GLEN ELLYN – The village of Glen Ellyn is looking to create a new TIF district along Roosevelt Road, causing alarm among residents of an apartment complex who received notice they could potentially be displaced if new development were to come to the area.
The proposed TIF district would include the north side of Roosevelt Road from Main Street to Park Boulevard and the area bordered by Park Boulevard, Route 53, Roosevelt Road and Taft Avenue.
Parkside Apartments, located at 16 N. Parkside Ave., would be within the proposed TIF district. Many of the 120-unit complex's residents are immigrants and refugees.
Although the public notice sent by the village to residents states it is reasonable to expect they may be displaced by the proposed redevelopment project area, Glen Ellyn has "no plans to relocate any residents within the TIF district," said Kristen Schrader, assistant to the village manager.
"That's not the intention," Schrader said. "That's what we legally had to write."
The area included within the proposed TIF district along Roosevelt Road has struggled with private development, so the village hopes to encourage development through public-private partnerships brought about through the TIF, Schrader said.
Within a TIF district, property taxes paid on the base value of property within the area go to taxing bodies as they normally would. When property values grow, taxes paid on those increases are reinvested in the development of the area.
TIF funds can be used to attract new developments, but they also can be used to improve existing infrastructure within an area. For example, Schrader said the Parkside Apartments' landscaping and buildings could benefit from some investment.
However, Glen Ellyn currently has no specific plans for any portion of land included within the proposed TIF district, she said.
Emily Gray, executive director of World Relief DuPage/Aurora, said she'd like to see an assurance from the village that plans would not include reducing affordable housing in the area, which is the primary concern for the organization in the TIF district discussions.
While using TIF funds to improve or expand the Parkside Apartments would be a good thing, Gray said she's not sure where residents would go if the TIF were to attract a new development that would take the place of the affordable housing provided by the complex.
Gray said there is a lack of affordable housing in the western suburbs of Chicago.
"It's hard to be a welcoming community when people can't find a place to live," said Gray.
If the apartments are included in the TIF district and development displaces residents, Glen Ellyn would be required to help residents find new, similar housing within DuPage County, Schrader said.
Irving Ruiz, a Wheaton College student who lives in the Parkside Apartments, was featured in a video against the inclusion of the apartments in the district and said the thought of residents having to move gave him a sinking feeling.
"Nobody wants to be taken out of a place they love to live in," Ruiz said in the video.
There has been no discussion by village officials of excluding the Parkside Apartments from the TIF district, although Schrader said they will keep the lines of communication open.
A draft redevelopment plan for the TIF district will be available June 27 online and at the Glen Ellyn Civic Center, 535 Duane St. At the end of July, a Joint Review Board made up of representatives from taxing bodies included in the district will meet to make a recommendation to the Glen Ellyn Village Board.
A public hearing is expected to be held in September. The village board will wait at least 14 days after the hearing to consider the TIF ordinance.