Karban: Duplexes Are Coming To Oak Street

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Hillsboro’s Planning Commission met for 45 minutes Thursday afternoon, July 16, in order to hear reports about projects taking place around the city.

Commissioner Don Karban said the vacant house on property the Hillsboro Community Development Corporation recently bought on South Oak Street is scheduled to be demolished soon. Two duplexes, each containing two housing units, are in the designing process and surveying will take place soon.

Karban also reported about the HUD (Housing Urban Development) work taking place on Anna and Beal Streets. The work on two houses will be completed soon, and seven more should be done by the end of November.

Barb Hewitt gave the Imagine Hillsboro update. The Farmers Market would appear on Lincoln’s Plaza on Saturday morning, July 18, and again on the first and third Saturday in August. Imagine’s committees are meeting again after a long hiatus caused by pandemic precautions.

The other reports were given by city planner Jonathan Weyer. He, people from Imagine, and the Chamber of Commerce continue working on a marketing plan for the city. Before the Eagle Zinc site can be marketed statewide, the annexation process has to be finished and a TIF (Tax Increment Financing) District formed. Weyer was to investigate TIF questions in a call later Thursday afternoon.

Weyer told the committee that the Corner Block Building was becoming ever more dangerous; Wednesday evening’s wind storm had blown a window out of the building onto the street. Weyer said that the city had dealt with the building’s present owner with patience ever since the building changed hands, but the patience is gone. The city of Rockford had a similar issue and found a legal solution. Because of the public safety question, the city reached out to Rockford to learn of their procedure. If the worst case scenario occurs, the building will be condemned; ideally , the building will be condemned but then rehabbed.

Weyer said the Also Building has been sold, that another business will be in town by September, and another could arrive next spring.

Karban moved and Rex Brown seconded a motion to give a tentative stamp of approval to Weyer’s written plan for the city. It’s a first step; it now moves to the council and to a yet-to-be-scheduled Public Hearing for comment before final approval.

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