by ELENA DURNBAUGH
The Shelby Township Board of Trustees voted to introduce a new Downtown Development Authority Ordinance that will expand the DDA boundaries and adopt and amend a new DDA Plan.
Although Shelby Township does not have a downtown like other places in the metro area, like Utica or Rochester, Director of Planning and Zoning Glenn Wynn explained that the DDA in Shelby would serve as a financing mechanism to capture taxes and use the money for improvements.
“Calling it a downtown is a misnomer,” Wynn said. “We’re not trying to be something we’re not. We’re trying to use this as a tool.”
Shelby Township previously had a DDA boundary extending from the Utica city limits to 25 Mile Road. Approximately 10 years ago, Shelby Township DDA funds were used to extend the sewer system south of 22 Mile Road. According to Wynn, now that there’s a new sanitary system, new development is able to take place on the south end of Van Dyke.
The new DDA ordinance will increase the boundary to 26 Mile. Wynn said that the area was better thought of as a corridor rather than a downtown. In addition to expanding the DDA boundaries, the new ordinance will reset the base property values.
“In 2008, we all know, the economy went under, so the
values took a real dive. The DDA is underwater and they’re not collecting any money. There’s no taxes to collect,” Wynn said.
Adopting and amending a new DDA plan will allow the township to start over so that property values accurately reflect what they are today.
“We’re resetting the values so we don’t have to keep catching up,” Wynn said.
Earlier this year, the township sent notices to all property owners within the new boundaries as well as the taxing jurisdictions that will be affected by the DDA tax capture. These included
Macomb County Board of Commissioners, the County Executive, Department of Public Works, and the Treasurer, the Macomb Intermediate School District, the Huron Clinton Metropolitan Authority, S.M.A.R.T, and Utica Community Schools. Each taxing jurisdiction had the opportunity to opt out. Only the Huron Clinton Metropark passed a resolution to be exempted from DDA tax capture.
The Township Board of Trustees plans to adopt the ordinance at the June 18 board meeting.