Yorkville Council extends home-building incentive
By Steve Lord email@example.com March 14, 2013 6:16PM
Updated: April 18, 2013 6:24AM
YORKVILLE – The success of the BUILD program here is prompting aldermen to look at extending it again, this time without any limits.
The program, which stands for Buyers of Undeveloped Infill Lot Discount, actually pays potential residents to relocate to the city and build a new home. It also provides an incentive to builders by delaying and lessening the amount they pay in things such as impact and permit fees.
Aldermen this week gave a consensus to city staff to come up with a resolution to renew the program for the third time. The City Council will vote on the resolution later this year.
Under the program, a new homebuyer can receive a check from the city for up to $10,000.
“I fully support this again,” said Alderman Larry Kot, 2nd Ward. “This has been a huge success.”
The program was conceived to try to get homes built on some of the large number of platted lots in subdivisions in the city that now are vacant. Unfinished subdivisions, where lots were platted and in some cases infrastructure put in but only a fraction of planned homes built, have plagued the city.
In many cases, developers were bankrupt and pulled out, leaving the lots owned by banks or other entities not interested in developing them, but unable to sell them.
After being one of the fastest-growing communities in the state in one of the fastest-growing counties in the country, Yorkville’s development slowed to a snail’s pace from 2009 through 2011.
The council first approved BUILD as a pilot program in January 2012. At the time, it was limited to 30 building permits, and was to last for six month. The council extended it again for another 30 permits.
According to a city memo, the Building Department has received 53 eligible applications for new single-family detached residences, of which 46 occupancy permits already have been issued. That means only seven BUILD permits are left.
In addition, the city has approved 38 regular new home building permits, bringing the overall total of new residential construction permits issued in the city to 84 since the beginning of 2012, according to city officials.
That basically matches the total of 85 new single-family residential home starts issued for all of calendar years 2010 and 2011.
Also according to city figures, that has translated to about $160,000 average construction value of BUILD permit applications, generating about $770,000 in permit fees. Taking away the incentive offered on the 46 applications, it has translated to $540,000 in increased revenue for the city during the past year, city officials said.
Under the program, builders can delay paying building permit and impact fees until the certificate of occupancy is issued, provided the house is ready for residents to move in within a year of getting a BUILD permit.
The city rebates a portion of the building permit fee, up to $5,000, with a matching contribution up to $5,000 from the builder or developer, and presents the homebuyer with a check for up to $10,000 after closing.
Most aldermen and Mayor Gary Golinski said they favor keeping the program. Alderman Carlo Colosimo, 1st Ward, who has consistently voted against the program, said he could not support an extension until the city has some kind of program that encourages the sale of homes left vacant through foreclosures.