Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Let's get moving on an urban renewal district in Kuna

Talk has begun once again on establishing an urban renewal district in Kuna. As I’ve written before, I’m in favor of an urban renewal district, and I think we should get started on it as soon as possible. The lull in the economy gives Kuna an excellent opportunity to work on this before the Wal-Marts and Targets and Applebee’s and Outback Steakhouses start setting up shop on our doorstep.
My biggest concern is downtown. A city’s downtown is its identity. Without its downtown, a city — any city — is merely a collection of subdivisions, chain stores and chain restaurants. Without our downtown, we might as well be Meridian.
My feeling is that the urban renewal district should encompass “downtown,” that is, Main Street from Linder Road to Avenue E. Any property with a Main Street address should be included in the district. Main Street should be narrowed to two lanes, with the center turn lane eliminated. The sidewalks on both sides should be widened to accommodate outdoor seating for the restaurants and bars. The city should actively seek federal grants to assist downtown building owners in improving facades, preferably restoring them to historic appearances. Kuna’s design review committee should have a big say in this.
What do you think? Send me a letter at PO Box 373, Kuna ID 83634 or an email at kunamelbanews@aol.com or post a comment to this blog.

1 comment:

Gary said...

Hope your enthusiasm becomes tempered by actual experience from cities who have it. Like Coeur d'Alene.

Every property in the district will have all taxes collected from increased valuation sent to the URD, not the city. It's taxes the city just gives away and can't use until the URD is retired.

The people making these decisions will be appointed with no oversight. Watch for conflicts of interest.

Make sure your URD is project specific, not a geographic pig in a poke.

It might work for you, but be very cautious and alert.