Devastated area could become good land use | New






Columbus City Council recently designated land near US Highway 81 as withered, which will allow landowners to use tax increase funding. The land was named redevelopment zone 10.


Andrew Kiser



The land just west of Columbus has been unusable for some time, but a recent Columbus City Council vote designating the devastated area could help the site become a designation location.

Council members recently voted that the area – named Redevelopment Zone 10, located near US Freeway 81 and Lost Creek Parkway – was destroyed following a substandard study by RDG Planning and Design.

The study recommended that this part of the city be declared both a dilapidated and unsanitary area in need of redevelopment. The search in turn has found the land beyond repair and control and cannot be dealt with properly in its current state.

The land was also found to harbor deteriorating buildings and dangerous and unsanitary conditions, including an overgrowth of vegetation. Additionally, the study found that the area lacked unimproved sidewalks and on-site parking.

The area, according to data from the Platte County Assessor’s Office, had eight sole landowners. This meant that the diversity of the property presented an obstacle on how to improve the land.

All of this met the criteria for the earth to be designated as devastated.

The study also found that Area 10 can be corrected if these issues are resolved.

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The owner of this land is also expected to change hands soon, according to Mayor Jim Bulkley.

Bulkley said the land will more likely change ownership and, pending approval, the area will be sold to another group. He added that the group’s goal with the pitch is unknown at this time.

By being considered withered, landowners will be able to use Tax Increase Financing (TIF). TIF is a method that can be used for renovation, infrastructure and overall improvement projects.

“(TIF) can be a tool to help redevelop this area,” said city administrator Tara Vasicek.

She said that although the land was just outside the city limits, it fell within the city’s two-mile jurisdiction, which allowed Council to vote this area as devastated. In order for landowners to use TIF funds, they will have to voluntarily annex the land to city limits, she added.






withered 2

The land just west of Columbus has been designated as devastated by the Columbus City Council. The area was found to harbor dangerous and unsanitary conditions, including an overgrowth of vegetation.


Andrew Kiser



Bulkley and Vasicek both said the land has potential for imminent projects. But by having this area declared devastated, it gives landowners a chance to get financing more easily, Bulkley said.

“The TIF will allow them to be more aggressive in their development plans,” he said.

This type of funding is not new to the region. Bulkley said Walmart, Hy-Vee and Menards were all built in Columbus thanks to TIF.

Bulkley said he believes this trend will continue with Area 10.

“I see TIF as a use for developers. Everyone has to do it individually, but it is a widely used tool in Columbus and it has been used with great success, ”he said.

Andrew Kiser is a reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Contact him by e-mail at [email protected].

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