McHenry considers impact fee reduction, Oaks of Irish Prairie subdivision development

McHenry City Council members are considering a citywide impact fee reduction upon a request from national homebuilder D.R. Horton, which plans to buy 86 lots and build houses in the Oaks of Irish Prairie subdivision.

The city annexed the subdivision property on the south side of Veterans Parkway and west of Barreville Road in 2005. The original plan by Town and Country Homes called for about
400 homes on about 200 acres of property split into two phases of development.

About 54 homes have been built in the first phase area of the subdivision, but development has been stalled since 2008, according to city documents.

Town and Country previously installed public infrastructure – including roads, street lighting, trees and sewer and water – in the first phase of development where D.R. Horton wants to build, according to city documents.

The proposal by D.R. Horton would generate $26,958 in impact fees to McHenry School Districts 156 and 15, the city, library and McHenry Township Fire Protection District. Developers typically incorporate impact fees into the total cost of the finished product.

If the City Council approves the request for reduction, the total cost in those fees would total $13,479, according to city documents.

If the developer builds 10 homes at $300,000 each that are occupied by
Dec. 31, the taxing bodies would receive a total of $93,123 from property taxes in the first property tax payment year, according to city documents. The city also would receive revenue from capital development fees charged to water and sewer bills.

The City Council is expected to consider citywide impact fee revisions at its September meeting. McHenry County, Harvard, Huntley and Woodstock all either have initiated similar discussions or taken similar action in the past year.

“This is not the only builder looking for this relief,” McHenry Mayor Wayne Jett said. “Many other surrounding communities have removed all impact fees, so if this isn’t approved, they could look at building right over our boundaries, and I will not let that happen.”

City Council members will meet at 7 p.m. Sept. 10 at the McHenry Municipal Center, 333 S. Green St.

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