Here is a list of all of the Redevelopment Sites that have been approved by Harrison Township in the past 10 years. The “Manzo Majority” has touted Redevelopment as the financial future of Harrison Township. Here are some things every resident must consider:
- The “Manzo Majority” is banking on the PILOT money from redevelopment. PILOT stands for Payment in Lieu of Taxes which the current administration claims will result in payments to the Township of 0.95 of every tax dollar collected in a redevelopment zone. The idea is that 95% of the tax revenue paid in a redevelopment zone (once the development is completed) will go directly to the Municipal Local Purpose Fund, and only 5% goes to the County. None of the money goes to the school budget!! What the “Manzo Majority” has not explained is how will the school budgets be funded (especially in light the additional students and services which will be required of the schools)? They will still be funded by the taxpayers (us). So while the Township may have more money to spend, the taxpayer will have to dig deeper to make up the difference.
- The redevelopment law permits a municipality to zone “areas in need of development” or “blighted” areas as redevelopment zones. Once so designated in a redevelopment plan, the property owners in the zone lose autonomy over their property and the Master Developer is in charge. The owners simply do not have the right to say no to the developer.
- Redevelopment zones give the “Manzo Majority” the absolute authority over the properties. When the Township passes an ordinance identifying a particular area for redevelopment (see below for the link to all of the many redevelopment sites in Harrison), the Township gets to handpick the Master Developer without competitive bidding and without regard to Pay to Play laws.
- Once a redevelopment zone has been adopted by Ordinance (even if it specifically excludes eminent domain), it can be amended to include eminent domain if the developer needs it to obtain the cooperation of a property owner. There is no right of first refusal for the property owners!
- As we can all see from what is happening in Richwood, redevelopment which is supposed to cure “blight” is creating blight.
- Redevelopment plans and sites present an opportunity for municipal leaders to abuse their role in representing the residents and instead reward developers, political cronies, and other consultants.