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July Hearing on Hadley Redevelopment Area is Planned

The decision came Thursday during a meeting of the Richmond Heights Tax Increment Financing Commission.

A public hearing about a in Richmond Heights has been scheduled for 7 p.m. July 20 at .

The city hopes that adjusting the boundaries will relieve some homeowners who don't want to be included in the redevelopment area, City Manager Amy Hamilton told the Richmond Heights Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Commission on Thursday at .

Doing so would allow homeowners to make property upgrades without fear of a buyout from a developer.

"Why not remove that cloud over them?" Hamilton said. Traditionally, a TIF is used to generate revenue for development in a specified area of a community, a 1997 report titled "Tax Increment Financing in the State of Missouri" states. The Missouri Revised Statutes outline how a TIF may be formed and used.

The move also is aimed at making the size of the redevelopment area more manageable for prospective developers, who have expressed concern that the current area is too large and would be too expensive to develop.

Although no developers have been identified at this time, Hamilton said, one of the smaller sections targeted for removal, known as Redevelopment Project Area (RPA) 2, has historically not generated the same level of interest as the larger RPA 1, which includes . An eastern portion of RPA 1 also would be removed under the proposal.

The proposed amendment elaborates on the city's intentions for shrinking the redevelopment area.

"The portions of the original redevelopment area being removed by this 2011 Amendment are unlikely to be part of a large-scale, unified redevelopment in the foreseeable future," the proposed amendment states. "The city believes that these portions of the original redevelopment area can be stabilized or rehabilitated without the need for TIF assistance. A few of the vacant buildings in the areas being removed from the redevelopment area that are not economically feasible to rehabilitate may be demolished and turned into green or park space."

Land that would be removed from the redevelopment area includes parts of Thomas Street and West Bruno Avenue, a map provided by the city shows. A chunk of land between Dale Avenue and Elinor Avenue including Douglas Avenue and the eastern portion of Hicks Avenue also would be removed.

The new redevelopment area would be composed of 41 acres, including five city-owned acres north of Dale Avenue, a city document titled "2011 Blight Study Update" states. It includes 137 structures, the vast majority of which are residential buildings.

The amendment would also lower the level of available TIF assistance from $48 million to $46 million.

The city wants to shrink the redevelopment area now because of legal concerns over leaving it enact with no real prospect of legitimate development interest, City Attorney Kenneth Heinz said.

Also on Thursday, the commission elected officers. Former Richmond Heights mayor Betty Humphrey has been named chairman. Michael Pratl has been named vice chairman, and Michele Kopolow has been named secretary.

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