax dollars.

5. Sportsplex has not been mentioned lately; no proposed commercial development currently exists to justify tif designation.

6. Citizens continue to ask Woodstock D200 school board and superintendent for protection against a tax liability dump of projected minimum $540,000 annually for 35 years, in order to  pay for Lakewood tif children’s education, while Lakewood collected all tif property tax dollars. D200 only reply was : “we are examining our legal options”.

7. December 15 2015 regular school board meeting. Superintendent Moan, on advice of retained counsel, proposed D200 file a lawsuit against Lakewood to invalidate the tif.

Chairwoman Camille Goodwin proposed tabling the motion so she could meet with Lakewood after a week. School board voted unanimously to table motion for lawsuit.

Superintendent Moan was quick enough to ask for special board meeting on motion which would fall within the time frame allowed by law for filing suit.

Next D200 meeting to be December 30th to vote on tabled motion to litigate.

(Time limitations? Tif was gavelled into existence by Lakewood in January 2015).

(A copy of prepared complaint– for which D200 taxpayers will need to pay in any case– is included in December 15 2015 D200 agenda packet).

8. December 30 2015: School board took no action on proposed litigation against improper Lakewood tif. On December 30th 2015. Citizens had begged school board chairwoman (a licensed attorney) to obtain a tolling agreement in return for stalling litigation.

9. Lakewood  announced developer interest in 240 unit poshy condo development on Lakewood golf course Turnberry. Citizens pointed out that this will raise need for ‘affordable housing’ by another 24 units, presumably to be sited in tif, with Woodstock D200 taxpayers paying the full cost on Lakewood’s behalf while Lakewood collects even MORE incremental property tax revenue for their own sole benefit.

It was suggested that Lakewood could EASILY find financing for its mandatory 100 affordable housing units on Turnberry, and no sewer/water build-out expenses would be needed as seemed to be the case in the tif.

10. Citizens have repeatedly emailed and called school board members begging that D200:

      •    Obtain a Tolling Agreement from Lakewood, or D200 should simply file suit and then ‘negotiate’,
      •    Because the Tif Statute strictly limits the maximum amount of money Lakewood tif would be allowed to pay D200  to an amount which is a tiny percentage of the cost levied against taxpayer citizens:  Quantify the risk associated with novel PILOT agreements proposed by Lakewood in light of successful lawsuits by payers of PILOTs to obtain rebates and nullify these unorthodox agreements—often many years later and with interest attached.
      •     D200 should seek other similarly situated plaintiffs:  other taxing bodies in McHenry County who will also lose millions of dollars of property taxes over the 35 year lifespan of the Lakewood tif. Lakewood did not comply with tif statute in notifying all concerned agencies of material change in vague original tif plan. (City Manager Petersen stated at Lakewood meeting in which tif was formed that she did not plan major residential development in tif).
      •     Consider: There are other compelling legal theories which render Lakewood tif invalid, other than those cited in the compliant published in D200 School Board meeting agenda packet.
      •     School Board members who vote on or influence the vote on this lawsuit should file personal conflict statements regarding any affiliations they might have with Lakewood, developers  negotiating to participate in this tif, or the tif promotion industry. Conflicted individuals should recuse themselves from voting.11. Citizen sent Expected Return Analysis to D200 board members, indicating a conservative expected LOSS OF MORE THAN $30 MILLION to Woodstock D200 taxpayers if D200 obstructs litigation efforts. Citizen requested school board members construct their own expected return analysis with their own assumptions before voting.

12. January 12 2016: Regular board meeting: School board took no action on proposed litigation against improper Lakewood tif. School board has ignored pleas to articulate rationale for ‘negotiations’ which cannot, by law, pay Woodstock D200 taxpayers anywhere near the break-even costs of subsidizing Lakewood’s students.

13. Next D200 school board meeting scheduled evening of January 26 2016. Lakewood tif was born the evening of January 27, 2015.


Comments

Lakewood TIF Timeline — 2 Comments

  1. Documenting and publishing what’s happening and getting organized are two of the best tools available to taxpayers.

    +++++++++

    Affordable Housing Plan Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Lakewood

    July 28, 2015

    Introduction

    A. The Village of Lakewood

    The Village of Lakewood is located approximately 50 miles northwest of Chicago in McHenry County.

    The community was incorporated in 1933 by a vote of 52 to 0.

    At that time, there were approximately 40 homes on the southern shore of Crystal Lake.

    The Village of Lakewood’s population grew to 393 in 1950; 635 in 1960; and 782 in 1970.

    The community experienced a series of significant annexations in the 1970’s, the first of which was a 450 acre farm that was developed into Turnberry Subdivision.

    With these annexations, the population began to grow steadily.

    The population was 1,254 in 1980; 1,609 in 1990; and 2,337 in 2000.

    Like many communities, growth slowed beginning in 2008 and is just starting to return.

    However, it is not expected that residential growth will return to the peak experienced in the early to mid 2000’s.

    The most recent population figure was 3,811 in 2010.

    The Village of Lakewood remains a primarily residential community with a limited retail/commercial sector consisting of 2 garden centers; 4 golf courses; a restaurant; and a small retail center.

    B. Illinois Affordable Housing Planning and Appeal Act

    The Illinois Affordable Housing Planning and Appeal Act, 310 ILCS 67 /1 et seq. (AHPA) became effective on January 1, 2004. The AHPA’s legislative findings declare that:

    • There exists a shortage of affordable, accessible, safe, and sanitary housing in the state of Illinois;

    • It is imperative that action be taken to assure the availability of workforce and retirement housing;
    and

    • Local governments in the state of Illinois that do not have sufficient affordable housing are
    encouraged to assist in providing affordable housing opportunities to assure the health, safety, and
    welfare of all citizens in the state of Illinois.
    {310 ILCS 67 /5)

    Based on these legislative findings, the legislative purpose statement establishes how these findings are to be addressed by the AHPA:

    • The purpose of this Act is to encourage counties and municipalities to incorporate affordable housing within their housing stock sufficient to meet the needs of their county or community. Further, affordable housing developers who believe that they have been unfairly treated due to the fact that the development contains affordable housing may seek relief from local ordinances and regulations that may inhibit the construction of affordable housing needed to serve low-income and moderate-income households.
    (310 ILCS 67 /10).

    Under the AHPA, municipalities and counties found to have less than 10% of their year round housing stock affordable, as defined in the AHPA, must prepare and adopt an affordable housing plan that must, at a minimum:

    • State the total number of affordable housing units necessary to reach the 10% affordable year-round housing threshold established under AHPA;

    • Identify lands within the local government appropriate for the construction of affordable housing and existing structures appropriate for conversion to affordable housing;

    • Incentives that may be offered by the local government for the purpose of attracting affordable housing; and

    • Establish one of three goals: (1) minimum of fifteen percent (15%) of all new development or redevelopment to be affordable housing; (2) a minimum of ten percent (10%) of affordable housing; or (3) a minimum of three (3) percentage increase in overall percentage of affordable housing units.

    Declaration of Required Units

    According to the Illinois Housing Development Authority {IHDA), the Village of Lakewood has 1,367 total occupied housing units. Of this figure, the IHDA indicates that 37 housing units (or 2.7%) in the community are affordable.

    Based on these calculations, the Village of Lakewood needs a total of 137 total occupied housing units that are affordable and currently has 37 units.

    Therefore, the Village of Lakewood needs an additional 100 units of affordable housing to be in compliance with IHDA calculations.

    Declaration of Housing Goal

    In consideration of the three alternative goals as specified in the AHPA, the Village of Lakewood herby selects the goal that a total of 10% of the total dwelling units within the community, the sum of owner-occupied and rental, shall be affordable housing units.

    Potential Locations and Incentives

    In 2010, the Village of Lakewood annexed approximately six hundred (600) acres of land in and around the intersection of Illinois Route 47 and 176.

    This land remains primarily undeveloped.

    The Village of Lakewood envisions mixed-use development in this area, which presents an excellent opportunity to develop affordable housing in close proximity to employment centers.

    In 2015, the Village of Lakewood created a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District to overlay this property.

    As a component of the Tax Increment Financing (TIF} Eligibility Study and Redevelopment Plan and Project, the Village of Lakewood was required to develop a plan and budget for Estimated TIF-Eligible dedevelopment Project Costs (Attached as Exhibit A).

    Please note that $1,000,000 has been identified for affordable housing construction within the TIF District.

    The Village of Lakewood believes that this property presents an unparalleled opportunity to construct affordable housing as part of a large scale, multiuse, integrated development that provides both housing and employment options to low and moderate income households, as well as those individuals with disabilities.

    Both of these actions are consistent with the Village of Lakewood’s 2005 Affordable Housing Plan, which identified the Illinois Route 47 and Illinois Route 176 corridor as an appropriate site for affordable housing.

    Excluded Locations

    Given that the established neighborhoods are nearly built out, the Village of Lakewood does not believe it is cost effective or efficient to expend significant resources to retrofit areas for affordable housing.

    The exception is to work with non profit agencies to develop group homes for persons with disabilities as noted below.

    Action Steps

    Since the adoption of its initial Affordable Housing Plan in 2005, the Village of Lakewood has taken a number of steps to increase its stock of affordable housing.

    The first was to direct its Village Manager to serve on the McHenry County Housing Commission.

    The primary purpose of this directive was to allow the Village Manager to better understand the housing needs of the region and, as a result, the Village of Lakewood.

    The secondary purpose was to educate the staff about the complex financing mechanisms often associated with affordable housing projects and to meet potential developers who might have an interest in building in the Village of Lakewood.

    The Village Manger will continue to serve in this capacity.

    In December of 2013, the Pioneer Center for Human Services opened a group home in the Village of Lakewood.

    It has been a very positive experience for both the residents of the new home and the larger community.

    Per a July 18, 2015 article in the Northwest Herald, there is a significant need in McHenry County, and throughout the state of Illinois, for group homes for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

    The Village of Lakewood will continue to partner with Pioneer Center for Human Services and similar organizations to provide housing options for persons with disabilities.

    Finally, the Village of Lakewood will continue to take the steps necessary (i.e. extension of utilities and identification of developers) to allow multi use development to occur in the newly created TIF District.

    Said development will include affordable housing that will allow the Village of Lakewood to meet the standards established by the state of Illinois.

    Once the Village of Lakewood has approved and submitted its Affordable Housing Plan to the IHDA, the Affordable Housing Plan will be available for review at Village Hall and Posted on the community’s website.

    Conclusion

    The Village of Lakewood will continue to promote healthy, stable, and vibrant neighborhoods while complying with the standards for affordable housing established by the IHPA.

    – pages 48 – 52 of the pdf

    http://www.village.lakewood.il.us/vertical/sites/%7BA79C7536-A08B-49AC-8F3D-38ACEDC9A6CC%7D/uploads/July_28_2015.pdf

  2. in 2010 the village forcefully annexed a good amount of this property with promises and manipulation and contracts that hopefully will be challenged one day!!!

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