Development and Planning

Council Considers Record-Breaking 60-Year TIF to Avoid Sharing Revenues

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Council is hastening to vote to extend the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) plan on the Marriott University Place property as much as 30 more years at a 100% level of tax capture, bringing the TIF plan at this location to a record-setting 60 years. The current 30-year plan is not set to expire until December, 2016, but City staff fear that if Council waits to extend it, new rules at the State level will restrict what they can do in terms of TIF at this location.

Urban EL Neighborhood Landlords and Homeowners Meeting

Sunday, October 26, 2014

On Monday, October 27, at 7 pm, homeowners from five East Lansing urban neighborhoods and landlords who rent out houses in those neighborhoods will meet officially for the second time to discuss possible changes to property regulation in those neighborhoods. They will discuss a draft list of recommendations that may then be revised and sent “up” for discussion and approval by City government.

ASK ELi: Are We Really $185 Million in Debt?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Our Friday feature here at ELi is called “Ask ELi to Investigate.” We take a question from a reader and assign a citizen-reporter to investigate the answer, and then we bring you the results. If you’d like to submit a question for “Ask ELi to investigate,” use our contact form.

A reader asks: Is East Lansing really $185 million in debt? How did it get so large?

Planning Commission Considers New Developments

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The East Lansing Planning Commission met last night (October 9), reviewing several important proposals in enough depth to have the meeting run over four hours. No votes were taking on these projects. The meeting concluded with one commissioner challenging critical remarks made by Mayor Nathan Triplett about the Commission on Triplett’s Facebook page. (ELi covers that in a separate report.)

Objection Raised to Mayor’s Online Criticism of Planning Commission

Thursday, October 9, 2014

At the East Lansing Planning Commission last night (October 8), during the period reserved for commissioners’ reports, Commissioner Erik Altmann took issue with Mayor Nathan Triplett’s online criticisms of East Lansing’s Planning Commissioners. Altmann specifically objected to Triplett’s characterization of Planning Commissioners as being afraid of new technologies and as perhaps hiding political agendas.

Council Capsule: October 7, 2014

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Note: ELi is instituting new weekly features! Today we introduce our new Wednesday feature, “Council Capsule,” which gives you a run-down of what happened at City Council the night before. Capsules will include major votes including tallies and reporting (as well as non-reporting) of potential conflicts-of-interest. Video recordings of Council can be viewed at the City of East Lansing website.

In 3-2 Vote, Council Grants Developer TIF Boost

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Following a highly contentious discussion between Mayor Nathan Triplett and City Council member Ruth Beier, the City Council voted 3-2 to grant the Trowbridge Plaza developer his wish for as much as $1.2 million more in reimbursement from tax revenues over 16 years, funds that would otherwise have gone to public services. Triplett was joined by Mayor Pro Tem Diane Goddeeris and Council member Susan Woods in voting for changing the TIF plan from a 50/50 division to a 65/35 split in favor of the developer. Beier and Council member Kathy Boyle voted against.

City Council to Decide on Trowbridge Developer’s Request to Change Tax Plan

Monday, October 6, 2014

On Tuesday night (October 7), East Lansing City Council is expected to make the final ruling on a request from the redeveloper of Trowbridge Plaza, the former location of Goodrich Shoprite, to give the developer hundreds of thousands of dollars more than previously planned under Tax Increment Financing (TIF).

A Word from Our Publisher

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Photo credit: Jenny Stevenson Phtography (ELi) has been up and running for about a month and the response has been tremendous! People all over town are sharing our articles and are talking about how refreshing it is to have an independent, nonpartisan news source focused on our otherwise-overlooked small city. The excitement is palpable, and the level of participation is terrific!

City Has Leased Land to Developers; Could Do So Again if Ballot Measure Fails

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Advocates of a “yes” vote on the November ballot question—a question about whether the City Council should be authorized to sell three parking lots—say that this is necessary for development to proceed in the Park District (Valley Court) area. But it is possible the City Council could decide to long-term lease City-owned land, essentially bypassing direct-voter input on the question. A long-term land-lease was employed with the University Place (downtown Marriott) property almost 30 years ago.

Bailey Residents Concerned that Community Center on List for Sale

Thursday, October 2, 2014

In an effort to push development within city limits, City of East Lansing Planning staff have produced a recommended list of “redevelopment ready” properties. This is essentially a list meant to attract potential developers, and although Bailey neighborhood residents thought the Bailey Community Center had come off the redevelopment-ready list at their request, according to a recent disclosure by City Planning staff, the Bailey Community Center is back on the draft list.

Who Is Behind ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ Vote Campaigns?

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

As reported for ELi yesterday, dueling “yes” versus “no” campaigns have emerged over the November ballot question asking East Lansing citizens whether the City should be allowed to sell three parking lots in the Park District planning area. Today we report on what we have learned regarding who is behind the “yes” and “no” campaigns.

The “No” campaign:

Brownfield Redevelopment Authority Approves Trowbridge Developer’s Request

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (BRA) voted at its meeting on September 25 to favorably recommend to the City Council a second amendment to the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) plan requested by River Caddis Development for the Trowbridge Road development that is underway.