Town negotiates with developer of proposed Harmony Ridge Metropolitan District
February 14, 2014
The Windsor Town Board spent three hours hashing out the details for a proposed Harmony Ridge Metropolitan District at the board’s work session Feb. 3, ultimately asking town staff to bring back more details about options for a sewer line to serve the project.
The developer, the Landhuis Company, is proposing to form six coordinated districts to develop its 452-acre Harmony Ridge project. The developers requested the ability to levy more mills than allowed in town in order to finance a 6-mile sewer line to serve the project.
Currently, the town has capped the total mills a special district can tax its property at 35 mills, however, the developer requested they be allowed to levy up to 60 mills on property within the district in order to account for the extra cost of building the sewer line to serve the property.
The board’s attorney on special district matters, James Mock, said the average estimated assessed value of a home in Harmony Ridge is about $240,000, and under the current 35-mill-levy limit, the districts would assess $668 per year in property taxes. If the cap was increased to 60 mills, the districts would assess $1,146 per year on the average home.
He said the developer has estimated the cost of the sewer line at $4.5 million.
Landhuis Company President Dave Cocolin said the cost of the sewer line alone would require the district to levy 37 mills.
Board member Robert Bishop-Cotner said he was uncomfortable with allowing the districts to levy more mills than the town currently allows.
“Fifty, 60 mills is making me personally hyperventilate a little bit,” Bishop-Cotner said.
Town Manager Kelly Arnold said the developer would like to get the metro district approved within the next month, in order to meet a May deadline to get the district’s formation on the ballot.
Arnold offered another suggestion to the town to avoid the mill levy cap discussion — build the sewer line itself.
Other areas of the town’s model service plan that the developer requested changes from included: enhancements, eminent domain, covenant enforcement, requiring the town to approve intergovernmental agreements between the districts and other entities, and changes to language.
The board gave town staff direction to look into the cost and feasibility of constructing the sewer line itself and continue working with the applicant on other changes requested from the town’s model service plan.