Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority "Chapter 99"
The Springfield Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority (LCRA) is an appointed board of the City that is established pursuant to the Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority Law to assist with the redevelopment of blighted or insanitary areas in the City. Per statute, the LCRA is vested with broad powers that allow the City to actively redevelop blighted areas, as well as to encourage the private sector redevelopment of such areas within designated redevelopment areas. The LCRA may designate redevelopment areas and redevelopment plans, and it has the authority to grant partial real property tax abatement to redevelopment projects that conform to approved redevelopment plans.
Sections 99.300 through 99.715 RSMo.
Within an approved redevelopment area, the Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority may undertake the following types of activities:
- Land Acquisition
- Land Disposition
- Building Construction and Rehabilitation
- Blight Removal Activities
- Eminent Domain – If approved as part of a redevelopment plan, the LCRA may acquire property through the use of eminent domain.
- Blight – The statute defines “blighted area” as “an area which, by reason of the predominance of defective or inadequate street layout, unsanitary or unsafe conditions, deterioration of site improvements, improper subdivision or obsolete platting, or the existence of conditions which endanger life or property by fire and other causes, or any combination of such factors, retards the provision of housing accommodations or constitutes an economic or social liability or a menace to the public health, safety, morals, or welfare in its present condition and use.”
Real Property Tax Abatement
Redevelopment projects may receive real property tax abatement on up to 100% of the assessed value of the new construction or rehabilitation for 10 years, depending on the type of redevelopment area in which they are located. For Single-Project Redevelopment Areas the level of abatement may range between 50% and 75% of the assessed value of the new construction or rehabilitation for 10 years depending on certain project criteria. To achieve the prescribed level of abatement, the developer is required to make annual payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) in an amount equal to the “non-abated” taxes. In Multi-Project Redevelopment Areas, the level of abatement is based on 100% of the assessed value of the new construction or rehabilitation for 10 years.
The LCRA may issue bonds to finance redevelopment and blight remediation.
The Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority is governed by a board of five (5) commissioners that are appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council. Commissioners serve three-year terms.
The LCRA may prepare blight studies and redevelopment plans, review privately prepared blight studies and redevelopment plans, and recommend their approval to City Council. Within designated redevelopment areas, the LCRA reviews redevelopment projects for conformance with the adopted redevelopment plan. Projects that conform to the plan are entitled to real property tax abatement on the new construction or rehabilitation for 10 years as prescribed by the redevelopment plan. In Casey's Marketing Co. v. Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority of Independence, MO., 101 S.W.3d 23 (Mo. App. W.D.) the Court determined that under Section 99.700RSMo., if the property has been blighted and the proposal meets the redevelopment plan, the developer is entitled to tax abatement as a matter of right.
Adopted in 2018 by General Ordinance No. 6437 and codified in Section 40, Article II of the Springfield City Code, the Workable Program establishes a plan of action for dealing with blighted areas in the City and includes a framework for evaluating redevelopment proposals that will involve real property tax abatement. The Workable Program imposes certain requirements, in addition to those contained in the statute, on all new or amended redevelopment plan submitted after October 16, 2017 as follows:
In the case of a new or amended redevelopment plan proposed in an existing blighted area, the Applicant shall provide either:
- An updated blight study, or other evidence that the area still exhibits the blighting factors that existed at the time it was declared a blighted area; or
- A new blight study showing that sufficient blighting factors exist to support a finding that the area meets the definition of a blighted area, per the LCRA Law,
- Written notification shall be provided to all property owners within 500 ft of the proposed redevelopment area and to all impacted political subdivisions and registered neighborhood organizations at least 10 days prior to the City Council’s first public hearing.
Redevelopment Plans for Single-Project Redevelopment Areas must include the following:
- Sufficient evidence that the But-for-Test has been satisfied
- Analysis of Scorecard to determine percentage of abatement to be granted.
Redevelopment Plans for Multi-Project Redevelopment Areas are exempted from the But-for-Test and Scorecard requirements; however, they shall include an explanation as to how they satisfy the criteria in the Workable Program.
Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority Policies
1. Proposed redevelopment plans must be reviewed by the Planning and Zoning Commission and found to be consistent with the City of Springfield Comprehensive Plan.
2. Proposed redevelopment plans must comply with the Workable Program.
3. Proposals for redevelopment plans and property tax abatement pursuant to Chapter 99 RSMo. will be strongly discouraged in approved Tax Increment Financing districts because tax abatement conflicts with the intent of the TIF statute to capture the incremental increase to fund TIF improvements.
4. Applicants for property tax abatement will be required to enter into a cooperative agreement with the City of Springfield, covenanting that the property will continue to be used in a manner consistent with the redevelopment plan throughout the abatement period or the abatement will be subject to termination.
All projects will be reviewed for consistency with both the policies for the desired incentive as well as the general policies listed on the Overview and General Policies page.