No progress on zone extensions

October 10, 2008
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Kent County commissioners didn’t take up the time extensions for three Renaissance Zone properties in Grand Rapids at Thursday night’s meeting, and the non-action amounts to a pocket veto of those requests under a state statute that became law in April.

Via Design, Wealthy Street Historical Development LLC, and True North Architecture, Construction and Investments have applied for extensions with the city, but the county has to agree to extend the time durations for the properties before the city can forward the requests to the state for final approval.

All three have said their projects likely won’t go forward if the zones aren’t extended

The deadline to get the applications to the state for approval is next month.

The county has said the city already exceeds its economic development participation policy by capturing and abating more than 10 percent of its taxable value, and if county commissioners grant the extensions they would set a precedent and violate their own policy.

The city has argued that it will fall below the county’s 10-percent limit in 2011.

Kent County Administrator and Controller Daryl Delabbio and Fiscal Services Director Robert White have been meeting with City Economic Development Director Kara Wood and The Right Place Vice President Rick Chapla in an effort to find some common ground on the issue. So far, no apparent agreement has been reached.

County commissioners will meet again on Oct. 23.

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