Residents of Platte City gathered
at a public hearing on Tuesday night for their first
chance to air support or concerns for the proposed
Shoppes at North Gate development at the intersection
of HH Hwy (Main Street) and NW Prairie View Road.
The public hearing was held during
the meeting of the TIF (Tax Increment Financing)
Commission, which is currently in consideration
of the proposed $16.6 million commercial development
that would sit on approximately 7.65 acres at the
end of Main Street near I-29. Cox- Rabius Development,
LLC is requesting the use of a TIF to fund the Shoppes
at North Gate project.
The public hearing was opened by
TIF Commission Chair and City Attorney Keith Hicklin.
Bill Moore, a representative for Cox-Rabius, addressed
the commission asking if the public hearing could
be opened and remain open, continuing the hearing
to a future date.
According to Moore, because negotiations
are still ongoing with certain taxing entitiessuch
as the R-3 School Districtthe developer was
hoping to have more time to resolve the issues.
We would request the TIF commission
would continue the hearing to a future date,
said Moore. We are talking to the school district
and trying to come up with ideas to address their
concerns. I think if we have three more weeks that
will give us time to tweak those issues.
Moore also indicated that Cox- Rabius
has agreed to delete KC Bobcat from the application
and the proposed redevelopment area, stating that
KC Bobcats connection to the development didnt
play a major part in the Shoppes at North Gate.
In a presentation from the architect
of the Shoppes at North Gate, members of the TIF
Commission were asked to share three hard copies
of the slide presentation, while members of the
audience were asked to look at the presentation
on a laptop computer in the middle of the room.
During the presentation, it was
indicated that the proposed site was a major
entry point into Platte City and it was shown
how the development would look from different views.
After the architects brief
presentation, the public hearing commenced with
life-long resident Gene Palmer addressing the TIF
What I hear around town is
that most people dont understand the mechanism
of this TIF, stated Palmer. If this
presentation tonight is any indication as to the
capabilities of this developer, then its very
TIF Commission attorney Doug Patterson
addressed Palmers comments.
Its a simple three letter
word but is complicated, said Patterson.
If the property qualifies
for a TIF and in this case its a blighted
areathen the developer can submit a plan that
freezes the existing property taxes and if the area
is doing retail, can freeze the existing sales taxes.
The developer not only has to come up with money
for the development, they also have to come up with
money for the blighted area.
Patterson continued to explain that
TIF helps fund the costs of the developer by repaying
them through the use of a TIF for the stabilization
and work to the blighted area. Patterson indicated
that current estimates show that the developer is
looking for TIF assistance on $6.4 million of the
total $16.7 million project. The $6.4 million is
before interest fees, which are estimated at 6.5%.
Though the TIF can be extended up
to 23 years, the developer hopes the $6.4 million
can be paid back within 14 years.
Platte City resident Peggy Miller
also addressed the commission with her concerns
for the project.
I would like everyone to think
about why this area is a blighted area, said
Miller. It has never been a money-making area.
You cant see the corner from either direction
Miller told the commission how she has watched many
businesses come and go in that area due to its location.
Platte County Director of Administration
Dana Babcockwho was sitting in for county
representative Treasurer Bonnie Brownreferenced
Millers statement when she asked Cox exactly
how many tenants the proposed development has on
Its a but-for,
said Cox. I have to know that Im going
to be able to build it. If I dont have a TIF,
I cant build it," indicating that deals
with any tenants wouldn't be finalized unless the
TIF is approved.
At the conclusion of the public
hearing, the TIF Commission entered into a work
session where their questions were answered by the
The developer indicated that the
members of the commission could have the TIF plan
in front of them next week for inspection, as well
as city hall for the publics viewing. That
plan is what the commission will be asked to vote
on. The commission only makes a recommendation.
It was a pointed out the final decision on whether
to approve the TIF deal will rest with the city's
board of aldermen.
The developer indicated the
countys portion of the 3/8 cent roads tax
and 1/2 cent parks tax will be included in the proposal
until they (those taxes) sunset, is that correct?
questioned Babcock. So this set of plans we
will receive is what you expect the commission to
vote on, correct?
Moore stated that the plan did include
the countys portion of those taxes until they
sunset in five and seven years and informed the
commission they will be asked to vote on the new
plan set before them.
Im representing Bonnie
here tonight, but as I have indicated in discussions
with Bonnie and Presiding Commissioner Betty Knight,
we have grave concerns over the parks and roads
taxes being included in the TIF, said Babcock.
Those are dedicated taxes
that the county feels are in a different category
than our general revenue. We went to the residents
and asked them to dedicate taxes to certain areas,
stated Babcock. We feel a need to see those
commitments (made to voters) through.
Babcock indicated that unlike Platte
City, which has already received its $1.5 million
in road money from the county road tax, there are
other entities that have not received their share
of the county's road tax money and may be slighted
on projects with the implementation of this TIF.
Were just like the school
district who will most likely go back in front of
those voters and ask for another dedicated tax.
A lot of it is principle and following through with
what you promised, said Babcock.
Platte County R-3 Superintendent
Dr. Mark Harpst reiterated the districts support
for the project, but stated that his board came
together unanimously to oppose the proposed use
of a TIF to fund the redevelopment of the area using
We want to be a partner,
said Harpst. At the same time you need to
understand our position that we are partners with
other cities in our district and we are a part of
other TIFs that have (not captured the school's
Harpst added, 75% of our constituency
does not live within the City of Platte City.
According to Harpst, the school
district would need to be guaranteed $150-156,000
per year from the project to make it economically
feasible for the district.
Harpst summed up the districts
preference of that revenue by stating hed
like to see it come from property taxes. Harpst
explained that the district would be able to rely
on that revenue because of stability,"
referencing property taxes as more stable sources
of revenue than projected and estimated sales tax
from a proposed development.
The TIF Commission set its next
meeting for Thursday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. at city
hall, where the public hearing will be continued
and a more formal and in-depth presentation on the
Shoppes at North Gate will be given.