By this time next year, the first houses in New Albany's Nottingham Trace development likely will be occupied.

New Albany City Council on Nov. 28 gave the developer, Pulte Homes, approval to move forward with the first phase of the single-family-home subdivision.

Council members voted 6-0 to approve the final plat for the 48-acre, 57-lot first phase. Mayor Sloan Spalding, President Pro Tempore Colleen Briscoe and Marlene Brisk, Mike Durik, Chip Fellows and Matt Shull voted in favor of the ordinance. Glyde Marsh was absent.

The zoning on the land requires that at least 80 percent of the units within the development must have a minimum of one occupant who is at least 55 years old, according to the legislation. A maximum of 240 lots can be included in the entire 100-acre development.

Tom Rubey, director of development for the New Albany Co., said the development is intended to be 100 percent age-restricted but "enforcement of the regulation by the federal government is limited to 80 percent of the units."

He said the New Albany Co. plans to sell property west of New Albany-Condit Road (state Route 605) and south of Walnut Street to Pulte Homes in January. The land is off Schleppi Road and near Rocky Fork Metro Park in northern Plain Township.

Valerie Dolenga of Pulte Homes said a tentative grand opening is planned next fall for the community.

Rubey said he expects the first houses to be occupied by late fall or early winter and the community would take five to six years to complete.

According to a report prepared by Underhill & Hodge LLC, the development is estimated to add 17 students to the New Albany-Plain Local School District enrollment. The annual cost to educate the 17 students would be $212,619, the report said.

When the community is built out, it should generate an estimated $1.9 million annually in property-tax revenue for the school district, based on a schools-impact statement provided to the city as part of the rezoning process.

A 28-acre park also is planned as part of the development, said city spokesman Scott McAfee.

Although Pulte is building the park, it ultimately would be owned by the city, McAfee said.

Funding for the new park would come from a "nonschool" tax-increment-financing district for Nottingham Trace that is projected to generate $12.4 million over 30 years.

A TIF is an economic-development mechanism available to local governments to finance public-infrastructure improvements and, in certain circumstances, residential rehabilitation, according to the Ohio Development Services Agency.

A TIF locks in the taxable worth of real property at the value it holds at the time the authorizing legislation is approved, diverting resulting incremental revenue to designated uses, such as funding necessary improvements or infrastructure to support a new development.

Revenue that exceeds the locked-in valuation of the land is diverted from the entities that typically receive property-tax revenue, including school districts, parks districts, libraries and fire departments.

In the case of a nonschool TIF, the additional property tax revenue is diverted from all entities except school districts, according to New Albany community-development director Jennifer Chrysler said. Recent state legislation added vocational schools to that exception, she said.

For the Nottingham Trace TIF, the schools would be New Albany-Plain Local and Eastland-Fairfield Career and Technical Schools, according to a previous council legislative report.

Chrysler said the TIF also would be structured so it did not divert money from the Plain Township Fire Department.

The TIF would cover 64 developed acres, Chrysler said.

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