The city of Clear Lake is considering the establishment of a new urban revitalization area in hopes that it will increase housing options in the community.
The Clear Lake City Council will vote on the proposed Glen Oaks and First Avenue South Urban Revitalization Area plan Monday after a public hearing.
“The City recognizes that the availability of housing is important in attracting new and retaining existing residents, business and industry,” the draft plan says. “There is a need for more housing options in the City.”
An urban revitalization area allows the city to provide financial incentives like tax abatements to residential and commercial developers to encourage redevelopment and revitalization in a designated area under Iowa code.
The city’s proposed urban revitalization area comprises a property on First Avenue South, formerly owned by Northland Glass, and the One Vision campus, including its new 48-unit senior-focused independent living apartment complex TimberCrest.
TimberCrest is part of Glen Oaks Community, One Vision’s recent project aimed at revitalizing and repurposing its Clear Lake campus into an active senior living community.
The project was prompted by changes in the way One Vision provides services to the people it supports since 1999, when the Supreme Court ruled that people with disabilities have a right to live in the community instead of segregated. Before then, the campus housed people with physical and intellectual disabilities.
The former Northland Glass property at 305 First Ave. S. is being considered for more apartments.
Aside from being considered in the same urban revitalization area and plan, the two projects aren’t connected, Clear Lake City Administrator Scott Flory said.
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“Other than we were able to persuade One Vision to pay for the consultant who prepared the plan for both areas, no. There’s nothing more than that,” he said. “While the consultant was doing the plan for the Glen Oaks area, we kind of rode on the coattails of One Vision and had them prepare the plan for the First Avenue South, as well.”
According to the plan, property improvements, including rehabilitation and additions to existing residential and commercial structures as well as new construction that increases assessed property value by at least 10% and $10,000, would be eligible for tax abatements.
Flory said the city agreed to support a five-year 80% property tax abatement for the two projects in the proposed area.
“The incentive was necessary to induce both development projects,” he said.
The public hearing will take place at 6:15 p.m. at the Council Chambers, 15 N. Sixth St. in Clear Lake.
If the plan is approved, the council will have its second and third readings of the ordinance at meetings on Dec. 2 and Dec. 16, respectively.