Village Board discusses developer fee reduction

By on September 18, 2009

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—With one new housing permit applied for this fiscal year, the Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday discussed reducing developer fees to stimulate residential growth.

Prairie Glen developers The Windham Group approached village staff several months ago regarding short-term reductions and deferrals of fees. Village Board members said in August that they were generally favorable toward some type of short-term adjustment of fees, and asked staff to explore the idea further with the developer.

Some trustees, such as Tom Renk, Kevin Geary and Mari Johnson, said they thought a minimum 50 percent reduction in fees across the board seemed like a good way to stimulate residential and thus commercial growth.

“We’ve got a lot of nothing right now,” Renk said. “Look at it as a partnership with our builders. We’ll do a better job of filling all the commercial (property). It’s a signal to the development community. It takes us back to where we were going three years ago with a vengeance.”

Trustee Bob Bohler said the village should look at commercial incentives instead, reminding the board that Prairie Glen still has 23 acres of empty commercial property.

“I’m not convinced this is going to stimulate residential development,” he said. “Commercial developers have money.”

Representatives of other local taxing bodies, such as Kaneland School District, said they wanted more time to review the concept. The School District has the most at stake, Village Administrator Brent Eichelberger said.

Depending on the agency and the development, the village collects land-cash, capital impact and transition fees for other agencies. In the case of Prairie Glen, these fees total approximately $8,500.

The topic will come before the board again at a future meeting.