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The Tyler City Council approved a plan Wednesday that establishes a process to help spur economic development in certain parts of the city.

Councilmembers voted in favor of a comprehensive policy outlining how future public improvement districts, also known as PID, work. These districts are used as an economic development tool that allows property owners within a district to reimburse a developer for building costs of public infrastructure and improvements within the district.

“PIDs are intended to spur economic development by providing developers an alternate way to pay for infrastructural improvements,” the city said in a statement.

Proposed PIDs have to be located within or near the North End Revitalization planning area as identified in the Tyler 1st Comprehensive Plan.

Under the new PID policy, a developer can petition the city council to form a PID, and the city council would establish one of the districts through the adoption of a resolution. The PID has to provide a benefit to the properties within the district as well as the public.

The policy includes petition requirements, qualified costs, financing criteria, information disclosures to property owners, and the developer’s plans, budgets and assessments. There is also a non-refundable application fee of $15,000 required when a developer or property owner files a petition for a PID.

Improvements a developer would pay for include drainage, water and sewer, streets and parks. Other improvements to the PID can include landscaping, fountains, specialty lighting, art, decorative and landscaped streets and sidewalks, bike lanes, multiuse trails, signage that support the development and generate economic benefits to the city.

Council members also on Wednesday adopted a resolution to accept a petition from Bellwood 323 2019 LP to consider establishing a PID in west Tyler adjacent to Bellwood Lake. A public hearing is set for Feb. 10 during the council’s regular meeting.

If approved, Bellwood 323 2019 LP’s petition would establish Westside Place PID. The area is about 38.33 acres of land near the North End Revitalization planning area.

“To me, this is the perfect project for the West Loop,” said Mayor Don Warren. “This tool is to help start a development that has been there and not been developed. The hope is to pull people from South Tyler to West Tyler and ignite a new start in a new area.”

Councilmember Shirley McKellar said she was happy to see the growth opportunity. She represents the northwest district of Tyler.

“I look forward to this going close to the north side of the city,” she said.

According to the city, PIDs must be self-sufficient and do not require the city to incur any costs related to the formation of the PID, bond issuance costs, PID administration or the construction of PID improvements.

“I want folks to realize this doesn’t take away tax revenue from the city,” Warren said. “The risk to the city is minimal. The impact is huge. I’m excited about the project.”

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I came to the Tyler Morning Telegraph in September 2019. I report on crime, courts, breaking news and various events in Tyler and East Texas.