Halt the Foster Edens TIF - Answer Our Community's Questions!
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(Update below) In September 2017, Alderman Margaret Laurino and Jaffe Development proposed the $68M Foster Edens TIF at a community meeting. This TIF would provide substantial funding to Jaffe for construction of a 15-tenant strip mall at Foster and I-94.
As concerned citizens, we feel the TIF approval, being voted on by the city's Community Development Commission on Tuesday, 12.12.17, is rushed. We have questions that have not been answered and are asking for the vote to be delayed by three months so we can learn more about the implications of this TIF on our community. Our concerns/questions include but are not limited to:
- Why does the developer need TIF money (our taxes) to build on a prime retail location?
- How will the TIF - which for 23 years, will divert up to $68M of our taxes into a fund for disbursement by the alderman to developers - impact schools, libraries, city services? We know this TIF does not include our neighborhood school, Palmer Elementary, and will divert up to $33M away from public schools to developers.
- How will increased traffic on Cicero, Foster, Elston and in our neighborhoods of Forest Glen, Mayfair and North Mayfair be addressed?
- How will this mega-mall impact the premiere bird migratory area of LaBagh Woods, the county forest preserve?
- How is the burgeoning bicycling identity of this area - located at the confluence of the North Branch Bike Trail and coming Weber Spur - reflected in the development?
- What is the long-term business vision for the Elston/Lawrence and other boundaries of the proposed TIF? Who will decide how funds are disbursed? What is the criteria? How is this reported? What is the accountability to the public?
- How will this TIF improve our quality of life?
We believe that if the TIF is good for us and our area, a 3-month delay on the vote to approve will give officials enough time to engage with us and make their case. It will give all of us a chance to ask TIF-related questions of officials and involved parties. Let's slow the process down BEFORE this TIF is a done deal. Please sign if you want more time and information about the impact of this TIF.
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