The public is not the only one left wondering about the status of a proposed $13 million housing project in the town of Dunkirk. The Dunkirk Town Board hasn't heard a peep about where the Dunkirk Meadows project stands for months.
Dunkirk Town Supervisor Richard Purol said at the town board's workshop recently, the board had not heard from Regan Development since the last planning board meeting in September, despite efforts to gain updates on the project.
"We have not heard from them since September," Purol said.
"That leads to the next question. What can we do with the zoning, since there has been no action?," Councilman Juan Pagan asked.
Purol said he will ask Town Attorney Jeffrey Passafaro about when the application expires due to inactivity.
Code Enforcement Officer Ryan Mourer said he has consulted with other towns on their policy about inactive applications. However, Purol said the town would wait to take action until consulting with Passafaro.
Dunkirk Meadows timeline
December 2011 - Regan Development receives grant
Feb. 8 - Regan Development submits application to town
Feb. 23 - First Dunkirk Town Planning Board meeting to discuss application for 62 units in four buildings
March-May - Planning board mulls over safety and zoning concerns
June 13 - Regan Development alters project to become mixed-use residential and commercial
July 11 - New project deemed complete and refered back to planning board
Aug. 17 & Sept. 20 - Planning board meets to discuss further concerns
After September -Regan Development makes no contact with town.
The OBSERVER has also been unsuccessful in reaching officials with company officials as well. Multiple messages left with Larry Regan, owner of Regan Development, were not returned.
The next town board meeting will be held Tuesday. Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. in the town hall.
The project was first announced in December, 2011. At that time Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the project would include the new construction of 64 affordable rental housing units for individuals and families in the town of Dunkirk.
The proposal changed over the past 12 months.
The more recent proposal by Regan Development would have two buildings of housing on each of two separate sites along with commercial development on both facing Route 60. The original site on Chadwick Drive would remain with the property at the southwest corner of Williams Street and Route 60 utilized to hold two housing buildings along with commercial development.
Last December, Regan Development received $3,543,491 for the Dunkirk Meadows Workforce Housing Development from the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council through the New York State Department of Homes and Community Renewal (DHCR).
The Low-Income Housing Credit Program (LIHC) was established under the Tax Reform Act of 1986 to promote private sector involvement in the retention and production of rental housing that is reserved for low-income households.
According to the DHCR, the LIHC program provides a dollar-for-dollar reduction in federal income tax liability for project owners who develop rental housing that serves low-income households with incomes up to 60 percent of area median income. The amount of LIHC available to project owners is directly related to the number of low-income housing units that they provide.
Most projects receiving an allocation of LIHC also utilize another governmental subsidy as part of their project financing. Regan Development received $3,143,491 in LIHC funding for the Dunkirk Meadows project.
The other government subsidy Regan Development received was from the Low-Income Housing Trust Fund (HTF) Program. Regan Development received $240,000 in HTF funding.
According to the DHCR website, the HTF was established under Article XVIII of the Private Housing Finance Law to help meet the critical need for decent, affordable housing opportunities for people of low income. HTF provides funding to eligible applicants to construct low-income housing, to rehabilitate vacant, distressed or under-utilized residential property, or to convert vacant or under-utilized non-residential property to residential use for occupancy by low-income homesteaders, tenants, tenant-cooperators or condominium owners.
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