The Lincoln City City Council this week achieved some of the most important strategic municipal goals there is – building new housing, commercial areas, recreation facilities, hiking paths, maybe some tennis courts. and more. The city council this week formally adopted a plan to move ahead on what has been called “The Villages” just north of town. City Councilors for years have watched plans moving slowly ahead. Those plans are now firmly in place.
The idea is to begin building urban facilities in and around The Villages north of Logan road, like roads, power facilities, parks, pathways, houses and commercial areas. The funding mechanism is called Urban Renewal. And here’s how it works. The city goes in and partners with development contractors and begin building The Villages at Sitka Woods – the new name for the area. Over time roads are put in, houses go up, recreation centers pop up out of the ground. And of course, land and home values at The Villages will soar and tax revenues to city hall will rise – a lot – but just from The Villages which becomes what’s called an Urban Renewal District. No where else in town will taxes rise appreciably.
The way it works is that as construction builds up in the area, it also builds up the value of what’s being built including a lot of pricey homes and mini-mansions. And with that increase in property values the city can harvest a property tax that can help carry the development forward for years. The tax increment (right off the top of tax payments) creates more streets, water, sewer, recreational opportunities and all the rest. It’s generally a slow process, but it develops a boat load of money after the first five years as property values, in some instances, skyrockets. And that’s what’s expected at The Villages@Sitka Woods.
How quickly this new center of economic activity develops will depend on the economy and tightly coordinated approach to literally lifting an entire community up out of the ground and into the trees, overlooking the ocean. It’s going to take a number of years to pull it off. The city council gave it a big thumbs up this week. Again, it’ll take some time. But once it starts, it’ll be quite impressive.
On another front, city councilors learned that Lincoln City’s fireworks displays aren’t just for the 4th of July, apparently. Everybody’s getting in to it. It’s become an off and on noisy, disturbing intrusion into the lives of people – especially at the north end of town where there are a lot of vacation rentals. And the neighbors are getting fed up with them.
One city councilor, who lives up there says the abuse of fireworks is way out of control. There are spot fires and lots of noise, she said. Neighbors say it’s time for the Lincoln City Police Department to step in to restore the peace and quiet of the neighborhood. Police Chief Jerry Palmer was not enthused about the whole thing. None-the-less it appeared that the city council wanted something done about it because fireworks aren’t just limited to the 4th of July. They say it’s getting to be all summer long which also raises the chances of grass, forest and house fires. So we’ll see where this ends up.