In 2016, we were looking for a smaller community with a vibrant economy and solid, rising property values. We chose LeClaire. Before we purchased a home, we looked at homes on Falcon Drive south of Iowa Drive. The Falcon Drive homes had a magnificent view of the river overlooking commercial buildings to the south. The homes were competitively priced with other homes that did not overlook a grocery store and a restaurant.
Existing Kwik Star stores set an example based on their upkeep, cleanliness and landscaping. The store's appearance does not lower property values. The proposed LeClaire site seems to “fit” best as a logical extension of the commercial property to the west and southwest. LeClaire has a comprehensive plan in place, which establishes the process for zoning change that is in sync with the surrounding properties, and ensures the overall growth pattern of the commercial locations so not to encroach on adjacent residential properties. This questions the remark that this change is “spot” zoning.
Fiscally, there is no tax increment financing, TIF, funding involved, the cost to the city is minimal and the increase in property tax revenue far outweighs any upfront costs. The true cost of this project will only appear if the zoning request is denied. What is the message LeClaire will send the commercial community regarding future development if a clean, well-kept neighbor-friendly business is told to go away?
I would urge the city council to vote, so the zoning request is granted, make the better decision for all of the residents of LeClaire and welcome a progressive, community-minded business to our city.