Five Rule Rural Planning

BOBBI PETTIT of Five Rule Rural Planning shows a map of Tilden to identify one of the areas being considered for blighted and substandard designation during a public hearing Thursday evening before the Madison County Joint Planning Commission.

Tilden is making it known that it is ready for business.

On Thursday, the Madison County Joint Planning Commission conducted four public hearings and then approved four related resolutions that would enable significant parts of the city to be eligible for grants or redevelopment assistance, including tax-increment financing or TIF.

The four resolutions are expected to go before the Tilden City Council in April. Thursday’s action comes on the heels of action approved last month by the joint planning commission and last week by the Tilden City Council, updating its comprehensive plan and future land map.

Helping to guide Tilden through the steps has been Bobbi Pettit of Kearney, a planner for Five Rule Rural Planning of Kearney. On Thursday, she explained the procedures being taken.

Pettit said she has been working with the city since 2018. There currently are no redevelopment plans in the works, but this action could attract interest from a local developer or outside developer, she said.

There are two areas considered in Tilden, known as Redevelopment Area 2 and Redevelopment Area 3. Redevelopment Area 2 consists of 173 acres, mainly north and immediately south of Highway 275, and with large portions of the east side. It is asymmetrical with a legal title about a page long, typed in single space.

Redevelopment Area 3 consists of 119 acres and is outside of the Tilden city limits, immediately on the west side of Tilden. Although it is outside of Tilden, it is within Tilden’s extra-territorial zoning jurisdiction and is in Antelope County. However, the Madison County Joint Planning Commission serves as the local zoning board for all the cities outside of Norfolk in Madison County, with the majority of Tilden located in Madison County.

Pettit said as Redevelopment Area 3 is now outside of the city limits, it would be ineligible for TIF. If a project would be proposed, Tilden could annex part or all of it, making the annexed part eligible for TIF.

Pettit discussed the procedures required for both blighted and substandard. Among other things, she identified objective criteria and noted that portions of the areas were improperly platted, most of the areas are in the flood plain and the property is endangered for fire protection. In some areas, the properties are served by old, four-inch water mains and should be upgraded to a minimum of six-inch water mains.

With tax-increment financing, developers can recover costs of the development from the additional property tax generated by the new development. With TIF, the amount of property taxes generated before the development continue to go toward all the government entities that collect property taxes, but any additional property taxes because of increased valuation can go back to cover the developer’s costs, for up to 10 years. After that, all the property taxes go to the government entities that collect property taxes.

TIF is an economic development tool that has been in place for at least 25 years and is used by many cities in Nebraska, including Norfolk and Madison. The blighted and substandard designation does not impact property valuations within the area, nor do they put restrictions on property owners.

Two people from Tilden asked questions about the procedures. They said some of the plats have been improper and some of the streets are not developed, which puts Tilden at a disadvantage with other towns and would make developing some of the property difficult. They said they support the attempt to try to redevelop it.

Since Tilden is known as a city of the second class, it cannot have more than 50 percent of the land within the city limits declared blighted and substandard.

Pettit said even with an earlier project and these two areas, Tilden is at 49 percent.

The Madison County Joint Planning Commission met Thursday evening at the planning commission office in Norfolk.

Members present: Richard Grant, Roger Acklie, Merlin Oswald, Joy Griffith, Merlin Milander and Zach Westerman.

Members absent: Stan Schapman. Steve Abler, Jim Prauner and Raymond Flood.

Others present: Planning and zoning administrator Heather McWhorter; zoning office assistant Jennie Martinez; eight members of the public and one media representative.

Meeting lasted: Two hours, 10 minutes, including 30-minute pre-meeting to ask questions about a livestock zoning matrix and proposed confinement barn.

— Conducted a public hearing and approved a conditional-use permit application from John and Rose Wiese to build a hog confinement. It is located north and east of Newman Grove, east of 541st Avenue along 823rd Road. Plans include one barn for up to 2,400 head of hogs or two barns of up to 1,000 head each. Wiese plans to custom feed the hogs, which will weigh at least 55 pounds and be raised until finishing. Manure will be stored in a pit 8 feet deep and applied to crop land at least once a year. It will be knifed in. The application passes the county zoning matrix and meets all setbacks. Nobody spoke in opposition. It is expected to go before the Madison County board of commissioners on Tuesday, March 17.

— Conducted a public hearing and approved the application of Charles Frohberg to operate an event venue on land north of Battle Creek at 54783 843 Road. Frohberg said the plans are subject to approval of conditions placed on it by the fire marshal. The building was built as a shop and contains more than 3,000 square feet. It includes a vaulted ceiling and insulated walls. There is no kitchen. There is parking on grass near the building. It is located on a gravel road, about a mile from Highway 275. Crowd size would be limited to 300 or whatever the fire marshal determines appropriate. There also is a shelter belt, and the nearest neighbor is one-fourth mile away. Frohberg said he hasn’t decided if he will seek a liquor license or have caterers carry it. If alcohol is sold on the property, either the caterer or Frohberg would have to provide security. Events would mainly consist of weddings and reunions. Nobody spoke in opposition. The application is expected to go before the Madison County board of commissioners on Tuesday, March 17.

— Commissioners also reviewed the zoning administrator’s report.

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