The Highland City Council has taken the first steps to approve the city's first new subdivision in a decade.
"We haven't had one in 10 years," said City Manager Mark Latham.
On May 21, the council approved an annexation agreement with landowner Carl Mersinger and Jason Mettler of Mettler Development, a development company in Highland.
The agreement allowed for the annexation of the 20 acres located on the northern side of Sportsman Road, near Arbor Crest Drive and Vulliet Road.
"It’s a beautiful hillside with great views of the country to the west, and of the city to the east," Mettler said.
The plan to is use the land for a new subdivision named Carbay Crest. It will have about 46 lots, full utilities and and concrete streets, Mettler said. The preliminary plat for the subdivision was approved last June 18 on recommendation of the Combined Planning and Zoning Board.
For over 20 years, Mettler Development has built in Highland, both on residential and commercial sites, including Prairie Trails subdivision.
Mettler said his company has developed and sold more than 120 lots in Highland.
The homes in the new subdivision will be very similar to the ones developed in Prairie Trails. Mettler said the prices will range from $255,000 to $275,000.
Construction will begin as soon as the platting procedure is completed and approved through the city, according to Mettler. The hope is to be ready for new home construction by the fall.
The intention for the new subdivision comes after the approval of new development and home-building incentive programs, which were passed by the council in April. The city decided to pursue the new single-family home development incentives to help breathe some life into the city's growth rate.
"(The development) would qualify for one of those incentives, basically because it is a new subdivision," Latham said.
The incentive to which Latham was referring gives $4,000 to developers for up to 15 new homes on new subdivisions within city limits. The incentive only goes to homes that will be serviced in the city limits and served by city utilities. The developer will also only receive the incentive once construction is complete and a home is connected to the city's systems.
However, Latham said Mettler's proposal is not the only response the city has seen in response to the new incentives.
The second incentive approved by the council offers a $4,000 to builders for up to 10 new homes on existing subdivision lots.
"A quick review of permit records indicates that we have issued four new single-family home permits since April 3," said Dylan Stock, one of the city's building inspectors.
The incentive was approved by the council on April 2.
In 2017, the city issued a total of 10 new single-family home permits, Stock said.
If the programs work fully as planned, Latham estimated the city's overall equalized assessed value (the value given to land and buildings in the city on which property taxes are determined) should increase by 3.5 percent annually, or $6.25 million. This amount could bring the city about $100,000 in additional utility revenues and $40,000 in additional city property taxes each year.
The maximum amount the programs would cost in a year would be $100,000. The programs will run the next five years and will be funded from tap-on fees and the city utility revenues appropriated to the Economic Development Fund.