GJ City Council Hears Latest North Avenue Plans
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. On Monday the Grand Junction City Council heard new details regarding the North Avenue Overlay Plan. The North Avenue Advisory Committee laid out what they envision for the busy corridor in the future. They also discussed incentives for businesses, among them a point system.
Dave Thornton, principal planner for the City of Grand Junction, said, "Trying to create an urban landscape in the sense of building up close to the street, rather than tucked away behind parking lots."
Shelly Dackonish, senior staff attorney, said, "Personally when I look up and down that corridor I'm dazzled by the potential for activity and revitalization."
"This overlay will help implement that vision," Thornton said.
They've created several incentive-based opt-in standards for new development.
Thornton said, "An optional zoning overlay that would allow people to develop differently than they would under their current zoning."
Planners are also looking at a point-system to spur development activity.
"The point system we've developed is a mechanism for property owners, along North Avenue who are in the overlay district, to make improvements to their property and then re-capture some of the cost," Dackonish said.
The system establishes a point value for various improvements from least important to most important.
"As later funding becomes available they can capture some of their own investment based on the point values they've accumulated," said Dackonish.
"Our goal is whatever we can do to try and visually improve it. We look at examples from around the country doing street-scape type projects, it helps corridors," Thornton said.
There are several possible funding mechanisms for the point system, including general fund allocations, BID funds, tax rebates or tax increment financing (TIF). TIF requires formation of an Urban Renewal Authority, blight determination and adoption of Urban Renewal Plan for the area.
Planners are hopeful these incentives will visually improve the corridor, attracting the people, investors and confidence needed to really finish the job.