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Council approves new TIRZ boundary

Downtown added to economic development tool


Following a lengthy presentation by Trent Petty, who provides strategic planning services to cities, Aledo’s City Council approved a boundary amendment to the city’s Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) during their meeting on Thursday, April 4.

Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones are common across Texas. According to the January 2024 Comptroller Report, there are more than 600 TIRZ zones across the state with a taxable value of approximately $94 billion.

Petty praised TIRZ as a tool that does not raise taxes on residents, but is funded 100 percent by the growth of new development value within the defined zone.

In 2019, the city, with the help of Petty, established the initial zone boundaries, which included a large section of an up-and-coming development known as the Parks of Aledo. However, as the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the globe in the months that followed, the issue was pushed aside.

Shortly after being hired as the city manager for Aledo in May of 2022, Noah Simon noticed the preliminary work for the TIRZ was done in 2019. Simon added working on the TIRZ to his lengthy to-do list after starting in his new role.

After a number of months working with Simon and his team to update the information regarding the growth of Aledo over the past several years, Petty made his pitch to the TIRZ board prior to the start of the city council meeting on Thursday.

Petty, formerly the city manager of Grapevine, credited the TIRZ for making it possible for downtown Grapevine to be what it is today. His experience utilizing the TIRZ, coupled with his knowledge of the tool, has made him one of the most sought-after consultants by communities across Texas.

To start off his presentation, he spent several minutes informing the board of what the TIRZ is and how it’s used. After laying that foundation, he continued with his recommendations for adjustments to the initial zone.

These included the removal of the Parks of Aledo development now that so much of the property is built out to remain compliant with recent TIRZ laws passed during the 2023 State Legislative session.

The updated recommendation added the downtown area to the zone, with Petty highlighting that downtown Aledo has the potential to become as much of an attraction to Aledo as downtown Grapevine is today.

Along with his recommendations, Petty also cautioned that with so many communities already having TIRZ zones in place, and developers favoring the zones so highly, not having one in place could mean developers pass on opportunities to build in Aledo for more favorable situations around the metroplex.

One example Petty made of how the TIRZ could be used in the future was centered around the development of Dean Ranch. Petty said the city could bargain with a developer to have the developer pay up front out of their own pocket for necessary infrastructure to be built into the development while the city reimburses the developer from the TIRZ over an agreed upon number of years. In that example, the city is not required to fund the infrastructure work up front and is not on the hook for paying back the developer until TIRZ dollars begin rolling in from the increased tax value of the property with the development underway.

In Aledo, as in many communities across the state, the TIRZ board is comprised of members of the city council. While the two entities are primarily made up of the same members, they function separately from one another. The TIRZ board can approve a zone, but it is up to the city council take the recommendation of the TIRZ board to vote on implementing the zone.

Following Petty’s presentation, the TIRZ board asked a number of questions to garner clarification before ultimately deciding to approve the recommendation for the updated zone to the city council.

As the TIRZ board meeting adjourned and the city council meeting began, the council had a final opportunity to ask any questions they had of Petty before considering a vote on the matter. Following the brief Q&A, a motion was made to vote on Ordinance 2024-203, followed by a second before being approved in a near-unanimous (one nay) vote to implement TIRZ Zone 1.


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