District 300 continues fight against Hoffman Estates development

  • One of the seven apartment buildings proposed by UrbanStreet Group LLC for the Plum Farms mixed-use development on 184 acres at the northwest corner of routes 59 and 72 in western Hoffman Estates. Officials at two nearby school districts are opposed to a special taxing district for the development because it would siphon money away from their schools.

    One of the seven apartment buildings proposed by UrbanStreet Group LLC for the Plum Farms mixed-use development on 184 acres at the northwest corner of routes 59 and 72 in western Hoffman Estates. Officials at two nearby school districts are opposed to a special taxing district for the development because it would siphon money away from their schools. Courtesy of Hoffman Estates

  • Open space, including 184 acres at the northwest corner of routes 59 and 72, is in question as Hoffman Estates leaders decide how to proceed with development. Leaders at Community Unit District 300 are opposed to establishing a special taxing district to help a proposed development and are negotiating to minimize its potential impact.

      Open space, including 184 acres at the northwest corner of routes 59 and 72, is in question as Hoffman Estates leaders decide how to proceed with development. Leaders at Community Unit District 300 are opposed to establishing a special taxing district to help a proposed development and are negotiating to minimize its potential impact. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 3/27/2017 5:11 PM

Plans to establish a special taxing district in western Hoffman Estates have stalled, but suburban school districts' fight against the proposed housing development is not over.

Superintendents of Community Unit District 300 and Barrington Unit District 220 recently made their case for why the tax increment financing district proposed for 184 acres at the northwest corner of routes 59 and 72 doesn't meet statutory eligibility requirements. The districts consulted with independent land use planning experts, who determined that the land is not blighted and therefore doesn't qualify for a TIF district designation.

 

A mix of apartments and single-family attached and detached houses is proposed for the site. The most recent concept plan calls for 1,035 residential units but could increase to up to 1,500 houses. The development also would have a commercial component.

A majority of taxing bodies constituting the joint review board for the proposed TIF district rejected the potential $21 million tax refund for that development March 21. But the proposal could resurface. The developer has 30 days to alter the request before the joint review board meets at 1:30 p.m. April 18 at Hoffman Estates village hall.

Even if the joint review board denies the TIF, the Hoffman Estates village board still could approve it with a 5-2 vote.

District 300 Superintendent Fred Heid said Monday that he will meet with Hoffman Estates village officials next week to negotiate some safeguards -- such as impact fees for potential students from that development and possibly land and funding allocations for a future school in that area -- should the project move forward.

Hoffman Estates is projecting the development will produce $194 million of incremental tax revenue over the 23-year life span of the TIF district.

Algonquin-based District 300 stands to lose about $42 million during that period without an intergovernmental agreement to protect its interests, Heid said. That's a gamble the district cannot afford with continued uncertainty over state education funding, he added.

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"I don't know what the landscape looks like in 23 years," Heid said.

District 300 already is affected by numerous special taxing districts that siphon more than $12 million in property taxes away from its schools.

"This is the first residential TIF, so the IGA (intergovernmental agreement) is precedent-setting," Heid said. "We are willing to wait and see and negotiate, if we can come up with something that benefits everyone. If not, we will maintain our position and argue against the TIF."

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